How we think about investments determines how we act. The tenets of our investment philosophy are the lights that guide what we do.
Get the big calls right
Meaningful investment returns are not earned by making incremental decisions. Superior long-term returns are generated by identifying and taking advantage of economic cycles. In the long term, it is never beneficial to invest in the fast hounds of the slow pack.
Buy at the right price
The price at which one purchases an investment dictates future returns: pay too dear, and future returns are compromised. “Cheap” or “dear” are concepts that crystallise with fundamental analysis of the future revenue streams and associated risks of an investment security. Investing with a margin of safety is critical to reducing the future risk of loss.
Take a long-term view and be patient
Speculation is a short-term activity with an inherently uncertain result. Investment is a long-term activity with a more certain result. Like the maturation of a good wine or the growing of a tree, an investment’s full potential realises over time.
Ignore the benchmark when building portfolios
A benchmark is often representative of what is in vogue or what is simply big. Bigger isn’t always better and fashion is fickle. Portfolios should be constructed by applying objective, independent perspectives to their composition. To outperform the herd you have to be different from the herd.
Diversify and manage risk
Diversification offers possibly the only “free lunch” in the market – it affords the investor the chance to manage the risk of being wrong. Diversification should be used often, but not excessively. Where careful analysis gives an investor greater conviction, less diversification is needed – because the risk of being wrong is lower.