Hetty Green: The Witch of Wall Street
Hetty Green was perhaps Wall Street’s first value investor. She was born in 1834 when the financial world was entirely dominated by men. At the time of her death she had liquid assets of an estimated $100m. This article tells the story of how she did it and highlights her value investing principles and a relentless focus on price and value, which in the context of her own family, she definitely took too far.
Michael Price on Bloomberg
Michael Price is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the Value Investing world. He was also a friend of Peter Cundill and mentor to Seth Klarman (see below). He will be opening the London Value Investor Conference in May. In this interview, he discusses money moving out of bonds and into equities, and comments on Dell’s possible take-private (5 minutes 30 seconds in). We opened a position in Dell last Summer so we are watching this particular story with keen interest.
Another Warren Buffett interview with Charlie Rose
In this 55 minute interview, Warren Buffett gives his view on some of his own investments as well as talking in depth about wider political issues in the US related to taxation and the fiscal cliff.
An old extract from one of Seth Klarman’s investor letters – the challenge of cash.
This brief article written by Seth Klarman in 2004/5, sets out the issues for Fund Managers who hold cash. We are often challenged on our cash position, asked whether we are trying to time the market. Our response is that our cash position is simply a bi-product of our process. We only invest when we find assets offering a compelling margin of safety. As Klarman points out – this is the discipline we expect from the managers of the companies we invest in and in turn our investors should seek the same from us.
The importance of fund managers having “skin in the game”
This article in the FT argues for the importance of fund managers to have material amounts of their personal assets invested in the funds they manage. Whilst it is no panacea, there is no doubt that this is the best way of ensuring the closest partnership between investors and their managers.
The first word in Mangled Meanings – Lucy Kellaway
Departing from the normal value investing theme, we could not resist including this amusing piece by Lucy Kellaway, who explores some of the more outrageous hatchet jobs by corporate bosses on the English language. There are some horrible examples of attempts at word creation, e.g. “solutioneering” and “phygital” but a favourite was, as Kellaway puts it, one company’s heroic attempt to sweeten the blow of a big drop in profits by suggesting that “EBITDA de-grew by 23.3 percent”.