THE ESSENTIALS

  • We think only one way of investing for growth makes sense, and is most likely to succeed:  investing like owners. 

  • We own only a few companies.  We pay very close attention to their ongoing business operations, and the actions of management.

  • We help our clients actually understand what they own, communicating with exceptional frequency and clarity.  (See the “Outlook Archives” tab for examples.)

  • We emphasize large, financially strong U.S. companies, investing in them (and buying more of them) when they’re working through big problems.  That’s when the market generally hates them, and offers them to long-term, patient investors at remarkable values.  Most strong companies eventually fix such problems, but the market rarely has the foresight or patience to watch that happening, and wait.  That’s the market’s nature . . . and it often hands great opportunities to investors who do have that foresight and patience.

  • We use only individual securities in client portfolios:  generally common stocks for growth and income; sometimes bonds.  Though we mostly draw from a very short list of 10 to 15 equities, we build each client’s portfolio for their own needs and circumstances.

  • Our typical relationship falls in the range of $500,000 to $1,000,000 of managed assets. 

What We Don't Do:

 

  • A very long list!  Options, futures, short-sales, trading (ie, speculating), margin buying, illiquid investments, private equity, mutual funds of every kind (except money market funds), emerging markets, international investments in general (with rare exceptions), forex . . . you get the idea. 

 

  • We don’t buy and hold forever.  We do aim to hold most of our companies for years.  We aim to sell when we find an even better bargain; or when the market emphatically over-values something we own.

WHAT WE BELIEVE

  • Success in investments rests just as heavily on old-fashioned virtues like hard work, patience, discipline and determination as does every other human activity.  It does not depend on cleverness.  We suspect that opinion puts us in a tiny minority of the world’s investment professionals.

  • In general, large U.S. companies are led by the most capable managers in the world.  Business history shows that the vast majority of the time, those managers eventually fix the problems which attack their companies.  This happens because they are personally accountable for results.  All by itself, that factor has given the U.S. business sector a level of speed, determination and aggressiveness far beyond the rest of the world.

  • The stock market, by its nature, does not wait for problems to be fixed.  The market almost always swings to extreme pessimism and impatience, when problems arrive at any company, and creates astonishing “values” for long-term investors as a result.  As managements fix problems, the market swings toward optimism, but usually takes a long time before clearly seeing how strongly companies can recover, as those problems are fixed.