Thursday, November 16, 2006

Investing + Moneyball + Interesting guy + W + L

I've always known that Bill Miller, manager of LMVTX, a mutual fund that has beaten the S&P500 for 15 straight years, is an interesting guy with a different and effective approach to investing. I didn't realize, though, that this alternate, eclectic, and perhaps aloof approach was pervasive among his group of managers and analysts.

Miller's results initially attracted me years ago, and I've happily automatically invested a few hundred dollars a month in LMVTX since then, but what has kept me has been Miller's discipline and principled investing viewpoint. He doesn't chase fads, but instead make bigs, long term bets on a few trends or opportunities that he believes are mispriced by the market.

Sticking to his guns (to the point of doubling down on dogs) and not following this week's hot money is very difficult to do in the investing world, but Miller has been and will continue to be an inspiration in this regard.

Miller also reinforced the notion of the value of low portfolio turnover. The average fund has 109% annual turnover, while LMVTX is about 13%. Less churning and more long term investments drive gains for investors.

Miller's group sounds very challenging and interesting. He'd be a fascinating guy to share a plane ride and a reading list with.

We've got a little bit in common: we both went to Washington and Lee and played on the baseball team (though Miller was decades ahead of me.) That's where the similarities end, though!


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With my new friends on the Great Wall of China

With my new friends on the Great Wall of China
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World sun clock

Uncommon Man's Creed

"I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon -- if I can. I seek opportunity -- not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I wish to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole, I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master, nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid, to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, "this I have done." All this is what it means to be an American." -- Anonymous