Thomas Russo

As it turns out, one of the key lessons of investing is that the best successes are born during times when you're not a winner. I was down 2 percent in 1999 [a year the S&P 500 rose 21 percent] and it was probably my best year. Nothing worked that year, but resisting the temptation [...]

Thomas Russo

2008 was really quite profound for me as an investor. It increased my resolve to hold only companies I deeply believe in because you never quite know when forces outside of your control set off a tidal wave across markets that shakes everything to its foundation. During a crisis, the less conviction you have about [...]

Thomas Russo

There is no way to make a good deal with a bad person. It's the character of the people you go into business with that will fundamentally determine your investment returns and your ability to sleep well and eat well in the meantime. If you're not comfortable with the people involved because of their prior [...]

Thomas Russo

In addition to the capacity to invest behind growth, it's equally vital in our companies that corporate leadership has the will to do so even when such investments burden current reported profits. Jean-Marie Eveillard used to talk about the importance for investors to have the “capacity to suffer,” and I'd argue that same capacity to [...]

Thomas Russo

Often spin-off opportunities are bond-like in nature, generating a lot of cash, with a great base of assets and excellent incentives in place for the right things to be done Many times companies find themselves in what the market considers predicaments because they have been farsighted and are spending on future opportunities. The good most [...]

Thomas Russo

For the types of companies I generally invest in sophisticated global companies like Diageo, Nestlé, Pernod Ricard the information is generally accessible and complete, so I don’t require a greater margin of safety or lower multiples because they’re international. Also, partly because the field hasn’t been as crowded, I’ve had as good, if not better, [...]

Thomas Russo

We probably held 35 to 40 percent in non-U.S. stocks five years ago and that number today is closer to 70 percent. Most of that is a result of company-by- company assessment, but I will admit to casting an eye toward history and wondering if today’s U.S.-centric investor isn’t like the similarly positioned British investor [...]

Thomas Russo

One of the lessons I took from Warren Buffett years ago was to define the areas you’re comfortable with and stick to them. I generally stay focused on food, beverage and tobacco companies. Branded consumer businesses are those for which I have a natural affinity and that I think I understand. While I would have [...]

Thomas Russo

There is something inevitable to me about positional goods. Once you’ve provided for your basic needs, you start to march up the consumption curve and it is often the more traditional brands that attract the consumer as he reaches a new position in life. The more you prosper, the more narrow the universe of items [...]

Thomas Russo

I'm a value investor, which says I want to buy 50-cent dollars, but given my firm's predilection for serving the needs of taxable investors, I also want that dollar to tax-efficiently compound in value over long periods of time. That means the businesses I find attractive must have great capacity to reinvest, which is not [...]