Advice from the Best -- In 10 Words or Less

Could you distill your investment philosophy into 10 words or less? In his latest post for The Wall Street Journal’s Total Return blog, Jason Zweig poses that question to some of the world’s most successful investors.

Zweig says that when someone recently asked him the question, he “laughed and said, ‘Of course not!’ But right afterward, I realized to my surprise that I could. I banged this out almost instantly: Anything is possible, and the unexpected is inevitable. Proceed accordingly.”

Here’s what some top investors told Zweig when asked the same question:

David Herro, Morningstar Fund Manager of the Decade:

Determine value.  Then buy low, sell high.  😉

Robert Rodriguez, managing partner, First Pacific Advisors:

Plan for the worst. Hope for the best.

Christopher C. Davis, chairman, Davis Advisors and co-manager, Davis New York Venture Fund:

Fallible, emotional people determine price; cold, hard cash determines value.

Zweig also notes that Benjamin Graham, the man known as “The Father of Value Investing”, distilled his philosophy into just three words in his classic book The Intelligent Investor, saying, “In the old legend the wise men finally boiled down the history of mortal affairs into the single phrase, ‘This too will pass.’ Confronted with a like challenge to distill the secret of sound investment into three words, we venture the motto, MARGIN OF SAFETY.”