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Alice Schroeder - Walter Schloss -- What a Guy

March 20, 2012 | About:


A blog post by Alice Schroeder, I had not seen linked anywhere else, with insights about the late great investor:

Today brings the news that superinvestor and Buffett friend Walter Schloss is no longer with us.

I admired Walter for many reasons: his devotion to his family, his investing prowess, and his zest for life. His first wife was ill with serious depression for decades and throughout, he cared for her tirelessly. Meanwhile, he worked in a tiny closet-sized office at Tweedy Brown, and used essentially nothing but pencils, paper, and Value Line to produce some of the best investing results in history. Later his son Edwin joined him in the business, but they never deviated from the style that made him a success, which his friends referred to as mainly buying "buggy-whip manufacturers," moribund companies that were trading for less than their carcasses would be worth.

As for the zest, there is a photo in The Snowball of Walter dancing at his 90th birthday party. He was really cutting the rug, not just doing a pose for the camera, and you can tell how much fun he was having and what a lively person he was from that picture. That night he told me how much he enjoyed still being able to play tennis at his age. He had recently remarried and was fully involved in life.

The first time I ever spoke to Walter was several years earlier, in a phone interview. Warren had mentioned that Walter's political views were a "little more right wing" than Buffett's own. When we got on the phone, Walter immediately wanted let me know he just could not understand how Warren could believe the things he did about taxes...

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