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Holly LaFon
Holly LaFon
Articles (10163)  | Author's Website |

GuruFocus Interviews of 2018

We learned from some of the best investors this year

December 28, 2018 | About:

This year, GuruFocus was able to speak to some of the finest and most noted investors of this generation. In case you missed their abundant knowledge and wisdom, below is a compilation of links and excerpts to our interviews of the past 12 months. Enjoy!

Jan. 3. Interview With Jim O'Shaughnessy Transcript: The complete interview with O'Shaughnessy Asset Management founder and 'What Works on Wall Street' author

Holly: Hi, welcome to the GuruFocus podcast. I’m here with Jim O’Shaughnessy. He is the CEO, CIO, Chairman, and Senior Portfolio Manager of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management. He is also the author of a very famous national bestseller, called "What Works on Wall Street," and that has a thorough analysis of the best performing investment strategies since, I think, before the Great Depression. So it’s quite a feat. Hi, Jim, welcome to the program.

Jim: Hi, Holly. Thank you for having me on.

Holly: Great. Okay. Well, I wanted to ask you first-- we usually ask almost all of our guests how they got started in investing. Can you give us a little idea?

Jim: Sure. So when I was a teenager, I was fascinated because my parents and some of my uncles were very involved in investing in the stock market, and they used to argue about it all the time. And generally speaking, the argument went, which CEO did they feel was better, or which company had better prospects. And I kind of felt that that wasn’t the right question, or questions to ask. I felt it was far more useful, or, I believed at the time that it would be far more useful to look at the underlying numbers and valuations of companies that you were considering buying, and find if there was a way to sort of systematically identify companies that would go on to do well, and identify those that would go on to do poorly. And so I did a lot of research, and ultimately came up with the structure for the book, "What Works on Wall Street." And by looking historically at how stocks with defined characteristics, things like high P/E, or low P/E, or high EBITDA to enterprise value, low EBITDA to enterprise value performed, historically, we got a good sense for how they would do going into the future.

Read the rest here.

Aug. 27. Ariel's Charlie Bobrinskoy Answers GuruFocus Reader Questions: Noted investor of $13 billion firm discusses IBM, Ben Graham, what he wants to invest in and more

GuruFocus readers asked Charlie Bobrinskoy, Ariel Investments vice chairman, head of investment group and portfolio manager, their questions about investing several weeks ago. Charlie has responded to the questions below.

Ariel Investments is the $13.2 billion Chicago-based value asset manager founded by John Rogers (Trades, Portfolio).

Question: I understand that Warren Buffett closed his IBM (NYSE:IBM) position earlier this year. What are some key reasons why you sold IBM?

Bobrinskoy: IBM performed well for us in the early years of Ariel Focus Fund. Management at the time used cashflow from operations to repurchase stock and increase earnings per share. Current management have not been good capital allocators. They have sold multiple businesses at prices which reduced future earnings instead of using cash flow from these slower growth businesses to fund higher growth opportunities. Fundamentally, IBM has not proven it can monetize its big data investments in Watson. A return to profitable growth was always “just around the corner” but somehow never came.

Question: I am curious to know what your thoughts are on the trend in consolidation we are seeing among major corporations. As larger conglomerates are formed, what does it mean for those companies that are left behind? Do you see any trends?

Read more here.

Sept. 27. Interview: Chip Rewey Launches New Firm for Overlooked Value Stocks: Former Third Avenue manager discusses philosophy and favorite picks

After 28 years in the industry, former Third Avenue manager Chip Rewey has struck out to launch his own firm, Rewey Asset Management, based on the strategies he has seen work the best over his career.

Although the time of his start, at the height of a historic bull market, may give some managers pause, Rewey feels comfortable because he does not own the market, he said. The value manager’s concentrated portfolios contain only 15 to 25 compelling small to mid-cap stocks he believes will appreciate over three to five years, allowing him to be market agnostic.

Market forces may even prove auspicious for his focus on neglected companies. As investors have rushed to put money into exchange-traded funds, analysts have overlooked companies that are not represented in major indexes. Meanwhile, increasingly popular quantitative funds either do not have data to mine from companies few analysts follow or model based on past data, which is less valuable than understanding what will happen in the future, Rewey said.

Read more here.

GuruFocus Podcast With John Dorfman Transcript: Conversation about investing in small and mid caps with Dorfman Value Investments founder

Holly: Hi, welcome to the GuruFocus podcast. I’m Holly, and I'm here with John Dorfman today. We're very excited to have him because he is the founder of Dorfman Value Investments, which he founded in 1999. He also is a former writer for The Wall Street Journal and a columnist for Bloomberg. And he also has a syndicated column, which is on GuruFocus every week, which we always look forward to, it's always very interesting, and colorful, and full of excellent ideas. And he also has a very impressive track record on his portfolios. He has more than doubled the S&P. He has a cumulative of 462% versus about 165% for the S&P since inception, so annualized, that's 9.79, versus 5.4 for the S&P, which is really quite, quite good. So John, thank you for coming on and talking about investing with us.

John: Well, thanks so much for having me.

Holly: Okay, well, to get started, how did you get started in investing? What drew you into the field? And maybe what also drew you into your approach that you take, which we'll also get into the details on that.

John: My dad, who lived till he was 98, loved to invest in the stock market. He was fully invested up to that age. And he [inaudible] for stocks when I was a kid, including the Templeton Growth Fund, run by Sir John Templeton, which he bought almost when it was issued in 1954. And I had the honor later to [inaudible] for Sir John. That was really a very distinct honor because he’s a legend in the investing field. But I was a financial writer for about two decades, and interviewing Sir John for The Wall Street Journal kind of helped tip me over to changing professions because I just loved the way he thought. And I don't know if I could ever think as incisively as he does, but I love that way of thinking.

Read more here.

Oct. 30. Jerome Dodson (Trades, Portfolio) Podcast Interview With GuruFocus Transcript: Audio interview with Parnassus Funds founder

Holly: Hi. Welcome to the GuruFocus podcast. I'm Holly, I'm the editor of GuruFocus, and today we're very excited to have Jerry Dodson with us. Jerry is the founder of Parnassus Investments, which he started in 1984 with only $300,000 in seed capital, and now it has $27.8 billion in assets under management across its strategies, and he teaches at NYU, as well. So his fund has about 30 holdings, and it's also socially responsible, so that sets him apart, and it's based in San Francisco. It has had an extraordinary performance. So we got an interview with Jerry awhile back, but then the markets decided to be more volatile recently. So we'll get to that later. But right now, we just want to start out with learning about-- how did you get started in investing, Jerry, and how did you know it was the field for you?

Jerry: I had always been interested in investing, but I had a job opportunity after I got out of business school, and the opportunity was to help a group in San Francisco start a new bank. And so one thing led to another, and I became president of the bank. So it was a great opportunity for me, and I was president of Continental Savings in San Francisco for six years. And so I was on, you could say, the fixed income or the lending side of investing, but I was always interested in the stock market. And I had always followed people like Warren Buffett and Benjamin Graham, who had a value approach to investing, which made a lot of sense with me. And so I read their books. I read the book by Benjamin Graham called "The Intelligent Investor," and I also read Warren Buffett's annual letter from Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)(BRK.B). And so that's what-- they really inspired me to get in. I said, well if I can follow that philosophy of being a value investor and investing when the stocks are trading at low prices, it should be able to produce above-average returns.

So that was at least half the motivation for the Parnassus Fund. The other half was corporate social responsibility. And my thought was that if you invest in companies that treat their employees well, that are good corporate citizens, that practice environmental protection, that are good places to work, they should do well. And I had no proof of that, but it just corresponded with my values, and I thought that made sense, and that's what I wanted to do. So those were the twin principles of the founding of Parnassus Investments.

Holly: Okay, fabulous. And so would you say your biggest influences are the investors that you mentioned, like Warren Buffett? Or was there anybody else who had a big impact on you?

Jerry: I would say Warren Buffett and Benjamin Graham are the two that had the most impact on me. There are others I would read that are very interesting, but really, in terms of adopting their philosophy, those are the two that I follow.

Read more here.

GuruFocus is also looking forward to 2019, when we already have interviews with esteemed investors David Rolfe and Francisco Garcia Parames lined up. Stay tuned, and have a wonderful New Year’s!

About the author:

Holly LaFon
I'm a financial journalist with a Master of Science in journalism from Medill at Northwestern University.

Visit Holly LaFon's Website

Rating: 3.7/5 (3 votes)



Vgm - 1 year ago    Report SPAM

Thanks for all your hard work, Holly.

Holly LaFon
Holly LaFon - 1 year ago    Report SPAM

You are welcome, Vgm!

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