The Focus Is on the Future

My investment philosophy over the years has been influenced by many people and schools of thought. The most obvious is Ben Graham and the offshoots of his Columbia classroom, including Walter Schloss and Irving Kahn. Over the years, I have also stolen liberally from folks such as Martin Whitman and Charles Brandes. The members of the thoroughly disreputable Chicago options crowd have not only been great carousing companions, but they have also added a lot to my approach to the markets over the years. It occurred to me in re-reading my Monday column that the private equity folks I have met along the way have also added a lot to my investment mindset.

I have met a few private equity types along the way and the ones I admire seem to have a certain mindset that fosters success. These are not the ones who buy companies and leverage up to pay special dividends and raise billion-dollar funds. These are small to midsize players who are usually investing either family money or the proceeds from the sale of a successful business that they had founded or owned for a long period of time. They are fairly conservative in their approach to buying and selling companies and only trade when the price is right....626 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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