are we the proverbial frog in a pot?

The boiling frog parable is often used as a metaphor for people's inability to react to threats that arise gradually. The story goes that if a frog is placed suddenly into a pot of boiling water, it will jump out. However, if the frog is put in tepid water which is then slowly brought to … Continue reading are we the proverbial frog in a pot?

investing in a tortoise

In a world of artificially low interest rates, public market investors seem to be rewarding one thing: growth. However, I have always had a preference for lower growth companies with extremely stable/predictable revenue streams, great cash conversion and a sensible capital allocation policy. This investment philosophy describes the type of investments many Private Equity firms target … Continue reading investing in a tortoise

the predictive power of the yield curve

The vast majority of posts on this blog will be centered around my investment philosophy which is 99.9% bottom up, value based, fundamental analysis. However, there are a few macro indicators that I keep track of in order to take the "temperature" of the overall market. While I would never base an individual investment thesis or overall … Continue reading the predictive power of the yield curve

it’s the end of the world as we know it…

Apologies in advance for the bait-and-switch, but this is not an article in which I warn you about imminent financial Armageddon. However, listening to the famous R.E.M. song over the weekend got me thinking -  what if the (financial) world did actually come to an end tomorrow?   Broad-based market sell-offs are inevitable and it's … Continue reading it’s the end of the world as we know it…

why long term thinking is crucial

With the market becoming increasingly focussed on the short term earnings outlook for a company, I thought it would be worthwhile stepping back to first principles: how do we determine what a business is worth? The idea of a stock being worth the present value of all the future cash flows it would generate was … Continue reading why long term thinking is crucial

sometimes all you have to do is pick up the $20 note

There is an old economics joke that tells the story of a Finance Professor and his student walking down the street together: The student looks down and sees a $20 bill on the street and says, “Hey, look a twenty-dollar bill!” Without even looking, his older and wiser Professor replies, “Nonsense. If there had been … Continue reading sometimes all you have to do is pick up the $20 note

A quant scan for good capital allocators

Over the past few weeks I've been doing some in-depth due diligence on a potential investment that operates in the advertising industry. A key focus of my DD process is the sustainability of customers and their associated annual spend - recurring revenues from loyal, sticky customers are high on my priority list. A quick way … Continue reading A quant scan for good capital allocators

reducing hindsight bias through decision journals

One of the key modifications that I've made to my investment process this year, is the introduction of a decision journal. I came across the concept many years ago but never followed through with the implementation. That changed after I read The Emotionally Intelligent Investor, by Ravee Mehta. Throughout the book he preaches the importance of understanding one’s … Continue reading reducing hindsight bias through decision journals

some quick thoughts on valuation

The more investments I make and the longer I spend thinking about this game, the less emphasis I place on valuation. This may sound counterintuitive given I place myself firmly in the value investor camp. So, let me clarify:   Firstly, I think setting price targets and determining exact valuations is naive, unnecessary, and dangerous. Believing … Continue reading some quick thoughts on valuation