Since our foundation we have specialised in a distinctive method of investing that prioritises the avoidance of permanent capital losses. This is achieved through cautious asset allocation and the careful selection of high quality companies.
We are investors in long-term assets. Therefore our investing time horizon is long and we measure performance against returns available from keeping cash on deposit. We do not seek to manage risk by closely tracking a benchmark, hedging our risks, or going ‘short’ investment securities. Risk management is instead conducted through a conservative allocation of capital among high quality and easily traded securities, together with the selection of excellent businesses when they are available at reasonable prices.
We use long-term measures of value to distinguish between cheap and expensive assets. Any products will become more fully invested in riskier asset classes when their prices are sufficiently cheap to compensate us for their risks.
We are long-term investors, so we must be confident that a business can generate growing amounts of cash long into the future. We therefore invest in businesses with high returns on invested capital that are sustained by durable competitive advantages. We buy these companies when three further conditions are met: first, their balance sheets are soundly financed so that management have the freedom to allocate capital to continue the company’s growth; second, they are managed by people who we are confident will act in the best interests of shareholders; and lastly, when their shares are quoted at a price that underestimates future cash flows.
What is popular in investment markets often does not produce the best outcomes for investors because valuations already discount their merit. Our long-term approach enables us to look through, and take advantage of, the short-term noise generated in the markets. We buy when we believe a company’s share price significantly understates its long-term potential, often when a company has fallen out of favour.
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