Phillip Goldstein (investor)

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Phillip Goldstein
Alma mater University of Southern California City College of New York
Occupation Co-founder and partner, Bulldog Investors

Phillip "Phil" Goldstein is an American investor, former civil engineer, and manager of the hedge fund Bulldog Investors, known for its value-driven investment strategy, its activist investment campaigns and its focus on closed-end mutual funds.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Goldstein was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1945.[1] He decided as a child that he wanted to become an engineer, when his patriotism was inspired by the launch of the Sputnik.[1] He attended the University of Southern California, earning a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in 1966.[2] He then returned to the East Coast to pursue a master's degree in engineering from the City College of New York, which he completed in 1968.[2]


Goldstein spent the first 25 years of his career as a civil engineer for the City of New York, working on projects such as the maintenance and improvement of the Brooklyn Bridge's roadway.[2] In the 1970s he also used his proficiency with math in the game of blackjack, and even considered a career as a professional gambler until he came across a book, "How the Experts Beat the Market," by Thomas C. Noddings. In the book, Noddings, also a former engineer, explains how a mathematically inclined investor can uncover and profit from various market inefficiencies.[1]

Over time, this approach led Goldstein to employ the principal of value investing with a particular emphasis on closed-end funds, in his personal investing.[1] In 1989, he met former Dean Witter associate Steven Samuels at a conference on closed-end funds. Samuels introduced Goldstein to some potential investment clients, and in 1992 the two started Bulldog Investors with $700,000.[3] Andrew Dakos and Rajeev Das later joined as partners.[1]

By 1996, Goldstein and his partners decided to take a more activist approach to some of the fund's investing,[4] with a particular emphasis on liquidity events such as asset sales.[3]

In 2009, Goldstein and Bulldog Investors ran a proxy contest to elect a new board of directors to Insured Municipal Income Fund,[5] and later renamed it Special Opportunities Fund (NYSE: SPE). Special Opportunities Fund is now managed by Bulldog Investors, along with a group of private funds.[6]

Goldstein and Bulldog Investors remain value-centric, employing a variety of value-oriented investing strategies, and regularly investing in closed-end mutual funds when there is a significant gap between the fund's market value and its net asset value (NAV), or liquidation value.[4] Oftentimes the strategy then includes converting the fund to an open-ended one, or simply liquidating the funds' assets and returning them to shareholders.[7]

Board seats[edit]

Goldstein is a member of the board of directors of Imperial Holdings (NYSEIFT), the Mexico Equity and Income Fund (NYSEMXE), ASA Ltd. (NYSEASA), the Special Opportunities Fund (NYSESPE) and MVC Capital (NYSEMVC).[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "The man who beat the SEC". CNNMoney. June 18, 2008. Archived from the original on October 18, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Forbes panelist bio - Phillip Goldstein".
  3. ^ a b "Phil Goldstein of Bulldog Investors on Activist Investing: Interview". Market Folly. January 26, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Investing With The Alpha Bulldog - An Interview With Hedge Fund Activist Phillip Goldstein Of Bulldog Investors". Seeking Alpha. June 12, 2013.
  5. ^ "Why You Should Keep an Eye on the Special Opportunities Fund". Seeking Alpha. May 20, 2010.
  6. ^ "Bulldog Investors Seeks Removal of Kevin Landis as Manager of Firsthand Technology Value Fund". The Motley Fool. May 29, 2013.
  7. ^ "THE SHAKERS: 9 Badass Activist Investors And The Deals That Made Them Famous". Business Insider. January 25, 2012.
  8. ^ "SEC 14A: Election of Trustees".