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The Art of Value Investing: How the World's Best Investors Beat the Market


Praise for The Art of Value Investing

"I learned the investment business largely from the work and thinking of other investors. The Art of Value Investing is a thoughtfully organized compilation of some of the best investment insights I have ever read. Read this book with care. It will be one of the highest-return investments you will ever make."
—William A. Ackman, founder, Pershing Square Capital Management

"An outstanding addition to the volumes written on value investing. Not only do the authors offer their own valuable insights but they have provided in one publication invaluable insights from some of the most accomplished professionals in the investment business. I would call this publication a must-read for any serious investor."
—Leon G. Cooperman, founder, Chairman and CEO, Omega Advisors

"In this treasure chest of quotes by proven money managers, it is the love of the game and the joy of meeting the challenges put forth by a very demanding business that captivated me. The lessons are like scars and they are revealed here firsthand."
—Jeff Ubben, founder, ValueAct Capital

"A must-read for any serious investor. John and Whitney have produced a veritable bible that reveals the secrets of some of the greatest contemporary investment minds in the world."
—Jonathon S. Jacobson, founder and CIO, Highfields Capital Management

"There's hard-won wisdom on every page from a who's who of value investors. If you want to understand the thinking behind their long-term success, The Art of Value Investing will be valuable reading."
—David Herro, Harris Associates

"John Heins and Whitney Tilson have put together an incredibly well-compiled set of thoughts, many from my favorite peers, on every important topic for investors."
—Staley Cates, President and CIO, Southeastern Asset Management

"I often judge a book by how many times I get my highlighter out and dog-ear pages. On that metric, this book is wonderful—simply packed with insight from some of the best long-term investors. Everyone will learn something from this book."
—James Montier, GMO

JOHN HEINS is the cofounder and President of Value Investor Media, Inc., a media company founded in 2004 to provide investing ideas and insight to sophisticated professional and individual investors, and Editor-in-Chief of Value Investor Insight and SuperInvestor Insight. Previously, Mr. Heins was President and Chief Executive Officer of Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing, Bertelsmann AG's U.S. magazine subsidiary, Senior Vice President and General Manager of America Online's Personal Finance business, and a reporter and staff writer for Forbes magazine. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School with a bachelor's degree in Economics and also holds an MBA from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.

WHITNEY TILSON is the cofounder of hedge funds Kase Capital and T2 Partners, the Tilson Mutual Funds, Value Investor Media, Inc. and the Value Investing Congress. He coauthored the book, More Mortgage Meltdown: 6 Ways to Profit in These Bad Times, is a CNBC Contributor, has written for Forbes, the Financial Times, Kiplinger's, the Motley Fool and, and was one of the authors of Poor Charlie's Almanack, the definitive book on Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger. He was one of five investors included in SmartMoney's 2006 "Power 30," and was named by Institutional Investor in 2007 as one of "20 Rising Stars." Previously, Mr. Tilson was a founding member of Teach for America and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, and was a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group. He received an MBA with High Distinction from the Harvard Business School and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in Government.

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 “All Sensible Investing Is Value Investing” 5

What It Means to Be a Value Investor 6

Does Quality Matter? 13

The Value of Growth 19

The Value Mindset 25

Part ONE Field of Play 33

Chapter 2 Circle of Competence 35

The Right Size 36

Industry Preference 45

Where in the World? 57

Chapter 3 Deficient Market Hypothesis 65

The Human Element 66

It’s a Matter of Time 74

Chapter 4 Fertile Ground 81

In Search of Uncertainty 82

Special Situations 86

Operating Turnarounds 93

Chapter 5 Generating Ideas 99

Behind the Screen 99

Follow the Lead 106

Reliable Sources 111

Part TWO Building the Case 115

Chapter 6 Cutting Through the Noise 117

Second-Level Thinking 118

Macro versus Micro 120

Business First 127

What Quality Means 131

Crunching the Numbers 135

What Could Go Wrong? 139

From the Top 147

How Important Is Management? 147

Handicapping the Jockeys 149

Red Flags 157

Catalysts 164

Getting It Done 169

Organizing Principles 174

Chapter 7 Getting to Yes 183

Cash (Flow) Is King 184

Multiple Angles 190

The Informed Buyer 192

Model Behavior 194

Playing the Odds 199

Theories of Relativity 202

Pulling the Trigger 206

Part Three Active Management 213

Chapter 8 The Portfolio 215

Concentration versus Diversification 215

The Size That Fits 222

Cognizance of Correlation 227

Chapter 9 Playing the Hand 233

Trading Mentality 233

Dealing with Adversity 239

Taking a Stand 248

Attracting Activists’ Attention 251

Chapter 10 Guarding Against Risk 257

Margin of Safety 258

Building a Position 261

Cash Management 263

Midas Touch 267

Hedging Bets 268

To Short or Not to Short? 268

Value Destroyers 271

Portfolio Hedging 276

Is Shorting Inherently Evil? 277

Chapter 11 Making the Sale 281

Why to Sell 282

Selling by the Numbers 286

Getting the Timing Right 290

Sale Process 293

Part four Of Sound Mind 297

Chapter 12 Of Sound Mind 299

Competitive Spirit 300

Independent Thought 303

Perpetual Student 306

To Err Is Human 309

Be Ever So Humble 312

The Final Word 315

About the Authors 317

Index 319