1984年在慶祝格雷罕姆與多德合著的《證券分析》發行５０周年大會上，巴菲特－這位格雷厄姆在哥倫比亞大學的投資課上唯一給了「A＋」的最優秀的學生進行了一次題為「格雷厄姆-多德都市的超級投資者們」 (The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville)」的演講，在他演講中回顧了50年來格雷厄姆的追隨者們采用價值投資策略持續戰勝市場的無可爭議的事實，總結歸納出價值投資策略的精髓，在投資界具有非常大的影響力。
THE SUPERINVESTORS OF GRAHAM-AND-DODDSVILLE
Tilsonfunds EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is an edited transcript of a talk given at Columbia University in 1984 commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Security Analysis , written by Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd. This specialized volume first introduced the ideas later popularized in The Intelligent Investor . Buffett's essay offers a fascinating study of how Graham's disciples have used Graham's value investing approach to realize phenomenal success in the stock market.
Is the Graham and Dodd "look for values with a significant margin of safety relative to prices" approach to security analysis out of date? Many of the professors who write textbooks today say yes. They argue that the stock market is efficient; that is, that stock prices reflect everything that is known about a company's prospects and about the state of the economy. There are no undervalued stocks, these theorists argue, because there are smart security analysts who utilize all available information to ensure unfailingly appropriate prices. Investors who seem to beat the market year after year are just lucky. "If prices fully reflect available information, this sort of investment adeptness is ruled out," writes one of today's textbook authors.
格雷厄姆與多德追求「價 值遠超過價格的安全保障」，這種證券分析方法是否已經過時?目前許多撰寫教科書的教授認為如此。他們認為，股票市場是有效率的市場；換言之，股票價格已經 充分反應了公司一切己知的事實以及整體經濟情況：這些理論家認為，市場上沒有價格偏低的股票，因為聰明的證券分析師將運用全部的既有資訊，以確保適當的價 格。投資者能經年累月地擊敗市場，純粹是運氣使然。「如果價格完全反應既有的資訊，則這類的投資技巧將不存在。」一位現今教科書的作者如此與寫道。
Well, maybe. But I want to present to you a group of investors who have, year in and year out, beaten the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index. The hypothesis that they do this by pure chance is at least worth examining. Crucial to this examination is the fact that these winners were all well known to me and pre-identified as superior investors, the most recent identification occurring over fifteen years ago. Absent this condition - that is, if I had just recently searched among thousands of records to select a few names for you this morning -- I would advise you to stop reading right here. I should add that all of these records have been audited. And I should further add that I have known many of those who have invested with these managers, and the checks received by those participants over the years have matched the stated records.
Before we begin this examination, I would like you to imagine a national coin-flipping contest. Let's assume we get 225 million Americans up tomorrow morning and we ask them all to wager a dollar. They go out in the morning at sunrise, and they all call the flip of a coin. If they call correctly, they win a dollar from those who called wrong. Each day the losers drop out, and on the subsequent day the stakes build as all previous winnings are put on the line. After ten flips on ten mornings, there will be approximately 220,000 people in the United States who have correctly called ten flips in a row. They each will have won a little over $1,000.
Now this group will probably start getting a little puffed up about this, human nature being what it is. They may try to be modest, but at cocktail parties they will occasionally admit to attractive members of the opposite sex what their technique is, and what marvelous insights they bring to the field of flipping.
Assuming that the winners are getting the appropriate rewards from the losers, in another ten days we will have 215 people who have successfully called their coin flips 20 times in a row and who, by this exercise, each have turned one dollar into a little over $1 million. $225 million would have been lost, $225 million would have been won.
By then, this group will really lose their heads. They will probably write books on "How I turned a Dollar into a Million in Twenty Days Working Thirty Seconds a Morning." Worse yet, they'll probably start jetting around the country attending seminars on efficient coin-flipping and tackling skeptical professors with, " If it can't be done, why are there 215 of us?"
By then some business school professor will probably be rude enough to bring up the fact that if 225 million orangutans had engaged in a similar exercise, the results would be much the same - 215 egotistical orangutans with 20 straight winning flips.
I would argue, however, that there are some important differences in the examples I am going to present. For one thing, if (a) you had taken 225 million orangutans distributed roughly as the U.S. population is; if (b) 215 winners were left after 20 days; and if (c) you found that 40 came from a particular zoo in Omaha, you would be pretty sure you were on to something. So you would probably go out and ask the zookeeper about what he's feeding them, whether they had special exercises, what books they read, and who knows what else. That is, if you found any really extraordinary concentrations of success, you might want to see if you could identify concentrations of unusual characteristics that might be causal factors.
Scientific inquiry naturally follows such a pattern. If you were trying to analyze possible causes of a rare type of cancer -- with, say, 1,500 cases a year in the United States -- and you found that 400 of them occurred in some little mining town in Montana, you would get very interested in the water there, or the occupation of those afflicted, or other variables. You know it's not random chance that 400 come from a small area. You would not necessarily know the causal factors, but you would know where to search.
I submit to you that there are ways of defining an origin other than geography. In addition to geographical origins, there can be what I call an intellectual origin. I think you will find that a disproportionate number of successful coin-flippers in the investment world came from a very small intellectual village that could be called Graham-and-Doddsville. A concentration of winners that simply cannot be explained by chance can be traced to this particular intellectual village.
Conditions could exist that would make even that concentration unimportant. Perhaps 100 people were simply imitating the coin-flipping call of some terribly persuasive personality. When he called heads, 100 followers automatically called that coin the same way. If the leader was part of the 215 left at the end, the fact that 100 came from the same intellectual origin would mean nothing. You would simply be identifying one case as a hundred cases. Similarly, let's assume that you lived in a strongly patriarchal society and every family in the United States conveniently consisted of ten members. Further assume that the patriarchal culture was so strong that, when the 225 million people went out the first day, every member of the family identified with the father's call. Now, at the end of the 20-day period, you would have 215 winners, and you would find that they came from only 21.5 families. Some naive types might say that this indicates an enormous hereditary factor as an explanation of successful coin-flipping. But, of course, it would have no significance at all because it would simply mean that you didn't have 215 individual winners, but rather 21.5 randomly distributed families who were winners.
In this group of successful investors that I want to consider, there has been a common intellectual patriarch, Ben Graham. But the children who left the house of this intellectual patriarch have called their "flips" in very different ways. They have gone to different places and bought and sold different stocks and companies, yet they have had a combined record that simply cannot be explained by the fact that they are all calling flips identically because a leader is signaling the calls for them to make. The patriarch has merely set forth the intellectual theory for making coin-calling decisions, but each student has decided on his own manner of applying the theory.
我所要考慮的這一群成功投資者，共有一位共同的智力族長—— 本傑明·格雷厄姆。但是，這些離開此智力家族的孩童，都是依據非常不同的方法猜測他們自己的「銅板」。他們各自前往不同的地方，買賣不同的股票和企業，但 他們的綜合績效絕對無法用隨機因素加以解釋。他們做相同的猜測，並不是因為領導者下達某一項指令，因此也無法用這種方式解釋他們的表現。族知只提供了猜測 銅板的智力理論，每位學生都必須自行決定如何運用這項理論。
The common intellectual theme of the investors from Graham-and-Doddsville is this: they search for discrepancies between the value of a business and the price of small pieces of that business in the market. Essentially, they exploit those discrepancies without the efficient market theorist's concern as to whether the stocks are bought on Monday or Thursday, or whether it is January or July, etc. Incidentally, when businessmen buy businesses, which is just what our Graham & Dodd investors are doing through the purchase of marketable stocks -- I doubt that many are cranking into their purchase decision the day of the week or the month in which the transaction is going to occur. If it doesn't make any difference whether all of a business is being bought on a Monday or a Friday, I am baffled why academicians invest extensive time and effort to see whether it makes a difference when buying small pieces of those same businesses. Our Graham & Dodd investors, needless to say, do not discuss beta, the capital asset pricing model, or covariance in returns among securities. These are not subjects of any interest to them. In fact, most of them would have difficulty defining those terms. The investors simply focus on two variables: price and value.
來自「格 雷厄姆一多德都市」的投資者所具備的共同智力結構是：他們探索企業的價值與該企業市場價格之間的差異。事實上，他們利用其間的差異，卻不在意效率市場理論 家所關心的問題：股票究竟在星期一或星期—：買進，或是在一月份或七月份買進……。當企業家買進某家公司時——這正是格雷厄姆一多德都市的投資者透過上市 股票所從事的行為——我懷疑有多少人會在意交易必須發生於某個月份或某個星期的第一天。如果企業的買進交易發生在星期一或星期五沒有任何差別，則我無法了 解學術界人士為何要花費大量的時間和精力，探討代表該企業部分股權的交易發生時的差異。毋庸多說，格雷厄姆一多德都市的投資者並不探討bate、資本資產定價模型、證券投資報酬本的變異數。這些都不足他們所關心的議題。事實上，他們大多數難以界定上述學術名詞。他們只在乎兩項實數：價格與價值。
I always find it extraordinary that so many studies are made of price and volume behavior, the stuff of chartists. Can you imagine buying an entire business simply because the price of the business had been marked up substantially last week and the week before? Of course, the reason a lot of studies are made of these price and volume variables is that now, in the age of computers, there are almost endless data available about them. It isn't necessarily because such studies have any utility; it's simply that the data are there and academicians have [worked] hard to learn the mathematical skills needed to manipulate them. Once these skills are acquired, it seems sinful not to use them, even if the usage has no utility or negative utility. As a friend said, to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
I think the group that we have identified by a common intellectual home is worthy of study. Incidentally, despite all the academic studies of the influence of such variables as price, volume, seasonality, capitalization size, etc., upon stock performance, no interest has been evidenced in studying the methods of this unusual concentration of value-oriented winners.
I begin this study of results by going back to a group of four of us who worked at Graham-Newman Corporation from 1954 through 1956. There were only four -- I have not selected these names from among thousands. I offered to go to work at Graham-Newman for nothing after I took Ben Graham's class, but he turned me down as overvalued. He took this value stuff very seriously! After much pestering he finally hired me. There were three partners and four of us as the "peasant" level. All four left between 1955 and 1957 when the firm was wound up, and it's possible to trace the record of three.
The first example (see Table 1*正文不附表格，可參考查詢文末所附的英文PDF文件) is that of Walter Schloss. Walter never went to college, but took a course from Ben Graham at night at the New York Institute of Finance. Walter left Graham-Newman in 1955 and achieved the record shown here over 28 years. Here is what "Adam Smith" -- after I told him about Walter -- wrote about him in Supermoney (1972):
He has no connections or access to useful information. Practically no one in Wall Street knows him and he is not fed any ideas. He looks up the numbers in the manuals and sends for the annual reports, and that's about it.
In introducing me to (Schloss) Warren had also, to my mind, described himself. "He never forgets that he is handling other people's money, and this reinforces his normal strong aversion to loss." He has total integrity and a realistic picture of himself. Money is real to him and stocks are real -- and from this flows an attraction to the "margin of safety" principle.
Walter has diversified enormously, owning well over 100 stocks currently. He knows how to identify securities that sell at considerably less than their value to a private owner. And that's all he does. He doesn't worry about whether it it's January, he doesn't worry about whether it's Monday, he doesn't worry about whether it's an election year. He simply says, if a business is worth a dollar and I can buy it for 40 cents, something good may happen to me. And he does it over and over and over again. He owns many more stocks than I do -- and is far less interested in the underlying nature of the business; I don't seem to have very much influence on Walter. That's one of his strengths; no one has much influence on him.
The second case is Tom Knapp, who also worked at Graham-Newman with me. Tom was a chemistry major at Princeton before the war; when he came back from the war, he was a beach bum. And then one day he read that Dave Dodd was giving a night course in investments at Columbia. Tom took it on a noncredit basis, and he got so interested in the subject from taking that course that he came up and enrolled at Columbia Business School, where he got the MBA degree. He took Dodd's course again, and took Ben Graham's course. Incidentally, 35 years later I called Tom to ascertain some of the facts involved here and I found him on the beach again. The only difference is that now he owns the beach!
In 1968, Tom Knapp and Ed Anderson, also a Graham disciple, along with one or two other fellows of similar persuasion, formed Tweedy, Browne Partners, and their investment results appear in Table 2. Tweedy, Browne built that record with very wide diversification. They occasionally bought control of businesses, but the record of the passive investments is equal to the record of the control investments.
Table 3 describes the third member of the group who formed Buffett Partnership in 1957. The best thing he did was to quit in 1969. Since then, in a sense, Berkshire Hathaway has been a continuation of the partnership in some respects. There is no single index I can give you that I would feel would be a fair test of investment management at Berkshire. But I think that any way you figure it, it has been satisfactory.
Table 4 shows the record of the Sequoia Fund, which is managed by a man whom I met in 1951 in Ben Graham's class, Bill Ruane. After getting out of Harvard Business School, he went to Wall Street. Then he realized that he needed to get a real business education so he came up to take Ben's course at Columbia, where we met in early 1951. Bill's record from 1951 to 1970, working with relatively small sums, was far better than average. When I wound up Buffett Partnership I asked Bill if he would set up a fund to handle all our partners, so he set up the Sequoia Fund. He set it up at a terrible time, just when I was quitting. He went right into the two-tier market and all the difficulties that made for comparative performance for value-oriented investors. I am happy to say that my partners, to an amazing degree, not only stayed with him but added money, with the happy result shown here.
There's no hindsight involved here. Bill was the only person I recommended to my partners, and I said at the time that if he achieved a four-point-per-annum advantage over the Standard & Poor's, that would be solid performance. Bill has achieved well over that, working with progressively larger sums of money. That makes things much more difficult. Size is the anchor of performance. There is no question about it. It doesn't mean you can't do better than average when you get larger, but the margin shrinks. And if you ever get so you're managing two trillion dollars, and that happens to be the amount of the total equity valuation in the economy, don't think that you'll do better than average!
其 中並不涉及後見之明。比爾是我推薦給合伙股東的惟一人選，我當時就表示，如果他的績效能夠高出史坦普指數四個百分點，這便是非常穩固的表現。比爾的績效遠 甚於此，而且所管理的資金規模不斷地擴大。這使得管理愈來愈困難。資金規模是績效的拖累，這是毫無疑問的。這並不意味當資金規模擴大，你的表現便無法超越 平均水准，只是超越的幅度會縮小。如果你所管理的資金是2兆美元，則你的表現必然無法超越平均水准，因為你的資金規模便是整個股票市場的總市值。
I should add that in the records we've looked at so far, throughout this whole period there was practically no duplication in these portfolios. These are men who select securities based on discrepancies between price and value, but they make their selections very differently. Walter's largest holdings have been such stalwarts as Hudson Pulp & Paper and Jeddo Highland Coal and New York Trap Rock Company and all those other names that come instantly to mind to even a casual reader of the business pages. Tweedy Browne's selections have sunk even well below that level in terms of name recognition. On the other hand, Bill has worked with big companies. The overlap among these portfolios has been very, very low. These records do not reflect one guy calling the flip and fifty people yelling out the same thing after him.
我必須補充說明一下，截至目前我們所觀察的記錄，投資組合在整段期間都幾乎沒有重疊。他們都是根據價格與價值間的差異來選股，選擇的標的也截然不同。華特的最重要持股都是扎實的企業，如Hudson Pulp&Paper、Jeddo HighHand Coal、New York Trap Rock Company，即使是偶爾閱讀金融版新聞的人，對這些企業的名稱也耳熟能詳。帝地布朗公司所選擇的標的則更是名不見經傳的企業。另一方面，比爾的選擇標的則是大型企業。這些投資組合極少出現重疊現象。他們的記錄並非由某人主導的猜測銅板，其他人則只聽命附和。
Table 5 is the record of a friend of mine who is a Harvard Law graduate, who set up a major law firm. I ran into him in about 1960 and told him that law was fine as a hobby but he could do better. He set up a partnership quite the opposite of Walter's. His portfolio was concentrated in very few securities and therefore his record was much more volatile but it was based on the same discount-from-value approach. He was willing to accept greater peaks and valleys of performance, and he happens to be a fellow whose whole psyche goes toward concentration, with the results shown. Incidentally, this record belongs to Charlie Munger, my partner for a long time in the operation of Berkshire Hathaway. When he ran his partnership, however, his portfolio holdings were almost completely different from mine and the other fellows mentioned earlier.
表5的投資業績來自於我的—位朋友，他畢業於哈佛法學院，並且成立了一家主要的法律事務所。我大約在1960年 認識他，並且建議說，法律作為嗜好是件好事，但是他應該做得更好。於是，他成立了一家合伙公司，他的操作方式和華特迥異，他的投資組合集中在極少數的證 券，因此績效的變動比較激烈，但他仍然依據相同的價值折價法從事投資。他願意接受績效的上下震蕩，而他恰好是一位精神極度集中的人。他的名字是查理·蒙格，他是我在柏克夏公司從事操作的長期合伙股東。當他自己經營合伙事業時，他的投資組合和我或任何先前所提到的人完全都不同。
Table 6 is the record of a fellow who was a pal of Charlie Munger's -- another non-business school type -- who was a math major at USC. He went to work for IBM after graduation and was an IBM salesman for a while. After I got to Charlie, Charlie got to him. This happens to be the record of Rick Guerin. Rick, from 1965 to 1983, against a compounded gain of 316 percent for the S&P, came off with 22,200 percent, which probably because he lacks a business school education, he regards as statistically significant.
One sidelight here: it is extraordinary to me that the idea of buying dollar bills for 40 cents takes immediately to people or it doesn't take at all. It's like an inoculation. If it doesn't grab a person right away, I find that you can talk to him for years and show him records, and it doesn't make any difference. They just don't seem able to grasp the concept, simple as it is. A fellow like Rick Guerin, who had no formal education in business, understands immediately the value approach to investing and he's applying it five minutes later. I've never seen anyone who became a gradual convert over a ten-year period to this approach. It doesn't seem to be a matter of IQ or academic training. It's instant recognition, or it is nothing.
在此撇開主題：以40美 分的價格買進一美元的紙鈔，人若不能夠立即接受這項概念，就永遠不會接受它。它就像注射藥劑。如果它無法立即抓住這個人，則我認為即使你長期地說服他，並 且展示各種記錄，你也無法讓他接受。這是很單純的概念，但他們就是無法領悟。類似瑞克這樣的人，他完全沒有正式商學教育的背景，卻可以立即領會價值投資 法，並且在五分鐘之後便加以利用。我從來不曾見過任何人，會在10年之後才逐漸地皈依這種方法。它似乎和智商或學術訓練無關。它是頓悟，否則就是拒絕。
Table 7 is the record of Stan Perlmeter. Stan was a liberal arts major at the University of Michigan who was a partner in the advertising agency of Bozell & Jacobs. We happened to be in the same building in Omaha. In 1965 he figured out I had a better business than he did, so he left advertising. Again, it took five minutes for Stan to embrace the value approach.
Perlmeter does not own what Walter Schloss owns. He does not own what Bill Ruane owns. These are records made independently . But every time Perlmeter buys a stock it's because he's getting more for his money than he's paying. That's the only thing he's thinking about. He's not looking at quarterly earnings projections, he's not looking at next year's earnings, he's not thinking about what day of the week it is, he doesn't care what investment research from any place says, he's not interested in price momentum, volume, or anything. He's simply asking: what is the business worth?
Table 8 and Table 9 are the records of two pension funds I've been involved in. They are not selected from dozens of pension funds with which I have had involvement; they are the only two I have influenced. In both cases I have steered them toward value-oriented managers. Very, very few pension funds are managed from a value standpoint. Table 8 is the Washington Post Company's Pension Fund. It was with a large bank some years ago, and I suggested that they would do well to select managers who had a value orientation.
表8 與表9的投資業績記錄分別屬於我參與的兩家退休基金，它們並非是從我所參與的十幾種退休基金中選擇出來的，他是唯一兩家我能夠影響其投資決策的退休基金。 在這兩家基金中，我引導他們轉變為價值導向的投資管理人，只胡非常少數的基金是基於價值進行投資管理的。表8是華盛頓郵報公司退休基金（the Washington Post Company's Pension Fund）的投資業績記錄。幾年之前，他們委托一家大型銀行管理基金，後來，我建議他們聘請以價值為導向的基金經理，這樣能夠使投資業績更好。
As you can see, overall they have been in the top percentile ever since they made the change. The Post told the managers to keep at least 25 percent of these funds in bonds, which would not have been necessarily the choice of these managers. So I've included the bond performance simply to illustrate that this group has no particular expertise about bonds. They wouldn't have said they did. Even with this drag of 25 percent of their fund in an area that was not their game, they were in the top percentile of fund management. The Washington Post experience does not cover a terribly long period but it does represent many investment decisions by three managers who were not identified retroactively.
正如你在投資記錄中所看到的那樣，從他們更換基金經理之後，其整體投資業績在所有基金中一直名列前茅。華盛頓郵報公司要求基金經理人至少保持25 %的資金投資於債券，而債券未必是基金經理人的投資選擇。因此，我在表中也將其債券投資業績包括在內，而這些數據表明他們其實並沒有什麼特別的債券專業技 巧，他們也從未這樣吹噓進自己，雖然有25%的資金投資於他們並不擅長的債券領域，從而拖累了他們的投資業績，但其基金管理業績水平仍然名列前一百名之 內。華盛頓郵報公司退休基金的投資盡管並沒有經過一個很長的市場低迷時期的考驗，但仍然足以證明三位基金經理的許多投資決策並非後見之明。
Table 9 is the record of the FMC Corporation fund. I don't manage a dime of it myself but I did, in 1974, influence their decision to select value-oriented managers. Prior to that time they had selected managers much the same way as most larger companies. They now rank number one in the Becker survey of pension funds for their size over the period of time subsequent to this "conversion" to the value approach. Last year they had eight equity managers of any duration beyond a year. Seven of them had a cumulative record better than the S&P. The net difference now between a median performance and the actual performance of the FMC fund over this period is $243 million. FMC attributes this to the mindset given to them about the selection of managers. Those managers are not the managers I would necessarily select but they have the common denominators of selecting securities based on value.
表9 的投資業績屬於FMC公司退休基金，我本人沒有管理過這家基金的一分錢，但我的確在1974年影響了他們的決策，說服他們選擇以價值為導向的基金經理。在 此之前，他們采取與其他大型企業相同的方式來選擇基金經理。在他們轉向價值投資策略之後，其投資業績目前在貝克退休基金調查報告（the Becker survey of pension funds）中超越其他同等規模基金而名列第一。1983年時，該基金共有8位任職1年以上的基金經理，其中7位累積投資業績超過標准普爾指數。在此期 間，FMC基金的實際業績表現與基金平均業績表現的淨回報差額是2.43億美元，FMC將此歸功於他們與眾不同的基金經理選擇傾向，這些基金經理未必會是 我個人中意的選擇，但他們都具有一個共同的特點，即基於價值來選擇股票。
So these are nine records of "coin-flippers" from Graham-and-Doddsville. I haven't selected them with hindsight from among thousands. It's not like I am reciting to you the names of a bunch of lottery winners -- people I had never heard of before they won the lottery. I selected these men years ago based upon their framework for investment decision-making. I knew what they had been taught and additionally I had some personal knowledge of their intellect, character, and temperament. It's very important to understand that this group has assumed far less risk than average; note their record in years when the general market was weak. While they differ greatly in style, these investors are, mentally, always buying the business, not buying the stock . A few of them sometimes buy whole businesses. Far more often they simply buy small pieces of businesses. Their attitude, whether buying all or a tiny piece of a business, is the same. Some of them hold portfolios with dozens of stocks; others concentrate on a handful. But all exploit the difference between the market price of a business and its intrinsic value.
以上這9 項投資業績記錄都來自於「格雷厄姆一多德都市」 的「銅板投擲者」，是我根據他們的投資決策架構，在多年前便選定了他們。我了解他們所接受過的訓練，而且 知道他們的智慧、個性和脾氣。我們務必了解，這群人只承擔了一般水准以下的風險；留意他們在股市疲弱期間的記錄。他們的投資風格雖然大不相同，但心態上始 終恪守：買進的標的是企業，而非企業的股票。他們當中有些人偶爾會買下整個企業，但是他們經常只是購買企業的—小部分。不論買進整體或一部分的企業，他們 所秉持的態度完全相同。在投資組合，有些人持有幾十種的股票；有些人則集中少數幾支股票。但是，每個人都受惠於企業市場價格與其內含價值之間的差值。
I'm convinced that there is much inefficiency in the market. These Graham-and-Doddsville investors have successfully exploited gaps between price and value. When the price of a stock can be influenced by a "herd" on Wall Street with prices set at the margin by the most emotional person, or the greediest person, or the most depressed person, it is hard to argue that the market always prices rationally. In fact, market prices are frequently nonsensical.
I would like to say one important thing about risk and reward. Sometimes risk and reward are correlated in a positive fashion. If someone were to say to me, "I have here a six-shooter and I have slipped one cartridge into it. Why don't you just spin it and pull it once? If you survive, I will give you $1 million." I would decline -- perhaps stating that $1 million is not enough. Then he might offer me $5 million to pull the trigger twice -- now that would be a positive correlation between risk and reward!
The exact opposite is true with value investing. If you buy a dollar bill for 60 cents, it's riskier than if you buy a dollar bill for 40 cents, but the expectation of reward is greater in the latter case. The greater the potential for reward in the value portfolio, the less risk there is.
One quick example: The Washington Post Company in 1973 was selling for $80 million in the market. At the time, that day, you could have sold the assets to any one of ten buyers for not less than $400 million, probably appreciably more. The company owned the Post , Newsweek , plus several television stations in major markets. Those same properties are worth $2 billion now, so the person who would have paid $400 million would not have been crazy.
Now, if the stock had declined even further to a price that made the valuation $40 million instead of $80 million, its beta would have been greater. And to people that think beta measures risk, the cheaper price would have made it look riskier. This is truly Alice in Wonderland. I have never been able to figure out why it's riskier to buy $400