Category: Missives

The Genesis of Our Stock Selection

We have gained a number of new investors and get regular vetting interest from investors who need to understand the roots of our stock-picking discipline. Our stock-picking discipline is built around our eight criteria for stock selection […]

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The P.A. Conflict

[…] We should want customers of the investment industry to get good outcomes. Good outcomes come from good processes and aligned incentives. With US markets being the rage of the investment world, we believe that the professionals in our industry own a different portfolio than they recommend to their customers. In other words, they may get a different outcome than their customers. Regulation will never fix ethical issues. […]

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Bill Walton’s Insane Brilliance

[…] What Bill called “everyone thinking alike” we call a well-known fact. A well-known fact is a body of economic information that is not only known by all market participants but has been acted on by nearly everyone who participates in that market. In effect, you must bet against well-known facts to succeed in the long run in the stock market! […]

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Only Dave Cuts the Federal Budget

Back in 1993, a brilliant satirist by the name of Ivan Reitman produced a movie called “Dave.” It was the story of a life-threatening stroke besetting the President of the United States of America. His handlers, not wanting to shake up the country, hid his critical condition by making him a hospital bed below the White House. They then scoured the country looking for a doppelgänger to stand in for the President during his recovery. They found the owner of a temp agency in Boston, played by Kevin Kline, whose name was Dave. […]

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Buffett and Munger Mark the End of An Era

At the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting we marked what we believe is the end of an era both for Berkshire and for the S&P 500 Index. In Berkshire’s case, it is the loss of Charlie Munger and the passing of the baton from Warren Buffett to his well-prepared team. In the case of the index, it is the rhymes surrounding the past major peaks in stock market euphoria and what Munger and Buffett have said publicly. […]

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1968-1969: Buffett and Price Agreed

We’ve recently been making the case that the current circumstances in the stock market are most like the late 1960s and 1970s. Euphoric enthusiasm for the most aggressive stocks and an economic/national security spending explosion are held in common. However, the most interesting thing about 1968-1969 was the agreement about the stock market future between the greatest growth investor at that time, T. Rowe Price, and the greatest value investor of all time, Warren Buffett. […]

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DXYZ: An Old Form of Ignorance

Many investors are bullish, or not fearful, of the future of stock returns. At Smead Capital Management, we continue to explain to our investors how poor the outcomes will be. Some ask when this view will change. To quote Keynes, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” The facts are not changing. Instead, we continue to find mountain evidence of the danger present. In this piece, we will explain an analogous instance from the past. […]

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Hit Them Where They Ain’t

[…] As value investors, we go into companies that are out of favor but have characteristics that could lead us to multi-year winners. Our best stocks were found in the holes in the other portfolio manager’s defenses. As we watched a .190 hitter, Kyle Schwarber, bat leadoff for the Phillies in the playoffs last year, purists like us yearn to see Rod Carew and Tony Gwynn again. Our stock picking discipline (our stock market sabermetrics) tells us that growth stock investing is too popular and is about to enter a “dead ball” era of stock performance.

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Saved by Zero

[…] The U.S. Federal Government has set a net zero carbon goal by 2050. Tremendous resources have been applied with borrowed money to fund these goals and subsidize money-losing green investments. After pouring money into green investments, investors are wisely fleeing the fantasies associated with the environmental movement’s agenda. Are we really more together? […]

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Looking for the Outsiders

William Thorndike’s book “The Outsiders” has been considered a classic for some time now. His story teaches readers about the business performance of Henry Singleton, Katherine Graham, John Malone and Daniel Burke. These are people who weren’t household names like Jack Welch, but produced results that would make any investors feel jealous of the success they had. At a moment like today where the world seems vastly different than where we have been for much of the last decade, we would like to use this piece as a way to remind ourselves where “The Outsiders” may sit and provide an example of ones that we’ve witnessed, but others don’t recognize. […]

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