Reflections on Markets in 2009

Nick Train

2009 has seen investor sentiment swing from the depths of despair to the euphoria of the recent rally. Nothing much has changed in our portfolios but we reflect below on a number of aspects of what has occurred.

You Will Come

Nick Train

“Eventually You Will Agree With Me Because You Are Smart And I Am Right….” This, according to Warren Buffett, is how longstanding business partner Charlie Munger concludes any debate the pair has about Berkshire Hathaway’s strategy.

The History Man

Nick Train

An old friend of mine is a historian (well, he has had articles published and lectures at a proper university). He is also an active participant in the equity markets and in no doubt about the gravity of current events.

Is Britain going the same way as Japan?

Michael Lindsell

Japan’s asset price bubble in the late 1980s was founded on an unprecedented stockmarket and property boom. Asset prices inflated to such an extent that they lost any anchor with incomes. At the peak of the boom, mortgages were granted worth 8-10 times incomes and shares traded on an average dividend yield of just 0.5%.

Cash Hoarders and Debt Dependents

Michael Lindsell

Although most of our readers will know by now that we do not construct portfolios with reference to a market index, we do think it is useful to compare the salient characteristics of our portfolios to that of the market indices to have a sense of where our biases lie and to illustrate to our investors where we differ from the average portfolio.

"I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know (Abouth Them/Her)"

Nick Train

There is no need for us to enumerate the worries and uncertainties out there. We feel them as keenly as everyone else and can articulate as apocalyptic a bear case as the next man.

On The Failure...

Nick Train

There have been plenty of “panick terrours” since 1771 of course, up to and including our very own of Summer/Autumn 2007.

Is Japan a 'Buy'?

Michael Lindsell

The dividend yield of the Japanese stock market is rising, partly because dividends are growing but also more recently because share prices are falling. Having sunk to a low of 0.8% in January 2006 the yield on the TOPIX index is today standing at 1.5%.

Bids - Who Isn't Next?

Nick Train

Earlier this year we enjoyed one of those short-lived but welcome “hot” streaks, when all our strategies benefited from a succession of takeover approaches.

Idea Updates

Nick Train

The bull market in UK equities hots up, with takeover speculation, both real and imagined, puffing up valuations. Here, as very long term investors – at least by most people’s standards - we undertake an infrequent evaluation of our key sector assumptions and stock ideas – to ensure they still have the legs to make it to our time horizon.