Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Core Value Investing: Professor George Athanassakos

The Richard Ivey School of Business offers an incredible experience to its business students. The teachers, curriculum and alumni are outstanding. Notwithstanding the excellent reputation of the school, one of the "hidden assets" at Ivey is the availability of an amazing Value Investing course offered by Prof. George Athanassakos.

Prior to applying to Ivey, I found out about the unique, one of a kind value investing course offered by Prof. Athanassakos. In fact, it was amongst my top reasons for applying to the school. The opportunity to thoroughly learn a "pure" value investing methodology based on tangible theory and research was irresistible to me. Unfortunately I had to wait almost the complete year before taking the course. Maybe that was a good thing, as it kept me in the program.

Learning a complete value investing methodology based on sound financial theory and backed up with practical evidence is incredibly rare! Which of the active value investors will show you their methodology, fully exposed, open to review without actually working for them? Even if you work for a value investing shop, you may not learn all the nuances of the approach for quite some time.

The value investing course at Ivey exceeded my expectations. I found the entire Ivey MBA experience life changing and the value investing course and the trip to meet Warren Buffet in Omaha, the highlights of an incredible year. As part of the course, we also had video conferences with Walter Schloss and Bob Tattersall.

Prof. Athanassakos is the chair of the Ben Graham Centre for Value Investing. The site holds a wealth of information accessible for free, including interviews of famous value investors, notes from Prof. Athanassakos on various topics, research, student projects and other valuable resources.

Saj Karsan and I were so enthusiastic about applying Prof. Athanassakos' value investing methodology in practice that we back tested it for 3 months straight right after finishing the MBA. The methodology worked great! You can see the results of our back test here.

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