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I Wonder if Carl Reads Bogle and Bernstein
Old 06-08-2008, 11:16 PM   #1
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I Wonder if Carl Reads Bogle and Bernstein

Icahn, 72, has used a combination of guile, gall, grit and gamesmanship to get his way more often than not since he began tormenting vulnerable companies 30 years ago. The conquests helped Icahn build an estimated fortune of $14 billion after starting out on Wall Street with a $4,000 bankroll from his winnings playing poker.

Icahn's big bet on Yahoo hinges on Microsoft sale: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

Ha
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:03 PM   #2
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I Wonder if Carl Reads Bogle and Bernstein
Nice try, but what's your point?

In any population, there will be those who are able to succeed in investing(life, sex, work, etc) far and above their 'average' peers. There are also those who are spectacular failures. This much is predicted by raw statistics alone.

The question is not "If you believe in Bogle, how do you explain Icahn?" but rather "Why aren't there more Icahns?".
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:35 PM   #3
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There are plenty of Ichans and many more lesser accomplished, but also fantastically wealthy, investors. Whether they number great enough to be more than statistical chance I can't say. What I can say is that even in games of skill, not everyone can be Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods. And as long as the iron law holds that investors as a group can earn no better then market returns, less expenses, the vast majority of us are better off indexing and letting the top 10% of investing superstars keep the market efficient for the rest of us.
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by innova View Post
The question is not "If you believe in Bogle, how do you explain Icahn?" but rather "Why aren't there more Icahns?".
That is how you see it. I see it differently.

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Old 06-10-2008, 12:44 PM   #5
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People like Icahn and Buffet are not investors the way most on this board (or for that matter 99% of people) are. They are actively involved in the workings of the companies they invest in. They really should be compared to entrepreneurs rather than the typical investor in public companies.
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:46 PM   #6
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BTW, it's also worth noting that for every investing genius in the market, there is at least one other person who is getting their face ripped off by said genius.

Good luck to all you part-time investors.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:01 PM   #7
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BTW, it's also worth noting that for every investing genius in the market, there is at least one other person who is getting their face ripped off by said genius.
I don't see how this follows, as many of Icahn's successes were when he took a long position, made or forced corporate restructuring, and was taken out at a higher price.

Who lost? The worst anyone did was to fail to see the value that he made manifest. They voluntarily sold to him, so they lost whatever upside he created. But since they were not short, they didn't lose, they just missed on a gain.

People who hung around, or even followed his trail, gained a lot.

I can never understand why some people take so much pleasure is asserting what "Can't be done."

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Old 06-10-2008, 05:09 PM   #8
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I don't see how this follows, as many of Icahn's successes were when he took a long position, made or forced corporate restructuring, and was taken out at a higher price.
But the benchmark isn't a zero percent return . . . its the market return. Who ever sold to Icahn, Buffett, Steve Cohen, etc. etc. lost relative to the market.

You can't have outperforming investors without underperformers, that is just the law of averages. And unless you have some kind of edge, or extraordinary luck, you're more likely to fall in the later category then the former.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:14 PM   #9
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You can't have outperforming investors without underperformers, that is just the law of averages. And unless you have some kind of edge, or extraordinary luck, you're more likely to fall in the later category then the former.
Ok; thanks!

Ha
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