About The Book
“Perhaps the most sophisticated writer is Third Avenue’s Martin Whitman…Whitman has taken the time and energy to treat shareholders like what they are: owners of [the] investment. He works for the shareholders, and in this capacity, he gives them the respect they deserve.” MORNINGSTAR April 1996
The book’s first section, “The Roots”, includes Martin J. Whitman’s proxy solicitation to the shareholders of the Equity Strategies Fund (EQSF) written in 1984. Marty and his colleagues at M.J. Whitman effected a takeover of EQSF, a closed-end registered investment company. We included the letter of solicitation for the proxy vote and a section from the proxy statement which outlined the investment philosophy that would be the foundation for Marty’s future investments. In 1990, EQSF was closed to new investors and a successor fund, the Third Avenue Value Fund, was launched.
Marty was the portfolio manager for the Third Avenue Value Fund for the next 22 years and wrote some of the industry’s most lauded shareholder letters. He continued to write the Chairman’s Letter after his retirement as Portfolio Manager of the Fund in 2012. Since that time, Marty has managed his family’s money in the Whitman High Conviction Fund, a private investment Fund that adheres to the strict value discipline outlined in this book.
MARTIN J. WHITMAN is the Founder of Third Avenue Management LLC. He was portfolio manager of the Third Avenue Value Fund for over twenty years and has written extensively on value investing and security analysis. Mr. Whitman taught courses in value investing for over thirty years at both Syracuse University and Yale University. Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management is named in his honor.