1. Greatest Investors: Introduction
  2. The Greatest Investors: John (Jack) Bogle
  3. The Greatest Investors: Warren Buffett
  4. The Greatest Investors: David Einhorn
  5. The Greatest Investors: Stanley Druckenmiller
  6. The Greatest Investors: David Dreman
  7. The Greatest Investors: Philip Fisher
  8. The Greatest Investors: Benjamin Graham
  9. The Greatest Investors: William H. Gross
  10. The Greatest Investors: Carl Icahn
  11. The Greatest Investors: Jesse L. Livermore
  12. The Greatest Investors: Peter Lynch
  13. The Greatest Investors: Bill Miller
  14. The Greatest Investors: John Neff
  15. The Greatest Investors: William J. O'Neil
  16. The Greatest Investors: Julian Robertson
  17. The Greatest Investors: Thomas Rowe Price, Jr.
  18. The Greatest Investors: James D. Slater
  19. The Greatest Investors: George Soros
  20. The Greatest Investors: Michael Steinhardt
  21. The Greatest Investors: John Templeton
  22. The Greatest Investors: Ralph Wanger

Born: March 13, 1929 (Cheshire, U.K.)

Died: November 18 2015

Key Positions: Leyland Motor Corporation

Slater Walker Securities

BioProjects International PLC

Galahad Gold PLC

Personal History:
Known by his pen name “The Capitalist,” James D. (Jim) Slater wrote regular columns in London’s The Sunday Telegraph. In this column, Slater made public his own personal stock investment strategy, welcoming a wide audience of non-investors into the world of investing. Slater was also credited with having invented the price-earnings to earnings-growth ratio (PEG), which he popularized through his column and, in the United States, in his book “The Zulu Principle” (1992). (To learn more, read Move Over P/E, Make Way For The PEG and How The PEG Ratio Can Help Investors.)

Early in his career, Slater was a chartered accountant and then a corporate manager. He held these positions from 1953 through 1963 at a number of U.K. manufacturing companies, the last of which was Leyland Motor Corporation. In 1964, Slater partnered with Peter Walker to found an investment company called Slater Walker Securities. It was with this firm that Slater became famous in the U.K. for aggressive corporate takeovers. By 1969, Slater Walker was a significant financial conglomerate, and the firm evolved into an investment bank.

Slater saw his company end abruptly due to the 1973-74 recession in the U.K. This bankrupted Slater personally as well. Nonetheless, he managed to fight his way back into the upper echelons of the investment world by means of private investing and with his financial writings. His investment advisory service “Company REFS” helped to establish him as an investment guru in the U.K.

Slater authored a number of books and publications, including a number of children’s books. By the year 2009, Slater had established himself as chairman of BioProjects International PLC, as well as deputy chairman of Galahad Gold PLC, and investment director at Agrifirma.

Investment Philosophy:
Slater laid out his thoughts on investment strategy in his weekly column and in a number of books. He tended to favor small growth companies that he saw as being undervalued by the market. In order to seek out these stocks, Slater looked to the PEG ratio, which combines growth and value investing by comparing a company’s price-earnings ratio against its expected earnings per share growth rate.

For Slater, a stock with a P/E ratio was not expensive so long as it had a high earnings growth.

Slater also popularized the technique known as “asset stripping,” referring to the acquisition and subsequent disposal of company assets, a practice that many viewed as unnecessarily or overly harsh in terms of costs to company employees.

Noteworthy Publications:

  • "Investment Made Easy" by Jim Slater (1995)
  • "The Zulu Principle: Making Extraordinary Profits from Ordinary Shares" by Jim Slater (1992)
  • "Beyond The Zulu Principle: Extraordinary Profits From Growth Shares" by Jim Slater (2000)
  • "How To Become A Millionaire" by Jim Slater (2000)
  • "Make Money While You Sleep" by Jim Slater (2002)

Quotes:

"Most leading brokers cannot spare the time and money to research smaller stocks. You are therefore more likely to find a bargain in this relatively under-exploited area of the stock market."

Highlighting what Slater thought was the inherent greater potential for the growth of smaller companies, he said, "I once compared a very large company with an elephant by making the comment that elephants don't gallop."

"You get out of an investment what you put into it, so the first decision you have to make is how much time you are prepared to devote to the initial task of acquiring a basic knowledge of investment.


The Greatest Investors: George Soros
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