John Neff on Investing with S.L. Mintz Book Review

Used book stores are like Candyland for me. There is a particular store in Dublin, California that I always stop at on my way from here to there and I never leave it empty handed. One day I found this book "John Neff on Investing" in the financial section of the bookstore and was curious enough to buy it and take it with me.


Have you ever heard of John Neff? I sure had not heard of him. Someone went to the trouble to write a book about his investing philosophy so I decided to give it a read. Guess what I found? John Neff was a contrarian investor who focused mainly on investing in low Price / Earnings ratio companies.

Here is a quote from Publishers Weekly about John Neff's investment success while running the Windsor mutual fund:

"From 1964 to 1995, Neff managed the large Windsor mutual fund, which consistently beat the stock market's average returns. In this wise and engaging volume, Neff and finance writer Mintz (Five Eminent Contrarians) team up to explain how Windsor did it and how smaller-scale investors might duplicate Neff's success. The result is half financial advice, half autobiography.

[SIC] Neff's core precept is simple: buy stocks that look bad to less-careful investors and hang on until their real value is recognized. This means seeking solid companies whose price/earnings ratios look low."

Buying low price to earnings ratio alone will not get the job done. What you buy has to ACTUALLY be cheap, not an expensive stock masquerading as a cheap one. "I've never bought a stock," Neff declares, "unless, in my view, it was on sale."

This great book about yet another contrarian investor is a great one to add to your collection.

About the Author

Jeremy Scott Bailey is an investor, author, entrepreneur and host of the "What Works In Investing?" podcast now available on iTunes. He is founder and Chief Investment Officer of Burgeón Group, Inc. an investment advisory firm that provides portfolio management services to families and individuals.

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