I prefer investing in established well-run businesses that have defensible business models. Even though some of them are technology companies, I invest in them not because they are considered tech but because they have dug some level of economic moat … [Read More...] about Investing in startups through SoftBank
At the Markel’s shareholder meeting in Omaha in June, someone from the audience posed this question to the company management: “I met a very large international money manager last night for dinner and he warned me that now is not the time to invest … [Read More...] about Gratuitous advice with no accountability
In his 2010 shareholder letter, Warren Buffett wrote that his elephant gun had been reloaded, and his trigger finger was itchy. He was referring to Berkshire’s dry powder cash that was intended for major acquisitions. Extending the same metaphor, … [Read More...] about My gun is reloaded
I have written several times in last two years about my investment in Blackstone (BX). Blackstone is the largest alternative investment asset manager in the world. I have been gradually building up my stake in it for two years. Its shares have mostly … [Read More...] about Revisiting my Blackstone investment
I came across an interview that CNN’s Poppy Harlow did with Warren Buffett in September 2018. She said investors were worried about cracks showing in the U.S. economy after a long nine-year run. And then she asked if Buffett was worried about an … [Read More...] about A very short bear market?
High quality businesses keep on giving—year in and year out. This is one key lesson I learned in my early investing years. Take the case of Wal-Mart (WMT) for instance. Ten years after its IPO in 1970, Wal-Mart had presence in just about 15% of the … [Read More...] about Invest in high-quality businesses
One of my all-time favorite authors on investing is Howard Marks. He is a practitioner (not an academic) but also has a way with words. It’s not just me—Marks’ memos are widely read. His first book, The Most Important Thing, was a best-seller. His … [Read More...] about An opportunity to invest in real assets
CenturyLink (CTL), a large U.S. telecom operator, has just slashed its dividend by more than one-half. For the last two years, it had sported a mouth-watering double-digit dividend yield that reached as high as about 16% recently. It was no surprise … [Read More...] about My uber dividend payers
Last week, John Rekenthaler of Morningstar wrote an article on worst alternative investments of the decade. Market-neutral funds were among his top-five worst investments. Average annual return from the funds in this category was 0%. He wrote this, … [Read More...] about Market neutral investing
What a quarter that was! The US stock market first reached a new high in October and then dropped 10%. It bounced around for a while. And then in late December, it dropped again—this time more than 15% off its peak. By some measures, it actually … [Read More...] about Investing amid volatility: My 4Q update
I wrote about my principal-protected investments in a February blog post (Market neutral investing). Those are only a tiny fraction of my portfolio. I only use them for my liquid capital—money that I might need in short order and therefore can’t be … [Read More...] about Careful with defined outcome investing
2018 was a brutal year for individual stock investors. Following the relatively calm performance in 2016 and 2017, the US stock market in 2018 was marked with high volatility. It went down by 10% in the first quarter, and then gradually recovered. It … [Read More...] about Investor anxiety
A lot of investor underperformance comes from them trying their utmost to avoid seeing losses. Emotionally, losses hurt twice as much as gains feel good. But there is no way to avoid seeing short-term losses in long-term investing. It’s inevitable … [Read More...] about A gauge for my portfolio
A couple of weeks ago I was at our local library checking out the Barron’s weekly. They had their annual roundtable issue out. Every year in January, Barron’s invites a few successful well-known money managers to gather around a table and discuss … [Read More...] about Weekend worrying about the economy
A week ago, I heard Blackstone’s COO, Jon Gray, talk about his company’s recent growth tilt. He said that decline in the U.S. interest rates that has gone on for last 30 years has come to an end. And with that, expansion of valuation multiples too. … [Read More...] about My two-year bet on Apple
During the holidays, I had some idle time and I re-read parts of Jason Zweig’s 2007 book, Your Money & Your Brain. It’s a good book with lots of interesting anecdotes. It was also one of my early reads into investor psychology. In one section … [Read More...] about How I keep my long-term investing outlook?
The other day, I came across an interesting, albeit hypothetical, auction scenario: Ten companies were bidding for the right to drill in a land tract. Each had done a geological survey of the land and privately assessed how much oil is in there. … [Read More...] about Anchor on a business’s value, not its price
RealtyShare, a crowdfunded real-estate investing operation, just shut down its business a few weeks ago. Hopefully, everyone who invested through them will be fine. The company said they will keep skeleton staff to manage existing properties for … [Read More...] about How am I investing in commercial real-estate?
If there were just two questions to ask about a CEO, ask these: Does he run the business well? Is she good in utilizing shareholders’ capital? The first question requires no explanation—this is obviously any CEO’s number one task. The second question … [Read More...] about Grading CEOs as capital allocators
People fear double-digit stock market declines. I see them as opportunities. The US stock market has been more volatile lately. And my portfolio is better off because of this volatility. I just finished reading Nassim Taleb’s book Antifragile. He … [Read More...] about Volatility is good for my investments
Last year in November I wrote a blog post (Why I Stay Invested in Stocks?) about some investors (they were my friends) who were convinced that a market crash was imminent, and they were waiting on sidelines with cash to invest. Well, this is nearly … [Read More...] about Why that market crash didn’t happen?
The median tenure of public company CEOs is about five years . They come and go. Many of them are paid handsomely to run a company—in either cash or stocks that vest in 3 to 4 years. They’d own some shares while they work for the company and then … [Read More...] about My investments with founder CEOs