Mario Gabelli on Following Leaders Bill Ackman and John Malone

By on August 12, 2012

For those who don’t have the time or inclination for engaging in the analysis of individual securities, investors have the option to follow or anticipate leading investor’s moves. Mario Gabelli, chairman and chief executive officer of Gamco Investors, was on Bloomberg T.V.’s “Market Makers” providing his thoughts on the dynamics of this investment process.

Gabelli initially discussed the idea of investing in J. C. Penney Company (JCP) based on renowned hedge fund manager Bill Ackman’s move into the stock. Gabelli said he was actually buying some JCP since the market had probably over-discounted some of the negative news emanating from the company.

Gabelli said they keep a list of names which they follow. However, he added they don’t buy everything these investors are buying.

Interviewer Erik Schatzker asked Gabelli how he decides which leading investors to follow. Gabelli said he looks at industry fundamentals, and quipped that it didn’t matter how good you knew the steel industry, over 30 years you didn’t make any money. He also mentioned the media area; an industry his firm specializes in.

Schatzker questioned Gabelli about his interest in Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoumh. From there Gabelli transitioned into a discussion of John Malone “a three dimensional chess player,” Carl Icahn, and how he tries to figure out where they’re putting their money.

The interview (available below) continued with Gabelli discussing his interest in fracking and reducing our need for outside energy and his investments in National Fuel Gas (NFG) and Robbins & Myers (RBN).

Earlier this year Gabelli said he was focusing on dividend paying stocks which has worked out so far [link].

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