We are pleased to share our interview with Dr. Kenneth Shubin Stein, CFA, founder of Spencer Capital Management. Shubin Stein is an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School and a frequent speaker on value investing topics.

Dr. Ken Shubin Stein is the Founder, CEO and Chairman of Spencer Capital Holdings, Ltd. He is a graduate of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he completed a 5-year medical and research program with a focus on molecular genetics. He graduated with a B.A. degree from Columbia College with dual concentrations in Premedical Studies and Political Science. He holds the CFA designation and is an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business where he teaches the Advanced Investment Research course. Ken is also the Co-Founder and Chairman of Crutches 4 Kids, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing crutches and other mobility devices to children in need around the world.

MOI Global: You are a somewhat rare breed of value investor, with an advanced degree in the scientific field, namely medicine. How did you become interested in Buffett-style investing and at what point did you choose investment management over an alternative career in the medical field?

Ken Shubin Stein: I became interested in Buffett-style investing at a pretty early age because I was fortunate enough to learn about Berkshire Hathaway while I was still in junior high school. After learning about Buffett’s success, I started studying Berkshire and tried to reverse engineer the company and how it had become so successful with such a long track record of good investing decisions. As I continued my education and went through high school, college, and medical school, and part of residency, I always stayed very involved with investing. Since the end of junior high school, I’ve been managing my parents’ retirement accounts and money for people in my family, so I’ve had a dual education and sort of career path of investing and medicine and science.

…medical school and science are great places to learn about critical thinking, how to frame research questions and to look for flaws in research methodologies.

Although I love both and have a passion for the medical field as well as for investing, I ultimately had to choose and obviously picked investing. Right around the time I was 30 or 31, I made the final switch. There was some overlap in my 20s because, like I said, I had a passion for both. The benefit that having medical training has given me is medical school and science are great places to learn about critical thinking, how to frame research questions and to look for flaws in research methodologies. All this is very helpful and plays into learning how to research a situation, understand what questions may not be being asked that are important, and learn how to frame the situation correctly and seek out data that can be helpful in coming to a conclusion.

MOI: How do you describe your own brand of value investing?

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