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John Neff on Investing
Cover of John Neff on Investing
John Neff on Investing
by John Neff
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John Neff has proven time and again over the past three decades that bucking the system can pay off big. During his illustrious career as a money manager, Neff flew in the face of conventional wisdom by consistently passing over the big growth stocks of the moment in favor of inexpensive, underperforming ones—and he usually won! During his thirty-one years as a portfolio manager, he beat the market twenty-two times while posting a fifty-seven-fold increase in an initial stake.

Now retired from mutual fund management, Neff is ready to share the investment strategies that earned him international recognition as the "investor's investor." In John Neff on Investing, Neff delineates, for the first time, the strategies, techniques, and investment decisions that earned him his place alongside Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch in the pantheon of modern investment wizards.

John Neff has proven time and again over the past three decades that bucking the system can pay off big. During his illustrious career as a money manager, Neff flew in the face of conventional wisdom by consistently passing over the big growth stocks of the moment in favor of inexpensive, underperforming ones—and he usually won! During his thirty-one years as a portfolio manager, he beat the market twenty-two times while posting a fifty-seven-fold increase in an initial stake.

Now retired from mutual fund management, Neff is ready to share the investment strategies that earned him international recognition as the "investor's investor." In John Neff on Investing, Neff delineates, for the first time, the strategies, techniques, and investment decisions that earned him his place alongside Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch in the pantheon of modern investment wizards.

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About the Author-
  • John Neff, until his retirement in 1995, was Senior Vice President and Managing Partner of the Wellington Management Company, the Windsor Fund's investment advisor.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 25, 1999
    From 1964 to 1995, Neff managed the large Windsor mutual fund, which consistently beat the stock market's average returns. In this wise and engaging volume, Neff and finance writer Mintz (Five Eminent Contrarians) team up to explain how Windsor did it and how smaller-scale investors might duplicate Neff's success. The result is half financial advice, half autobiography. Early chapters describe Neff's difficult family life in Texas and Michigan, his navy years and his early job in a Cleveland bank. Thereafter, Neff's investment advice alternates with year-by-year analyses of the market and of Windsor's performance. Neff and Mintz together craft clear, forceful prose, studded with personal asides: at the bank in Cleveland, "I was not inclined to play by their rules. Instead of bankers' pinstripes, I wore sport coats." Neff's core precept is simple: buy stocks that look bad to less-careful investors and hang on until their real value is recognized. This means seeking solid companies whose price/earnings ratios look low. "I've never bought a stock," he declares, "unless, in my view, it was on sale." That's not new advice, but Neff's success proves that he knows how to apply it: patience and willpower, he informs us, matter as much as (though not more than) rapt attention to business news and company reports. Bad analysis had almost sunk the Windsor fund when he arrived; Neff's first years there saw "go-go practitioners" and "adrenaline funds" temporarily surpass his returns, then collapse while Windsor persevered. Today's NASDAQ and Internet stock booms, Neff warns, looks like trends from ages past: they, too, will eventually weaken. Readers seeking up-to-the-minute stock tips or get-rich-quick advice may not like the message Neff delivers, but cooler heads seeking to make money over the long haul should enjoy, and benefit from, finding out how Neff invested very, very well.

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