Our Commentaries

Commentary
Taking a step back
“Economies are not delivering for most citizens because of weak competition, feeble productivity growth and tax loopholes.  The answer needs to start with acknowledgement of
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Commentary
Summer Reading: Causes for Optimism
What is progress?  You might think that the question is so subjective and culturally relative as to be forever unanswerable.  In fact it’s one of
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Commentary
‘Que cuandro nos vaya mal, nos vaya como ahora’
‘If we have bad times let them be like today’s’ – This Mexican saying reflects our thoughts as we look back on the first half
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Commentary
Glimpses of the future
“We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”  This ‘law of technology’ keeps getting validated not because we do
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Commentary
Don’t believe us, believe Warren Buffett
The Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, the Woodstock of Capitalism, is the one ‘industry convention’ we attend. Berkshire’s business comprise almost all of
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Commentary
Shoot first, ask questions later…
It is always dangerous to interpolate from personal experience to wider political, economic or social impacts, much less to investment views. Sometimes we must make
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Commentary
O tempera! O mores!
O tempera! O mores!  As we write, two of the major political issues that have dominated politics, media, public discourse and our minds appear to be coming to their conclusions. In
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Commentary
The J. Stern & Co. way: Generating value from disruption, adaption and change
The US Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 156 requires mutual funds to tell investors not to base their expectations of future results on past performance
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Commentary
When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping…
Markets have declined over the past three months. As we know, volatility creates opportunities for long-term investors. Economic turning points like the one we are
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Commentary
Miracle in Carlton Gardens
“In these dark days, we tend to look for little shafts of light that spill from heaven” is the beginning of one of the great
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Commentary
Your Margin is My Opportunity
We have been saying for some time now that we expected markets to become more turbulent and volatile as we are in the midst of
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Commentary
Turbulent Times
“I ask everybody to not think in two-to-three-year time frames, but to think in five-to-seven-year time frames.  When somebody … congratulates Amazon on a good
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Commentary
One way or another …
We were speaking at Latticework, an investment conference in London earlier this month, where one of the other speakers, one of Europe’s most prominent value
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Commentary
Summer Reading
One of the books we have been reading this summer is Titan, Ron Chernow’s biography of John D. Rockefeller, an extraordinary perspective on one of
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Commentary
You have to kill the chicken to scare the monkey
The global turmoil we have experienced for the first half of this year reminds us of this famous Chinese proverb.  Like many proverbs it is
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Commentary
The Return of Classic Coke: Are Big Brands A Decade Late to the Party
A trip to the local Waitrose supermarket last week revealed something many of you will have noticed as well. Classic Coke is back for the
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Commentary
Berkshire Hathaway’s $100 Billion Question
We recently returned from our annual trip to the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, with the same renewed enthusiasm and conviction in investing
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Commentary
It’s Still the Fundamentals, Stupid!
One of our core convictions is that ‘it’s the fundamentals, stupid!’ We have written to you about this a number of times in the past
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Commentary
As Much Digital Freedom as Possible, as Much Regulation as Necessary
Last month we said it was ‘welcome back to the good old days.’ The global economy and financial markets are entering a more typical phase:
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Commentary
2018: It’s All About The Fundamentals
It is easier to be a critic than a creator, a consultant than an entrepreneur, or a commentator than an investor. The two headlines are
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Commentary
Time in the Market is more Important than Market Timing
The Dow Jones Industrial index goes back to 1885 but is not the most fashionable these days. Its oldest constituents are GE (added in 1907),
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Commentary
Getting Back to Business
Whatever happened to September being the month we all come back to from our various summer exploits to get back to business? The news flow
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Commentary
Summer Reading: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
August is a time to catch up on summer reading. This year one of the books we are reading is Ron Chernow’s authoritative biography of
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Commentary
Investing in 2017…
In this most politically turbulent of years we examine what political risk means to investing, Investing in 2017… Posted on Jun 2017 Political risk means
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Commentary
Wise Investment Lessons from Omaha: Buffet and Munger on Alphabet and Amazon.
Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting in Omaha provided a profound lesson in investment wisdom that has allowed Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger to generate unprecedented
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Commentary
The Year of the Rooster
It is the Chinese Year of the Rooster and there is quite a lot to crow about. The US and European economies have continued their
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Commentary
Companies not Markets
Companies not Markets Posted on Feb 2017 “The premiumization continues in the US market, the more you go up the ladder, the stronger the growth…
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Commentary
It’s the fundamentals, stupid!
Our conviction is to invest in quality and value, do our own work and invest for the long-term. 2016 was a profitable year for us
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Commentary
Investment Opportunities in 2017
In December’s commentary we look ahead to 2017 and its opportunities. Investment Opportunities in 2017 Posted on Dec 2016 2016 has been an eventful year
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Commentary
Hope for the Best
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and expect the unexpected—putting the US elections in perspective. Hope for the Best Posted on Nov 2016
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Commentary
The show will go on : Donald Trump, uncertainty and opportunity for long-term investors
No one has ever made money betting against the United States. The election of Donald Trump, a businessman and reality TV star with no prior
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Commentary
Deliberate Sense or Unqualified Complaisance?
With the American election looming we look forward to the final months of the year and the number of paradoxes we are facing. Deliberate Sense
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Commentary
Summer readings
We look back on the eventful results of the Brexit referendum and look to the summer ahead. Summer readings Posted on Aug 2016 What are
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Commentary
Plus ça change…
We look ahead to possible turbulent times on the horizon and examine how best to navigate them. Plus ça change… Posted on Jun 2016 The
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Commentary
Great Companies at Good Prices
Chris Rossbach reflects on a recent trip to the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. Great Companies at Good Prices Posted on May 2016 Earlier this month
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Commentary
March Comment
We look back on the first quarter of 2016 and ask ‘Where to now?’ March Comment Posted on Apr 2016 There is a great chart
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Commentary
February Comment
Chris Rossbach reflects on the difficult start to the year in the markets and an interesting lunch with Nestle. February Comment Posted on Mar 2016
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Commentary
There’s no rose without a thorn
In our first monthly commentary of 2016 Christopher Rossbach discusses the tumultuous start year in the markets, and how to keep it in perspective. There’s
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Commentary
Challenges and Opportunities in 2016: Rocking the Bear
2015 was a turbulent year and 2016 has started no less tumultuously. Our monthly comment provides a short review of last year and our views
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Commentary
Love on Delivery
In our commentary on the last month, Love on Delivery, Christopher Rossbach is inspired by an Edwardian love story told through post cards and what
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Commentary
Now is the Summer of our Discontent….. Made Glorious by Amazon.com
In October’s investment commentary, we look at the recovery of the markets from the summer’s volatility and this month’s wave of mega-mergers. It is not
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Commentary
September
September continued to be a volatile month as concerns over China, the upcoming tightening of US monetary policy and the Volkswagen scandal dominated the headlines.
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Commentary
Turning Points
After a good July, global markets were thrown in to turmoil in August that has not abated. At the beginning of the year we commented
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Commentary
Holding Course
After June’s correction, developed market equities posted positive returns in July as a bailout deal was reached for Greece and stronger economic data lifted investor’s
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Commentary
Interesting Times
In this month’s investment commentary, we take stock of our views at the mid-point of the year, the companies we own in portfolios and discuss
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Commentary
Syngenta
In our May investment commentary, we highlight the drivers behind the significant pick-up in merger and acquisition activity over the last eighteen months. As value
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Commentary
Where Next for Markets?
Over the last few weeks, we have seen a sharp reversal in trends across certain asset classes. Long term interest rates have risen by 0.5%
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Commentary
A Good Quarter
Global equity markets ended March on a mixed note. European stocks continued to advance on the back of encouraging corporate earnings, capping off an extraordinary
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Commentary
Back to the Good Old Days
February proved to be another very rewarding month for equity investors, with many of the world’s markets trading near all-time highs as stronger economic growth
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Commentary
Off to the Races
The start of the year was dominated by Central Bank Policy and Politics. Investors welcomed the decision by the European Central Bank to take the
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Commentary
A Good Year, but More Fireworks to Come
2014 proved to be another rewarding year for equity and bond investors although overall returns were heavily influenced by the base currency of the portfolio
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Commentary
Happy Holidays from Riyadh, and a Prosperous New Year
Whilst equity markets continued their recovery from last month’s lows, November was dominated by the collapse of oil prices following Opec’s decision not to cut
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Commentary
If…
In this month’s publication entitled “If…”, we discuss the turbulences of this month’s markets, but explain why we see reasons to be cheerful, albeit vigilant,
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Commentary
Autumn Blues
The last six weeks have been characterised by a significant pick-up in volatility, a correction in equities, declining commodity prices, a widening in credit spreads
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Commentary
Steady as She Goes
A positive outcome for most risk assets last month disguised the volatility during the month. There are plenty of reasons to remain optimistic on the
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Commentary
As good as it gets?
Asset prices have done well in the first seven months of the year, though giving back some of those gains in late July… As good
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Commentary
So Far So Good, But We Are Just Getting Started
The year in investments has shaped up well so far, validating our confidence in our long- term investments. With resilient and growing global economies but
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