Arnold Van Den Berg: Money Manager Guest InterviewVW Staff
Money Manager guest interview with Arnold Van Den Berg.
Arnold, please tell us about how you got started in the money management business.
I began my investment career in 1968 at John Hancock Insurance and later moved to Capital Securities as I wanted to help clients save for their retirement. The year 1968 also happened to be the peak of the stock market. While the market experienced a bear market rally in 1970, its general trend during my first six years in the business was down, finally hitting bottom in 1974. This was the worst decline since the Great Depression, and as you can imagine, the mutual funds in which I had invested my clients’ money had also gone down dramatically. It was a very painful time for me and it caused me to rethink my investment strategy.
I began to study many investment philosophies to try and gain a better understanding of why so many managers went down so much for so long. What I discovered was that value managers, such as Benjamin Graham and particularly his disciples, both protected their clients’ capital better and provided more consistent investment results than managers using other investment strategies. In addition, value investing resonated with me on a personal level as it was, and still is, consistent with how I live my personal life. So in 1974, at the bottom of the market, having finally found an investment philosophy I could believe in, I decided to start Century Management. At that time, I figured I was either going to make a lot of money or it was going to be the end of the world.
Please describe how Century Management has grown over the years and tell me a little about your staff.
Today, Century Management has 42 employees and roughly $2 billion in assets under management. My son Scott, who has been with the firm for 20 years, is the company president and chief operating officer, and my son-?in-?law, Jim Brilliant, who has been with the firm for 26 years, is our co-?chief investment officer and chief financial officer.
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