Tuesday, April 21, 2009 0 comments ++[ CLICK TO COMMENT ]++

Flashback... Interviews with Shloss and Klarman

I don't know if it's just me but I am seeing quite a number of amateur-oriented investment blogs start up in the last year. Several of them seem to be focused on value investing and tend to cover material that are useful for newbies like me. I don't know if it's just the rising popularity of blogging or if it's someone trying to take out their misery on the written ink ;) but I hope the bloggers continue doing what they are doing...

Older investors or those with good historical research skills may have seen the following two articles before but it's the first time I have encountered them and thought others may find it interesting. The two interviews come from a new blog I ran across, Mr. Market Blog.

The first is an interview with Seth Klarman conducted by Fortune in 1990. From the article, you can get a sense of the type of investments he was investing in when he started out. I don't really follow Klarman--not my style and virtually impossible to know what he is doing or why he is doing it--but many others hold him in high regard.

The other article is Barron's interview with Walter Schloss, back in 1985. For those not familiar, Schloss is an honourary member of the Superinvestors of Graham & Doddsville :) He is one of the best value investors in the last 50 years. But since he ran a small portfolio and stayed away from the spotlight, he won't be considered as successful as other investors such as Jim Cramer, George Soros, or Edward Lampert. However, in my eyes, he is a more successful investor than any of them (except possibly George Soros) and his techniques are more applicable to small investors than the other three mentioned here, or the countless other successful investors cited in the media. Schloss is more of a pure value investor--one that focuses on bottom-up analysis, balance sheets, and generally attempts to buy something below book value or maybe NCAV--and anyone following pure value investing may find the interview insightful. (I'm not a pure value investor and am more interested in trying to find growth (or contrarian turnaround situations.) But I do wonder if Shloss' investing strategy, which basically started going out of favour in the 60's, will make a comeback. If the economic slump is prolonged, it is possible that this style is safer.)

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