Thursday, January 19, 2012

Marty Whitman Quotes (from Third Avenue's Recent Letter)

Third Avenue's latest shareholder letter is a great read.

At its start, Marty Whitman basically provides a condensed view of his book, Value Investing: A Balanced Approach--which serves as either a nice teaser for those who haven't read the book or a nice refresher for those who have.

Throughout the letter, a number of one-liners are made. Whitman points out, for example, that "analysts really ought not to use the word 'risk' without putting an adjective in front of it." Similarly, he says, "Economists have it wrong when they say, 'There is no free lunch.' What they should say is, 'Somebody has to pay for lunch.'"

Later, James Montier is quoted saying, "The idea that the risk of an investment, or indeed, a portfolio of investments can be reduced to a single number is utter madness." And Thomas LaPointe observes that, "A disorderly Italian default would be at least ten times greater than a Lehman Brothers event."

Anyhow, there's much more in the letter; you can read it here.