Slow and Steady Wins the Race, with Ariel’s John Rogers – [Invest Like the Best, EP.26]

My guest this week is John Rogers, founder, CEO and CIO of Ariel investments, one of the longest standing asset management businesses still in existence.  John has a very impressive resume.  In addition to his success at Ariel, he was the captain of the Princeton University men’s basketball team, he was the co-chair of Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration, he sits on the board of McDonald’s, and he has given back to his community more than I can list here.  John and I discuss Ariel’s investment process and its evolution over the years, lessons from John’s basketball career, value investing, and asset management’s diversity problem among many other interesting issues. Please enjoy!

Books Referenced

A Random Walk down Wall Street: The Time-tested Strategy for Successful Investing

Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Psychological Edge

The Money Masters

Links Referenced

Video of John playing Michael Jordan

Show Notes

2:20  – (first question) – Explore John’s experience playing basketball and what he has learned from playing on a team.

7:22 – What is the cleanest way to keep the investment team honest by pointing out any mistakes they are making.

8:28 – Looking at John Rogers investment process to determine his edge

12:27 – How does John analyze managers and executives, especially as it relates to their longer-term investment strategy

13:27 – What are the biggest red flags that make you want to avoid a business

19:31 – Going back to the beginning of Ariel and John’s interest in investing

19:30 – A Random Walk down Wall Street: The Time-tested Strategy for Successful Investing

22:13 – How did John tackle his portfolio early on and what industries he focused on then

24:37 – What helped to inspire John’s value investing strategy

24:54 – Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Psychological Edge

26:16 – The Money Masters

28:14 – What has changed in terms of the prospects for value investing from when he started till now

30:46 – Looking at John’s investment philosophy against the current market

33:58 – How important is brand when evaluating a company as a potential investment and how is that quantified

36:32 – How do you hire people that are going to have vision and be a good fit

38:48 – How to screen for someone who has vision

42:18 – What are the key business lessons John has learned running a firm

45:16 – A look at the I Have a Dream Class

45:53 – Exploring John’s community activism and what has the highest rate of return that are most worth someone’s time.

50:38 – Getting John’s take on the issue of minorities and women in investing and how to improve the situation

55:35 – Identifying the most memorable day of John’s professional career

57:18 – The kindest thing anyone has ever done for John

57:56 – What excites you most about markets today and into the future

59:18 – How did John get to play Michael Jordan in basketball…and beat him

1:00:45 – Video of John playing Michael Jordan

Learn More

For more episodes go to

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag