Graham & Doddsville Fall 2014 Newsletter
It is our pleasure to bring you the 22nd edition of Graham & Doddsville. This student-led investment publication of Columbia Business School (CBS) is co-sponsored by the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing and the Columbia Student Investment Management Association (CSIMA).
To recap the happenings since our Spring 2014 issue, the Heilbrunn Center hosted the fifth annual “From Graham to Buffet and Beyond” Dinner in Omaha, held on the eve of the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders’ meeting and featuring a panel of renowned speakers. Photos of the event can be found on page 3.
We also proudly announce the formation of our inaugural student- run Value Investing Fund, made possible by a generous gift from Helibrunn Center Advisory Board Member Mr. Thomas Russo and his wife Georgina.
As our fellow students begin their Fall courses at CBS, we are reminded of a humorous quote from Charlie Munger: “In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn’t read all the time…my children laugh at me.
They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.” Indeed, continuous reading and learning is critical to succeeding as an investor, and we thank you for counting G&D as part of your reading regimen.
For this issue we spoke with six investors from three firms, each with a distinct investment style and focus. We believe you will enjoy our interviewees’ diverse set of perspectives.
Wally Weitz, Founder and President of Weitz Investment Management in Omaha, NE, was our first interview. We discuss how Mr. Weitz’s investment philosophy has evolved over time, his views on valuation, and assessments of his past and current holdings.
Guy Gottfried, Founder and Managing Partner of Rational Investment Group, shares some of his key investing lessons with us, including the importance of partnering with strong management teams and maintaining a high level of investing discipline.
And as we look for investors with a global perspective, Paul Tierney and his partners at Development Capital Partners shared with us the excitement and challenges of investing in companies across the African continent.
Lastly, we continue to bring you pitches from current students at CBS. CSIMA’s Investment Ideas Club meets regularly throughout the year, including during the summer, and provides CBS students the opportunity to practice crafting and delivering investment pitches.
In this issue, we feature two ideas from our classmates Kevin Lin ’16 and Sisy Wang ’16: long Countrywide PLC (LON:CWD) and short B&M European Value Retail SA (LON:BME).
We strongly believe in the value of diversity of thought and experience. These insights come from a variety of sources, and we look forward to bringing you these unique perspectives and fresh ideas during this academic year. As always, we thank our interviewees for contributing their time and insights not only to us, but to the investment community as a whole, and we thank you for reading.
Graham & Doddsville: 5x5x5 Student Value Investing Fund
Columbia Business School is delighted to announce the formation of its inaugural student-run Value Investing Fund. This innovative fund was made possible by a generous gift from Thomas Russo and his wife Georgina. Mr. Russo is a frequent guest lecturer at Columbia Business School, and a member of the Heilbrunn Center Advisory Board. Thanks to Mr. Russo’s creativity and leadership, this unique entrepreneurial fund is both long-term and aligns with the fundamental principles of value investing, making it unlike any other student-run fund. The Russos’ gift affords Columbia’s value investing students the opportunity to connect value-oriented investment theories to real world practice as they apply their classroom learning in the management of this fund.
The 5x5x5 Student Value Investing Fund was introduced by Mr. Russo to the Heilbrunn community at the Value Investing Program Welcome Reception on September 12, 2014. In addition to Mr. Russo, the 5x5x5 Fund Board will consist of five students from the Value Investing Program along with Bruce Greenwald, Robert Heilbrunn Professor of Finance and Asset Management, and Louisa Serene Schneider ’06, Senior Director of the Heilbrunn Center. During the Spring 2015 semester, students in the Value Investing course taught by Bruce Greenwald and Tano Santos will have the opportunity to submit their investment ideas to the 5x5x5 Board. The Board will then choose among these investment ideas and will articulate five reasons behind each investment. Five of the stocks will then be selected and invested in for a period of five years. At the end of five years, the original amount, accounting for inflation, will be invested back into the 5x5x5 Fund and the remainder of the gains will be used to support current-use scholarships for students interested in investment management. As alumni, program students will remain active managers of the 5x5x5 Fund, continuing their support of, and connection to, the Heilbrunn Center and Columbia Business School.
See full Graham & Doddsville in PDF format here.