Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Of The Greatest Investors You've Never Heard Of

Joseph Rosenberg, a friend of Warren Buffett, turned $11 million into $1 billion.

You've probably never heard of Joe Rosenfield, but trust me: You can learn a lot from him. Rosenfield is renowned among a small circle of elite money managers--including Warren Buffett, who has been one of his closest friends since the 1960s. How does Buffett sum up this master investor? "Joe," says Buffett, "is a triumph of rationality over convention." By ignoring the conventional wisdom about investing, Rosenfield has made money grow faster and longer than almost anyone else alive. Since 1968, he's turned $11 million into more than $1 billion. He has heaped up those gains not with hundreds of rapid-fire trades but by buying and holding--often for decades. In 30 years, he's made fewer than a half-dozen major investments and has sold even more rarely. "If you like a stock," says Rosenfield, "you've got to be prepared to hold it and do nothing."

Rosenfield can still recall the first stocks he bought for his own account--right after the crash of 1929. "In the early days I was doing too much short-term investing," he says. "I'd buy and sell stocks in 30, 60, 90 days: Studebaker, Dodge, Nash Motors. I thought I could make real money doing that, but I was wrong. I didn't go broke, but I got badly bent. Buying for a short period is always going to hurt you in the end."

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