Financial History 139 (Fall 2021) - Page 30

Edwin and Walter Schloss .
Courtesy of Edwin Schloss
Going out on Top
Shortly after the peak of the dot-com bubble in 2000 , Walter Schloss recalled , “ When Edwin said to me in 2001 that he couldn ’ t find any cheap stocks — and that was a great call — it was a great excuse for us to quit . I have a list of stocks that could be on our buy list and I find that invariably when it gets down to less than five stocks the market ’ s too high and when it gets down to two or three it ’ s a danger signal .” They liquidated the fund over the next two years , realizing additional gains of 11.6 % and 5.7 % during the bear market .
NYSSA Honors Walter Schloss ( 2006 )
In 2006 , on the occasion of Schloss ’ s 90th birthday , the Value Investing Committee of the New York Society of Security Analysts
( now known as the CFA Society NY ) paid homage to him with a dinner at the Harvard Club . More than 100 of his friends and partners attended . Carol Loomis , editor-atlarge at Fortune , moderated the discussion .
Some of his longtime friends and business associates gave tributes . “ Walter ’ s goal is the right one for a value investor : go your own way ,” stated Paul J . Isaac , Walter ’ s nephew . “ Don ’ t chase or envy other investors … Enjoy life while it ’ s occurring . Value invest to enrich your life , and don ’ t subordinate your life to your portfolio … Having held to [ these principles ] is the reason Walter may not be the richest man in the illustrious professional circles in which he travels , but by any objective analysis , he ’ s always among the most successful .”
David Gottesman , senior managing director of First Manhattan Co ., noted ,
“ One of the qualities that has made Walter a very successful man is his optimism , and if you buy deep value and combine that with optimism , I think you have a winning combination .”
Buffett affectionately called Schloss “ Big Walter .” He described him as “ one of the good guys of Wall Street , my long-time friend … [ who ] managed a remarkably successful investment partnership , from which he took not a dime unless his partners made money .” Buffett notes admiringly that “ Walter did not go to business school , or for that matter , college . His office contained one file cabinet in 1956 : the number mushroomed to four by 2002 . Walter worked without a secretary , clerk or bookkeeper , his only associate being his son , Edwin .”
28 FINANCIAL HISTORY | Fall 2021 | www . MoAF . org