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Arnold van den Berg talks investment strategies


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I know nothing about this man or his investment record and I haven't even finished all of the video yet, but I liked his stories so much that I thought I'd post the video here. Covers how his parents survived Auschwitz and how he personally overcame a bunch of struggles to succeed with his mutual fund. It had so few views that I thought it deserved some more. 

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van den Berg seems like a really nice guy, I'm not doubting that but his performance is middling (but he's managing billions and I'm not...so, take my commentary for what it is!).


Here's his performance on his longest running strategy (best I can tell).




Now, he's outperformed the S&P 500 since inception (even after fees) - a pretty great feat. However, if we drill down to his holdings, his average market cap is significantly smaller than the S&P 500. Smaller companies also tend to outperform. I'd love to see how he would have done vs a true benchmark (ie the sandbox he's actually playing in). I'd be quite surprised if he outperformed (especially after fees and taxes) a representative index.


If you look at his mutual funds...ouch!




http://quotes.morningstar.com/fund/f?t=CMFIX&region=usa&culture=en-US (this one has actually done fairly well)

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I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with Arnold in his offices in May 2009. He is a genuine, warm and caring person with much wisdom, humor and life-experience and is generous with his time and advice, and I am a better person for having met him. As for his funds' performance, when I look at the CM Value I fund I observe that he often lags the S&P in very strong years (i.e. 30%+ years such as 1975, 1980, 1989, 1991, 1995, 1997, 2013) but his 1999-2002 period is outstanding (data from the Century Management website):


Year  CM Value I  S&P500

1999  33.47            21.03

2000  45.05            -9.15

2001  11.07            -11.92

2002  0.49              -22.14

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