Jeffrey Ubben

People don't believe business quality is a hedge, but if your valuation discipline holds and you get the quality of the business right, you can take a 50-year flood, which is what 2008 was, and live to take advantage of it. We incurred a markdown in 2008, and it was arguably just that. You may [...]

Jeffrey Ubben

We like to live with smaller investments in a company for three to six months before making a full commitment. It gives us an opportunity to even better understand the company and its business while getting to know management and whether we're all on the same page. Sometimes the stock pops quickly and the valuation [...]

Jeffrey Ubben

After taking a relatively small position, we'll look to further establish our relationship with the board and management, which should allow us a deeper understanding of both the organization and the business. Management will say the business is going to do this based on how they're managing it, and if that happens, that's helpful, and [...]

Jeffrey Ubben

The basic reason our investment strategy adds value is that board members are classic agents, not principals. The information board members get about what shareholders want comes from the CEO. However well intended, board members mostly lack enough fundamental knowledge about the business to challenge the CEO on the performance of the business or new [...]

Jeffrey Ubben

Our interest starts first with the quality of the business. We're not looking for trouble, for quick deals to be made, for fixes, per se, or even for board seats. We buy good businesses at good prices, where we're willing to take on the short-term risk the near-term negative data point because we think the [...]

Jeffrey Ubben

Activists need the capital base, experience, and credibility to follow through by buying the company or going on the board to help fix it if steps aren't being taken to address their concerns. You need to be more than a yeller and screamer whose biggest asset is that you don't care what anybody thinks about [...]

Jeffrey Ubben

I'm catching a falling sword in almost every situation I'm in, and I'm trying to figure out if it's falling from the 2nd floor or the 10th floor. But my capital base is big enough and my appetite to stay concentrated strong enough that, if warranted, I can patiently, over the course of three to [...]

Jeffrey Ubben

What gets our interest is when a target company's share price goes down to the point where the free-cash-flow yield EBITDA minus real capital spending, minus incremental working capital, divided by enterprise value is at least 10 percent. The reason we have do at least cursory work on 100 companies per year is that it [...]

Jeffrey Ubben

Peter Lynch's greatest influence, which still pervades Fidelity, is that you pick up the phone and call companies. At the end of the day, if you haven't spoken to a few companies in existing positions or on new ideas, you go home a failure. That's a good discipline you should spend your day talking to [...]

Jeffrey Ubben

What are we looking for in leadership? Intellectual honesty is probably first. I want the person who is going to address the elephant in the room. It drives me crazy when you meet with management and there are real issues and they act like they aren't there. Also important is a contrarian bent, a confidence [...]