VIC — Mark Boyar

Value Investing in the World's Most Famous Arena

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, September 16, 2013

Mark Boyar is a well-respected longtime value investor, he publishes a research-intensive newsletter and has an excellent record over many decades.

He first mentioned the stocks that he talked about last time he presented, at the Las Vegas iteration of this Congress back in May (we covered that here) — he did well with Dole despite the fact that David Murdock essentially stole it from the public markets at well below real value, and did well with Western Union as well. The failure is Weight Watchers, which is down from $45 to $37 or so, and he said he thinks the business is even better now and he still likes it.

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Much of the rest of his presentation on history and lessons from his investing history is very similar to what he said in Las Vegas, but here are the big ones:

1. Don’t pay a crazy price. Examples: the Nifty Fifty were great stocks, but obviously not worth 50-100X earnings in the 1960s, many of those companies or similar ones are still great companies, but now they’re at 10X earnings.
2. Load up the truck when opportunity strikes — geopolitical events, market crashes, bear markets, all create times when you want to make huge investments. Do it. That’s when careers are made.
3. Never listen to the Chairman of the Board.
4. Industry specific analysts know a lot about companies in their given industry, but they can’t always make you money. Example, Saks analysts followed the bad same store sales and didn’t note that the company was valued at less than the value of their flagship store in Manhattan.

Where do we go from here?

This bull market has been much longer than normal — 4-1/2 years or so, almost twice as long as average. The average gain has been about 150%, right about where we are. We are still short of the tech stock bull market, but better than most others (that one was a 400%+ gain over almost ten years).

Typically, bull markets come to an end following a period of extraordinary performance — months leading to market tops usually see growth stocks outperform value, small cap over large cap, and that’s what’s happening now.

Internet craze and the Nasdaq peak — are there any similarities to that market that should worry us?

There are ...

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