The Last Straw

No one wins all the time

Between 2019 and 2020 Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK) underperformed the S&P500 by 37%. It was one of the poorer periods of relative performance for the Oracle of Omaha, who was “burdened” with loads of cash and missed out on a lot of the boom in technology stocks. As you can see, Buffett regularly lags the broader index. And sometimes […]

Process Pays

“To invest successfully does not require a stratospheric IQ, unusual business insights, or inside information,” said Buffett in a foreword to Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor. “What’s needed is a sound intellectual framework for making decisions and the ability to keep emotions from corroding the framework.” According to uncle Warren, factors like habits, character and temperament are what matter most. “What […]

The Start Of Value

The concept of ‘value’ is core to investing. At one level, it’s a relatively straightforward idea, and one we intuitively understand. As investors, we are, essentially, trying to buy assets for less than what they are “really” worth. For us, the value is captured when the wider market recognises and corrects the mispricing. But there’s also value in something that is (somehow) perfectly […]

Valuation for beginners

Valuation is — or at least should be — at the core of any investment decision. Without a general idea of what a stock is ‘really’ worth, how can you know if the market is offering you good value? Defining the true, or intrinsic, value of a business is easy; it’s the discounted value of the cash that can be taken […]

Property Shenanigans

We’ve been a bit distracted at Strawman HQ this week due to an office relocation. More accurately, I got evicted and have been moving house. So apologies for the radio silence on Strawman. Having now relocated 7 times in nearly 11 years I’m pretty much a black belt in the art of the move. And believe you me, it really […]

What to look for this reporting season

Reporting season is always a great opportunity to help separate the signal (business fundamentals) from the noise (share prices). As companies start to drop their half-year results, it’s worth framing up what it is you’re looking for. How you do that will depend on the particular investment strategy you employ but, if you have a longer-term focus, here are a […]

2023 Market Outlook

As we gear up for another year of thrills and spills on the share market, it’s hard to avoid the blitz of market forecasts that are so reliably issued at this time of year. While it’s often interesting to hear what some people expect, you’d be wise to not take them too seriously. To put it bluntly, if your investment […]

Can companies cut their way to greatness?

We’ve seen a solid start to 2023, with the market as a whole already up by more than 6%. Some of the gains in the small-cap space have been far more impressive. Those that have enjoyed the biggest recoveries have tended to be ones that have reported: Strong balance sheets Positive (or at least improving) operating cash flows Sustained sales momentum […]

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