Industry-Insurance

Some Thoughts on Markel’s Intrinsic Value

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I thought I’d write a post with some quick thoughts on Markel’s value. I recently had a few conversations with a friend regarding how to think about the return on equity that Markel produces relative to the investment return that you will receive as a shareholder. For example, I’ve had a couple questions from clients similar to this: “It’s great that Markel can produce 15% ROE over time, but will we receive 15% if we’re paying above book value?” The current price […]

Industry-Insurance

Markel (MKL): A Compounding Machine

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“Our financial goals are to earn consistent underwriting profits and superior investment returns to build shareholder value” – Markel 2013 Annual Report Markel is an outstanding business currently in its 85th year of operations. It is an excellent insurance company with a history of underwriting profits. It is also a superb investment company with a history of above average investment returns. Markel had an outstanding year in 2013, basically doubling the size of its insurance business and investment portfolio in […]

Investment Philosophy

Buffett on How to Think About Stocks

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“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 […]

Investment Ideas & Company Research

Markel (MKL) is a Compounding Machine

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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 […]

Investment Philosophy

Markel’s Tom Gayner Has 4 Main Investment Principles

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I’ve been doing some research this week on insurance as there are a number of stocks in this industry on my watchlist. Yesterday I went through the Value Line list of life insurers, many of which are selling well below book value. I’ll be taking a look at a few of these in more detail soon. Of course, insurance is a business that Warren Buffett has used as a foundation at Berkshire to build his investment fortune. But there is […]