"Value for Value's Sake Is Not Enough"

Farr, Miller & Washington's Michael Farr says he aims to find cheap stocks and build portfolios that will weather short-term uncertainty

"A professional manager's job should include admitting that one doesn't know what's going to happen over the next 6 to 12 months" -- and then constructing a portfolio that can endure good times and bad. That's the philosophy of Michael K. Farr, president of investment firm Farr, Miller & Washington. "I'm still essentially trying to find cheap stocks and hold them for the long term," says Farr, who looks for strength in management, earnings, return on equity, and balance sheets, among other things.

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