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Please Nominate the Investment Guru of 2007

December 09, 2007

2007 is coming the end. During the first half the market was continuously making new highs. The second half has been volatile, creating a lot of bargains for value investors. While hunting bargains, please take some time to nominate the Investment Guru of 2007.

All of our gurus have excellent long term track records, although some of them have been hurt by the recent credit crunch. They achieved great returns in quite different ways. Joel Greenblatt and Glenn Greenberg each holds less than 8 stocks. Warren Buffett concentrates on the stocks he likes the best. David Dreman and John Keeley diversify into hundred of stocks. Martin Whitman rarely sells stocks, stocks leave his portfolio usually due to mergers or acquisitions. Robert Olstein loves to buy on bad news because he thinks that bad news creates the right prices. Bruce Sherman sticks with the things he understands the best, financials, gaming, media etc. He does not touch oil stocks even when his short term returns are sacrificed. Edward Owens achieved stellar returns by buying just health care stocks. Ken Heebner has high turnovers, but his performances have been more than outstanding. Mohnish Pabrai focuses his investment on a few “low risk, high uncertainty” stocks. Arnold Van Den Berg likes to stocks that are at 10-year rolling low P/S ratios. Ron Muhlenkamp requires his investments have higher ROE than P/E ratios…

There are a lot for us to learn…

In 2005, David Dreman was named GuruFocus Investment Guru of the Year through a poll. We nominated 4 Gurus first and ask our readers to vote. In 2006, Warren Buffett was named the investment Guru of the Year by our readers. The short term performances of the gurus are reflected in the Score Board.

Similar to 2006, this year we give all the rights of nomination to our readers. Please nominate the Guru you like the best, type his name in the comment field of this thread, give short reason if you want. The deadline for the nomination is Dec. 15. Thank you all in advance for your participation.

Please note that Warren Buffett was named the investment Guru of 2006. Although he deserves to be Guru of the year every year, please nominate a different Guru for 2007.

Rating: 3.4/5 (10 votes)


Jws754 - 9 years ago    Report SPAM
Ken Heebner - He was long the good sectors and short the bad.
Brady56 - 9 years ago    Report SPAM
key heebner. this guy is amazing. he is not pure value investor though
Harison - 9 years ago    Report SPAM
Bill Ackman. I saw him at VIC, he is a genius.
Eric McGough
Eric McGough - 9 years ago    Report SPAM
Since value plays can take 3-5 years work out we should be voting on how the guru's 2002-2004 picks worked out.

As I write this I am looking at the "Latest Comments" side bar message that says "Marty Whitman down 24% in 6 mo" So this year my vote goes to Marty Whitman. Hoping he has many happy returns come 2010-2012 based on his 2007 picks
Cprause - 9 years ago    Report SPAM
Bruce Berkowitz - the new Warrem Buffett - I bet he will win M* Fund Manager of the year award as well. To manage a focused protfolio with minimum volatility year after year beating the market - amazing!
Danielw - 9 years ago    Report SPAM

I wish the criteria were mentioned for the award. If it's a backward looking award, I think Heebner should win. He has been in great companies, at the right time, and those in his funds have been rewarded for it.

Low turnover is not a virtue in and of itself, nor is high turnover necessarily a vice. Regardless, if you look at Heebner's picks he has remained in some of his very good ones despite huge rises in their price--primarily because he is focused on value.

If the award is more forward looking, i.e., which fund manager did well in 2007 but more importantly took actions that position their funds for the future better, I think the award should go to Marty Whitman.

Short-term performance should be included, and for the year Whitman has done well for those invested with him. At the same time, he has taken positions this year, and kept cash on the sidelines, that have set the foundation for very good years to come.

Valuefan premium member - 9 years ago
I nominate David Winters. He avoided the storms of 2006, and was deploying most of his 30 %

excess capital over that time, which I think will reap rewards in the next few years.

Highroi - 9 years ago    Report SPAM
Robert Rodriguez. While his returns were not as good as some of the other Gurus he saw the credit crisis a mile away and avoided all financials. His returns / risk factor

is the best on Wall Street this year in my humble opinion.
Commodity - 9 years ago    Report SPAM
Jim Rogers

He was long the yen and short the dollar

He shorted the homebuilders

He shorted the banks

Made a killing on commodities

Made big bucks on airline stocks and bonds

Made 4 x his money on ABB

Made a killing on China E AIR - the man is unreal
Valuefan premium member - 9 years ago
I second Robert Rodriguez, for same reasons as highroi gave. In addition he is easy to follow,

and does not trade often. I would like this to be more defined. A good definiton would be:

"Which guru's holdings/picks/sales will you be giving the greatest weight to in the forthcoming


Ken Heebner has a great record, but not sure how to use the knowledge of his holdings, since

he may be out of them by now.

Generaljoe - 9 years ago    Report SPAM

CGMFX Mutual fund was the top fund for the month, year, and five year. He deserves it hands down,
Reddzinn7 premium member - 9 years ago
I second David Winters. Look at his record this year. Grew from $300M in AUM to over $1B plus had 30+% return while amintaining a cash position in excess of 10%.
Ozuro - 9 years ago    Report SPAM
Ken Heebner has to get the award this year. I love Bruce Berkowitz, but Heebner's performance is other-worldly.
Vooch - 9 years ago    Report SPAM
Robert Rodriguez - He called the subprime crisis way ahead of everybody else.

- Vooch

Alex Garcia
Alex Garcia - 9 years ago    Report SPAM
Robert Rodriguez for calling the subprime mess
David Pinsen
David Pinsen - 9 years ago    Report SPAM
If it's based purely on returns posted this year, Andrew Lahde, of Lahde Capital, for posting a 1000% return in his hedge fund by betting against sub primes.

Regarding the contest between Berkowitz and Heebner: Heebner may have the higher returns, but Berkowitz does a better job of following rule #1 ("Don't lose the money"). Compare their performances in 2002. That's why I had my mother invest ten times as much money in FAIRX as CGMFX.
Danielw - 9 years ago    Report SPAM

This is investing not macro-forecasting. Heebner saw the subprime and real estate sell-off coming too. The difference is in what he did...
Brazil - 9 years ago    Report SPAM
Martin Whitman - besides being a wise investor, his letters to shareholders are legendary.

Hameed - 9 years ago    Report SPAM
DaveinHackensack Wrote:


> If it's based purely on returns posted this year,

> Andrew Lahde, of Lahde Capital, for posting a

> 1000% return in his hedge fund by betting against

> sub primes.


How does one bet against sub-primes? I have no idea what that means......

David Pinsen
David Pinsen - 9 years ago    Report SPAM
"How does one bet against sub-primes? I have no idea what that means......"

By shorting specific sub prime securities or by shorting an index of the same.
Augustabound29 - 9 years ago    Report SPAM
Robert Rodriguez
Dividendvalue - 9 years ago    Report SPAM
Marty Whitman. His track record and "safe and cheap" approach speaks for itself. No value manager pays as close attention to the quality of the balance sheet as Marty Whitman. According to Fortune magazine(October 2007), the "deen of deep value investors".
Spaul - 9 years ago    Report SPAM
I'm going with Whitman. I think he's put Third Ave Value fund, at least, into a great position for outsized returns beginning a year or two down the road.

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