April Round Table: Our Quest for Excellence

Photo Credit: One lucky guy via Compfight cc

Gather Round … Steeling Away (Continued)

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” — Proverbs 27:17

Ken Kavula and I spent the weekend in Pittsburgh with a couple of groups of disciplined long-term investors. It seems natural to think of extending beyond iron … and instead, think about steel on steel — and the process of sharpening other like-minded investors.

Some of the earliest model clubs were formed in Pittsburgh a couple of decades ago. In fact, one of them received a 20-year certificate this past weekend. And we note the considerable learning and sharing promulgated by a group of people, including but FAR from limited to: Herb Barnett, Pat Donnelly, Theresa Greissinger, Terry Lyons, Larry Robinson, 2011 Groundhog Champion Nick Stratigos and a wide variety of other volunteers and contributors.

We’ve followed the Pittsburgh groups of investors for quite some time — and on this weekend did some quick benchmarking. One club had a +5.5% relative return over 20 years — absolutely exceptional and another checked in at +1.0%. Still another checked in at +0.8% … all in all, some 60-80% of the clubs involved this weekend have generated positive relative returns. Placed in the context of negative 1-2% relative returns for an institutional investing universe and the NEGATIVE 5.6%/year (over 20 years) for “average investors” documented by DALBAR — we’re talking about some exceptional people and some highly differentiated performance.

How do we do it?

1. Imagine. Build an expectation of what the companies you study and own will look like in five years.

2. Invest in the Best. Comprehend quality. Recognize that quality is an insurance policy during corrections, bear markets and recessions … and a bedrock of consistency for long-term results.

3. Be Prudent. Diversify. Be certain to design and maintain a portfolio with the right mix of small, medium and large companies with an overall growth forecast that is sufficient. What is sufficient? A weighted average of 10-12%.

We’ll gather for the April Round Table on Tuesday, April 30 at 8:30 ET. On wings of steel and a relentless quest to not only be a better investor … but to improve the experience of our friends and colleagues on this journey, we look forward to sharing some of our best ideas with all who gather.

It’s FREE and it’s literally come one, come all. Register at: http://www.manifestinvesting.com/events/117-round-table-april-30-2013

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