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Charles Brandes


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Ask him what equity investment right now has a combination of both 1) highest margin of safety AND 2) business he would be willing to hold for the next 10 years.

 

I always like hearing difference investment ideas, even if they are different than my own.  You can't learn if you don't listen to other's ideas.

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Ask him what equity investment right now has a combination of both 1) highest margin of safety AND 2) business he would be willing to hold for the next 10 years.

 

I always like hearing difference investment ideas, even if they are different than my own.  You can't learn if you don't listen to other's ideas.

 

That's a thoughtful question.  Very well put!

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Herk has generally checked out of investments at his namesake firm. He sits on the company's midcap committee which runs relatively little of the firm's capital (Though he does still do a good bit of marketing). If you want to get insights from him ask him about his best investments in the 1985-1993 period. He's better for case studies than current ideas.

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"by the way, have you guys read his book at all? any good?"

 

I read it.  It's ok.  Exactly what you would expect.  Here is what value investing is, why it works, etc.  Very basic.  Nothing you haven't seen a million times before.  There is a section or 2 on foreign investing which is more than most include, but I wouldn't run out to get the book because of it.  I was hoping for something more out of the book.  Even if the "something more" was just more about his interactions with Graham, but there was very little about that.  Just a basic summary of how he met Graham and that was it. 

 

Just as an aside, I've always found it interesting how Brandes and others like Donald Smith have been able to parlay the 2 seconds they knew Graham into long and lucrative careers.  Don't get me wrong.  Not to take anything away from these guys as they've done fantastic.  But Brandes was the broker on duty in La Jolla and met Graham one day when he walked into the office.  I believe they got together a few times.  Smith was a research assistant on a project while at UCLA.  Just goes to show that a little luck in life never hurt anyone.  Of course, you could say that luck favors the prepared too.

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how did you set that up?

 

by the way, have you guys read his book at all? any good?

 

My former boss knows him and knows I am a Ben Graham nut so he invited me.  Charles is in town for the berky meeting.  It should be interesting as there are only 5 people going. 

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