Investors looking for stock ideas may want to tune into the Value Investing Congress, an investor event held twice a year, that is fast becoming a must attend event for the value investing crowd.
IN PICTURES: How To Make Your First $1 Million

About the Event
The Value Investing Congress is held twice a year - in New York City in October, and in May in Pasadena, California - and as the event has started to garner publicity, the speaker list is attracting more and more heavyweights. Whitney Tilson, who runs a shop called T2 Partners, started the event several years back.

The California event is held in conjunction with the Wesco Financial (NYSE:WSC) annual investor meeting. Legendary value investor Charlie Munger runs Wesco Financial, which is also 80% owned by Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A).

However, it's not cheap to attend, at more than $2,000, but there are plenty of notes floating around on different blogs, and investors can download the presentations as well.

One of this year's speakers was Bill Ackman, the founder of Pershing Square Capital Management LP. Ackman is long the Corrections Corp. of America (NYSE:CXW). This company owns correctional and detention facilities in the U.S., and manages these properties for the government.

Ackman bases his investment thesis on the limited supply of new prisons being built, coupled with strong growth in prison populations. This supply demand imbalance should give a strong growth wind to the business. Ackman now has a position just under 10% of the stock. The stock does have a forward price to earnings ratio of around 18, so valuation is not all that cheap, and it is up 150% off its bottom back in March, 2009.

Whitney Tilson discussed his (still) bearish view on housing and believes a second wave of losses is coming, including prime, sub prime and home equity loans. He feels a short position in housing using the Dow Jones US Home Construction iShares (NYSE:ITB) is a good bet.

One interesting thing about the Value Investing Congress is that many of the speakers pushed gold as an investment. Since investing in gold has now become the consensus thinking in the market, it doesn't seem to flow with the typical contrarian streak that runs within a true value investor.

David Einhorn was one who appeared at the Value Investing Congress to talk up gold as an investment. Einhorn runs Greenlight Capital, another hedge fund. Einhorn has liked gold for quite some time, but no longer uses the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE:GLD). He instead owns the physical asset, and believes that as long as our government's "monetary and fiscal policies are poor," the investment should do well.

The Bottom Line
Good investment ideas can come from many different places, and the twice-yearly Value Investing Congress is a fertile place for them, with the proviso that investors should do their own research and not blindly follow what others are doing. (Learn more about the tenets of value investing in our article: The Value Investor's Handbook.)

Use the Investopedia Stock Simulator to trade the stocks mentioned in this stock analysis, risk free!

Related Articles
  1. Chart Advisor

    Now Could Be The Time To Buy IPOs

    There has been lots of hype around the IPO market lately. We'll take a look at whether now is the time to buy.
  2. Stock Analysis

    Allstate: How Being Boring Earns it Billions (ALL)

    A summary of what Allstate Insurance sells and whom it sells it to including recent mergers and acquisitions that have helped boost its bottom line.
  3. Chart Advisor

    Copper Continues Its Descent

    Copper prices have been under pressure lately and based on these charts it doesn't seem that it will reverse any time soon.
  4. Options & Futures

    Cyclical Versus Non-Cyclical Stocks

    Investing during an economic downturn simply means changing your focus. Discover the benefits of defensive stocks.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Buying Vanguard Mutual Funds Vs. ETFs

    Learn about the differences between Vanguard's mutual fund and ETF products, and discover which may be more appropriate for investors.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETFs Vs. Mutual Funds: Choosing For Your Retirement

    Learn about the difference between using mutual funds versus ETFs for retirement, including which investment strategies and goals are best served by each.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    How to Reinvest Dividends from ETFs

    Learn about reinvesting ETF dividends, including the benefits and drawbacks of dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs) and manual reinvestment.
  8. Investing Basics

    How to Deduct Your Stock Losses

    Held onto a stock for too long? Selling at a loss is never ideal, but it is possible to minimize the damage. Here's how.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Best 3 Vanguard Funds that Track the Top 500 Companies

    Discover the three Vanguard funds tracking the S&P 500 Index, and learn about the characteristics and historical statistics of these funds.
  10. Forex Fundamentals

    How to Buy Chinese Yuan

    Discover the different options that are available to investors who want to obtain exposure to the Chinese yuan, including ETFs and ETNs.
  1. Should mutual funds be subject to more regulation?

    Mutual funds, when compared to other types of pooled investments such as hedge funds, have very strict regulations. In fact, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do ETFs pay capital gains?

    Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) can generate capital gains that are transferred to shareholders, typically once a year, triggering ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do real estate hedge funds work?

    A hedge fund is a type of investment vehicle and business structure that aggregates capital from multiple investors and invests ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Are Vanguard ETFs commission-free?

    While some Vanguard exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are available commission-free from third-party brokers, a large portion ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Do Vanguard ETFs require a minimum investment?

    Vanguard completely waives any U.S. dollar minimum amounts to buy its exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and the minimum ETF investment ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Can mutual fund expense ratios be negative?

    Mutual fund expense ratios cannot be negative. An expense ratio is the sum total of all fees charged by an asset management ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center