Irving Kahn

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This article is about the investor and money manager. For the cable TV industry pioneer and subject of US Supreme Court wiretap case, see Irving B. Kahn.
Irving Kahn
Born (1905-12-19) December 19, 1905 (age 109)
New York City, New York, US
Nationality American
Education City College of New York, Columbia Business School
Occupation Businessman, investor
Employer Kahn Brothers Group, Inc.
Known for Chairman of Kahn Brothers Group, Inc.

Irving Kahn (born December 19, 1905) is an American businessman and investor. He is the oldest living active investment professional.[1] He was an early disciple of Benjamin Graham, the creator of the value investing methodology. Kahn began his career in 1928 and continues to work to this day at the age of 109. He is currently Chairman of Kahn Brothers Group, Inc., the privately owned investment advisory and broker-dealer firm that he founded with his sons, Thomas and Alan, in 1978. Although Kahn still performs an active role at the company, Thomas, who is the firm's president, runs the business and is responsible for the firm's investment decisions.

Kahn Brothers Group's principals manage a little over $950 million in funds for the clients of its subsidiaries and affiliated businesses. The company's primary investment advisory business has approximately $645 million in assets under management as of the first quarter of calendar year 2013.

Kahn is currently the oldest active money manager on Wall Street.[2] He made his first trade—a short sale of a copper mining company—in the summer of 1929, months before the infamous market crash in October of that year.[3] Kahn Stated that, “one of my clearest memories is of my first trade, a short sale in a mining company, Magma Copper,” he remembered. “I borrowed money from an in-law who was certain I would lose it but was still kind enough to lend it. He said only a fool would bet against the bull market.” But by the time the Wall Street crash took hold in the autumn, Mr Kahn had nearly doubled his money. “This is a good example of how great enthusiasm in a company or industry is usually a sign of great risk,” he said.[4]

In addition, he, his sisters, and his brother were, collectively, the world's oldest living quartet of siblings.[5] Kahn himself is 109. His sister, Helen Reichert (1901-2011), nicknamed "Happy", died seven weeks before her 110th birthday. The youngest sibling, Peter Keane (1910-2014), died at the age of 103.[6] Kahn's other sister, Lee (1903-2005), died at the age of 101.

Biographical information[edit]

Educated at the City College of New York, Kahn served as the second teaching assistant to Benjamin Graham at Columbia Business School. At the time, other notable students and/or teaching assistants to Graham included future Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett and future value investors William J. Ruane, Walter J. Schloss, and Charles Brandes, among others. Graham had such an enormous influence on his students that both Kahn and Buffett named their sons after him. Kahn named his third son, born in 1942, Thomas Graham, and Buffett, his first son, born in 1954, Howard Graham.

Kahn is a Chartered Financial Analyst and was among the first round of applicants to take the CFA exam. He was a founding member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and the Financial Analysts' Journal. Kahn was also a former director of Teleregister Corp., Hugo Stinnes Co., Grand Union Stores, Kings County Lighting, West Chemical, and Willcox & Gibbs. He was the president of the New York City Job and Career Center and is a trustee emeritus of the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women.

In a magazine article in 2002, he is quoted as saying: "I'm at the stage in life where I get a lot of pleasure out of finding a cheap stock," adding that his research still pushes him to work evenings and weekends. His son Thomas, currently President of Kahn Brothers Group, has said, "My father continues to research ideas and talk to companies. One of the nice things about this business is that there's no mandatory retirement age, and you allegedly get wiser as you get older."[7]

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