Peter Cundill was a Canadian value investor in the most traditional sense. Yet, he found Ben Graham almost by chance. A friend handed him a copy of SuperMoney just before he got on a flight home for Christmas. The chapter on Graham solidified his philosophy on investing.
One way Graham found value was to study assets on the balance sheet to find stocks trading below liquidation value. Cundill followed the same approach.
He often described his approach as buying dollars for forty cents. Over the 33 years he ran the Cundill Value Fund, he outperformed the market earning a 15.2% average return for shareholders.
Two things stand out from Cundill’s career. He had an insatiable curiosity and a willingness to adapt. Markets change. Those changes can render a strategy ineffective. Cundill learned that a strict Graham approach wouldn’t cut it in changing markets. He needed to adapt his strategy to the changes.
One of the first things he did was to look beyond North America. His curiosity dragged him to new countries to experience firsthand its culture and business environment. He became an early adopter of a global approach. Continue Reading…