Explaining Our Investment Process
Investing is a long term game. It's not about trying to get one up on the market every single day, it is a process that requires dedication, prudent decision making and most importantly time.
It might surprise you to learn, just how important the last one really is. Take the Oracle of Omaha himself, the most quoted investor on earth Warren Buffett. As unbelievable as it sounds, over 99.5% of his wealth has been generated after his 52nd birthday. Time is your best friend when it comes to investing.
I believe that particularly for your investments within the stock market, there are core principles that are essential to hold as the integral rational behind your investments.
Understanding and remembering that shares are stakes of ownership in actual businesses. Much like a private business owner would not selling a highly profitable, fast growing business in a sector with a huge market if it was to have one bad month of sales, it is crucial for us to remember to do the same with our public owned companies (shares).
Focusing on the true worth of the business, rather than the price. For 6 hours a day, 5 days a week the price of a share in a company is constantly changing. However, almost always the underlying worth of these companies have not changed, and it is an essential part of the process to disconnect the current price with the long-term value.
Using fundamental analysis of the business to calculate the intrinsic value of the company. This means critically evaluating the cash flow statements, income statements, balance sheet and implementing this through long term analytical tools such as the Discount Cashflow Analysis. In simple terms, in means working out how much cash the company will generate in the future, then applying a discount to this value to account for the risk of owning a business versus safer investments such as a government bond.
Recognizing that the greatest investment opportunities occur when there is a significant divergence between the price of an investment in the market and the true fundamental value, we have determined using the tools of point 3.
Utilising the emotional and psychological discipline to act only when opportunity is presented and not simply because others have been buying or selling a company we own or are interested in.
Equity markets can be a fickle beast at times. In a perfectly market efficient world, stock prices would only move when significant fundamental information regarding the future prospects of the underlying company and moves would be inline with the associated changes to intrinsic value.
However, other than the Mona Lisa, things in life tend not to be perfect. In the context of financial markets, this means that share prices can be driven by a multitude of factors of which include; rampant speculation, mania, momentum and a rafter of other causation factors.
As we all know, bubbles are delicate instruments and only require the slightest friction before there imminent demise.
Throughout the history of financial markets periods of extreme over exuberance are followed by a painful (and often over enthusiastic) sell off. Typical of these events every investor who exhibits extreme confidence in the future, became pessimists of the highest magnitude.