How to Invest
We believe common stock ownership is an investment in a business, and therefore invest for the long term, employing a value-oriented approach to security selection. We invest principally in common stocks of large capitalization companies that generally have demonstrated records of profitability, conservative financial structures and shareholder-oriented management. Our objective is to invest in such companies when we believe valuations are modest relative to earnings, cash flow or asset values.
We are investors, not traders, and therefore, want to invest in companies that manage capital from the perspective of owners, with a focus on profitability and long-term growth in per share value.
Our primary focus is on business analysis, not prevailing opinions about the market’s short-term outlook. Additionally, no effort is made to mirror any market index in constructing portfolios. We are keenly focused on capital preservation and total return, and invest alongside our clients.
We do not look for “value stocks”, but instead seek good companies that are out of favor when the market reacts to events we believe are unrelated to the long-term success of these businesses. Companies with poor records, or those that suffer reversals deemed likely to be permanent, are avoided regardless of how undervalued the shares may appear.
Our low turnover approach with a limited number of carefully selected holdings may be well suited for pairing with other managers whose broad market strategies may result in high portfolio activity, and the full market swings those approaches can entail.
Our approach starts with monitoring approximately 200-250 companies in the Large Cap universe to determine which companies will undergo a deeper fundamental evaluation. Our process is built to identify shareholder-oriented companies in three specific categories: Blue-chip Businesses, Cyclical/Specialty Businesses, and Holding Companies.
We focus on these types of companies because Franchise Businesses with high barriers to entry often deliver high returns that consistently compound; Cyclical/Specialty Business’ valuation fluctuations offer good opportunities for investors who understand normalized earnings; and Holding Companies with diversified business lines are often valued at discounts to estimated intrinsic value.
There is always uncertainty in evaluating any given company. Our process helps us pursue investments in those companies with the fewest unknowns, reducing risk by reducing what we don’t know. We work to manage downside risks by reviewing a company’s cash flow, asset values, or other means of valuation based on actual results, with reliance on future projections being the least meaningful metric to consider.