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Archive for the ‘Jean-Marie Eveillard’

The Heresy That Made Them Rich – Throwback Thursday #TT

April 03, 2014 By: webmaster Category: Bruce Greenwald, CBS Faculty, Columbia Business School, Jason Zweig, Jean-Marie Eveillard, Mario Gabelli, Paul Sonkin, Roger Murray, SuperInvestors, The Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing

On October 29, 2005 Joe Nocera penned an article for The New York Times called The Heresy That Made Them Rich.

A FEW weeks ago, Columbia Business School held its 15th Annual Graham & Dodd Breakfast. The guest speaker was Jean-Marie Eveillard, a successful (and now retired) mutual fund manager, who used to beat the market regularly by adhering to the ”value investing” principles first articulated by the great investor Benjamin Graham and his co-author, the Columbia professor David L. Dodd, in their 1934 classic, ”Security Analysis.”

“The more things change, the more they stay the same way.”

Still, the Columbia program — and value investing in general — feels a little like a cult. Despite the obvious success of people like Mr. Buffett and Mr. Gabelli — and the studies that seem to bear out that success as something more than luck — it is not yet fully accepted by either mainstream Wall Street or mainstream academia. In his remarks at the breakfast, Mr. Eveillard said he thought that maybe 5 percent of professional money managers are true value investors.

See:  “The Heresy That Made Them Rich” (New York Times, 10/29/05)


Bruce Greenwald and Jean-Marie Eveillard Videos

December 01, 2012 By: webmaster Category: Bruce Greenwald, Columbia Business School, Jean-Marie Eveillard

I just watched 2 great videos. First, Columbia Business School Professor Bruce Greenwald participated in a seminar titled “Financial Innovation: A Risky Business?” which took place on September 7, 2012 at the Columbia University School of Journalism.


The second video is an interview of SuperInvestor Jean-Marie Eveillard posted by our friends at  Jean-Marie Eveillard is among the investors that I most admire.  Click here to watch the interview.

For more on Bruce Greenwald click here.

For more on Jean-Marie Eveillard see here, here, and here.

The Wisdom of Humility

April 02, 2009 By: webmaster Category: Jean-Marie Eveillard, Marty Whitman, Mason Hawkins

Three legendary investors, two short articles, countless lessons to be learned:

Investment News reflects on the humility of legendary investors Jean-Marie Eveillard and Marty Whitman.  Read the article here. recently caught up with Mason Hawkins, legendary manager of Longleaf Partners.  Read the article here.

SuperInvestor Studies: Jean-Marie Eveillard and An Introduction

December 19, 2008 By: webmaster Category: Jean-Marie Eveillard, Personal Comments, SuperInvestor Studies

As I mentioned when I began this blog, I intend to use it as a tool to gather valuable resources as I continue to become a better securities analyst.  Most value investors have learned from Mr. Buffett and Mr. Munger that one of the most important parts of an investor’s job is to read, read, and read.

I especially enjoy reading anything written by or about value investors.  Very often, I walk away from reading an article or an interview with a few key “nuggets” of wisdom.  Unfortunately, my mind is like a sieve.  I often though about finding a place to record these “nuggets” and I think I have now found that place.  From time to time, I plan to post “SuperInvestor Studies” which will contain the few key lessons that I take away from my readings. These posts should in no way suggest that you should not read the original article.  Many times, the key lessons can only be understood in the context of the original article.  Over time, I hope to build a useful collection of lessons that can be organized using the Blog’s categories.  With that introduction, here is the first in what I hope to be a series…

Jean-Marie Eveillard is a legendary manager with First Eagle Funds.  While he tried to retire in 2004, he was drawn back to First Eagle after his successor, Charles De Vaulx, left after 2 years.  Jean Marie was interviewed in the May 30, 2008 edition of Value Investor Insight.

  • Margin of Safety:   Whenever Ben Graham was asked about his thoughts on the future of the economy or the future profitability of a specific company, he would quip “the future is uncertain.”  Jean-Marie suggests that this is “precisely why there’s a need for a margin of safety in investing, which is more relevant today than ever.”
  • Value Investing is a Large Tent:  Jean-Marie has floated between what he calls the “Graham Approach” and the “Buffett Approach.”  The “Graham Approach” as described by Jean-Marie is “static, quantitative and focused on the balance sheet.  There is no attempt to look into the future and judge the more qualitative aspects of the business.”  The “Buffett Approach” is to look more qualitatively for those few businesses with apparently sustainable competitive advantages and where the odds are fairly high that the business will be as successful ten years from now as it is today.  In “Buffett-type” situations, Jean-Marie looks to make money from the growth of intrinsic value over time, as opposed to the elimination of any discount to intrinsic value.
  • Where to Hunt:  Jean-Marie usually buys companies whose short-term outlook “stinks” for either company-specific or cyclical reasons.  It is even better when the company was recently a favorite among growth investors.  On Wall Street, these problems are often perceived to be permanent.  However, if you believe the problems are not permanent, and you turn out to be right, you can make a lot of money.
  • What You Must Know About the Business:  The most important qualitative aspect of successful investing is figuring out the three, four, or five most important characteristics of a business.  Many of Eveillard’s past mistakes have been the result of getting these characteristics wrong.  Jean-Marie reflects on newspaper stocks as an example.  Many value investors held onto these stocks for too long, not recognizing that there was a fundamental change which is likely to lead to a “quasi-permanent decline” in the business.
  • When to Buy:  First Eagle looks at a businesses over a five year horizon.  Since most sell side research is focused on looking out six- to twelve- months, Eveillard does not find it useful.  He also dislikes discounted cash flow models, since they tend to give investors a “false impression of precision about very uncertain future outcomes.”  Instead, he tries to determine what a knowledgeable buyer, expecting a reasonable return, would be willing to pay in cash for the entire business.  His favorite measure is EV/EBIT compared to comparable transactions and market values.   Investments are generally made when a company is valued at 8x to 15x EV/EBIT – the more “questionable” the business, the lower the required multiple.  In today’s market, you can find good companies selling for 6x EV/EBIT.  Even if you consider a fall of 30% in operating profits, many of these businesses would still be valued at 8x EV/EBIT, which is still on the low-end of Jean-Marie’s preferred range.
  • When to Sell:  As long as a company is able to maintain a sustainable competitive advantage, Jean-Marie won’t sell until he believes the company is “highly overvalued.”

For more on Jean-Marie Eveillard, see my interview, originally published in Columbia Business School’s Newsletter Graham and Doddsville.