Investment John Neff John Neff on Investing

ISBN 13: 9780471197171

John Neff on Investing

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9780471197171: John Neff on Investing

John Neff is a life-long contrarian, proving time-and-again over the past three decades that bucking the system can pay off big. During his illustrious career as a money manager, Neff flew in the face of conventional wisdom by consistently passing over the big growth stocks of the moment, in favor of inexpensive, under performing ones-and he usually won. During his thirty-one years as portfolio manager for Vanguard's Windsor and Gemini II Funds, he beat the market twenty-two times, through every imaginable stock market climate, while posting a 57-fold increase in an initial stake. When Windsor closed its doors to new investors in 1986, it was the largest mutual fund in the United States.
Now retired from mutual fund management, Neff is finally ready to share the investment strategies that earned him international recognition as the "investor's investor", and made him the one to whom other money managers come to manage their money. In John Neff on Investing, Neff delineates, for the first time, the principles of his phenomenally successful low p/e approach to investing, and he describes the strategies, techniques, and investment decisions that earned him a place alongside Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch in the pantheon of modern investment wizards.
Packed with solid advice and guidance for anyone who aspires to using Neff's unique brand of value investing, John Neff on Investing offers invaluable lessons on using price-earnings ratios as a yardstick, to zeroing in on undervalued stocks, interpreting earnings histories and anticipating new market climates. A narrative of Neff's early days-My Road to Windsor-reveals the extraordinary mindset and humble circumstances that shaped his winning investment philosophy. By reproducing excerpts from his personal investment diaries, this book offers a unique opportunity to watch Neff in action over the years. A faithful, quarter-in-quarter-out chronicle of a life on Wall Street, the diaries provide unprecedented insights into the thinking behind some of his best (and worst) investment decisions, while tracing the evolution of his innovative investment style.
The first book to fully reveal the long-heralded investment strategies of a Wall Street genius, John Neff on Investing is must reading for investors, brokers, traders, and bankers of every kind.
JOHN NEFF, until his retirement in 1995, was Senior Vice President and Managing Partner of the Wellington Management Company, the Windsor Fund's investment advisor.
S.L. MINTZ, is New York Bureau Chief of CFO Magazine, a publication of the Economist Group dedicated to the latest financial thinking and how it is being implemented in today's markets. His other books include Beyond Wall Street (Wiley, 1998) and Five Eminent Contrarians.

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Review:

In the investment-management business, it's best to take bows quickly. Unless, of course, you're John Neff, a living legend, who as manager of Vanguard's Windsor Fund beat the market in 22 out of 31 years. Neff grew Windsor to become the largest mutual fund by combing the bargain basement for quality merchandise and selling as other investors caught on. In John Neff on Investing, he explains how he scoured the daily list of stocks hitting new lows, the "dusty rag and bone shop of the market," to find out-of-favor companies with low price/earnings ratios, those growing faster than seven percent a year, that paid generous dividends. He shows how to distinguish misunderstood and overlooked stocks from those with lackluster prospects.

Shunning the terms value investor and contrarian, he tells us he prefers to be known simply as a "low-p/e investor." "Contrarian investor suggests a stubborn nature," he says, "and there's a thin line between contrarian and being just plain stubborn." Memory in the stock market is notoriously short. "Remember the lessons of the past as they tend to repeat themselves," Neff says. "You cannot become a captive of historical parallel, but you must be a student of history." He takes us back to the early '70s, the "silly season" he calls it, "when investors emphasized a handful of glamour stocks at the expense of the market.... Hypnotized by rising market levels, investors lost sight of fundamentals ... and a dazed and confused public became persuaded that investing is easy." The toughest investment decision is the decision to sell. "Successful stocks don't tell you when to sell," says Neff. "When you feel like bragging, it's probably time to sell." He quotes a French proverb: "Buy on the cannons, sell on the trumpets."

John Neff on Investing begins with an insightful autobiographical sketch, but the marrow of this book is the journey through Neff's investment diary while managing Windsor. He takes us through three turbulent decades and dissects in detail his investment successes and failures. Relying on relentless application of his low-p/e strategy, abetted by attention to fundamentals and a liberal dose of common sense, he repeatedly rode stocks from under- to fair valuation, most often leaving the overvaluation thrill ride to braver souls.

Neff explains his concept of Measured Participation, a sort of asset-allocation strategy for low-p/e investing, and he shows that while difficult in today's high valuation market, constructing a portfolio guided by his methodology is still possible. Anyone with an interest in investing will enjoy learning at the feet of this master. --Scott Harrison

From the Back Cover:

John Neff has proven time and again over the past three decades that bucking the system can pay off big. During his illustrious career as a money manager, Neff flew in the face of conventional wisdom by consistently passing over the big growth stocks of the moment in favor of inexpensive, underperforming ones-and he usually won. During his thirty-one years as portfolio manager for Vanguard's Windsor and Gemini Funds, he beat the market twenty-two times, through every imaginable stock market climate, while posting a fifty-seven-fold increase in an initial stake. When Windsor closed its doors to new investors in 1985, it was the largest mutual fund in the United States.
* Now retired from mutual fund management, Neff is ready to share the investment strategies thatearned him international recognition as the "investor's investor." In John Neff on Investing, Neff delineates, for the first time, the principles of his phenomenally successful low p/e approach to investing, and describes the strategies, techniques, and investment decisions that earned him a place alongside Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch in the pantheon of modern investment wizards.
* Packed with solid advice and guidance for anyone who aspires to using Neff's unique brand of value investing, John Neff on Investing offers invaluable lessons on using price-earnings ratios as a yardstick, zeroing in on undervalued stocks, interpreting earnings histories, and anticipating new market climates. A narrative of Neff's early days-"My Road to Windsor"-reveals the extraordinary mindset and humble circumstances that shaped hiswinning investment philosophy.
* John Neff on Investing offers a unique opportunity to watch Neff in action over the years through excerpts from his personal investing journals. A faithful quarter-in-quarter-out chronicle of a life on Wall Street, the journals provide unprecedented insight into the thinking behind some of Neff's best (and worst) investment decisions, while tracing the evolution of his innovative investment style.
* The first book to reveal fully the long-heralded investment strategies of a Wall Street genius, John Neff on Investing is must reading for investors of every stripe.

Advance Praise for JOHN NEFF ON INVESTING

"You can count on your fingers the number of investment managers that have been able to beat the market over long periods of time. John Neff is one of those extraordinary professionals. Written with grace, humor, and irrepressible Neffian style, this book offers important insights into the methods and long-term rewards of 'value' investing. The serious investor will not want to miss this clear exposition of the successful Neff technique." - Burton G. Malkiel
Author, A Random Walk Down Wall Street,7th edition

"This book is a must read for anyone who is serious about investing. John Neff's record is well known, and these pages make clear how and why he accomplished what he did. I also recommend it to corporate CEOs who see the same world from the other side of the fence." - John Reed Chairman and Co-CEO, Citigroup Inc.

"John Neff is the investment profession's investment professional. Nobody has ever managed a large mutual fund so very well for so very long a time. And no one is likely to do so ever again." - Charles Ellis Author of Winning the Loser's Game, From the Foreword to John Neff on Investing

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