Value Invest London

Sept 2011

Sept 2011     Issue 5

Invest like you are buying a business–kovitz-investment-group
This is from the quarterly update from the Kovitz Investment Group. It highlights one factor that can lead to assets being mis-priced as businesses are compared with a basket of other similar but not identical companies. This often throws up anomalies which can reward the thoughtful investor with long-term out performance.

Warren Buffett interviewed by Charlie Rose
This interview in August was shortly after Buffett made his call for higher taxes for the American super rich. This is a typically lucid interview, in which Buffett (who just turned 81) discusses his views on the US economy, in particular its relationship with the housing market. He also discusses the Chinese economy, the role of the US Government, Europe, and touches on the succession strategy for Berkshire Hathaway.

Howard Marks comments on the August gyrations in the market’s%20Behind%20the%20Downturn%2009_07_11.pdf
Howard Marks disects the synchronised concerns, which caused the extraordinary volatility in the markets during August. We particularly liked the comment on the impact on US treasury yields from the S&P downgrade: “the downgrade of Treasurys made people so worried about the elevated risk in the world that they ran to Treasurys for safety. So much for the supposed rationality of markets”.

Warren Buffett succession plans
Click here
Often criticised for his lack of visibility on his succession plan for Berkshire, Buffett has moved this process on one step closer, selecting Richard “Ted” Weschler as one of now two investment managers, who will take over the running of part of the BRK investment portfolio. It is expected that this will eventually be a team of around five. There were many articles written after this announcement; this one gave more colour to Weschler’s investment style and experience: his focus on a small number of securities, multi-year hold period, experience of buying whole businesses, the importance of reading deeply into each subject he invests in and his lack of ego.

A Value Conference in India
Rahul Saraogi is hosting VALUEx India over the three days 7th-9th November in Mumbai. This not for profit format has been executed successfuly in Europe and the US and provides an excellent open forum for sharing of ideas. For more details on the event, please visit:

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  • “It’s very much the Rolls-Royce of the investor conference market”
    Paul Scott, Stockopedia
  • “The people in that room were a more powerful cadre of the powerhouse of investment than has been gathered for a very long time”
    Jonathan Ruffer, Ruffer LLP
  • “It’s kind of like Glastonbury isn’t it, for the Value Investing community”
    Nick Train, Lindsell Train
  • “What I like about it is that it is a practitioners conference and it’s an opportunity to come and hear from your peers about the work that they are doing and how they see value investing”
    Hassan Elmasry, Independent Franchise Partners
  • “I think people really look forward to it and enjoy it. There’s a good bunch of people here who have travelled a reasonable way – the speaker after me was from Hong Kong and there’s a big Canadian crew and a big US crew – people come from around the world to see this”
    Nate Dalton, Affiliated Managers Group
  • “If somebody’s already been through that process of seeing what the conference is about and then is willing to pay their money for the effort of coming here, that’s a great filtering process.”
    Gary Channon, Phoenix Asset Management
  • “The conference has become a part of the furniture of the London scene. You can discover that is what lies inside you – that you are innately a value investor.”
    Richard Oldfield, Oldfield Partners
  • “I do speak at a fair number of conferences to investor bases, this one is really quite a good list – some very, very good investors present and some very interesting speakers”
    Jon Moulton, Better Capital
  • “Definitely worth it and I know a number of people who have ‘ummed and arred’ about coming along and I’m sure that they will be regretting that they didn’t come today – and it’s only going to get better as far as I can see”
    Tim Green, Private Investor
  • “Having sat through the whole day as I wanted to come and hear all of the speakers – I’ve been really impressed by the quality”
    Anthony Bolton, Fidelity
  • “I’ve got a bunch of business cards to add to my collection and some folks I’ve been looking forward to meeting, plus some firms I didn’t even know existed but sound really interesting and I’m looking forward to building on that relationship base”
    Mason Morfit, ValueAct Capital
  • “You couldn’t find that anywhere else really, where you’re speaking to the principals who have been voted on to the Board [of Microsoft] to effect change”
    David Shapiro, Willis Towers Watson
  • “What I was impressed with is, because the subject is very similar, value investing, they found a variety of ways of attacking the same subject. I was also very impressed, having done this in another location, of seeing them stay on target time-wise so that it moves along at a great pace and I think the audience is greatly rewarded by that discipline”
    Don Yacktman, Yacktman Asset Management
  • “Very well organised and it was a treat for investors like us to hear some great speakers”
    Roli Saxena, Drona Capital
  • “I came last year and I liked it so much that I have been looking forward to today ever since”
    Dominique Levy, Sonian Capital
  • “We’e got a very sophisticated audience who are used to value investing – I think this is a good audience”
    David Samra, Artisan Partners
  • “The profile of the speakers is one of the main reasons that I came”
    Niels Borgen, Private Investor
  • “When you look at the ideas speakers have put forward in previous years and how they have performed over the last few years, they’ve done very well – if that performance continues it would be quite remarkable. It does show that you can pick up some good ideas at a conference of this sort”
    Jonathan Mills, Metropolis Capital
  • “I came last year as well and I thought that it was the most outstanding event that I have been to”
    Leon Boros, Equity Strategies