Quality Growth Investor Conference

Quality Growth Quarterly Issue 2

     
Quality Growth Quarterly

To mark the launch of the inaugural Quality-Growth Investor Conference we have launched a similar publication to "Value Investor Digest" which is now in its 48th issue. In the second issue we feature a Lindsell Train article titled "Quantifying Quality" plus 18 other articles below, including those from speakers at the rescheduled London Quality-Growth Investor Conference in March 2021.

Lindsell Train: Quantifying Quality

"I want to conclude then by suggesting that our performance is the result of a qualitative process that seemingly can’t easily be factorised...Look at the top-five leading contributors to performance since inception - LSE, Shiseido, Nintendo, Intuit and Kao. Three of these (all Japanese as it happens); Shiseido, Nintendo and Kao, were not obviously textbook quality companies when we first bought them. The business vitals were ok with mid-single digit returns and margins, but certainly nothing that would jump out at you from a screen. All though have improved dramatically in the eight or nine years that we’ve held them.

 
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London Quality-Growth Investor Conference Rescheduled for 24th March 2021 Earlybird Rate Available Now

WSJ: How Tim Cook Made Apple His Own

"The industrial engineer has turned Steve Jobs’s creation into a corporate colossus, delivering one of the most lucrative business successions in history...Transitions from dominant leader to successor are seldom successful. Microsoft Corp. stumbled when Bill Gates ceded the reins and General Electric Co. sank after Jack Welch passed the baton."


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Authers' Notes: Does the U.S. Have an Oligopoly Problem?

"Government doesn’t need to be heavy handed and arbitrarily break up companies in some vindictive, random way. As the book argues, there are dozens of mergers that have reduced competition. The government can reverse those mergers. In fact, that is what the antitrust laws explicitly allow and call for...There are loads and loads of mergers that could be reversed, for example Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick or Admob."


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Visual Capitalist: How the S&P 500 Performed During Major Market Crashes

"The COVID-19 disruption to stock markets caused a shock the world over. But how does the present market crash compare to previous crises we're familiar with? Here, we examine how long major market crashes have lasted, and the percentage losses in the S&P 500."


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Orbis: The Case for Unglamorous Growth

“Imagine you are at a cocktail party in May 2012. The conversation turns to the stock market, and your friend mentions that she bought Facebook at its initial public offering that month. You tell everyone that you just invested in a trucking business. While your friend instantly becomes the life of the party, you spend the rest of the evening staring into your drink."

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Seth Klarman - Baupost Q2 Letter

“In the short-term, colleges and even homeless shelters may lease hotel rooms to facilitate social distancing for their populations. But, over time, we expect hotel supply to shrink in some markets. The networking benefits of large conferences suggest those are likely to return post-pandemic. But run of the mill business travel – the one-day sales meeting in an airport hotel conference room – is not likely to come roaring back."

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Goldman Says Covid-19 Vaccine Approval Could Upend Markets

“Approval of a vaccine could 'challenge market assumptions both about cyclicality and about eternally negative real rates,' the team wrote, adding such a scenario may support steeper yield curves, traditional cyclicals and banks, while challenging the leadership of technology stocks."

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Ten Years of The Times Digital Paywall: How Murdoch's 'Big Gamble' Paid Off

“It is now ten years since the Times launched its online subscription model, putting all of its content behind a hard paywall. Times head of digital Alan Hunter noted on Twitter that in 2010 the consensus was that 'nobody would pay' for general interest news. 'Now more than 300,000 do – and paid v free is no longer a debate.'"

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The Longest ‘Long’ of All-Time

“As of 10th January 2020, before the coronavirus was seriously troubling western markets, the FAAMG group (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google) made up 17.4% of the total market capitalisation of the S&P 500 index. This level of market concentration was already equivalent to the market concentration just prior to the dotcom crash in 2000. Since then, the market fortunes of the mega five have improved further, so that they now make up 21.7% of the S&P 500. Their market share has increased by 25% in the first six months of this year. While this is striking in itself, consider that the market share of these giants, as at 31st March, 2017, was 13%. The market share of the big 5 has increased by 67% in just over three years."

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GS Talks: Michael Dell

“We’re seeing this rapid emergence of a connected and intelligent world where all the physical objects are becoming instrumented and connected and digitized. 5G is about connecting things. 4G was about connecting people. And if you think you have lots of data now, you’ll have a thousand times more in a few years. And so, the combination of 5G, AI, IoT all reinforce each other and I think are going to enable us to do more than we’ve ever imagined."

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WSJ Saturday Essay: The Rescues Ruining Capitalism

“Easy money and constant stimulus have undermined the basic dynamics of the free market. We’ve paid the price in low growth and productivity, falling entrepreneurship and rising inequality."

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3 Business Lessons from the Surprisingly Tech-Savvy U.S. Postal Service

“The next time you hear “snail mail,” think about this: every day, the United States Postal Service (USPS) processes and delivers 181.9 million pieces of mail (5,464 a second) and manages an army of 82,000 mail carriers while processing about 118,000 address changes."

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How The Whisky Exchange Became The World’s Largest Online Retailer Of Scotch

“TWE is well known to American Scotch whisky enthusiasts. It’s the go to place to source rare and limited editions bottlings of Scotch whisky. It’s London office also hosts one of the world’s largest collection of Scotch whiskies. Recently, I sat down with Sukhinder Singh, co-founder, along with his brother Rajbir Singh, and CEO of The Whiskey Exchange to discuss the business of being the world’s largest online retailer of whisky as well as his fabled personal whisky collection."

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Interview With Polen Capital’s Dan Davidowitz And Jeff Mueller

“Polen Capital’s track record of outperformance over three decades stems from their ownership of high quality businesses. I’d put them in the class of investor with the likes of Chuck Akre, Nick Train, Terry Smith, Francois Rochon, Paul Black and Nicholas Sleep, who’ve earned their returns from the compounding power of the underlying businesses they’ve chosen to own. These ‘compounding machines’ are often large well-known businesses, each with enduring competitive advantages that support high returns on capital, defying capitalism’s reversion to the mean."

LISTEN

Soy Sauce, Robot Surgeons and Pet Care: Stock Selection Beyond Covid-19 Crisis

"The robotics surgery area of the market has been harmed in the short term because many health centres simply are not open or at full capacity...But in five years' time, do we think the number of robotic surgery procedures is going to increase? Yes, because it will reduce the strain and costs on healthcare systems and will mean patients are treated more efficiently. It is a nice structural trend."

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Trouble at Intel

“Apple likely knew of Intel’s delay a few months ago, and likely catalyzed them to move even faster with their transition. More importantly, it creates a big problem for Intel in the data center, which is their largest profit driver. Server customers want the best performance. Cloud scale providers – who consume something like 70% of Intel’s data center products – make purchases based on performance per dollar per watt."

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WSJ: As E-Commerce Booms, Robots Pick Up Human Slack

"The four workers are actually 260-pound industrial robot arms. Manufactured by Waukegan, Ill.-based Yaskawa America, they are equipped with computer vision and artificial intelligence from San Antonio-based Plus One Robotics. They work only about half as fast as skilled humans in the same roles, but they are quickly becoming an important part of the chain of machines and people that keep packages flowing through the world’s largest air freight facility."

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eVestment: Top Viewed Equity Products by Institutional Investors and Consultants: July 2020

This monthly report of the top viewed equity products by institutional investors on eVestment is well worth keeping track of.

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50 Cognitive Biases in the Modern World

This comprehensive visual from Visual Capitalist covers 50 cognitive biases.

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  • ““Growth is always a component in the calculation of value, constituting a variable whose importance can range from negligible to enormous and whose impact can be negative as well as positive”

    Warren Buffett
  • “Growth and Value are joined at the hip”
    Joel Greenblatt
  • “I don’t love Ben Graham and his ideas the way Warren does…Ben Graham had a lot to learn as an investor”
    Charlie Munger
  • “Growth and Value are joined at the hip”
    Joel Greenblatt
  • “I am so tired and fatigued with this ‘growth versus value’ argument”
    Robert Hagstrom
  • “Graham & Dodd investors are people who place a very high price on having the last laugh. In exchange for that privilege they have missed out on a lot of laughs inbetween.”
    Michael Lewis

  • “By what principle is it that when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?”

    Thomas Babington Macaulay

  • “The stock of a growing company, if purchasable at a suitable price, is obviously preferable to others.”

    Benjamin Graham

  • “It is natural and proper to prefer a business which is large and well managed, has a good record, and is expected to show increased earnings in the future. But these expectations, though seemingly well-founded, often fail to be realized. Many leading enterprises of yesterday are today far back in the ranks. Tomorrow is likely to tell a similar story.”

    Benjamin Graham and David Dodd
  • Questioner:
    “I keep hearing people like Doug Kass say that buy and hold
    investing is dead. Do you think that’s true?”
    Warren Buffett:
    “Well, it depends what you buy and hold.”
  • “The Stock Market is designed to transfer money from the Active to the Patient.”
    Warren Buffett
  • “As time goes on, I get more and more convinced that the right method in investment is to put fairly large sums into enterprises which one thinks one knows something about and in the management of which one thoroughly believes.”
    John Maynard Keynes
  • “The whole ‘growth and value’ debate I personally feel is nonsensical in a way because why would you consciously overpay for anything?”
    Rajiv Jain
  • “Rapid growth can be a misleading indicator of added value because it can be generated simply by pouring capital into a business.”
    G. Bennett Stewart
  • “Investment is most intelligent when it is most business-like”
    Benjamin Graham