Our investment philosophy is simple: We invest in quality companies.
“Inferior quality generally produces inferior economics”
“It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”
“Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre.”
“Generally speaking, I think if you’re sure enough about a business being wonderful, it’s more important to be certain about the business being a wonderful business than it is to be certain that the price is not 10% too high or 5% too high or something of the sort.”
“I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”
“We’ve really made the money out of high-quality businesses.”
“Over the long term, it’s hard for a stock to earn a much better return than the business which underlies it earns. If the business earns 6% on capital over 40 years and you hold it for that 40 years, you’re not going to make much different than a 6% return – even if you originally buy it at a huge discount. Conversely, if a business earns 18% on capital over 20 or 30 years, even if you pay an expensive-looking price, you’ll end up with a fine result.
“So the trick is getting into better businesses.”
“A great company keeps working when you’re not. A great company will eventually earn more and more and more while your just sitting and doing nothing. And a mediocre company won’t do that. So you’re harnessing a long range force that will help you. It’s very important. These mediocre companies, they by and large are going to cause a lot of agony and very modest profits. If you do fine, you’ve got to sell it and find another one. It’s a lot of work. Whereas you just buy one great company, and if you get the right thing at the right price, you just sit there.”
“My investment mistakes are too numerous to list here. I noticed a few years ago that two common threads ran through all my investing mistakes. The first was that I was buying inferior businesses due to what I perceived at the time to be a low multiple (but alas not a low valuation). The second was that I was buying inferior businesses due to the prospect of a fast buck or what analysts term a catalyst”
“Is it a great business? That’s the key question. Is it earning high returns on capital and commanding high margins? Does it have a good history of growing its intrinsic value and rewarding shareholders? Warren Buffett has this great phrase: “If a company has a lousy past and a great future, we’ll miss it.” It’s the same thing here.”
“By owning great companies, you can just forget about all the noise and the irrational market fluctuations. And slowly get rich.”
“Great businesses are rare and so are the opportunities to purchase them advantageously. We attempt to deserve what we want by keeping this firmly front-of-mind.”
“I looked back at the investments that had worked best for me over time and they were regularly in companies with superior business models. I concluded that the ultimate margin of safety was in the quality of the business and not the cheapness of the stock, so I re-orientated my process and decision-making around that”