BULL’S EYE: Schmaltz makes long-term investing sweeter

Business

BULL’S EYE: Schmaltz makes long-term investing sweeter

It’s worth advertising that some stocks really are worth buying and holding forever, as Allan Gray proved

Journalist

By every account Stephen Mildenhall was a model asset manager, the kind of guy who literally “lived the business”. At a schmooze lunch in the early 2000s, a marketing suit at Allan Gray chuckled about Mildenhall being a mild savant: at the slightest pretext over cocktails or dinner he’d be on about shares, investing in shares, finding long-term value in shares, always shares.

Mildenhall indulged this fascination in partnership with his gifted colleague, Simon Marais, and a troupe of lesser lights who ensured that the name of the founding father of the fund management company stood for everything good and right about the investment industry in SA.

Once the world had got over the ghastly shock of 9/11, investors seemed to gather up their skirts for a jolly good gallop. It was a remarkable global run, led in SA by Allan Gray. It helped that the founder himself had built his enterprise on deathless principles tested and found winning by Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett and an angels’ chorus of acolytes who sang the virtues of “deep value” investing...

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