I got a request from a reader to discuss some details on how I started my investment firm, so I thought I’d write a post with some brief background info. Most readers don’t know much about me, so I thought this might be a good idea. I’ll divide this post into two parts, and I’ll try to make this brief, but if readers ask for more info, I’m happy to elaborate.
My main goal with this blog is to share ideas and research, clarify thoughts, and help educate individual investors interested in learning the investment craft. I don’t intend this site to be a direct marketing tool for my business, so I try to be careful to not discuss my business often. I value honesty and transparency, and I would like Base Hit Investing to be a blog where readers feel comfortable engaging with me via comments, or email without feeling any obligation at all (most reader interaction thus far has been email, which is fine).
Of course, I want to create credibility by discussing investment concepts and specific ideas that I’m currently investing my own and my clients’ capital in, but the objective is to provide value for my readers first and foremost, with the side benefit of learning from others and improving my own investing in the process.
Brief Background on John Huber
Having said all this, here is a brief background on me… I don’t have a common background that many hedge fund/money managers have. I was a Division I athlete, and in college I was preparing for a career in journalism or broadcasting. I’ve always loved investing though, and business in general. After school and a brief period working in broadcasting (behind the scenes), I decided to pursue some real estate investment ideas, and started a small partnership for the purpose of investing in residential and small multifamily apartments. I have been managing my real estate investments for the past 6 years, and still manage a few of the investments currently, but they are basically now completely passive.
My real estate investments have been more successful than I would have imagined, thanks to some skill, some luck, but mostly sticking to my most important investment principle: always protecting the downside by insisting on a margin of safety. Graham’s ideas are transcendent…
My true passion has always been the stock market. Since 2005 when I first started seriously studying Warren Buffett, I’ve wanted to start an investment partnership to manage partner capital alongside my own.
I strongly debated on going back to school to pursue an MBA, and even met with a few business school professors to discuss curriculum details. However, I decided-with the helpful advice from my Dad, who is an outstanding investor himself-that business school cannot teach you how to be a successful investor. I agree with Michael Burry’s thoughts on business schools.
So I decided to save the $100K, and simply begin my own intensive study program on value investing. I cherry picked the books, papers, letters, and topics I thought would be most beneficial to learning investing, and cut out the rest. This way, I would be most efficient in my learning process. By this time, I had already read the classics (Security Analysis, Intelligent Investor, and a number of Buffett books), but I wanted to develop a curriculum full of other books, investment letters, and case studies. I called this John’s MBA (I’m not that creative with names).
I printed off all of my previous notes from the Graham books, and I printed and bound all the Buffett letters (both Berkshire and his partnership letters). I created a long list of other investors I wanted to study, mostly using their client/partner letters along with the vast resources the web has to offer. I created a few spreadsheets to track what I’m interested in reading next, and I’ve categorized my research into folders to make it easier to review specific topics as I learn more. So I started reading and studying, and I continued investing, mostly in real estate, using the same value investment principles I use in the stock market.
This helped me learn a lot in a relatively short period of time. Hard work can do wonders, and I think I probably learned multiples of what I would have learned by going to school, not to mention the opportunity cost of tuition vs being able to invest that capital.
I started Saber Capital Management, LLC last fall as a vehicle to manage outside capital using the same method that I manage nearly all of my personal capital and most of my close family capital.
In part II of this 2-part post, I’ll describe some brief details on the structure of my firm, and why I decided to set it up the way I did. After that, we’ll get back to the business at hand… studying concepts and looking for good investment ideas.