The Best Investment Strategist You've Never Heard Of

Not all investment gurus are famous Wall Street fund managers or outspoken activist investors. That’s what Validea CEO John Reese says in his latest article for Seeking Alpha, in which he looks at the strategy of Joseph Piotroski, a college accounting professor whose work has had a big impact on the investing world.

“In 2000, while a young accounting professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Joseph Piotroski wrote a paper on stock selection that would reverberate throughout the investment world,” Reese writes. “In the paper (entitled“Value Investing: The Use of Historical Financial Statement Information to Separate Winners from Losers”), he used his accounting background to develop a method for finding unloved stocks with big potential, a method that would have more than doubled the S&P 500’s return from 1976-1996.”

Reese says Piotroski’s paper impressed him so much that it became the basis for one of his “Guru Strategies,” each of which is inspired by the approach of a different investing great. A 10-stock annually rebalanced portfolio picked with the strategy (one year was the holding period Piotroski used in his study) has returned 7.9% annualized since its early 2004 inception vs. 5.3% for the S&P 500, he notes.

Reese looks at how the strategy works, and examines a handful of stocks that currently get high marks from his Piotroski-inspired model. Among them: Owens Corning.