"My wife and I have been very pleased with his performance," said John Allan, president of Chase Associates, a stainless steel door manufacturer in Edgecomb, Maine, who says he has invested with Tonge for three years.
"He manages about 15 people's money here and nobody has been complaining," said Dr. David Staples, partner at the Garrison Family Dental practice in Dover, N.H. Tonge has managed money for him for more than a decade, Staples said.
Not singing Pandora's senseless upside
What really makes Tonge a national investing treasure is his city-slicker-be-damned, Yankee common sense when it comes to new age tickers such as Pandora. On one hand, he's a bull's bull on Pandora the stock; but on the other, he's got the backbone to not pander to the nonsense that passes for Wall Street fundamental analysis on Pandora the company.
"All these big fundamental analysts like to believe that the market is efficient," he said. "But the market is not even remotely efficient. The fundamentals of the company have a place, but the only fundamental that matters is people are buying this stock."This integrity gives Tonge the guts to admit openly that Pandora's 72 million listeners may not actually correlate to profits for the company. He agrees that deep limits exist in both ad revenue and in sales for the company's paid offerings. And he fully understands the risk Pandora is running with its current dangerous royalty battle with musical artists. "All I care about is that the buyers are in charge. When that changes and the sellers take over, I will step out of the way and sell," he said. "But until then I bought Pandora at $9 and I just want to thank Goldman for piling in at $18 with a $27 price target. I have no plans to sell." When I asked Tonge what is it about mainstream Wall Street these days where its get taken in Information Age logic that is often anything but logical, he could not answer fast enough. "All the hedge fund people get sucked into making the money," he said. "There is not a fund operator I've met that has even met one of their clients. I visit their homes." "I am the odd person out here," he said. "I am interested in my customers."