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 around their businesses. You … [Read more...] about Investing in startups through SoftBank
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 memos—which he regularly … [Read more...] about An opportunity to invest in real assets
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 stayed flat since -- … [Read more...] about Revisiting my Blackstone investment
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 country. The stock had already … [Read more...] about Invest in high-quality businesses
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 is a bit more complex. We … [Read more...] about Grading CEOs as capital allocators
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 cash out as they leave. They … [Read more...] about My investments with founder CEOs
Most CEOs make token statements about taking care of shareholders. Some mean it, others don’t. We investors don’t have a good way to judge them. We are not privy to discussions in boardrooms or corner offices. We can’t read their minds either. We don’t get to observe many … [Read more...] about CEOs who take pay cuts
Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, said last month that economic moats are lame: “If your only defense against invading armies is a moat, you will not last long. What matters is the pace of innovation. That is the fundamental determinant of competitiveness.” A few days later, I was in … [Read more...] about Are moats really lame?
The best thing about long-term oriented stock investing is that it doesn’t require lot of work by us, the investors. Instead, we loan our money to people running actual businesses – and they work for us. We own shares in these public companies – so when they make money, we make … [Read more...] about Let smart people work for you!
You can see from my 4Q portfolio update that I have been buying shares of Blackstone (BX). I first bought some shares in the third quarter last year – bought again in the fourth quarter – and my last purchase was in January. Blackstone is a somewhat unusual public company. It … [Read more...] about Why I am buying Blackstone