Jae Jun Interview, CEO of The Old School Value Site by Lukas Neely, Endlessrise Investor
Jae Jun On The Ability To Stay Flexible In The Markets
Jae Jun is open to all types of investments — deep value or moat situations. He seeks to acquire them at reasonable prices from their intrinsic values.
As a full-fledged entrepreneur now, with his full-time duties dedicated to www.OldSchoolValue.com (OSV), Jae’s chosen path as an investor has been a busy one. Not many people know that he was running OSV as a side gig for 7 years before finally making it his full time job.
His entrepreneurial spirit and value investing philosophies ring through to this day with his work ethic. Jae says, “I’d go to work and come home around 7pm. Then have dinner and rest an hour or two before “going to work” until around 2am (at OSV).” He is very grateful to be able to focus on OSV full-time now.
Today, he’s focused on quality businesses that are misunderstood by the market. He’s finding value in such areas as tech, moving storage and equipment rental, and grocery stores.
Old School Value’s Jae Jun explains his intense focus on the price you pay for businesses, how you must buy them at conservative discounts to intrinsic value, how to say “NO” quick-ly, and why he see upside in Apple, U-Haul and Whole Foods.
You’ve produced some incredible content at Old School Value (OSV). How did you get started in Old School Value?
Jae Jun: After having moved to the USA and then getting married. I foolishly agreed to a life insurance agent who convinced me that it was the best choice as it also acted as an investment vehicle. The problem was that after a few months, I started sniffing around and learned more about what I had gotten into. I was in it for 10 months paying $300/mo which is an absurd amount to be paying for insurance for a very healthy 24 year old at that time.
One day when I actually bothered to open up the statements, I was shocked to see that a large amount of the money went out in fees and commissions and my actual results were negative compared to the market being up like 10% or so during the same period. So I bit the bullet and canceled the policy. Effectively realizing a 100% loss from my very first investment. Then I realized that if I wanted to lose money investing, I might as well do it myself.
“Don’t try to produce out sized returns. You’ll likely achieve out sized losses. (Remember it’s about building wealth, not comparing yourself to others and feeling bad that someone made 20% more than you did)”
I know I’m not the smartest guy (and that I’ll never be the next Warren Buffett), so I had to write my thoughts down in order to help myself learn. Plus, I tend to forget things easily so I needed notes that I could reference. I am aware of what my weaknesses.
So I needed people to correct me when I was wrong. Openly accepting criticism really increased my speed of learning. Now Old School Value has turned into a site offering stock valuation tools but the blog is still very much focused on education and sharing resources.
How did your value investing philosophy start?
Jae Jun: I started with Graham Net-Net stocks mostly. They are easy to understand, and it’s just a matter of being able to decide what is noise and ignoring it. The reason why net-nets made so much sense is because volatility doesn’t bother me, and it’s an area that most people stay away from.
How has your view of investing evolved (if at all)?
Jae Jun: My core philosophy hasn’t changed much. When you read or hear about how a particular person’s investing philosophy has changed, it’s mostly centered around starting as a Ben Graham investor. And then it progresses to a Buffett and Munger investor. But the real underlying philosophy isn’t what camp you fall into. Ultimately, every investment you ever make in your life is deter-mined by what price you pay. It’s simple and broad, but it’s effective because I’m not worrying or overthinking about things that don’t matter.
My philosophy is very simple:
1. Make money from the market over the long run i.e. build wealth
2. Buy companies I like at a price which I deem below my calculation of intrinsic value
What does your typical day look like Old School Value (from beginning to end)?
Jae Jun: Most people recognize Old School Value as a value investing blog, but most of my time goes into managing and growing the business side of it. So a day is filled with finding ways to make the website look better, load faster, look for ways to attract visitors, engaging with readers and the public, addressing support tickets and so on.
What’s a little known secret about Old School Value (the no one knows)?
Jae Jun: That I was running Old School Value as a side gig for 7 years. I’d go to work and come home around 7pm. Then have dinner and rest an hour or two before “going to work” until around 2am. But I’m very fortunate and grateful that I am now able to focus on Old School Value full time.
“Focus on reading and learning from books. No blogs, newspapers or news.”
Who are the people that inspire (or inspired) you? And why?
Jae Jun: The people that inspire me are ordinary people that you don’t see. The ones that don’t put themselves out there. People like missionaries, soldiers, social workers and foster parents who find joy and completeness by sacrificing their time, bodies, and lives to help others.
I get most of my inspiration from the people who I want to be like and not from what they have done or achieved. And it all has to do with my faith in Jesus. You’ll see on my website what I stand for. Love God, Love People and Serve the World. And although it has nothing to do with investing, it is the foundation of how I do business and run Old School Value.
What did you learn from those people that you’d like to pass on to our readers?
Jae Jun: More joy comes from giving
And giving is a blessing in disguise. But something more related to investing is to really dig into how to value whatever you invest in.
Investing = Qualitative + Quantitative analysis.
Most people do about half the qualitative or quantitative part and not the full equation.
Everyone mentions Security Analysis, The Intelligent Investor and even Margin of Safety as must reads for any investor. What are the top 3 books people don’t talk about, but that you would recommend to an investor?
Jae Jun: I personally don’t recommend any of those three as my top reads. The truth is that Security Analysis is a textbook which I bet 99.9% of the investors haven’t finished. The Intelligent Investor is extremely dry and it’s just one chapter that really opened my eyes (Mr Market chapter). And for Margin of Safety, you have to find a scanned PDF online. But because I get a lot of book recommendation