NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- In his great work The Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing, discussed the potential virtues of buying when others are selling, and selling when others are buying.
Graham acknowledged that this is very difficult for most investors to do. It entails going against what the rest of the investing crowd is doing, which is probably more difficult now than in Graham's era because of the up-to-the-minute information and opinions now available to investors.
To go against the crowd requires a very thick skin; it is the equivalent of having an unfavorable opinion on Facebook (FB), while other investors load up in anticipation that the stock may double from here.
To be a value investor is to be a contrarian at times -- identifying and buying stocks that are severely depressed and shunned by other investors. It meant buying stocks such as Gannett (GCI), Krispy Kreme (KKD), Denny's (DENN), Saks (SKS), Cabela's (CAB) and others when they were severely depressed, and few investors, including those on Wall Street, were interested.While those stocks recovered and richly rewarded investors from their lows, all but Cabela's was at one time priced for bankruptcy. Denny's parent actually filed for bankruptcy many years ago, and the company that emerged had its own share of difficulties.