Equity markets were rattled by the financial crisis in 2007. That was seven years ago, but I will never forget what it was like for investors. The mood was apocalyptic and there seemed to be no bottom for stock prices. The falling market precipitated the worst recession in a century and our economy is still convalescing.
Terry, Macbeth was founded in the wake of this crisis. While our Nation teetered on depression, my colleagues and I never questioned the path we chose. We rode out the storm, clinging to the great works of Benjamin Graham: The Intelligent Investor and Security Analysis. His policies were endearing to us because they offered a rational, pragmatic approach to investing. In Graham we had also found a much needed mentor; having weathered The Great Depression, he knew what hard times were like and if anyone could help us navigate the markets it would be him.
The past decade has been most instructive. The financial crisis was tantamount to judgment day for investors. The careful and emotionally disciplined stockholders were saved while speculators were swept away by a colossal tide.
For us, the crisis was a proving ground for Value Investing. At the heart of Graham’s policies is the margin-of-safety principle:
“An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis, promises safety of principal and a satisfactory return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative.”
In practice, this means that investors should focus on operations with very little downside. When practiced with discipline, investors are secure from permanent capital loss when the markets fall because they didn’t overpay to begin with. It also leaves you with enough dry-powder on hand to take advantage of any ensuing discounts.
This keen observation increased our resolve to carry-on and entrenched these core beliefs: (1) the investment philosophy introduced by Benjamin Graham during the great depression is more relevant than ever, (2) it offers the best safe-harbor when markets are in turmoil, and (3) provides the greatest returns in the long run.
We fully embrace the Value Investment Philosophy introduced by Graham and we constantly strive to uphold its high standards in every sphere of our practice. Our goal is to preserve and earn high returns on the capital we manage. We match that with a strong commitment to enrich communities across the globe, especially those touched by our investments. We believe these are one and the same. It is our life mission to master our Practice. Data is our campfire and our efforts to gather, analyze, and understand information is ongoing. We analyze companies, their respective industries, and relevant economic data with great care as it forms the basis of our long-range strategy. Our team has the education, experience, and the discipline to execute. All these characteristics feed into a culture of excellence that makes Terry, Macbeth the model investment partner. Today, it’s the Euro-zone crisis; tomorrow another earthquake or trade embargo? There are many things that trigger upheaval in the markets, but no matter what happens; we are ready.
Our practice has three components: education, research and analysis, and portfolio management. The Terry, Macbeth Blog seeks to educate and inform our partners about value investing and our ongoing operations in that order. We breathe Value Investing and hold firm to the ethos that a good teacher is the best student.