A Weekend in Omaha 2016

"When the short-term downturn reverses, there is a long runway of opportunity

Bob Robotti on why a value investor’s conviction is bound to be tested time and again in the market

Published 7 years ago on Jun 27, 2016 15 minutes Read
Photographs by N Mahalakshmi

For Robert Robotti, a dyed-in-the-wool value investor, small is big and worse is better. Robotti believes that investing success is a function of three things — information edge, analytical edge and behavioural edge. He fishes in the ocean of small-cap stocks, betting on companies that are beaten out of shape by the downturn. What sets him apart is his emotional fortitude that lets him hold on even after a stock has lost substantially. The more the things get worse, the more they will swing on to the other side, believes Robotti, who is always willing to wait it out. Before coming to Wall Street, Robotti was in public accounting. He set up his firm Robotti & Company in 1983. Before that, he was the vice president and shareholder of Gabelli & Company, Inc. In a free-wheeling conversation at the Hilton Omaha, Robotti talks about his investment philosophy even as the weather outside looks gloomy. “If the weather is bad outside, it’s good, we can focus singularly on what’s inside,” Robotti remarks, driving home a very important lesson for investors everywhere.