Reblog: Bruce Berkowitz – Our Successful Three Step Approach To Value Investing


One of our favorite investors here at The Acquirer’s Multiple is Bruce Berkowitz. He is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Fairholme Capital Management, and President and a Director of Fairholme Funds. In 2010 Berkowitz was named as the 2009 Domestic-Stock Fund Manager of the Year by Morningstar as well as the Domestic-Stock Fund Manager of the Decade (2000-2009), also by Morningstar. Most recently, he was named 2013’s Money Manager of the Year by Institutional Investor Magazine.

Here’s an excerpt from an interview with Berkowitz in which he succinctly lays out his three-step approach to value investing, including the example of Bank of America:

At Fairholme, we’re very focused on price. Price matters most to us. And we think that price determines much of the success you’re gonna have in the future. So rather than predict what’s going to happen with the company we try to price it correctly with a large margin of safety. So pricing with a significant margin of safety is very important in our rule number one of not losing.

Once we determine what a cheap price is, our next step is to look at the investment and the underlying company and stress test it to determine all the ways that business can go wrong, the environment can go wrong, the balance sheet can go wrong. Try to kill the company.

If we can’t kill the company and we’re buying it at a price that reflects near death we may be onto something very good.

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Reblog: Diversification Or Concentration? Quotes From Some Of The Best Investors


“There is one other rule you ought to keep in mind and that is to concentrate, and not only in the Zen sense. Sweet are the uses of diversity, but only if you want to end up in the middle of an average”  Adam Smith, the Money Game 1968

“Statistical analysis shows that security-specific risk is adequately diversified after 14 names in different industries, and the incremental benefit of each additional holding is negligible. We own 18-22 companies to allow us to be amply diversified but have the flexibility to overweight a name or own more than one business within an industry.” Mason Hawkins

“Empirical testing has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the “riskiness” of a portfolio of 12-15 diverse companies is little greater than one loaded with a hundred or more” Frank Martin

“If you can identify six wonderful businesses, that is all the diversification you need. And you will make a lot of money. And I can guarantee that going into a seventh one instead of putting more money into your first one is gotta be a terrible mistake. Very few people have gotten rich on their seventh best idea. But a lot of people have gotten rich with their best idea. So I would say for anyone working with normal capital who really knows the businesses they have gone into, six is plenty, and I probably have half of what I like best. I don‘t diversify personally. ” Warren Buffett

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