I have made it a habit to regularly review the annual and quarterly reports issued by some of my investing heroes, in search of any insight that will help me to become a better investor. I wrote an article last month praising Southeastern Asset Management, the folks who run the Longleaf family of mutual funds, for their consistent investment style and their behavior towards their investors as long-term partners.

But, of course, these qualities wouldn't be worth mentioning if the funds didn't perform well over time. Over the long term, performance is what it's all about, and Longleaf has an enviable investing record. I believe part of this success is due to their investing philosophy, which is short and sweet: For the past 25 years, its managers have looked for three things: business, people, and price. As it says in its prospectus, "What we are looking for are good businesses operated by trustworthy, capable, shareholder-oriented managers." All at a great price, of course.