Our Investing Philosophy
Our competitive advantage is derived from our disciplined application of our equity selection philosophy, which is based on adopting a business-owner mentality. This simple concept is the cornerstone of our investment philosophy, and we apply this methodology consistently regardless of short-term market events.
We emphasize the preservation of capital by investing in businesses we believe to be significantly undervalued. We particularly emphasize the price we pay for the security, as we believe that is the single greatest determinant of both expected return and expected risk.
We seek good to great businesses that trade at a significant discount to our estimate of intrinsic value. The intrinsic value of a company is determined by calculating the present value of the sum of the company's future cash flows. We do not decide to buy, sell, or hold stocks based on some perceived belief in where the market or the economy is headed, but instead based on how the intrinsic value of the business compares to the market price of the stock. We buy, hold, or sell our stocks in much the same way we would evaluate a business for acquisition or retention in its entirety.
We believe that possessing a long-term view is absolutely necessary to invest successfully, which we define as out-performing a benchmark over multi-year periods and growing long-term wealth. Our approach and structure give us the ability to base our decisions on our expected value of a business multiple years in the future, rather than whether a company's next quarter's earnings will beat expectations or whether the next tick of the stock price is up or down. We believe having a client base which shares this long-term focus is a great advantage in accomplishing our objective.
We strive to maximize return and we believe that the primary factor in achieving this goal is the safety of principal with a focus on minimizing the odds of a permanent loss of capital. This mindset directs us to purchase stocks at a significant discount to our estimate of underlying intrinsic value. Our goal is to generate substantial gains when our analysis proves correct, while minimizing downside risk if a particular investment thesis is flawed. Adhering to these principles often results in investment decisions that run counter to the general market psychology, and reduces the process of purchasing and selling securities to a discipline rather than an art.