If you're a regular and longtime reader of Controlled Greed, you're familiar with Tim McElvaine. His a value manager based in British Columbia, Canada, and he worked for Peter Cundill for more than 10 years.
McElvaine sometimes takes a while to post his fund reports and letters to investors on his website. But I noticed the other day some new stuff has been posted -- which make for some great reading. I bring to your attention the three items posted at the top (for the year 2008) and the 2007 annual report posted below that.
Like every other value investor, McElvaine has had a rough year so far. In fact, he freely admits to having had a rough 12 months.
He runs two investment vehicles -- The McElvaine Investment Trust and The McElvaine Limited Partnership. The L.P. used to be a Cundill private partnership he's taken over and is in the process of folding into the Trust (which he laments is taking longer than anticipated due to regulatory authorities and red tape). That has nothing to do with his results, I'm just setting the table to let you know what his firm does. Like Francis Chou, McElvaine's offerings are only available to Canadian residents.
McElvaine eats his own cooking. And by gargantuan mouthfuls, at that.
His personal investments in his Trust, L.P. and stocks held in those account for 98.2% of his personal investments. And if other family holdings, such as a trust set up for his six children, are included, it would be even more.
Like I said, McElvaine used to work for Cundill, and that's when I first heard of him back in the early 1990s. Over the years, from what I can tell, Cundill funds tend to invest in up to 30 names. Read over McElvaine's reports and you'll see he runs a much more focused portfolio, with the top 6 or 7 holdings accounting for virtually the entire portfolio value. This probably causes more volatility. But, hey, the guy's riding with you, after all. Be sure to look at Appendix B in the annual report. He includes the letter from the package he mails out to potential partners. I love item five: "In the words of Sonny & Cher, 'you got me babe.'"
Which brings up something else you'll appreciate. The fact that you can tell he doesn't take himself too seriously. (And, no, this is a recent trend. I've been reading this guy a while and he's the same when his returns are shooting through the roof.) Humility is a trait of great value investors, and McElvaine continues that tradition.
Finally, on the subject of great value investors, McElvaine recently visited Peter Cundill in London, England. And he posts his "Thank You, Peter Cundill" letter on his site at the top of the list of reports. It's actually written to McElvaine's partners, and gives insight into Cundill the man as well as expressing appreciative words for his former boss and mentor. Great stuff.