Investors come up with all kinds of reasons to own or not own stocks, and in times of stress the reasons can become nonsensical because people get driven by this cascade of negative information. We see analyst reports all the time that say they don’t like a stock short-term or they don’t see a catalyst [...]
There’s increasingly a distinction without a difference. Nestlé is Swiss, Diageo is British, Johnson & Johnson is American and Philip Morris International is headquartered down the street from us but no longer has any business in the U.S. We own all of them and in most of the ways that matter to investors, the analysis [...]
We like to operate under the illusion that if we see something that is out-and-out unacceptable being done, that there’s a clear rulebook and well-defined avenue to complain about it. It’s not clear that’s yet the case in China.
In general, you still see less long-term commitment to owning equities by investors outside the U.S. When markets run into trouble, you’ll see more wholesale selling of equities by big non-U.S. institutional holders. There may be some historical precedent to that, but we hope it continues.
When you have a model you believe in, that you've used for a long time and which is more empirical than intuitive, sticking with it takes the emotion away when markets are good or bad. That's been a central element of our success. It's the emotional dimension that drives people to make lousy, irrational decisions.
Our entire process is rooted in Ben Graham's simple philosophical framework for investing. He believed there were two values for every stock, the first being the current market price, and the second what the share would be worth if the entire company were acquired by a knowledgeable buyer or if the assets were liquidated, the [...]