Charlie Munger

Buffett 1972 Letter to See’s Candies

Posted on

I recently came across a letter that Buffett sent to Chuck Huggins, the CEO of See’s Candies in 1972 (thanks to Marcelo Lima at Heller House for posting it). See’s is a case study that has been dissected from every angle, but this was a letter I hadn’t seen before, so I thought some notes I wrote while reading it. In the letter, Buffett attempts to give some general advice on the distribution, merchandising, and marketing of the chocolates. The […]

Charlie Munger

Thoughts on Cost of Capital and Buffett’s $1 Test – Part 1

Posted on

“I’ve never heard an intelligent discussion about ‘cost of capital’.” – Charlie Munger I read something a few weeks back that referenced some comments that Charlie Munger once made on the topic of cost of capital. Maybe these comments will be yet another unintelligent discussion of cost of capital, but I thought I’d share some notes I wrote down this past week as I gave this concept some more thought. This post will touch on Buffett’s $1 test, which is […]

Investment Ideas & Company Research

Returns on Capital and an Investment Idea

Posted on

A couple years back, I wrote a series on the topic of returns on capital (ROIC) and how significant its impact is on the long-term value of a business. As a long-term shareholder of a business, your ultimate investment result will be determined by the quality of that business over time. One way to measure quality is to figure out the rate of return that the company achieves on its own internal investments (as well as what that company does […]

Uncategorized

Buffett’s Three Categories of Returns on Capital

Posted on

“A truly great business must have an enduring “moat” that protects excellent returns on invested capital.” –Warren Buffett, 2007 Shareholder Letter A reader recently sent me the following clips from the 2007 Shareholder Letter that pertains to a topic that we’ve discussed quite a bit here: the concept of return on capital, why it’s important, and how to think about it. For those interested, you could review all the previous posts on the concept of ROIC here. Basically, I just […]

Education

Reinvestment Moat Follow Up: Capital Light Compounders

Posted on

This post is the second guest post by my friend Connor Leonard, in what I hope to be a somewhat regular “column” here at BHI (by regular, I mean as often as Connor decides to put the proverbial pen to paper and share his insights with us). Based on the quality of his work, he’s welcome back anytime. Connor and I live in Raleigh, NC, and get together regularly to share investment ideas. I encourage you to reach out to […]

Education

Calculating the Return on Incremental Capital Investments

Posted on

“Leaving the question of price aside, the best business to own is one that over an extended period can employ large amounts of incremental capital at very high rates of return.” – Warren Buffett, 1992 Shareholder Letter I received a lot of feedback, comments and a few questions after Connor Leonard’s guest post last week. Connor’s write-up was very well articulated, and deservedly received much praise. There were a few questions which we tried to address in comments and email […]

Investment Philosophy

Importance of ROIC: “Reinvestment” vs “Legacy” Moats

Posted on

I’ve talked a lot about the importance of the concept of return on invested capital (ROIC), and how it is a key driver of value in a business. Feel free to go back and read some of those posts here. In this particular post, the discussion is continued. This post is something new for BHI: it’s a guest post written by my good friend Connor Leonard (see his brief bio at the end of the post). Connor and I live […]

Books

The Misunderstanding of Peter Lynch’s Investment Style

Posted on

“I’ve never said, ‘If you go to a mall, see a Starbucks and say it’s good coffee, you should call Fidelity brokerage and buy the stock.’” – Peter Lynch I saw an article in Monday’s Wall Street Journal on Peter Lynch. Basically, it was a very brief piece where Lynch basically says that people are misinterpreting his advice to “buy what you know”. I like Peter Lynch and I like his writing. Although the first book I ever read on value […]

Case Studies

Importance of ROIC Part 5: A Glance at the Last 42 Years of Wells Fargo

Posted on

“Experience, however, indicates that the best business returns are usually achieved by companies that are doing something quite similar today to what they were doing five or ten years ago… a business that constantly encounters major change also encounters many chances for major error. Furthermore, economic terrain that is forever shifting violently is ground on which it is difficult to build a fortress-like business franchise. Such a franchise is usually the key to sustained high returns.”   –Warren Buffett, 1992 Shareholder […]

Investment Philosophy

Importance of ROIC Part 4: The Math of Compounding

Posted on

I thought I’d circle back to discuss the topic of compounders and return on capital. I wrote a few posts about earlier this year, and there have been numerous comments and questions. In this post, I want to discuss the actual math behind the compounders, to try and show why return on capital is so important to long term business owners (which is what we are as stockholders). To recap what I mentioned earlier, I usually put investments in two broad […]