“Who are your favorite hedge fund investors?”
That’s the question I’ve gotten over and over again when I interviewed for buy side. “Julian Robertson” was always the first response that popped up in my head, but that’s not the answer I wanted to give. Not because it’s a boring answer, but I wanted to give an honest response. I wanted to give this question some thought and pick an investor I agreed with the most in terms of investing philosophy and admired the most on a personal level.
After about the third interview in which I was asked the question again, I went home, read blogs and wikis about the greatest investors and started reading their books. Another thing I did was I started searching their names on YouTube, and it was a goldmine. Watching these interviews and talks by buy side legends was not only a faster way to learn about their investment philosophies, but it got me to understand them on a personal level in terms of where they come from and how they think.
So instead of binge-watching Netflix, I started binging investor talks on YouTube during Breaking Bad’s off-seasons. It’s a nerdy way to spend a Sunday afternoon, but after a couple weekends of doing it, it gave me some important life lessons and a much better understanding of the investment styles I preferred the most. Oh, and it finally helped me to form a well-thought-out answer as to who my favorite investor was and why.
I went through my bookmarks and compiled the list of YouTube talks and interviews below. Whether you are interviewing for the buy side or have already crossed over, these videos will be very insightful to you. They’ll help you answer the question with passion and confidence in your interviews, and give you invaluable lessons that you can apply to your investment career. I hope this list of investing legends will give you some great weekend binge-watching sessions.
The definitive investing legends video list, in alphabetical order of last names:
Bill Ackman, Pershing Square Capital Management
Bill Ackman founded Pershing Square in November 2003 with $54 million raised from 3 investors. He is an activist investor. He buys the common stocks of public companies, and pushes for changes so that the market can realize the values of the companies.
Activist Investing, War Stories
Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway
Value Investing, Traits of a Great Investor
Jim Chanos, Kynikos Associates
Jim is one of the most famous short sellers today. Jim Chanos went to Wall Street in 1980, and began shorting stocks in 1982, which drove his interest to start a short-concentrated fund. He now running $6 billion, with $5.5 billion in short.
Career Stories, Short Selling, Psychology
Leon Cooperman, Omega Advisors
Leon Cooperman is the founder of Omega Advisors, a hedge fund with approximately $6 billion under management. Prior to Omega, Cooperman was the CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and has worked at Goldman Sachs for 25 years. Cooperman is known for combining his macro view and fundamental valuation in his investing strategy.
Career Stories, Life Lessons, Traits of a Great Investor
Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates
Ray Dalio founded Bridgewater in 1975, now with more than $165 billion under management. He is known for his macro view and the famed Economic Machine principle. Dalio studied finance at Long Island University and Harvard, and began his wall street career at Merrill Lynch in 1972.
The Economic Machine
Stan Druckenmiller, Duquesne Capital
Stan Druckenmiller is the President of Duquesne Capital, which he founded in 1981. The fund has more than $10 billion in assets. Prior to Duquesne, he managed money for George Soros from 1988 to 2000 as the lead portfolio manager for the Quantum Fund.
Career Stories, Philanthropy
David Einhorn, Greenlight Capital
David Einhorn is President of Greenlight Capital, a value-oriented investment advisor. He is a noted activist investor, taking positions in companies, and then pushing management to implement changes.
The Fed, Monetary Policies
Israel Englander, Millennium Management
Izzy Englander founded Millennium Management in 1989. By the middle of 2011, Englander had grown the company to roughly $13 billion in assets under management.
Career Stories, Building Millennium
Ken Griffin, Citadel
Ken Griffin has been trading stock options since 1986, and founded Citadel in 1990 with $4.2 billion dollars under management. Griffin began using quantitative, technology-based methods before many other firms had cell phones. The fund had been wildly successful until losing 55% during the financial crises. By the start of 2012 however, he cleared the high water mark, with returns over 20% in 2011. Citadel’s main funds are called Kensington and Wellington. These funds returned almost 25% in 2012 and 19.4% in 2013.
Career Stories, Building Citadel, Politics
Jeffrey Gundlach, DoubleLine Capital
Jeffrey Gundlach spent decades helping Los Angeles’ TCW build its fixed-income business only to be kicked out in 2009. That prompted him to start cross-town rival DoubleLine Capital with 40 other former employees, amidst a barrage of sordid allegations and lawsuits. With financial backing from earlier TCW refugees, Howard Marks and Bruce Karch of Oaktree Capital, DoubleLine has become the fastest-growing mutual fund start-up in history and now has $90 billion under management.
Investing Lessons, Fixed Income
Carl Icahn, Icahn Enterprises
Carl Icahn is the legendary corporate raider who spearheaded the activist investing movement. However, his performance as of late has been sub-stellar. He will return outside money and focus on managing his own wealth.
Investment Discipline, Philanthropy
Seth Klarman, Baupost Group
Seth Klarman is a value investor and Portfolio Manager of the investment partnership the Baupost Group. Founded in 1983, Baupost now manages $7 billion, and has averaged returns of nearly 20% annually since their inception. Klarman is the author of the book “Margin of Safety” which sells for over $1000 on Amazon.
Leadership, Building Baupost, Value Investing
Howard Marks, Oaktree Capital
Howard Marks founded Oaktree which invests heavily in debt, preferred stocks, and convertible bonds. He is known for his philosophical take on investing, and has written heavily on the importance of secondary thinking.
Career Stories, Investment/Life Philosophy, Contrarian Investing
Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway
Buffett followers believe that Charlie Munger had significant influence on Warren Buffett’s investment philosophy. Before partnering with Munger, Buffett was a Ben Graham type of cigar butt bargain investor. Charlie Munger inspired Warren Buffett to invest in high quality business for long term. The latest investment Charlie Munger convinced Warren Buffett was the investment in Chinese electric car maker BYD.
Human Misjudgement, Psychology
John Paulson, Paulson & Co.
John Paulson established his firm as a merger arbitrage hedge fund manager, and seeks to make money from situations when one public company announces plans to take over another. Merger arbitrage hedge funds primarily study equity markets, but they also research the market for credit default swaps, a form of insurance that starts paying out as soon as a credit security falls in value.
Merger Arbitrage, Energy
Michael Price, MFP Investors
Michael Price earned reputation for buying undervalued companies. He buys stock in out-of-favor small cap companies that are of good values, and has often tussled with management of companies held in his portfolios.
Julian Robertson, Tiger Management
Julian Robertson is considered the father of hedge fund. He launched his firm Tiger Management in 1980 with $8 million, and turned it into over $22 billion in the late 1990s. Robertson had the best hedge fund record throughout the 1980s and 1990s. It is reported that the compound rate of return to his investors was 32%. During his active years, he was considered to be the “Wizard of Wall Street.” Tiger Management became the world’s largest fund, which peaked at over $23 billion invested. Besides his investment record, Mr. Robertson also mentored a group of young hedge fund managers, known as the “Tiger Cubs.” A number of them became extremely successful hedge fund managers in their own right, including John Griffin of Blue Ridge Capital, Lee Ainslie of Maverick Capital, Andreas Halvorsen of Viking Global, and Steve Mandel of Lone Pine Capital.
Traits of Great Portfolio Managers, Seeding Tiger Cubs
James Simons, Renaissance Technologies
For over two decades, Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies, which trade in markets around the world, has employed complex mathematical models to analyze and execute trades, many of them automated. Renaissance uses computer-based models to predict price changes in easily-traded financial instruments. These models are based on analyzing as much data as can be gathered, then looking for non-random movements to make predictions.
Career Stories, Life Lessons, Quantitative Investing
Jeff Ubben, ValueAct Capital
Ubben founded ValueAct post-MBA, which applies the private equity investment framework to public companies. ValueAct is typically one of the largest independent shareholders at each of its core company investments and works in a constructive manner with management. Ubben has a B.A. from Duke and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern.
Career Story, Activist Investing
There you have it, the ultimate video collection of the greatest investors for your weekend viewing. The investor bios are from Gurufocus and InsiderMonkey, which are great resources for the portfolios of these great investors.
Who are your favorite investors that I missed? Post them below and we’ll discuss whether they should be on the list.