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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and educational
This book isn't just about value investing. It's about value investing throughout the world, especially in emerging markets where the risks and rewards can be substantial.

Chan's approach to investing is summarized in Chapter 13 "The Making of a Value Investor." I recommend the reader read this last chapter first. This is not to say that the stories about the...
Published on September 3, 2012 by Dennis Littrell

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Reminder
Since there are plenty of good reviews of this book, I am going to take this review in a slightly different direction.

The author Ronald Chan exposes the connection between individual character and investment practice by carefully examining the biographic and investment history of these superb investors. As you study this book, the connections between...
Published 23 months ago by Chawks


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great biographies/interviews, October 7, 2012
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This review is from: The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers (Hardcover)
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If you're not familiar with "value investing" principles, you will learn them in this book. If you are already familiar with value investing, you may not learn as much, but you will still be entertained and informed.

Through careful research and interviews with several heavyweight fund managers, Mr. Chan gives us unusual insight into the men who have used value investing principles and techniques to manage money brilliantly over the last several decades. Each chapter is devoted to a seasoned and successful fund manager, but they read more like biographies/histories, which makes them far more interesting than transcriptions of interviews alone.

In an age when so many people are understandably cynical about those in the financial services industry, this book provides the kind of tested methodologies and personal histories that could inspire one -- if so inclined in terms of how one wants to invest -- to embrace more perspective, humility and discipline in one's investment moves.

The author wanted the book to feature diverse portraits, so he choose successful fund managers from three significant regions in the developed world -- North America, Europe and Asia (although managers of emerging markets funds also mention Latin America and Africa). Despite this, all of the fund managers share the same insights about how value investing has helped them make money or minimize losses for their clientele through many market cycles.

The book does feel repetitious because of this, but the stories behind the men are so fascinating that I read on anyway. And there are some significant differences when one talks about value investing in the West and East, despite increased globalization.

If you like studying the history of markets, this is a great read that features such luminaries as Mark Mobius, Walter Schloss and Shuhei Abe -- and through these individuals stories of Ben Graham (the so-called father of value investing) and Warren Buffett -- then this book is for you. Their stories of going against the grain in good times and bad instead of getting caught up in market fads and media hype is welcome medicine in these economically perilous times.

I was also inspired by how all of these individuals emphasized looking out for their clients' interests first and foremost. We could certainly use more fund managers like these gentlemen.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is value in this book, August 17, 2014
This review is from: The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers (Hardcover)
It's a five-star book if you are interested in value investing. I've been investing, and reading about investing and related topics for over 40 years, and for me, this is actually the very best type of investing book. It's a pretty straightforward book, the author profiles several value investors who have compiled an impressive track record. It is both interesting and informative to get a look into their thought process for value investing, and in a nutshell, that is the important takeaway. Don't look for specific investing advice (Buy gold! Short the Euro! Pork bellies!), which I think is always a mistake. Even if a book has specific recommendations, you have to ask yourself how many people knew this ahead of you. One thing that I really liked about the book is that the people he profiles are not well known to the general investing public. Of the twelve, I only recognized five names, and I was only familiar with one (Mark Mobius). For once, the usual suspects are not here, which is a refreshing change. With books like this, the trick is to take away what you can use in your personal investing style. No one, least of all the author, is trying to say that value investing is the only way to make money, but value investing is certainly the central theme of the book, which should come as no surprise, considering the title. I've been a confirmed value investor for a long time, so I can't say that anything in the book came as a startling revelation, but it is nice to read about successful investors using the value approach, to me it's sort of a reassurance that maybe I'm doing the right thing (for me). The only negative I have about the book, and this is a minor quibble, is that the author either interviewed the most excitable people in the history of value investing, or he used waaaay too many exclamation points in his quotes. Got to be a little annoying after a while. Having said that, overall I enjoyed the book from beginning to end, and recommend it without hesitation!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, but an excellent book on investment philosophy., May 16, 2013
This review is from: The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers (Hardcover)
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I should have read the product page more carefully before ordering this book. I was working on a study of value investing techniques, and at first was disappointed in this book. I put it aside for a few months, until I finished my value study. That's when I picked it back up. Am I glad I did.
On my 2nd attempt at the book, I realized that the author was presenting profiles of some of the best, if not best known, value investors. After all, there is more to value investing than Warren Buffet.
I took my time with this book. I read an investor profile or 2, then took the time to reflect on what I read. A long time value investor, I am happy to pick up a new idea whenever possible. This book is filled with ideas I never considered. I particularly liked the profile of Mark Mobius, and his views on investing in emerging markets. I attended a conference more than 20 years ago, and first heard Mr. Mobius present his investing ideas. What he said then and what he says now is remarkably consistent.
If you are looking for a formula for successful stock picking, read something else. If you want to learn how some of the world's top investment minds work, this is the book for you. Writing this review has inspired me to go back and read this book. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insight into the biography and attitude of value investors, a prescription for mindset not technique today, January 13, 2013
This review is from: The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers (Hardcover)
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Many of the negative reviewers of this work by Ronald Chan apparently did not know what they were getting with the book, so I'm hoping my review can help clarify. This is certainly not a how-to book on embarking on value investing or even investing in the stock market in general. What Chan has done is assemble some of the greatest minds and characters in the world of investing to discuss value investment, specifically their biographies and how they became who they are today. The interviews reveal the mindset behind the men who would become famous in financial worlds, even if they aren't as well known to the regular man as Warren Buffet. Many reviewers are upset at the international flavor of the book - indeed most of the interviews are with non-US fund managers. Yet the fascinating part is how the mindset of the value investor is similar across country borders even if the exact methodologies differ based on region.

The experts he interviews include:
*Walter Schloss, Walter & Edwin Schloss Associates
*Irving Kahn, Kahn Brothers Group
*Thomas Kahn, Kahn Brothers Group
*William Browne, Tweedy, Browne Company
*Jean-Marie Eveillard, First Eagle Funds
*Francisco García Paramés, Bestinver Asset Management
*Anthony Nutt, Jupiter Asset Management
*Mark Mobius, Templeton Emerging Markets Group
*Teng Ngiek Lian, Target Asset Management
*Shuhei Abe, SPARX Group
*V-Nee Yeh, Value Partners Group
*Cheah Cheng Hye, Value Partners Group

Each of them provides a unique perspective, explaining their biography, how they grew up, and how they developed as investors and fund managers. It is a rare look inside the mind of men whose public personas are generally couched in numbers and analysis - as I said, most of these people are far less well known than Warren Buffet. Some of these techniques are now ineffective - the world of computerized trading and hedge funds have altered some fundamentals used in value investing. Some might argue value investing is dead. However, the core message of the value investors is that the diversified portfolio of companies that don't really excite anybody but make a lot of money. This message should be a good guideline when seeking investments. The book does cover the actual method of finding those "boring" companies that generate lots of money, and here is where country differences and era differences will affect your success. Pair this book with good modern books on value investment and portfolio theory. But read this to know how it was done in the past to get an idea of how you can do it in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Successful global value investors, January 12, 2013
This review is from: The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers (Hardcover)
Interview books - what's the novelty here? Often long on philosophy, but short on actual advice. Always dominated by hedge fund characters, as if all the authors have been as awestruck by the razzle-dazzle and unconstrained world of hedge funds, as opposed to stodgy old long-only equity management. Furthermore, almost without exception, the people profiled in these books are U.S. based investors. But on all counts, The Value Investors by Ronald Chan is definitely a separate breed. Focused on long-only, value-based equity managers, equally divided between U.S., Europe and Asia, the selection of people in the book is instead based on longevity of success, a true adherence to value and a top-notch quality of human character.

Although a handful of the investors being interviewed are household names in the financial world, the majority are surely new acquaintances, even for the seasoned market observer. Naturally, the newcomer interviews - or profiles really, as the author blends direct quotes with his own reasoning in a very fluent manner - are the most interesting ones. Apart from the novelty of getting to know truly successful European- and Asian based investors, clear regional patterns emerge. The long history of value investing in the U.S. has forged a unified "language" of sorts, and way of reasoning that one instantly recognises. Not so much with the non-U.S. investors, however. As U.K. investor Anthony Nutt puts it: "In the U.K., value investing has actually been around for a long period of time, but we often don't say [the word] because investing is all about seeking value in the first place so it's unnecessary to add the word to an investment scheme". An investor I personally wished I had heard of ten years ago is Spanish-based Francisco Garcia Parames - yes, his record at Acciona subsidiary Bestinver is impeccable but his reasoning and personality shines even brighter. Even so, the story and life-success of the recently passed-away American Walter Schloss is perhaps the highlight of the book. The truest of all the inhabitants in Graham and Doddsville, it is almost shocking to learn that Schloss Associates only managed $350 mn at its peak, despite trouncing the market index over fifty (!) years and being advertised by Buffett not once ("The Superinvestors of Graham and Doddsville speech" of 1984) but twice (Berkshire annual report 2006)! The chapter on Schloss is very well researched and written - clearly the best piece on him that I have ever read. Schloss has always been an investor and a human being I have admired greatly. When will the first in-depth book of this outstanding investor with a second-to-none character be written?

Several of the investors discuss the almost contradictory nature of great long-term performance records with the frequent subpar numbers being put up in yearly intervals. True value stocks often lag behind the market for a long time as they per definition are cheap due to the market's attention being elsewhere (Mr Market doesn't have time to price all stocks efficiently at all times!). Then suddenly, value is recognized and the subsequent reaction is often swift. This creates the "time-dichotomy" of more periods of underperformance than outperformance that is experienced by many great investors. But only in the secluded places of risk managers and quants is it possible to build a great record by daily, even increments. Instead, individual performance from value investing tends to materialize in spurts. Oakmark articulated this phenomena a couple of years back in a client letter, stating: How can a batting average of .2 (i.e. outperformance 20 % of the time) create a world-leading performance? But then again, it is puzzling indeed, that this still surprises people when the overall market has behaved like this forever.

As a final side note, several of the investors profiled in the book voiced strong concerns about the current- and future state of ETFs. Considering the impact these leveraged hybrids between high-frequency-traders and mutual funds have on everyday volatility, it is hard not to agree. As icing on the cake, when adding the often grossly underappreciated counterparty risk, ETFs are bound to cause severe problems down the road. EQTBook readers are hereby being served a notice!

This is a review by investingbythebooks.com
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, Inspiring Read--Great for any B-school student, December 21, 2012
This review is from: The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers (Hardcover)
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My undergrad degree is in international finance, and I hold an MBA. Yet, I switched fields, so haven't been much involved in finance. I am so glad I picked up Ronald Chan's "The Value Investors." It's a book of profiles of some of the world's best investment fund managers. Many of the early profiles were students of Benjamin Graham. Reading their stories of their success... their low tech tactics... and of course their ethics (such as only charging a commission on profits) makes one nostalgic for these old school values. Can't help but wonder if more of a Wall Street operated as these men did (many of whom had been shaped by the Great Depression and WWII), that we wouldn't have had the recent financial crisis.

I grew up the student of my mother, who was a wonderful investor herself. I used to graph stocks by hand using quotes from the WSJ and Financial Times to help her see trends, etc. It was good training, even though I can graph any stock on Google at a moment's click. Even though net-net stocks may no longer exist, there's much to be gained in reading these biographies. Highly recommended for any b-school student, even if you're not a finance type.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful Book on Value Investing, December 20, 2012
This review is from: The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers (Hardcover)
The Value Investors by Ronald Chan book provides top level insights and guidelines from the world's top value investors to help develop a strategy in value investing. However, it will not provide the reader any specific investment insights. Examples of some of the insights insights include: Net-Net stocks which are selling below their asset values; Role of insider buy-in; Importance of understanding that the future is not an extrapolation of the present; Prices of assets are molded by many factors beyond financial; Disregarding competition in your investment picks is dangerous to your financial wealth; Investing is finding the right opportunities that will grow your capital and not necessarily finding companies that will grow; Bull markets are born in pessimism, grow on skepticism, and die in euphoria; Focus on the fundamentals and avoid the herd mentality. Overall, the ideas in this book are a worthwhile repertoire to add to your investment knowledge kit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Information from Professionals Designed for the Non-Professional, December 11, 2012
This review is from: The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers (Hardcover)
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The idea here is simple -- gather wisdom from a group of the most successful value investors in the world and assemble it in a way that will be useful for the nonprofessional investor.

The book absolutely succeeds in achieving this idea.

Note that this isn't a "silver bullet," nor a single you-must-do-this investment scheme. The primary message that this book conveys is an important one -- really do your analysis. There's much said here about the importance of a "humble" portfolio. This sort of portfolio is diversified, not over-aspirational, and has as its bedrock analysis on the underlying, substantive value of the companies. To its credit, this book does a quite effective job of explaining how you might go about such analysis.

I also appreciated that this book isn't comprised of a bunch of Wall Streeters. This is an international team of Value Investors with an appropriately international approach. So if you are looking at ways to intelligently expand your portfolio into a more international approach, this is the book for you.

First lesson: Have a "humble" portfolio, that is one that is diversified and consists of stocks chosen through a fundamental analysis of the underlying value of the companies. There are two styles: a diversified portfolio such as most investment professionals recommend and a more daring approach, a "concentrated portfolio" such as kept by Warren Buffet. Of course Buffet with his unparalleled expertise could afford to focus on his best bets. Chan firmly recommends a diversified portfolio.

Second lesson: value analysis itself. Here is where we learn why Chan travelled around the world to interview these very successful fund managers. It turns out that while the fundamentals of value are almost always the same, the way to find them out differs according to the ability and opportunities of the investor. The twelve people Chan interviewed show the reader how they did it. Some investors look more closely at "competitive advantage," some are more interested in understanding the business
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The People and the Process, November 11, 2012
This review is from: The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers (Hardcover)
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The Value Investors by Ronald Chan

Unlike other investment books, this book focuses on the life experiences of the well-known list of famous Value Investors. The biographies, the people behind the reputation. In a series of short chapters we learn about the managers' investment strategies with a focus on their backgrounds and how events in their lives shaped their thinking. Although the value investors are the same old shopworn list that appears at every Value Investing conference, the focus on them as people is what makes this book fresh and interesting.

Some gems:

Walter Schloss, on how he lived through the Depression: "I also learned that life is short, so you need to be confident in yourself, and stick with what you like to do rather than do something you don't like but that will make you money."

Irving Kahn: "Don't drink or smoke. Get yourself a nutritious diet. Stay in motion. Meet people from around the world and be inspired. Read a lot, and read about the things that are not possible now, but will be in the future. As long as you keep your mind sharp and busy, you will see good things happen!"

Anthony Nutt: "You can't get away from the fact that the stock market is a casino in the short term."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding profiles of legendary value investors from around the world!, November 6, 2012
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This review is from: The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers (Hardcover)
This is one of the best investment books I've read of late. There are no "formulas" in the pages, something better--insight into how a dozen legends think about investing (often in their own words)! Many of the investors featured here aren't written about often: Walter Schloss, Irving Kahn, Jean-Marie Eveillard, Francisco Garcia Parames, Teng Ngiek Lian. I especially enjoyed the last four investors, all operating in Asia, because I hadn't heard of them before and their records are remarkable. I highly recommend this book. It's very readable and full of investing wisdom.
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The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers
The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers by Ronald W. Chan (Hardcover - September 11, 2012)
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