Legg Mason Value Trust Releases 2007 Q3 Letter to Shareholders

Bill MillerLegg Mason Value Trust's Releases 2007 Q3 Letter to Shareholders :

The stock market can close down for a while and it really doesn't matter all that much. The primary function of the stock market is not to finance company operations, it is to price assets. Companies go public once, and most come to the equity market for capital sporadically, and then typically to finance long-lived projects or acquisitions.

Credit markets are different. They are the source of liquidity to fund operations. If they are not functioning, the economy is threatened. That is why the problems that began in US subprime but which have spread to encompass a wide swath of the mortgage market, as well as the commercial paper market, are so serious and have galvanized central banks and government financial authorities to move swiftly to try to restore those markets to normalcy.
We will likely reduce the weightings of many of our top 10 holdings. They will still be among our largest holdings, we will just have less of them. This is being done to reduce risk in the over-all portfolio, and to fund some of the new names we are buying.

This is the first time since 1990 we have had two calendar years behind the S&P 500. Perhaps not surprisingly, that was also a time of panic due to a housing market recession, soaring oil prices, banks and financials collapsing. We were able to take advantage of the values then offered to begin a pretty good period of excess returns.

While the past may not repeat itself, it does often rhyme, as Mark Twain once said. The chapters to come may be different, but the verses are likely to sound the same.

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