What we said in our fund newsletters over the years …
2010 – 2019
The fund performed strongly in December, despite the lack of company specific news, and smaller index gains. This illustrates the rationale for value investing – cheap company valuations will be eventually recognized by investors, even in the absence of price catalysts.
Lower prices in the near term are good for long term investors (do you prefer to shop in supermarket aisle offering the week’s cut price cheap deals, or where the supermarket has just increased prices?). … A combination of steady increases in the fund’s underlying value, combined with cheap valuations are ideal qualities for a long-term focused value fund.
There will always be market price fluctuations over the short term, but in the longer term we have every confidence (then and now) that prices will reflect valuation fundamentals when the outlook of this manic-depressive fellow (Mr Market) changes.
More importantly, the stocks we own are undervalued which makes for an undervalued portfolio. In a world that goes gaga over price movements, we see things from a different starting point, focusing on stock fundamentals based on balance sheet and financial statements. We believe that if we get the fundamentals especially valuation right, stock price will take care of itself.
Why invest in Japan, when the economy has barely grown in the last two decades? Our simple answer is the fund finds many opportunities to invest in profitable companies with strong balance sheets at CHEAP valuations. Remember that good companies/economies don’t always make good investments if they are overpriced, and bad companies/economies don’t make bad investments if they are underpriced. Valuations are key in making profitable investments, even when there is little economic growth.
We believe company valuations should reflect the company’s business value in the medium term. Time is the friend of the long term value investor.
We do not rely on luck but lean entirely on hard work in the implementation of our investment process which we also believe to be sound. In a world that changes every other day, this aspect of ourselves will not change.
From our own experience over the years, we have found that the macro picture need not always trump the micro picture in every case, provided that management of the enterprises are competent and qualified for the tasks at hand. As fund manager, it is our duty to find and go with those people who are competent and honest (and only consider stocks that are undervalued).
Our unswerving belief is that our clients and shareholders will be better off tomorrow than they are today (as they are today compared to yesterday) as we implement our stated value investment strategy for them through all weather conditions and all seasons.