I met Simon Caufield at the 2011 CFA Institute (CFAI) Annual Conference in Edinburgh. The CFAI was experimenting with a social media app for the conference and asked Annual Conference Advisory Board members to “seed” discussions on the app. My interest is in value investing so naturally I asked attendees if any were dedicated value investors and would they be interested in meeting over a meal. It turned out there was a collection of value-investing Brits who were attending who met regularly and they invited me to their dinner. It was there that I met Simon, with whom I discovered I shared many similar notions about investing
I also discovered that among the ten or so dinner attendees, there were about seven or eight opinions on just about every investing process and idea. Paradoxically, the difference of opinions left me feeling optimistic about value investors and value investing because more than anything it is groupthink that creates outsized risk. Buffett famously demonstrated that there was very little overlap in the “Superinvestors” investing ideas or processes. The one thing they had in common was a Graham-Dodd philosophy.