Notes on Credit Acceptance Corp (CACC)

Posted on 21 CommentsPosted in Case Studies, Investment Ideas & Company Research, Scratch Notes, Shareholder Letters & Reports

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 […]

Base Hits vs. Swinging for the Fences

Posted on 18 CommentsPosted in Case Studies, Shareholder Letters & Reports, Think Differently

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. […]

Unconventional Investments

Posted on 11 CommentsPosted in Portfolio Management, Shareholder Letters & Reports, Warren Buffett

I was glancing through the Berkshire letters from the late 1990’s because I recall Buffett briefly mentioning his large silver position he acquired and I was trying to see if Buffett referenced the specific cash cost of production. He didn’t in the letter—only mentioning that Berkshire acquired 111 million ounces. He has mentioned in other interviews that silver was in fact below the cost of production—a supply/demand imbalance that can persist for a while, but not forever. Buffett felt comfortable […]

Things You Didn’t Know About Buffett’s Strategy

Posted on 6 CommentsPosted in Investment Philosophy, Shareholder Letters & Reports, Superinvestors, Warren Buffett

Last weekend I spent a couple hours reading through Buffett’s old partnership letters (again). I was looking for something specific that I remembered him talking about, but then as I was flipping through them trying to find this comment, I just decided to read them again. I’ve always found it extremely valuable to read Buffett’s letters. Although I’ve read both the partnership letters and the Berkshire letters multiple times, I feel like I pick up something new each time I […]

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 […]

Buffett on How to Think About Stocks

Posted on 35 CommentsPosted in Investment Philosophy, Shareholder Letters & Reports, Superinvestors, Warren Buffett

“Investment is most intelligent when it is most businesslike”. – Ben Graham, The Intelligent Investor This is the time of year that I always look forward to for a variety of reasons. Spring is near in my area of the United States, college basketball tournaments will be captivating audiences around the country, the azaleas will soon be in full bloom at Augusta National Golf Club (the site of my favorite golf major), and my personal favorite: the slew of annual […]

Eddie Lampert 2014 Shareholder Letter

Posted on 6 CommentsPosted in Shareholder Letters & Reports, Superinvestors

“Messer Hubbard and Bell want to install one of their “telephone devices” in every city. The idea is idiotic on the face of it. Furthermore, why would any person want to use this ungainly and impractical device when he can send a messenger to the telegraph office and have a clear written message sent to any large city in the United States?”  —Excerpt from a Western Union internal report in response to an offer from Alexander Graham Bell (inventor of […]

Markel (MKL) is a Compounding Machine

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Investment Ideas & Company Research, Investment Philosophy, Shareholder Letters & Reports, Superinvestors

A couple weeks back I wrote a quick post on Tom Gayner, who is an outstanding investor and head of Markel (MKL), one of my favorite companies in America. Markel is a well run insurance company that has been compounding shareholder equity consistently at about 16% per year over the past 20 years. MKL operates with a similar business model to that of Berkshire Hathaway: Write insurance policies to collect premiums Invest the float Insurance companies make money in those […]

To Arbitrage, or Not to Arbitrage

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in General Thoughts, Investment Philosophy, Portfolio Management, Shareholder Letters & Reports, Superinvestors, Warren Buffett

I just spent all afternoon reading through all of Warren Buffett’s original partnership letters. These are the letters that he wrote to his investors when he was managing his private partnership from 1956-1969 prior to taking control of Berkshire Hathaway. I’ve read through these letters numerous times, and I recommend them to anyone who is serious about truly understanding the methods of Buffett. A while back I printed them and bound them so I have them collected in one place […]

Martin Whitman: Focus on the Balance Sheet

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in Investment Philosophy, Shareholder Letters & Reports

I spent the weekend in a cabin in the Catskill Mountains in New York. In between hikes I spent a lot of time by the fire reading old shareholder letters by Martin Whitman of Third Avenue Management. Whitman is a legendary value investor, and his letters are an incredible source of learning about general value investment principles. It’s also a great opportunity (as other fund manager letters are) to see what individual stocks they are invested in, and more importantly, […]