The First Wilshire Way

Our Philosophy - Looking Beyond the Obvious

Our Mission has always been simple. To be a top performing, research-driven, value-oriented investment manager operating as a family-like company that contributes to the well being of our clients and employees. For over 40 years, we have demonstrated this mission to clients.

We invest primarily using a value and contrarian investment philosophy, usually resulting in a portfolio of predominantly, though not exclusively, small and micro-cap U.S. and foreign equity securities. This strategy is not specifically tied to traditional benchmarks and we do not chase recent high performance sectors. We do not specialize in any other strategies, styles, or securities. A strict adherence to our value philosophy in all market environments has led to many satisfied long-term client relationships.

The First Wilshire team takes great pride in our research driven investment style and dedication to exceptional client service. We have an in-house team of financial experts that spend every day searching for values across the equity markets around the world. Our researchers avoid group-think and are encouraged to act independently. This approach is not for the sake of non-conformity or just to be different. We seek to develop independent viewpoints instead of conforming to the majority view. We believe this results in a much higher probability that we will recognize companies and changing trends that others have yet to see. We are always looking for the diamond in the rough. As our founder often said “conventional wisdom results in conventional returns.”

While we consider companies of all sizes, our search for the rare combination of high growth and low valuation brings us to the small-cap universe. The small-cap universe is never without intriguing revelations. We consider small caps to be publicly traded companies with market capitalizations up to $2 billion. Over 80% of all U.S. public companies belong to the small cap equity class. Large Wall Street firms, however focus only on the largest companies, representing a small fraction of the number of opportunities.

That leaves out a far greater number of under-followed companies among which to find potential winners. Many companies plod along in relative obscurity, waiting to be recognized by Wall Street. We want to be there before this recognition sets in.

  • Explore our  Small-cap Value Investing page to learn more about our style of value investing and why we focus on small companies which provide the most potential.
  • We dig deep when exploring potential investments and continue to keep up with companies once we invest. Learn about our rigorous process on our Research page.
  • The analysts at First Wilshire dig deep when looking at investments. See photos from our many research visits at our On the Road page.
  • We value our clients, many of which we’ve served for decades. Learn why our Commitment to Clients is such an important portion of our firms mission.