2018 1st QUARTER LETTER

Posted by on Apr 4, 2018 in Quarterly Letters |

April 4, 2018   “[T]he passage of the present bill [to enact tariffs] would not only increase the cost of living but would react unfavorably on our foreign trade and do much to counteract the good-will among nations which other departments of the government have striven for through diplomatic channels and peace conferences.” — The New York Times   Dear Investor, To loosely paraphrase George Santayana, those who do not...

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2017 4th QUARTER LETTER

Posted by on Jan 2, 2018 in Quarterly Letters |

January 2, 2018   Dear Investor: Given the astronomical gains last year, many clients have understandably asked if they should purchase some Bitcoin. I would say no. Not because it’s a mania, a novelty, or a fad—though it certainly might be all of those things. I would say no for the same reasons I advised against buying companies like Pets.com in 1999. Not because it has no value, but because the value cannot be determined. I have no idea...

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2017 1st QUARTER LETTER

Posted by on Apr 5, 2017 in Quarterly Letters |

April 5, 2017 “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”                                                                                                      –Warren Buffett Dear Investor: The contrarian warning above is the mantra of all value investors. It’s what kept us invested at Dow 6,500 in the depths of the financial crisis—and makes us wary at Dow 20,839 today. Just a year ago, markets were in turmoil....

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2016 4th QUARTER LETTER

Posted by on Jan 5, 2017 in Quarterly Letters |

January 2, 2017 Dear Investor: After last year’s 12% gain in the S&P 500, investors should brace themselves for a more difficult time. Not only is that number higher than the 10% average annualized stock market return over the past century, it follows several good years. The Dow sits just under 20,000, having climbed from 6,547 on March 9, 2009—a sobering fact for the many who sold at the bottom and still sit on the sidelines waiting to get...

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2016 3rd QUARTER LETTER

Posted by on Oct 3, 2016 in Quarterly Letters |

October 3, 2016 Dear Investor: This carnival of an election has most everyone worried, disillusioned or confused. At least with an actual carnival, the nausea induced by the roller coaster comes after some pleasing thrills and chills. No such fun here. An intuitive (and, at first blush, attractive) idea is to sidestep the stock market fallout of a possible Trump victory by selling everything and then buying back after November eighth. But (not...

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2016 2nd QUARTER LETTER

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in Quarterly Letters |

July 6, 2016 Dear Investor: It’s not often that a national market trades at a price below its liquidation value, but that’s Japan today. The yen’s appreciation in the wake of the Brexit—as investors sought safe haven currencies to replace the sickly pound—has sent Japanese stocks reeling to a level they rarely reach: a combined market capitalization which is less than their collective book value (otherwise known as shareholders equity), the...

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