I really like your openness and adaptiveness in investing. I know some but not all those big names you mentioned. But I guess they are creative value investors as well. I've always thought value investing sounds simple but is hard to practice. Compared to those big names, it is people like you on Yahoo msg board that give me more live examples to learn and follow, and of course making money. :-)
Traditionally, I like to buy undervalued micro-cap stocks selling for 60% or less of their tangible book value, with relatively low debt, as a starting point. (So the highly leveraged media company thing was very unusual for me.) In normalized markets, a 1-2 year holding period seems like the norm. The market of the last 18 months or so has brought about some different strategies I don't normally employ....like buying stocks that were down 95-99%, because I established a high enough level of assurance in my mind that they were pretty likely NOT going bankrupt, and hence any kind of bounce would represent a "multi-bagger." These are NOT situations you find in a "regular" stock market.
My shorts are few and far between. I usually have no more than one or two short positions open at any one time, representing a very small percentage of my portolio. I would, however, not be surprised to see shorts increase, as a percent of my portfolio, going forward, at least somewhat.
I don't mess around with bonds, mainly because I like to focus on equities, and have almost no experience in bonds. However, as I become larger, as an investor, getting involved with "distressed debt" situations might be more of a possibility for me.
I haven't read a ton of investing books, so it's hard to advise there. As investors or funds, I have a lot of respect for the investing styles of, besides Graham & Dodd, of course.... Bridgeway, Royce, the late Al Frank, Tweedy Browne, John Neff, the Heartland Value people, Mario Gabelli, David Dreman, Jean-Marie Eveillard, among others I can't think of right now. Of more modern "value investors," I find my style coincides often with the Lloyd Millers and Bryant Rileys of the world.
Not sure you should be giving me "credit" for such a short term move in CMLS vs. ROIAK. You asked a question that related to fundamental value, and I answered it. I would have expected that value disparity to narrow over a longer period of time (especially since CMLS has already run up more than ROIAK, over the last several months)....but it just so happens that since I posted, in the very short term, CMLS outperformed ROIAK. I really don't take any particular credit for that. I'm still a "long term fundamental value" kind of guy, not a short-termer, so I don't want to create any misimpressions. Although I do, and I have, more recently done more of, short term kind of trades....most dramatically with stocks like CPWM and LEE of late.
Overwhelmed, frankly, by all of this. It's been one hell of a ride, and I'm just happy that others have, hopefully, been able to follow the LOGIC of many of these successful trades, and choose, using their own brains, to see what I saw.
As for a blog or anything, I'm just too lazy right now....and I'm not sure it does me any good personally. I think I want those who want to "follow" what I am up to to have to at least do some work to keep track of me. And I think I'd like to continue to "go below the radar screens"....for now, anyway. Although I've, admittedly, remotedly toyed with the idea of starting up a mutual, or hedge, fund. (This is not a solicitation, which is only done by prospectus. LOL)
Soon, this era of "spectacular opportunity" will be increasingly closing, and I suspect I'll be back to pretax annualized gains more on the order of 20-30%, say, in 2011, rather than the absolutely insane "outsized" returns of the last year or so.
With all these fans appreciating your posts, have you considered setting up a mailing list (e.g. on Yahoo groups) or a blog so that we can all follow you and discuss value investing?
Thanks (one more here. :-)