42 episodes

Value investing is more than an investment strategy — it’s a fundamental way of thinking about finance. Value investing was developed in the 1920s at Columbia Business School by professors Benjamin Graham and David Dodd, MS ’21. The authors of the classic text, Security Analysis, Graham and Dodd were the very pioneers of their field and their security analysis principles provided the first rational basis for investment decisions. Despite the vast and volatile changes in the economy and securities markets during the last several decades, value investing has proven to be the most successful money management strategy ever developed. Value investors’ success over the second half of the twentieth century proved not only the validity of the value approach, but its preeminence over even the most widely taught and practiced modern investment theory, which was developed in the 1950s and ’60s and remains dominant even today.

Our mission today is to promote the study and practice of Graham & Dodd’s original investing principles and to improve investing with world-class education, research, and practitioner-academic dialogue. In this podcast you will hear from some of the world’s greatest investors, their views on the investment management industry, how they developed their investment process and how they see the field changing over time.

Value Investing with Legends Columbia Business School

    • Business
    • 4.5 • 169 Ratings

Value investing is more than an investment strategy — it’s a fundamental way of thinking about finance. Value investing was developed in the 1920s at Columbia Business School by professors Benjamin Graham and David Dodd, MS ’21. The authors of the classic text, Security Analysis, Graham and Dodd were the very pioneers of their field and their security analysis principles provided the first rational basis for investment decisions. Despite the vast and volatile changes in the economy and securities markets during the last several decades, value investing has proven to be the most successful money management strategy ever developed. Value investors’ success over the second half of the twentieth century proved not only the validity of the value approach, but its preeminence over even the most widely taught and practiced modern investment theory, which was developed in the 1950s and ’60s and remains dominant even today.

Our mission today is to promote the study and practice of Graham & Dodd’s original investing principles and to improve investing with world-class education, research, and practitioner-academic dialogue. In this podcast you will hear from some of the world’s greatest investors, their views on the investment management industry, how they developed their investment process and how they see the field changing over time.

    Amy Zhang - Identifying Exceptional Potential

    Amy Zhang - Identifying Exceptional Potential

    “We look for exceptional small and mid cap companies with the wherewithal to become exceptional large companies.”
     
    This is at the core of the investment philosophy of today’s guest, Columbia Business School alum Amy Zhang. Amy is Executive Vice President and Portfolio Manager of the Alger Small Cap Focus, Alger Mid Cap Focus, Alger Mid Cap 40, and Alger Small Cap Growth Strategies. She joined Alger in 2015 and has 27 years of investment experience, including over a decade at Brown Capital Management as a Partner, Managing Director, and Senior Portfolio Manager of its Brown Capital Small Company Strategy.
     
    Amy has received multiple accolades, including being named one of the "Best Female PMs to Invest with Now" by Morningstar in 2022 and one of the “Top 20 Female Portfolio Managers” by Citywire in 2021, 2019, and 2018.
     
    In this episode, Amy, Michael, and I discuss Amy’s unconventional background and studies, why she made the move to managing small cap growth portfolios, how to think about small cap investments, the key metrics she looks for when assessing potential companies, her classification system of motorboats and sailboats, opportunities available in the current market, and so much more!
     
    For more information and disclosures please visit www.alger.com
     
     
    Key Topics:
     
    Reflections on the 2021/22 academic year (0:51) Welcome Amy to the show (1:26) How Amy found her way from studying math and physics to starting her investment career (2:44) How Amy’s decision to apply to Columbia Business School (CBS) led to her first job in finance (5:43) Getting broad experiences after graduating from CBS (8:33) The valuable training and experiences Amy gained in her early career (10:24) Why Amy made the move to managing small cap growth portfolios (12:23) How Amy’s investment philosophy has evolved (14:23) Alger’s criteria for small cap (16:30) Getting a realistic perspective on the total addressable market (TAM) (19:10) Measuring the growth of intangibles inside a firm (23:53) Quantitative and qualitative metrics for assessing moats (25:12) Why management discussion is essential (26:51) Company classification: motorboats vs. sailboats (30:14) Why barriers to entry are more significant than first-mover advantage (32:15) Making the buy or sell decision (35:05) Assumptions that go into the margin of safety (37:37) Opportunities offered by the current market turmoil (41:42) Not all growth is created equal (45:57) How Amy thinks about portfolio construction in today’s market (48:02) The importance of being benchmark agnostic (50:53) What worries and excites Amy most about the next few years in financial markets? (52:50) Amy’s book recommendations (54:47) And much more!  
     
    Mentioned in this Episode:
     
    Philip A. Fisher’s Book | Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings Seth A. Klarman’s Book | Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor Michael Mauboussin’s Book | More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places Scott Davis’ Book | Lessons from the Titans: What Companies in the New Economy Can Learn from the Great Industrial Giants to Drive Sustainable Success Mark Robichaux’s Book | Cable Cowboy: John Malone and the Rise of the Modern Cable Business  
     
    Thanks for Listening!
     
    Be sure to subscribe on Apple, Google, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. And feel free to drop us a line at valueinvesting@gsb.columbia.edu.
     
    Follow the Heilbrunn Center on social media on Instagram, LinkedIn, and more!

    • 56 min
    Ashvin Chhabra - The Aspirational Investor

    Ashvin Chhabra - The Aspirational Investor

    How do you create a portfolio strategy that takes into account both safety and the pursuit of your aspirational goals?
     
    That’s what today’s guest, Ashvin Chhabra, set out to answer with the Wealth Allocation Framework. Ashvin is President and Chief Investment Officer of Euclidean Capital, a New York-based family office for James H. Simons & Marilyn H. Simons. The Simons Foundation is dedicated to advancing research in mathematics and the basic sciences and is currently one of America's largest private funders in those areas. Prior to his current position, Ashvin was Chief Investment Officer for Merrill Lynch and Chief Investment Officer at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He's also the author of a terrific book, The Aspirational Investor, which was published in 2015. Ashvin holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Yale University in the field of nonlinear dynamics.
     
    In this episode, Ashvin, Tano, and I discuss Ashvin’s background as a theoretical physicist, why he didn’t see himself becoming a great trader, how the Wealth Allocation Framework was developed, his frustrations with modern portfolio theory, how he brings behavioral finance into wealth management, how to think about inflation and wealth preservation, and so much more!
     
     
    Key Topics:
     
    Welcome Ashvin to the show (1:05) The beginnings of Ashvin’s dream of becoming a physicist (2:58) The deep insights Ashvin was exposed to in his university studies (3:53) Benoit Mandelbrot’s influence on Ashvin’s thinking (5:51) Ashvin’s transition from theoretical physicist to derivatives trading (9:20) Why Ashvin didn’t resonate with a career on the trading floor (11:24) How the Wealth Allocation Framework was developed (15:54) Three main components of the wealth allocation framework (18:11) The engine of wealth creation (22:24) Why we need to understand models in their specific context (25:05) An evolving view of risk (28:46) Bringing behavioral finance into wealth management (31:23) Ashvin’s perspective on the evolution of the endowment model (34:55) Diversifying through various ecosystems (38:26) How to think about inflation and wealth preservation (41:43) Bringing in an element of common sense and humanity (45:26) The macro issues that worry Ashvin (47:52) The beauty of the non-linear aspects of financial markets (51:13) Ashvin’s book recommendations (53:03) And much more!  
    Mentioned in this Episode:
     
    Ashvin B. Chhabra’s Book | The Aspirational Investor: Taming the Markets to Achieve Your Life's Goals Ashvin B. Chhabra’s Paper | Beyond Markowitz: A Comprehensive Wealth Allocation Framework for Individual Investors Patrick Bolton, Tano Santos and José Scheinkman’s Paper | Cream Skimming in Financial Markets Robert A. Caro’s Book | Working Robert A. Caro’s Book | The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York Benoit Mandelbrot & Richard L Hudson’s Book | The Misbehavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Financial Turbulence Benjamin Graham’s Book | The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing Morgan Housel’s Book | The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness Amor Towles’ Book | A Gentleman in Moscow  
    Thanks for Listening!
     
    Be sure to subscribe on Apple, Google, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. And feel free to drop us a line at valueinvesting@gsb.columbia.edu.
     
    Follow the Heilbrunn Center on social media on Instagram, LinkedIn, and more!

    • 57 min
    Abby Joseph Cohen - Blending the Quantitative with the Qualitative

    Abby Joseph Cohen - Blending the Quantitative with the Qualitative

    “The data is the data, and that’s it.”
     
    As a model user, it’s easy to get hyperfocused on quantitative data but reality requires a broader approach.
     
    In the current market environment with uncertainty at every turn, it’s an advantage to be able to blend quantitative and qualitative analysis with years of experience observing the interaction between the economy at large and financial markets.
     
    Today we’re joined by Wall Street Legend, Abby Joseph Cohen, a student of the market who has seen lots of ups and downs from early in her career.  Abby was most recently Senior Investment Strategist at Goldman Sachs and she is now a full-time member of the faculty at Columbia Business School, where she teaches a very popular course called the Future of the Global Economy.
     
    Abby started her Wall Street career at T. Rowe Price, ultimately landing at Goldman Sachs in 1990. She made her name there as Chief US Portfolio Strategist, was named a Managing Director in 1996, and made Partner in 1998 shortly before the firm went public. Abby is a native New Yorker, attended Cornell University, and received a master's degree in economics from George Washington University.
     
    In this episode, Abby, Tano, and I discuss the unusual route Abby took in her studies when she combined economics with computer science, why she considers herself a reformed quant, the importance of combining quantitative and qualitative data, what we can learn from financial crises of the past, why she doesn’t believe we’re experiencing the end of globalization, and so much more!
     
    Key Topics:
     
    Welcome Abby to the show (1:06) The unusual path Abby charted for herself in her studies (2:25) Why Abby considers herself a reformed quant (4:35) When a model stops working (6:23) The art of using a model (7:55) What happens when many investors are using the same models (9:58) How declining interest rates have impacted financial markets in recent decades (13:08) The issues that have developed out of the rise of ETFs and index funds (15:03) What we can learn from the TMT (technology, media, telecom) sector runup in 1999 and 2000 (18:46) The sustainability of companies and how it affects pricing (20:27) The evolution of the syllabus for the Future of the Global Economy (23:00) Factors that cause a crisis to become a lasting phenomenon (25:19) Risks associated with monetary and fiscal policy decisions taken during COVID (27:11) Abby’s take on the potential end of globalization (31:37) The problem with current methods for measuring productivity (36:22) The increasing role of the Federal Reserve in stabilizing the world financial system (38:21) The anticipated evolution of the energy sector over the next few decades (42:14) Abby’s single biggest worry (45:44) What keeps Abby optimistic about the future (47:17) Abby’s book recommendations (48:54) And much more!  
    Mentioned in this Episode:
     
    Madeleine Albright’s Book | Fascism: A Warning Fiona Hill’s Book | There Is Nothing For You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century Amor Towles’ Book | The Lincoln Highway: A Novel  
    Thanks for Listening!
     
    Be sure to subscribe on Apple, Google, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. And feel free to drop us a line at valueinvesting@gsb.columbia.edu.
     
    Follow the Heilbrunn Center on social media on Instagram, LinkedIn, and more!

    • 50 min
    Allison Fisch - Unlocking Value in Emerging Markets

    Allison Fisch - Unlocking Value in Emerging Markets

    Welcome back to Season 7!
     
    From the move to Manhattanville to the new curriculum for the value investing program at The Heilbrunn Center, there have been many changes since we wrapped our last season at the end of 2021.
     
    Outside of that, a lot has happened in the markets. We’ve seen significant drawdowns in some growth stocks, conversations are centered around inflation and stagflation, and the geopolitical situation is bleak after the atrocious Russian invasion of Ukraine.
     
    For our upcoming episodes, we’re exploring different aspects of how to navigate these difficult times. Joining us today to discuss the international dimension of investing in this situation is our guest, Allison Fisch.
     
    Allison is Principal and Portfolio Manager at one of the great names in value, Pzena Investment Management. Pzena was founded in 1995 by Richard Pzena as a value-oriented investment management company and now has more than $50 billion of assets under management. Allison joined Pzena in 2001 after starting her career as a business analyst at McKinsey & Company. She earned a B.A. summa cum laude in Psychology and a minor in Drama from Dartmouth College where she was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Psi Chi national honor societies.
     
    In this episode, Allison and I discuss how starting in management consulting created a great foundation for her investing career, how she developed her investing philosophy, why she’s excited about opportunities for value in emerging markets, her approach to idea sourcing, risk management, and portfolio construction in emerging markets, and so much more!
     
    Key Topics:
     
    Welcome Allison to the show (1:27) Where Allison’s interest in investment management started (2:46) The skills that often make management consultants great portfolio managers (4:01) Managing the transition from McKinsey to asset management (6:21) Being a generalist versus a specialist (8:39) How Allison developed her investment philosophy (11:27) Allison’s journey from analyst to co-portfolio manager at Pzena (12:55) Pzena’s idea sourcing strategy (15:52) Getting to the underlying value of businesses across geographies (17:39) Portfolio construction in emerging markets (21:49) Why value works better in emerging markets (27:27) How Allison thinks about policy and currency risk in emerging markets (30:52) Managing geopolitical risks in times of crisis (34:25) How to approach reentry into historically unstable markets (38:47) Integrating ESG into your investment philosophy (41:24) Huge opportunities for value investors (44:15) What Allison is reading right now (46:17) And much more!  
    Mentioned in this Episode:
     
    Pzena Investment Management  
    Thanks for Listening!
     
    Be sure to subscribe on Apple, Google, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. And feel free to drop us a line at valueinvesting@gsb.columbia.edu.
     
    Follow the Heilbrunn Center on social media on Instagram, LinkedIn, and more!

    • 47 min
    Munib Islam - Creating Long-Term Value

    Munib Islam - Creating Long-Term Value

    Time arbitrage is one of the biggest behavioral advantages an investor can have.
     
    Joining us today to talk about what it means to be an engaged, long-term shareholder is Munib Islam. Munib is someone who has experienced investing from many different angles, from a traditional long-short hedge fund to sitting on corporate boards and seeing the process of approving corporate performance from the inside.
     
    Munib Islam is the Founder and Managing Partner of LTS One Management, an investment partnership created earlier this year with funding from Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles, and Carlos Alberto Sicupira. Before starting LTS One, Munib was a longtime partner and briefly Co-Chief Investment Officer of Third Point, a New York-based hedge fund with over $15 billion of assets under management. Before joining Third Point, Munib worked as an associate at Oak Hill Capital and Lazard. He received a BA in Economics magna cum laude from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.
     
    In this episode, Munib, Tano, and Micheal discuss Munib’s introduction to a career investing, similarities and differences between working in private equity and public markets, why Munib was excited to bring capital to European markets, the value of cognitive diversity, Munib’s investment philosophy, the challenges of activism, and so much more!
     
    Key Topics:
     
    How Munib was initially drawn into the world of investing (3:06) Munib’s early career in the investing world (4:32) Where Munib developed his investing foundation (6:27) Learning about the experiential aspects of an investing career (7:27) The overlap at the analyst level for private equity and public markets (8:58) Key differences between working in private equity and public markets (10:27) Munib’s journey from analyst to co-portfolio manager at Third Point (12:48) Why Munib was well-positioned to find opportunities in the European markets (14:39) Challenges of attracting investment in Europe in the wake of the financial crisis (15:47) The main goals behind the founding of LTS One (18:31) Firms with risk-management DNA versus stock-picking DNA (21:00) Developing a robust risk management approach (22:24) Munib’s evolving approach to hiring (23:58) Focusing on capital allocation improvement with a soft twist of operational improvement (26:42) What investors can learn from academia (28:07) Munib’s investing philosophy (31:33) Finding ideas where you can change a company’s trajectory (33:30) The actionability aspect of activism (36:05) The value of time arbitrage (39:19) Crucial elements for successful long-term orientation (43:36) The benefit of highly concentrated activist strategy (46:22) Why Munib looks for good businesses with questionable leadership (48:26) What operational excellence looks like (50:27) Common pitfalls in capital allocation (51:37) Munib’s approach to portfolio optimization (53:43) How Third Point identified Baxter as a good investment opportunity (55:56) Third Point’s strategy for Baxter (58:11) Munib’s biggest lessons from his first board experience at Baxter (1:00:58) Highlights from Third Point’s investments in Sony (1:02:50) LTS One’s investment in Cellnex Telecom (1:05:50) Why it’s an exciting time to invest in International Flavors & Fragrances (1:10:43) Munib’s worries about the current market environment (1:11:09) Munib’s current focus (1:12:36) Why Munib believes in reading widely across disciplines (1:13:25) And much more!  
    Mentioned in this Episode:
     
    Robert Hagstrom’s Book | Investing: The Last Liberal Art The Nomad Investment Partnership Letters To Partners Daniel Coyle’s Book | The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups  
     
    Thanks for Listening!
     
    Be sure to subscribe on Apple, Google, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. And feel free to drop us a line at valueinvesting@gsb.columbia.edu.
     
    Follow the Heilbrunn Center on social

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Lauren Taylor Wolfe - Adding Value With A Creative Approach to Environmental, Social, and Governance Change

    Lauren Taylor Wolfe - Adding Value With A Creative Approach to Environmental, Social, and Governance Change

    Activist investing is the new frontier for value investors, allowing them to be the agents of their own returns.
     
    Today we’re continuing our examination of the activist style of investing by exploring the intersection of two important trends in the money management industry: activism and environmental, social, and governance investing.
     
    Impactive Capital’s Lauren Taylor Wolfe joins us to share her perspective and Impactive’s unique approach to creatively incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) into activism.
     
    Lauren is co-founder and Managing Partner of Impactive Capital, an activist investment management firm that currently has more than 1.5 billion in assets under management.  Prior to founding Impactive, she spent 10 years at Blue Harbour Group where she was a Managing Director and Investing Partner. Lauren earned her M.B.A. from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. magna cum laude from Cornell University. 
     
    In this episode, Lauren, Michael and I discuss her non-linear journey to investing, what she learned from working in different industries, how she became interested in activist investing, what Impactive is doing to improve diversity in the industry, and so much more!
     
    Key Topics:
     
    Lauren’s first business endeavors (2:05) Lauren’s work experiences after graduation (3:13) Why Lauren was drawn to value investing early in her career (6:16) How TurboChef raised Lauren’s interest in activist investing (8:57) Why many executives struggle with capital allocation (11:49) Impactive’s focus on business quality and time horizon (14:13) The evolution of activist investing (16:25) Impactive’s approach to working with management (18:21) Idea screening and ESG considerations (20:33) How Impactive values businesses (21:24) Thinking about business resilience (25:13) Portfolio construction and sizing (26:40) Lauren’s thoughts on luck and skill (30:22) Creating a diverse workforce in investment management and our support industries (32:08) Impactive’s approach to idea sourcing and prioritization (34:30) HD Supply’s business background (37:39) HD Supply’s move from Home Depot to private equity and back (40:49) KBR’s transformation into a high quality business (46:16) The opportunities Impactive identified with KBR (49:30) Lauren’s perspective on meme stocks and SPACs  (52:41) Opportunities and risks on the horizon (54:47) Books that Lauren is reading (57:01) And much more!  
    Mentioned in this Episode:
     
    Impactive Capital William Thorndike’s Book | The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success Robert G. Kirby’s Article | The Coffee Can Portfolio Annie Duke’s Book | How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices Scott Page’s Book | The Diversity Bonus: How Great Teams Pay Off in the Knowledge Economy Scott Page’s Book | The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies Bill Gates’ Book | How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need Kazuo Ishiguro’s Book | Klara and the Sun Ted Koppel’s Book | Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath  
    Thanks for Listening!
     
    Be sure to subscribe on Apple, Google, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. And feel free to drop us a line at valueinvesting@gsb.columbia.edu.
     
    Follow the Heilbrunn Center on social media on Instagram, LinkedIn, and more!

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
169 Ratings

169 Ratings

maddie@podcastingyou ,

Super informative!

This podcast is an incredible resource for all things investment and finance. I truly appreciate the educational-backed approach, highly recommend.

Mariann!! ,

The best podcast!

Very valuable podcast with lots of free research and information.

762567 ,

Change the podcaster ; speakers are great

Podcaster should start listening more and speak less! I’m here to get into minds of incredible value investors, not here to be distracted by podcaster every time.

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