Book Review - The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers

*About Mr. Ronald W. Chan

Mr. Ronald W. Chan is the founder of Chartwell Capital Limited, an investment management company based in Hong Kong.

Ronald holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Finance and Accounting from the Stern School of Business at New York University, and is a columnist whose informative articles appear regularly on Reuters and in The Standard newspaper in Hong Kong and Better Investing magazine in the United States.

In 2010, he published a book about the career successes of Warren Buffett's top managers - Behind the Berkshire Hathaway Curtain: Lessons from Warren Buffett's Top Business Leaders. In 2012, he published his second book, The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers, which focuses on the investment philosophy and careers of twelve value investors from around the world.

Overview and Thoughts about the Book

In The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers, Ronald Chan takes you on a journey into the minds of the world's greatest fund managers. The book is structured with a forward by Donlad Keough, Chairman of the Board of Allen & Company Inc., followed by a preface, then 12 chapters of lessons from fund managers that he gathered from interviewing them personally, and finally in the final chapter, a wrap-up and summation of the lessons. This book contains thirteen fully loaded and insightful lessons from the best fund manager each who have significantly outperformed their benchmarks over a long period of time.

The book starts with Ronald's interviews with well-known value investors in the United States including, but not limited to Walter Schloss, Irving Kahn and Thomas Kahn. Then the book moves into the Europe with lessons from fund managers including Jean-Marie Eveillard and Francisco García Paramés, and finally into Asia with the likes of Shuhei Abe and Cheah Cheng Hye. The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers is an incredible treat with many high quality fund managers all in one book.

Ronald meticulously dives deep into the core of understanding the investment mindsets of the world's most highly regarded value investors. Not only do we learn the details of their upbringing and career history, but we also learn to understand how each of them view value investing. He takes you on a wonderful journey through time and around the world. Each chapter focuses on an individual value investor's story including his struggles in life, how they overcame the difficulties, and eventually get to where they are today. Ronald has a unique ability to be able to extract and communicate to the reader incredible key insights from all the value investors.

Most books we've come across talk about the track recorded of value investors over a one or three year period. Or they focus on making market predictions versus understanding the process. But, we all know that it is the long-term track record that counts. We've already read about the likes of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger through numerous publications. Ronald's book is different. It is an absolute treat to have different points of view from the world's most highly regarded investors insights at your fingertips.

“All in all, investing should be fun and challenging, not stressful and worrying. In an uncertain world, the practice of value investing is really a way to maintain a peaceful mind-set. By focusing on a margin of safety, thinking for the long term, and having patience, the goal is to achieve investment stability over time. In the process, investors may well achieve happiness and satisfaction in life” — Ronald W. Chan

Final Word

One of my biggest financial regrets was dabbling in technical analysis and not focusing on value investing during the time when the 2008-2009 financial crisis occurred. Had I had the The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers book, I'd probably be able to call value investing my full-time job. Nonetheless, I am perfectly happy doing it as a hobby with aspirations to do it full-time in the future. There will be other recessions around the world to be had and euphoria will come to an end in the world at different points in time. Focus on lifelong learning and we will be prepared for when the next time we have profound insight on a company whose price has fallen below the intrinsic value by a significant margin. Whether or not you've read other publications on value investing, The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers is definitely one that I would re-read again and again.

*Source: author bio and cover jacket of The Value Investors.