Case Studies

Buffett’s Underrated Investment Attribute

Posted on

A few weeks ago, Sears finally filed for bankruptcy, and I decided to read through some of my notes I’ve compiled over the years on that company. During this review, I came across a couple old posts that I wrote on the topic of circle of competence: Sears and 7-Foot Hurdles Knowing Your Investment Boundaries As I recently mentioned, I think one of Warren Buffett’s most underrated skills is his ability to recognize when a situation is getting outside of […]

Books

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Investor Sentiment and the Housing Market

Posted on

I’ve been spending some time studying the housing market and a number of companies that directly and indirectly do business in that industry. I have a view on the fundamentals of the housing market that I might write about another time. But as a somewhat related aside, a few studies out there have noted how we, as humans, naturally fear financial panics but incorrectly and inadequately prepare for the next panic using tactics that would have helped prevent the previous […]

Case Studies

Discussion at Markel

Posted on

I sent this to Saber Capital clients last week, and I wanted to post it here on the site as well. Last month, I had the great privilege to visit Markel and speak with Tom Gayner and a few of his colleagues at Markel in Richmond, Virginia. Markel has always been a company that I’ve greatly respected, in large part thanks to the leadership of Tom Gayner, who has done an outstanding job stewarding the culture that the Markel family established […]

Books

The Behavior of Stock Market Manias

Posted on

I’ve heard more and more commentary/concern about the level of the overall market lately. With the market relentlessly marching to new all-time highs just about every day, I’ve even begun to hear the word “bubble” being used. While I certainly don’t think the market overall is cheap, and while I certainly believe it’s very possible that a bear market could occur at any time, we are definitely not in a bubble. Anyone who thinks that the current market is reaching […]

Case Studies

Importance of Knowing Your Investment Boundaries (Sears Mini-Case Study)

Posted on

A few months ago we had an interesting post/discussion on the site where Matt Brice and I share some of our research and investment ideas. The topic was Munger’s ability to quickly discard an investment opportunity if it was something he didn’t understand or a business he didn’t like. The comment that Munger made regarding the business of cattle ranching was one of the key takeaways that stayed with me from the 2016 Berkshire Annual Meeting—in short, the discipline that […]

Case Studies

The Competitive Advantage of an Owner-Operator

Posted on

I gave a talk at an investing conference in Philadelphia last week where I discussed my overall approach to investment along with three broad categories where I think investors could focus to gain an edge (I’ll share the slides in a later post). I don’t attend many of these industry events, but it is fun to attend them occasionally, as I got to meet with a few Saber Capital clients who live in the NYC/NJ/Philly area as well as other […]

Case Studies

Notes on Credit Acceptance Corp (CACC)

Posted on

I recently made a list of a few shareholder letters I want to read, and one that I completed a few days ago was Credit Acceptance Corp (CACC). This post is not a comprehensive review of the business, as I just started reading about the company. But I thought some readers might be interested in some initial notes. (I am thinking about putting more of these “scratch notes” up as posts. If this is interesting to readers, please let me […]

Case Studies

Buffett’s Investment in Dempster Mill–A Cigar Butt

Posted on

I came across a case study that discusses Dempster Mill recently. I thought I’d post a brief summary of some notes I jotted down while reading it. Dempster Mill is a company that Buffett bought in the early 1960’s when operating his partnership. The company manufactured farm equipment, specifically windmills and water irrigation systems. It was a difficult business because the farm equipment it made was not much different than its competitors’ products, and because of these commodity-like economics, the […]

Case Studies

Lessons from the Fall of SunEdison

Posted on

“The boom is drawn out and accelerates gradually; the bust is sudden and often catastrophic.” – George Soros, Alchemy of Finance There was a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago on the story of “the swift rise and calamitous fall” of SunEdison (SUNE). Like a number of other promotional, Wall Street-fueled rise and falls, SunEdison became a victim of its own financial engineering, among other things. SUNE saw rapid growth thanks in large part […]

Case Studies

Base Hits vs. Swinging for the Fences

Posted on

I just got done reading Jeff Bezos’ annual letter to shareholders, which is outstanding as it always it. As I finished it, I spent a few minutes thinking about it. He references Amazon’s style of “portfolio management”. He doesn’t call it that of course, but this passage got me thinking about it. Since I wrote a post earlier in the week about portfolio management, I thought using Bezos’ letter would allow me to expand on a few other random thoughts. […]