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Outstanding Investor Digest? What is going on?
Posted by: crafool (IP Logged)
Date: December 27, 2007 01:09AM

Does anyone know what is going on with Outstanding Investor Digest? I have been a subscriber now for well over a year and not received a single new issue. I understand that they are a subscription based on number of issues and not time, and that they will only publish when they have something publishable, but this is getting very odd (last issue published Aug. 2006). Any subscriber feed back would be appreciated.

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Rating: 3.3/5 (14 votes)

Re: Outstanding Investor Digest? What is going on?
Posted by: peter123 (IP Logged)
Date: December 27, 2007 02:01AM

I have been wondering the same

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Rating: 3.8/5 (4 votes)

Re: Outstanding Investor Digest? What is going on?
Posted by: Dr. Paul Price (IP Logged)
Date: December 27, 2007 02:35AM

I cancelled my subscription about 18 months ago when they hadn't published for more than a year. The did issue a refund. Why they continue to advertise with nothing to sell is beyond me.

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Rating: 3.2/5 (6 votes)

Re: Outstanding Investor Digest? What is going on?
Posted by: Eric McGough (IP Logged)
Date: December 27, 2007 03:15AM

I was just thinking the same thing where is my OID?

So glad I signed up for GuruFocus it is has replaced OID for me.

Still have my OID subscription, but what good is that if there are no publications :-(

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Rating: 3.0/5 (5 votes)

Re: Outstanding Investor Digest? What is going on?
Posted by: venkys (IP Logged)
Date: December 28, 2007 01:20AM

I tried to contact them earlier this year in connection with a subscription for a library. The person who picked up at their office could not answer some of my questions but promised a call back on two separate occasions, but never did.

With that, my interest in their publication ended.

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Rating: 3.3/5 (4 votes)

Re: Outstanding Investor Digest? What is going on?
Posted by: (IP Logged)
Date: December 28, 2007 06:13PM

My credit card was change for a renewal of OID in October 2007. With all the Buffett interviews, seems they learned the benefits of 'float'. It's a great publication but there have been about 3 issues published in about 3 years. They are really taking advantage of people...

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Rating: 3.0/5 (5 votes)

Re: Outstanding Investor Digest? What is going on?
Posted by: reachablestar (IP Logged)
Date: December 28, 2007 07:15PM

I used to work at OID. I don't want to get into all the gory details but suffice it to say that the problem is the editor, Henry Emerson - an intellectually gifted but deeply stubborn, unstable individual. I recognized early on Mr. Emerson's cognitive distortions and emotional challenges so I left the firm. It's sad really that someone so gifted in so many ways can't see how several key character traits have prevented him from flourishing as a publisher. Ultimately this story is further evidence that an advanced degree from a prestigious business school is no substitute for emotional intelligence and common sense.

For me, the straw that broke the camel's back were the horribly unsettling aruguments he used to have with his mother right in his office in front of me during the business day. I thought that anyone who talked to his mother like that must have deep seated problems that would eventually spill over into the other areas of his life. I have some unforgettable "soundbites" stuck in my head from those days but out of respect for Henry I'll refrain from divulging them here.

A friend of mine, who also worked at OID, stayed on for a year or two after I left. During that time he repeatedly advised the editor to publish on a consistent schedule. Unfortunately, Mr. Emerson refused to entertain ideas that didn't originate within his own mind. He surrounds himself with syncophants - essentially low IQ robots - who will do whatever he says. He purposely excludes and/or demotes those who present new or contratrian ideas. My friend eventually wised up and left OID. From what I've read here, it sounds like OID's customer service has continued to deteriorate.

I've also had the opportunity to meet the editor of Value Investor Insight, Whitney Tilson, at two of his Value Investing Congresses. Although I've never worked at VII, I have had several telling interactions with him. He strikes me as an intellectually as well as emotionally intelligent individual who is genuinely responsive to subscriber suggestions and complaints. I actually wrote him a letter critiquing the congress. His replies, both via email and in person, were mature and seemed genuinely appreciative of alternative/contrarian ideas. Best of all, he has the common sense to publish on a regular schedule.

This is not an endorsement of VII or OID. I'm not a subscriber to either publication. This is just one insider's account of why OID is lumbering along without regard for its current subscribers due to the impenetrable short-sightedness of its editor. I'm actually considering subscribing to both VII and OID. Some of the back issues of OID are excellent. Perhaps it would be a good idea to print them out before OID goes belly up. (Although I suppose Henry will keep the publication going even if it's just him running the thing alone in the middle of the night.) Are you listening, Henry?

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Rating: 4.4/5 (22 votes)

Re: Outstanding Investor Digest? What is going on?
Posted by: SixTwoSix (IP Logged)
Date: December 29, 2007 05:50AM

Has the OID website stopped working?

I just cant believe this could be happening. Theyve been in publication for 20+ years with kudos from Warren Buffett.

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Rating: 3.2/5 (5 votes)

Re: Outstanding Investor Digest? What is going on?
Posted by: carlos501b (IP Logged)
Date: April 11, 2012 12:25PM

The last issue of OID was released in August, 2010. More than 20 months later, I now find that even their website is gone. Does anyone have a clue what's going on ???
Does anyone have their e-mail address ??? I would like a refund on balance issues.
Many thanks for any information.
Carlos de Souza.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes)

Re: Outstanding Investor Digest? What is going on?
Posted by: foodboy (IP Logged)
Date: April 24, 2012 07:58AM

Hi Carlos,
I wish I could answer your question. I have been a continued subscriber to OID since 1994, and I am quite frustrated with the last 5-6 years of service. I was just wondering this evening if I had possibly missed an issue since the last issue in 2010. I decided to go to, to check if I had missed the last issue, and just realized tonight that the website is gone too (or at least down). It looks like OID is finally out of business. I am going to call tomorrow to get a refund. After 18 years as a faithful subscriber, I have finally run out of patience. I also subscribed to OID's Portfolio Reports for several years, until websites like this one provided all the same information in near real-time.

To be frank, OID seemed to start to slowly deteriorate by the early 2000s. Early on, Emerson usually had at least two unique, one-on-one interviews per issue with noted value investors. More recently, we get his notes from annual meetings and at best a single one-on-one interview. Frankly, I think a lot of what happened was Mr. Emerson's inability to adapt to the internet. While I truly enjoyed OID and the fact that it was only available by "snail mail", the reality is that most of what was in the last years of OID was readily available on the internet--quarterly reports from value investors like Howard Marks and Tweedy, Browne, notes by various value investors from annual meetings of value investors, etc. But I really do miss the many great interviews of Mr. Emerson with investors like Chris Browne, Arnold Van Der Berg, Bruce Berkowitz, Bob Goldfarb, and others. Some of the best investments I have made--buying Leucadia National in 1995 (which I still own) following Bruce Berkowitz's "table pounding" interview--were a result of OID interviews.

One wonders why he couldn't do what Whitney Tilson and others that followed him have done, and gone to electronic media. It would be great to be able to download a complete .pdf of an OID issue from 1989, or 1992, to see what some of the great investors were buying or thinking at those times. Fortunately, I at least have all the issues back to 1994--original copies, now spiral bound, and .pdf's of scanned copies. Pehaps one of these days, copyright laws notwithstanding, I can post these pdfs for newer investors who won't have the chance to appreciate what was once the only real publication dedicated to value investing. Most of the information in the early issues is timeless, and I am really saddened that it seems OID Is gone. But one has to adapt, as most good investors do--and apparently Mr. Emerson was unable to do what many of his interviewees often emphasized.

Also, if there is anyone else who is reading this, that perhaps still subscribes to OID's "Portfolio Reports", it would be interesting to know if Mr. Emerson is still putting that out each month or so. At least we'd know that there may still be some hope that OID returns.

Bob Grayson, fellow value investor
Palo Alto, CA

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Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes)

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