Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How buffet does it – by James Pardoe

a brief summary


o Ben graham says you don’t have to do extraordinary things to do get extraordinary results. Keep it simple.

o Give the kid a hammer n everything starts looking like a nail.

o Don’t own a stock that would cause you to panic and dump your shares if the price falls by 50%

o Think 10 yrs rather than 10 minutes, if you cant hold the stock for a decade, don’t buy it in the first place

o Investing is where you find a few great companies and sit on your ass

o Don’t be contrarian for the sake of it

o Better to hit singles n doubles regularly than to strike out swinging for the fences

o Make a list of your top companies n the max prices u will be willing to pay for them. Wait on the sidelines for opportunities

o Shun the ticker. Turn off the noise. Study the playing field n not the scoreboard. Ben graham says, “in the short run, mkt is a voting machine, but in the long run it is a weighting machine”

o Don’t swing at every pitch

o Mistakes of commission are worse than mistakes of omission
a) Omission – missing a multibagger – discipline in action
b) Commission – investing in losers – reflects breakdown of discipline

o Don’t get distracted by macro issues, focus on what you know ie the workings of the business

o Stay within ur circle of competence

o Volatility – Mr market’s dramatic mood swings creates opportunities .. look for those with significant margin of safety

o Be greedy when others r fearful; be fearful when others r greedy

o Read a lot

What to look for
o If you don’t understand a business don’t buy it

o Differentiate between a volatile stock and volatile business

o Mkt caps r a measure of co’s clout n borrowing power but cash in the door qtr after qtr matters more

o Look for companies with favourable long term prospects run by honest n competent mgt

o Look for a business that has been doing the same thing that it was doing a decade ago. Why
a) It had plenty of time to figure out how to get things right
b) Co. has likely found a niche

o Look for economic franchises – cos which provide products
a) Needed or desired
b) Not overly capital intensive
c) Seen by its customers to have no close substitutes
d) No price regulation

o Look for companies with moats – sustainable competitive advantages

o Look for absence of change..old economy ..boring n mundane businesses

o Concentrate – too much of a good thing is wonderful

o If you are on the right flower, stay there. Avoid the temptations of hyperactivity

o Evaluate the mgt
a) Frugal or spendthrift
b) Repurchases shares/ avoids dilution
c) Candid annual report
d) If the mgt claims to know the future, earnings projections n growth expectations – bad sign.If they hit the targets repeatedly – something is being manipulated

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