Monday, August 23, 2010


I have been asked by several people why I setup this website after all these years. The answer is quite simple. My reputation has been tarnished by my exclusion from the history of what is now known as AllianceBernstein. It looks as if it was further tarnished by what seems to be indirect innuendo expressed by Lewis Sanders, in the eulogy he delivered at Bernstein’s funeral.
Not much goes with you when life is over, but who you were and what you represented, namely the realities of your life, should be honest. Stay Tuned..

Friday, August 20, 2010


At Sanford Bernstein’s eulogy, Lewis Sanders seemed to have a lot of hubris and ego as he recited from a memo he claims to have written to Bernstein in 1971. He stated that his memo said “the firm was basically an embarrassment, that it was largely populated by people who were either intellectually impaired, highly neurotic or both…Moreover, the environment was hostile, volatile and not conductive to personal growth, except as training in psychiatric medicine.”
To be very frank and perfectly honest, looking back at the early history of Bernstein there really was only one main crazy, neurotic, hostile and volatile person. And yes, though smart, that person was totally off the wall. At this point I choose to not name this person directly. Since Lew Sanders worked under me as I was President of the company, I have to wonder who he was referring to in his eulogy. Stay Tuned...


While working on my website I came upon an article which referred to Lewis Sanders as a “legendary” investor. I thought about these words for a while then decided if there was anything legendary about Sanders as an investor; it certainly did not seem to me to be client performance. (If the writers or anyone else who refer to him as legendary, based on what I presume to be his performance record, would be kind enough to enlighten me as to how they have applied the term legendary, I would be more than happy to correct my views accordingly).
His approach to money management seemed typical. The equities looked to have been generally invested into about 50 to 75 stocks pretty much equally weighted, with some being a little more and some being a little less. There seems to be some sector pluses and minuses. This is the method that many equity money managers employ. Performance credit looks to be ascribed for what seems to be primarily based upon the performance of the overall market. Seemingly the marketing assertion was that a tweaked dividend discount model and thick research reports were being used to determine investment selections. The black book research, created in 1968 according to the Alliance Bernstein timeline[1], probably did not account for a huge percentage of the stocks being selected. (It would be great to see this tabulated.) The company’s website stated that the “brain trust” was out to build sell side research.[2] In that timeline there appears to be no mention that they were out to build money management research. I wonder why.
Mr. Sanders is obviously aware of the concept of R-square in which the likelihood of about 70 stocks in a diversified portfolio performing in line with the market is in excess of 90%. It seems Mr. Sanders simply found a way of investing the client’s money in a typically diversified manner overlaying the concept of a sophisticated model and lengthy research when the reality appears to me to be much more simplistic.
Personally I can find little reason to attach the adjective “legendary” to Mr. Sander’s public investment record and wonder why writers would make such a claim. I am completely open to any comments or feedback on this issue. In a coming release we will discuss this investment record with some attempt to clarify Mr. Sander's claim of a forty year track record.[3]As I recall, during the 1968 thru 1980 time period Mr. Sanders had little to do with the Bernstein money management other than an early attempt to build a research department. We will also review about twenty other years of performance records that Mr. Sanders is credited with and see what they indicate. Stay Tuned…

Thursday, August 5, 2010

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