On the Bookshelf

Value-oriented money managers discuss their strategies and philosophies in “The Art of Value Investing: How the World’s Best Investors Beat the Market” (John Wiley & Sons, 2013). Authors John Heins and Whitney Tilson compile snippets of interviews they have conducted with a large number of mutual fund and hedge fund managers to provide insights on how professionals approach value investing.

The authors describe the book as providing answers to questions every money manager should ask before running a portfolio. To their credit, Heins and Tilson cover a lot of ground in approximately 300 pages. They have managers on record speaking about analyzing a company’s financials, assessing its business models, measuring valuation, managing a diversified portfolio and deciding when to sell. The voices are as varied as the answers given. Even where there appears to be consensus, there are answers from managers who use a different approach from the others.

The differences of opinion can be good or bad, depending on what a reader is looking for. This is not a book that provides a clear-cut approach to value investing. Rather, it gives voice to a variety of approaches, with some advice being very specific and other advice being broad in nature.

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