Smead Blog

The investment marketplace suffers from information overload. Smead Capital Management seeks to cut through the cacophony of other media resources to focus on what is important to long-term common stock ownership. This comes through our missives, quarterly newsletters and appearances in the media to provide thought leadership for our potential and current investors.

Smead’s Folly Becomes Newsom’s Folly

[…] The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, announced on September 23, 2020 that beginning in 2035 no new internal combustion automobiles can be sold in his state. Currently, 5.3% of California cars on the road are electric/hybrid. California is probably one of the most successful states in the adoption of non-combustion engines. Is Newsom making the same kind of folly we made in 2011 (early/wrong)? Is he piling on the negative narrative for energy at an important psychological juncture? Does this trigger a series of questions about the likelihood of attaining his goals and the duration of the usefulness of the oil and gas in the ground in late 2020 in the U.S.? […]

09/29/20 by

Company-Specific Macroeconomic Multipliers

[…] The great irony of the current situation is that most of the economic power and most of the financial resources associated with political power are in the hands of Apple and the other huge tech companies (Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc.). In other words, the success in our society is going to the fewest number of people that have the least possibility of spreading their success to the folks around them. […]

09/22/20 by

Quality is Missing the Point

[…] Quality is an overused word to describe the winners (surviving planes) of today’s stock market. People will explain the profitability or return-on-equity of a company like Microsoft. In my mind, it’s like explaining the fuselage’s ability take bullets when all that should be focused on is whether the engine is well armored. The only way to measure that from a historical perspective is to ask the question, has success come to investors paying 40x earnings for a stock from the 10 largest market cap list? Chance of fatality is low, but it’s usually just another chance to languish. […]

09/15/20 by

There Is No Alternative (TINA)

[…] The COVID-19 virus and nationwide quarantines have raised the day-to-day importance of many popular companies. Stock market investors have poured billions into these favorites under the theory that “there is no alternative” to owning them. In social media, Facebook is a TINA stock, Google is a search TINA and Amazon is a TINA in cloud computing and the relatively unprofitable e-commerce logistics platform. Tesla is TINA in electric cars and Apple is TINA for their affluent worldwide network of addicted customers. Investors are paying very high prices in some parabolic upward price moves for these wide moat companies. […]

09/08/20 by

Value’s Lifeblood is Performance Chasers

While listening to Rob Arnott on a recent Morningstar podcast, I became enamored with something that Arnott was emphatic about. He pointed out that the structural advantage of being a contrarian isn’t being smarter. Every winning purchase in the stock market comes as an opportunity cost to the seller. In aggregate, the non-passive portion of the market will look like the respective index. Arnott asked the question, “Who are you trading against?” In other words, who is on the other side of your transactions in the stock market?

09/01/20 by