General Investing >> Money Manager Interviews >> December 2, 2002

Wallace Weitz – Wallace R. Weitz & Co

WALLACE R. WEITZ is the President of Wallace R. Weitz & Company, an investment firm located in Omaha, Nebraska, that manages five public mutual funds and three private investment partnerships. Mr. Weitz's investment career began in 1961, at age 12, as he invested the profits from various entrepreneurial ventures. After going through a charting phase in high school, he discovered Ben Graham's Security Analysis and was converted to a value strategy. After earning a BA degree in Economics at Carleton College in 1970, Mr. Weitz spent three years in New York doing security analysis, primarily on the small companies in which G.A. Saxton made over-the-counter markets. In 1973, he joined Chiles, Heider & Co., a small, regional brokerage firm in Omaha, and spent 10 years as an analyst and portfolio manager. In 1983, Mr. Weitz started Wallace R. Weitz & Company and now heads a group of eight investment professionals that manages over $6 billion. His approach to value investing has evolved over the years. It combines Graham's price sensitivity and insistence on a 'margin of safety' with a conviction that qualitative factors that allow a company to have some control over its destiny can be more important than statistical measurements, such as historical book value or reported earnings. Mr. Weitz and his wife live in Omaha and have three children and one grandchild. He has the good fortune to be paid for pursuing his favorite hobby, investing, but he also enjoys golf, skiing, tennis, reading and working with charitable and educational foundations. Profile
TWST: Could you give us a brief overview of your firm and your

investment philosophy?

Mr. Weitz: The firm was started in 1983 and now manages about $6

billion, mostly through five public