Business Philosophy

Philosophical Underpinnings from 2011 Booth-Laird Annual Letter to Investors

We recently completed and sent to our investors the 2011 Annual Letter.  Below are three excerpts from the letter that discuss key philosophical underpinnings of how we run the Partnership and think about investing. Excerpt 1: Thoughts on Cash   In July, we sent you an e-mail entitled “Mid-Year Update.”  We now follow up on three … » Continue Reading

Durable Competitive Advantage Series: Differentiated Manufacturing

The first thing we do when analyzing a new business is to develop a thorough understanding of the industry in which it operates.  The primary purpose is to understand how a company can create a durable competitive advantage (DCA) in that industry, which allows the company to achieve above average market share and results for … » Continue Reading

Beware the Sirens’ Call: The Discount to Book Value Trap

In Greek mythology, unsuspecting sailors were lured to their deaths by the sweet, soothing song of the Sirens.  Like those unfortunate sailors, many investors today are lured to poor investments in financial stocks by the sweet sound of “available at a discount to book value.”  Like Odysseus’s sailors in the Odyssey, investors would do well … » Continue Reading

Business Lessons Learned from Non-Business Discussions at the CEO Forum

Last week I attended the CEO Forum hosted by 1012 Magazine in New Orleans.  Being a CEO myself and assessing CEO’s on a daily basis as part of my analysis of potential investments, I was intrigued by the opportunity to attend an event called the “CEO Forum.” The event was meant to promote business and … » Continue Reading

No man is an island

The past week has been an interesting one in US stock market.  Why? Primarily because of Greece and China.  China is raising reserve requirements on its banks, which will lead to reduced lending and, therefore, slower expansion, raising fears about the viability of the worldwide recovery. Greece’s government has basically threatened to default on its … » Continue Reading

What I learned today: Don’t flinch

Those who follow professional football are aware of the Indianapolis Colts’ perfect season thus far (14-0 as I write this). Even though the season is not yet over, the Colts have already set a record by coming back to win after being behind during the 4th quarter 7 times this season.  That means that in … » Continue Reading

What I learned today: Don’t miss the future for the present

We’ve all heard the phrase “you miss the forest for the trees,” which, of course, means that you’re not seeing the big picture.  When people use that phrase, they are normally referring to the fact that you are getting too granular or tactical instead of focusing on the overarching scheme.  However, I think it also … » Continue Reading

What I learned today: Maintain discipline at all times

I recently read a great article in Fortune magazine about the CEO of American Express.  In the article, I learned some key information about the credit card industry and confirmed my theory on the impact that the new credit card regulations will have on the industry.  As you might have guessed, a cap on interest … » Continue Reading