Jonathan Boyar On Using Mario Gabelli’s PMV And Beyond To Fine-Tune Valuation Process

In today’s episode, I am live with Jonathan Boyar, the president of Boyar Value Group, where discuss his approach, process, and some ideas. He started his career at GAMCO investors and then joined Boyar Value Group.

Q4 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc


ValueTalks With Jonathan Boyar, President Of Boyar Value Group

Hello Listeners, today is a very special episode with Jonathan Boyar, he is the President of Boyar Research.  He started his career at GAMCO Investors and then joined Boyar.  He graduated Cornell University with a BS in Applied Economics and Business Management.  He also earned a Dean’s Merit scholarship from the Cardozo School of Law.  After Law school, he worked as a litigator at the medical malpractice defense law firm, Martin Clearwater and Bell.  In today’s episode we discuss his approach and some ideas.  I want to welcome our listeners to a very special episode and I want to welcome Jonathan to the show.

Welcome to ValueTalks with Raul.

Well, in terms of what led me into investing, you know, my father’s been in the investment business now, you know, roughly 50 years, so I grew up with it.  So it’s something that, you know, I’ve been exposed to since I was a very young kid and I was not always sure that I wanted to do it.  You know, at college I did study business and I started my career at Gabelli Asset Management, which is now GAMCO.  But took kind of a slight detour and went to law school for … and was a litigator for a few years.  While I love being a law student and studying law, which I find it fascinating, the practice of law was something that I never really liked.  And I had an opportunity to join my father in 2008, and help him with the business.  And it was the best and the worst time to join, 2008, it was just every day you needed to watch the stocks.  So I’d go down to read what was said and it was kind of trial by fire.  So it was a great learning experience because, you know, you really saw how cheap stocks could get and how irrational, you know, the market [inaudible].

And did any of your law background contribute to your investment process today?

I mean I think it really teaches you to question things, it teaches you to read and think quickly.  Do I use any of the methods or education from law on a daily basis?  No.  But I think it’s a great intellectual framework and background and I did practice corporate law, I was doing litigation.  So, someone looking to get into the asset management field, I certainly would not recommend them to take the path that I did.  If someone was curious and have the opportunity to go to law school it’s a great three years.  But you have to realize that the practice of law is actually [inaudible], not like it is on television.

And can you just tell me about your investment approach and how you characterize your investment philosophy?

Yeah.  I mean I think people like to divide the world into value and growth, so you’re a value investor or you’re a growth investor.  And I think, I really don’t like these designations, I mean I’d say if I had to be one, if I was my dad I’d say I’m a value investor.  But if anything I think we’re opportunists.  We’re just trying to buy that proverbial dollar for 50 cents.  And what we like to do is take a, what we like to call a businessman’s approach to stock market investing and look at everything through the lens of a buyer.  What would a knowledgeable buyer [inaudible] business and that’s how we really approach every single one of our investments.  And so I mean I think our approach is oriented deep fundamental research, really understanding the business, the competitive dynamics, trying our best not to get involved in macro forecasting, trying to figure out market timing etc. just, you know, what is a business worth and is it selling at a significant discount to what we perceive to be [inaudible] or a private market value, and if it is, is it you’d consider for an investment?

The private market value, where did that originate from, was that from GAMCO?

Well, I mean Mario, you know,  Mario Gabelli, I mean that’s the way he looked at everything, he’s a big fan of [inaudible] private market value.  I mean it’s something that, you know, my father’s been doing since the 70s as well.  And I think, you know, I certainly was influenced by Mario, I think he was one of the greatest investors of all time.  And, you know, his approach really, you know, actually resonated with me and was very similar to what we do here and what I kind of grew up on.

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