John W. Rogers, Jr. started Ariel in 1983 at age 24. His original business plan was elegantly simple – buy undervalued small and medium-sized stocks with a proven ability to grow over the long-term, and hold them until they reach full value. The seeds of this philosophy were planted at age 12 when John started to receive gifts of stock from his father on Christmas. Initially unimpressed by the envelopes under the tree – until the dividend checks started coming in – John’s fascination with stocks and investing was born. When he launched Ariel, he started a newsletter as a way to advertise his young firm. It was called The Patient Investor, and its masthead featured a turtle.
Much has changed since those early days, yet much has stayed the same. More than 29 years later, we still spend every day searching for undervalued stocks that have demonstrated an ability to grow. Our quarterly report to our shareholders is called The Patient Investor, the masthead turtle is now the firm logo and “slow and steady wins the race,” the timeless lesson from Aesop’s fable, is our motto.