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Value Investing at Columbia University


When Brett Guiley was a young boy, he used to collect and sell baseball cards along with other sports memorabilia. He would then take these items to shows and sell them. 

“I was really interested in markets from a young age…I always seemed to have a knack for handling money.”

Never did Guiley think that his love for business would take him to Columbia University in New York City.

Guiley, a 1999 graduate from Evansville University, recently attended Columbia’s School of Business Executive Education class over Value Investing. Guiley’s business partner and mentor, Ron Richardson, encouraged Brett to attend the class.

Guiley works as a portfolio manager at Vista Investment Partners II. As a portfolio manager, Guiley’s job includes looking at research for the various equity and mutual fund portfolios, as well as managing client assets. He is also the Managing Partner for Vista Investment Partners II.

Richardson, who attended the Columbia University class approximately eight years ago, is also a Portfolio Manager for Vista Investment Partners I, which is located in Oklahoma City.

The class ran from June 4th through the 6th. Although it only lasted for three days, a semester’s amount of material was still taught. Tano Santo, a faculty director and professor for Columbia University, led the course. 

The topic of the class was over value investing. Value investing was made famous by 1951 Columbia School of Business graduate Warren Buffett, who studied under famous business professors Ben Graham and David Dodd.

“What we covered was how to value companies and therefore, how to value stocks that are available in public markets. Some of those same strategies and disciplines are things that we use in our individual portfolio management here at Vista Investment Partners.”

Guiley was in class for nearly ten hours a day, but he still managed to run through Central Park, visit Times Square, and see the show Hamilton on Broadway.

Despite all the flashy lights and fascination that comes with being in New York City, Guiley’s biggest take away and most memorable aspect of the trip was the value investing class.

“If I could boil it down into a sentence, I feel like I came away from the course with a better understanding of what questions to ask myself about stocks we are considering for investment in the Vista portfolios.”

Written by Jenna Barker, VIP Intern