The investment landscape constantly changes. That is why we continue to stick to our proven, time-tested, repeatable investment approach. This “business first” process has strong economic underpinnings because, over time, stock prices tend to follow earnings growth and corporate earnings have historically grown faster than inflation.
Last year, our Research Team visited or spoke with more than 175 companies and met with managers, competitors, and customers in pursuit of knowing our investments as well as possible. In 2017 (through the end of May), that number is already 140 including several industry conferences in just the past couple of weeks.
We want to know management very well and it’s important to see how their operational view varies over time — especially during periods of adversity. Some topics we address are: business and industry trends, the competitive environment, financial goals, and capital allocation decisions.
We believe this in-depth research — a relentless pursuit of high-quality businesses with excellent management teams — combined with patient and price-sensitive portfolio management, is the best way to preserve and grow wealth over the long term. It helped us greatly in the past four decades and it should continue to help us despite the perpetual changes all around us.