Introduction

For over 30 years, Marty Whitman has written comprehensive shareholder letters that provided readers with thorough lessons in his investment philosophy, security analysis and value investing. The collection of excerpts from letters in this book comprise the “best of” Marty’s writings organized thematically to give readers an opportunity to dive into specific topics of interest.

The book’s first section, “The Roots”, includes Marty’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.

We hope you enjoy reading these excerpts compiled from the past 30 years and find them as insightful and witty as we do.

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