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Tilson vs. Chris Davis vs. David Winters vs. indexing


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hi all, our 401k is going to let us enter a couple of value funds: Tilson, Davis, and Winters are options (We can't invest in stocks, or I would do that).


Previously, I've been using my 401k as my indexing vehicle (since there weren't many other options), but now I have these funds available.  I know the board overall isn't too impressed with Tilson, but he does beat the index.  I don't know as much about Davis and Winters, so wouldn't mind input on their funds, if you have any.


I'm considering getting out of indexing and putting it across all of the above funds, but I'm not that sure.  Generally, I don't like funds and would choose indexing over them, but these guys are value, so I'm considering breaking from that philosophy.  Any opinions would be appreciated!

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I use to own Davis NY Venture & Selected American (both Davis Funds). 


See the attached listing of his holdings in April 2008:

AIG -1.4bln

Merrill - 1bln

Wachovia - 400mln


Total holdings 45bln


He rode those holdings down to very little value. An expensive learning experience for me in my company 401k. Thankfully I found this message board in 08 and 09.


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thanks Grenville--I was hoping one of these would be an excellent choice, but perhaps they aren't.  Are you just indexing in your 401k now then?


I don't know about the Winters fund. I think David Winters came to the FFH AGM last year.


Right now I have put all my 401k funds into bond funds or cash. The macro stuff worries me and I'd rather pick and choose individual companies. I haven't decided on indexing, but I don't have any money in index funds now. Also I will hopefully have access to those 401k funds where I can roll them into a brokerage so I would rather preserve the capital.

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Greenville, how did you get their old holdings report?


Did Davis also buy Worldcom before it blew up?


As far as Tilson, the fund (Tilson Focus) he manages hasn't done very well. The Tilson Dividend, managed my Zeke Ashton, as done pretty well though.

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cool. thanks, man!


It looks like it was Tyco and not Worldcom




Although we consciously decided not to invest in a number of companies such as

Enron, WorldCom and Qwest based on our study of their financial statements, we

did own one company that has featured prominently in this year's headlines and

warrants some further comment, particularly as it was a large holding.


We purchased the bulk of our Tyco position during a widely publicized SEC

investigation in 1999. The SEC's inquiry focused on whether Tyco had taken

inappropriately large charges to set up reserves during acquisitions and then

reversed these charges in future periods to inflate earnings. We poured over the

financial statements before and after each of the company's major acquisitions,

concluded that the accounting seemed appropriate and added significantly to our

position. A few weeks later, the SEC reached the same conclusion, requesting

only that the company shift two pennies of earnings from one quarter into


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