10 Years of Google and the Importance of Long Term Thinking

Posted on 16 CommentsPosted in Case Studies, Investment Ideas & Company Research, Investment Philosophy, Investment Quotes, Shareholder Letters & Reports, Think Differently

“Google has a huge new moat. In fact, I’ve probably never seen such a wide moat.” – Charlie Munger, 2009 Google celebrated the 10 year anniversary of its IPO last week. Google is a company that I’ve never owned (unfortunately), but really admire. There are a few businesses I almost root for, like a fan of a football team. Costco, Fastenal, and Walmart among others are on the list. These are really high quality businesses that have made their shareholders wealthy […]

The Stock Market: A Look at the Last 200 Years

Posted on 10 CommentsPosted in General Thoughts, Investment Quotes, Overall Stock Market

I spend virtually zero energy thinking about the overall stock market. I’m always aware of what the indices are doing, but I really don’t pay attention to where I think they are headed or where they’ve been recently. As Munger has said, sometimes the tide will be with us and sometimes it will be against us, but the best thing to do is to just continue to focus on swimming forward. I think this has been going on for well […]

Buffett’s PetroChina Investment: Finding Large Gaps Between Price & Value

Posted on 17 CommentsPosted in Case Studies, Investment Philosophy, Investment Quotes, Superinvestors, Warren Buffett

“You don’t have to know a man’s exact weight to know that he’s fat.” – Ben Graham I was reading through some notes from the 2008 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting and one of the questions grabbed my attention. The question was pertaining to Warren Buffett’s decision to purchase stock in PetroChina back in 2002. Basically, the questioner was surprised that Buffett made such a sizable investment after a seemingly small amount of due diligence saying “all you did was read the annual report… […]

Importance of ROIC Part 3: Compounding and Reinvestment

Posted on 20 CommentsPosted in Education, Investment Philosophy, Investment Quotes

“We prefer businesses that drown in cash. An example of a different business is construction equipment. You work hard all year and there is your profit sitting in the yard. We avoid businesses like that. We prefer those that can write us a check at the end of the year.” -Charlie Munger, 2008 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting I’m patiently looking for bargains everywhere. That’s the name of this game: “figuring out what something is worth and paying a lot less […]

Some Thoughts on the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting

Posted on 11 CommentsPosted in Charlie Munger, Investment Philosophy, Investment Quotes, Superinvestors, Warren Buffett

I had a great time in Omaha this past weekend. I got to meet with a couple clients, reconnect with some like-minded value investors, and meet some new friends as well. And of course, being in the same building with two of the greatest investment minds in history is something special. I wanted to make just a few comments on a couple things in my notes from the weekend. This is by no means a comprehensive summary—and there are many […]

Quality Screens: Part 2

Posted on 11 CommentsPosted in How to Improve Results, Industry-Banks, Investment Quotes

In Part 1 of this post, I looked at some quality screens I look at occasionally to generate ideas. In this second part of the post, I thought I’d briefly review an industry specific screen that I put together more recently that I will make a point to review every month or so. I’m doing a lot of work on bank stocks lately, looking at a lot of cheap stocks selling for significantly less than their tangible book value. I’ll […]

Quality Screens: Part 1

Posted on 12 CommentsPosted in How to Improve Results, Investment Philosophy, Investment Quotes

“(The Intelligent Investor) taught me how to think about a stock and the stock market. It taught me the market was there not to instruct me but to serve me. – Warren Buffett, 2013 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting Ben Graham taught us that it is crucial to make Mr. Market our servant, not our master. Buffett once said if he taught a business school program on investing, he would have just two classes: How to Value a Business, and How […]

The Best Way to Improve Investment Skills: “One Case Study After Another”

Posted on 13 CommentsPosted in Case Studies, Education, How to Improve Results, Investment Quotes, Superinvestors, Warren Buffett

I do a lot of case studies. I recommend that any burgeoning value investor do as many case studies as they can, sprinkled in among reading annual reports and other filings. I’ll explain what I mean by this in a moment… first I thought the best investor/teacher of all time could explain the importance of this exercise better than me: “To invest successfully, you need not understand beta, efficient markets, modern portfolio theory, option pricing or emerging markets. You may, […]

Can George Soros’ Methods Be Replicated?

Posted on 11 CommentsPosted in General Thoughts, Investment Philosophy, Investment Quotes, Superinvestors

I received this comment on one of my recent posts. The George Soros question got me thinking about how interesting the different philosophies are. Soros had an incredible career, but is it possible to replicate his general strategy? Here is the basic comment from the reader: Your posts have given me a great deal of information.  What is your opinion on George Soros’ theory of reflexivity? I was reading Seth Klarman’s Margin of Safety, and it mentioned how in rare […]

How To Determine a Good Investment

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in General Thoughts, How to Improve Results, Investment Philosophy, Investment Quotes, Superinvestors, Warren Buffett

I just wrote this post on my investment process and the idea of using screens. I found it interesting that Buffett doesn’t even consider screens as a tool. I think most of the reasoning is that he doesn’t use technology much, but other reasons include the sheer size of his investment portfolio and the fact that since the 1980’s he has become much more of a business investor interested in the qualitative aspects of a business. He is much more […]