Gleaning Wisdom From Third Avenue

One of the must-read shareholder reports on my list is Third Avenue Management's quarterly portfolio manager commentary. Whether the topic is value investing distressed debt, or his current views of the markets, legendary value investor Marty Whitman, now 86 years old, never fails to deliver in his Letter from the Chairman. This time around, Whitman discusses the U.S. debt situation in his typical direct style. Among other things, he takes aim at the notion of the validity of a balanced budget amendment, and also suggests that higher personal income taxes on the wealthy are not a bad idea, stating "No matter how high my personal income taxes become, I'll always owe the U.S. government more than it owes me." Agree with him or no (and I don't on some of the issues he covers), you still have to respect his opinion.

Whitman also makes the case that the U.S. is still a "good place for long-term investments," due to a variety of factors that include a relative lack of corruption, world's best university system, most efficient distribution system, highly productive workforce, and well developed securities markets to name a few. This section amounts to a pep talk during uncertain times from a legendary investor who has experienced nearly every type of market in his career. This is helpful since so much of the focus these days is on the short term, and fear runs rampant....307 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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