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The Big Win: Learning from the Legends to Become a More Successful Investor

ISBN: 978-0-470-91610-0
227 pages
May 2012
The Big Win: Learning from the Legends to Become a More Successful Investor (0470916109) cover image
A rousing and practical look at the extremely successful investments of top investors

In his first book, The Billion Dollar Mistake, author Stephen L. Weiss showcased the biggest blunders of some of the world's legendary investors—which lost them billions of dollars on a single investment. Incredibly, the mistakes they made were the same mistakes made by everyday investors but for the magnitude of the loss.

Weiss's second book, The Big Win: Learning from the Legends to Become a More Successful Investor, highlights financial successes, explaining how the world's most successful investors make a fortune and how you can do the same. As with the missteps Weiss profiled in his first book, the strategies used by these legendary investors are available to all, regardless of size or sophistication.

  • Profiles legendary investors and highlights their investment strategies—from finding the right investment to researching to making a move
  • Probes each investor's personality and questions their investment thinking
  • Identifies and describes each investor's "big win" and why it became their most successful investment

The Big Win is a primer on successful investing the way it is really done by the people who do it for a living—passionately and with extraordinary success. The Billion Dollar Mistake told readers what not to do to get rich; The Big Win shows readers how to do it right for the payoff of their lives.

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Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Legends I Have Met: A Behind the Scenes Look at What Makes a Legend 5

Wanted: The Truly Successful and the Truly Interesting 7

Tying the Common Threads Together—The Portrait of the Perfect Investor 16

Chapter 2 Follow the Money: The Ugly Reality of Whale Watching 19

Chapter 3 The Glass Ceiling of Performance: Renée Haugerud 35

Puts and Calls and Corn 36

A Feel for Trading 39

Commodities as Mover and Shaker 42

Managing Risk 48

Renée Haugerud's Big Win: The Three-Instrument Trade 49

Chapter 4 The Boom Goes Bust: James S. Chanos 59

A Fan of the Facts 61

The Baldwin-United Short 64

Short Seller Supreme 67

Doggedly—and Successfully—Cynical 68

The China Short 70

Chapter 5 Digging Deep, Coming Up Big: Lee Ainslie 83

Nurturing a Tiger Cub 84

Apprentice to Journeyman to Master 86

Mapping Maverick 88

The Cognizant Big Win: Challenging Conventional Wisdom with Research 93

Chapter 6 small caps, BIG GAINS: Chuck Royce 109

On the Not-So-Fast Track 113

Reaping Value 118

RBA: A Classic Big Win in the Royce Style 125

Chapter 7 The Prophet of a Profitable Vision: A. Alfred Taubman 133

Native Wolverine 134

Big Wins: The Enclosed Mall and the Irvine Ranch 136

Core Competency 139

Defeating Threshold Resistance 142

The Process 146

Chapter 8 The Twenty-First Century Belongs to China—and Commodities: James Beeland Rogers Jr. 153

Easy Rider Explores the World 156

A Father's Gift 159

Bullish on China 160

The Commodities Connection 162

Chapter 9 Opportunity Is Where You Find It: R. Donahue Peebles 171

No Limitations 172

Finding the Deal 177

On the Beach 179

The Peebles Way to a Win 181

Chapter 10 Finding Value in Junk: Martin J. Whitman 193

Educational Value Added: On-the-Job Training 195

Solo 197

The More You Know . . . 200

Bringing the Carcass Back to Life 201

Conclusion: So There You Have It . . . 211

About the Author 215

Index 217

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Stephen L. Weiss is a twenty-five-year veteran of Wall Street and the Managing Partner of Short Hills Capital Partners, LLC. An active investor, markets expert, and public speaker, he is also a CNBC contributor, appearing regularly on Fast Money and Fast Money Halftime Report. Weiss is the author of The Billion Dollar Mistake: Learning the Art of Investing Through the Missteps of Legendary Investors (Wiley), which has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Korean versions.

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May 09, 2012
Steve Weiss Identifies the Most Effective Strategy of Successful Investors

In THE BIG WIN: Learning from the Legends to Become a More Successful Investor (Wiley; May 2012; $29.95; 978-0-470-91610-0; Hardcover; Ebook), Stephen L Weiss, a 26-year Wall Street veteran, CNBC Contributor and Managing Partner of Short Hills Capital Partners, LLC, explains how the world's most notable investors make a fortune and how to emulate their success. While the financial magnitude of the investments profiled is out of reach for the average investor, the strategies they employ are not. 

In his first book, The Billion Dollar Mistake, Weiss showcased the biggest blunders of some of the world's legendary investors. THE BIG WIN examines the other side of the trade, illustrating what went right for the eight investors featured and how they parlayed their personal strengths into fortunes.  For each legendary investor, he highlights their investment strategies, from finding the right investment and researching the idea, to making a move; probes their personality and investment thinking; and describes each investor's "big win" and why it became their most successful investment.

The investors come from diverse backgrounds but all were selected based on their compelling life stories, awe inspiring financial achievements, and investment philosophies that could be successfully and relatively easily assimilated by the average investor in order to achieve greater profitability:

  • Renée Haugerud: An anomaly in the testosterone-fueled hedge fund management industry, Haugerud owns Galtere Ltd, one of the largest woman-owned-and-operated funds with stellar performance generated over its 14-year life.
  • R. Donahue Peebles: The Peebles Corporation, the country’s largest African-American real estate development company, has a multibillion-dollar national portfolio.
  • Martin Whitman: The Founder of Third Avenue Value Management has been at the forefront of distressed debt investing.
  • Chuck Royce:  President and Co-chief Investment Officer of Royce & Associates, Royce is a pioneering value investor focusing on small capitalization companies.
  • Jim Rogers: A former partner of George Soros, Rogers is one of the top commodity investors in the world and has been for decades.
  • Jim Chanos: President and founder of Kynikos Associates, he is perhaps the best short seller of all time.  He believe China is in a downward spiral.
  • Lee Ainslie: His firm, Maverick Capital, realized an eightfold return worth several hundred million dollars in profit by investing in the India based company Cognizant—a technology firm that was part of his bet on the U.S. move to outsourcing.
  • Alfred Taubman: He is a multibillionaire real estate investor and inventor of the modern shopping mall.

THE BIG WIN is a primer on successful investing the way it is really done by the people who do it for a living—passionately and with extraordinary success. THE BIG WIN provides the reader with a very entertaining and potentially profitable experience. It is a must read for both the average and the experienced investor. 

 

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