Key resources that helped me improve as an investor
I wanted to put together a short list of materials/resources that have helped me improve tremendously as an investor recently, and over the years.
It’s no secret at this point that as investors we all have to spend a ton of time reading, generating ideas, thinking about business models and doing quantitative and qualitative analysis. Reading a lot has become table stakes, and we all have to familiarize ourselves with company 10Ks, annual reports, conference call transcripts, fund manager letters and idea pitches.
For myself, I now spend the majority of my time on the above, which includes mostly fund manager letters, investment writeups, and annual reports.
When I first started out as an investor, the learning curve was steep, and included having to teach myself about accounting, business valuation, the key players in the investment game, how to find an edge, financial statement analysis, and many other things – a process that is still very much ongoing.
As I continued to read books, study businesses, learn about various industries, and tried to manage a portfolio, I would occasionally come across a writeup, blog post, interview, fund letter, presentation or pitch that really helped tie together in a simple, concise, powerful way a lot of the things I was studying at the time. It’s hard to explain, but sometimes after studying something for months or years on end, you’ll come across a piece of material that just smacks you in the face with simplicity, and forces you to think…’ok, that’s what I’ve been trying to figure out all this time…’
The below list represents some of those things for me. Although a few of the items on the list are more recent, they all helped me cement my understanding of how to value a business, how to think about the decision making process, as well as things like portfolio construction and what it means to be a value investor.
I will be sparsely adding to this list as more things come up, and would love to hear about any reader additions or things that helped other investors improve along the way.
The Holy Grail
Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Letters (1977-2018)
Early Buffett Partnership Letters (1957-1970)
Brian Bares Investment Presentation at Texas Lutheran
Chuck Akre Talk at Google
Joel Greenblatt Columbia Value Investing Class
Bruce Greenwald Columbia Value Investing Lectures
McKinsey and Company Valuation Book – Tim Koller, Marc Goedhart, David Wessels
The Manual of Ideas – John Mihaljevic
You Can Be A Stock Market Genius – Joel Greenblatt
One Up On Wall Street – Peter Lynch
The Dhando Investor – Mohnish Pabrai
The Investment Checklist – Michael Shearn
Fund Manager Letters
Awhile back I put together a ‘non-13F’ list of investors/fund managers who I continuously follow and whose letters and write-ups I always read. As a group, they’ve been one of my best sources of ideas, and have undoubtedly helped me think differently as a minority owner of businesses as well as helped me improve as an investor. Their investment styles are all different, ranging from small/micro cap strategies to special situations to public LBOs, and I’d highly recommend checking them all out. I didn’t bother posting my 13F list of investors I follow as I’m sure most are familiar with many of the ‘big guys’.
The below list is in no particular order.
Peter Rabover of Artko Capital (no site, posts most of his material via Harvest)
Robert Vinall’s Mistakes of Omission Presentation
Fundsmith Manager Terry Smith on the Unique Advantage of Equity Investments
Graham Duncan – The Playing Field
Bill Nygren Oakmark Select Q2 Commentary
Scott Miller SumZero Interview (and everything else he writes)
Norbert Lou Writeups – Value Investors Club
Misbehaving – Richard Thaler
Poor Charlie’s Almanack – Peter Kaufman