“Process provides discipline. It provides accountability. It gives you a framework with which to work. You don't become a professional golfer without countless hours spent practicing your swing. And you don't become good at investing without years of practicing an investment process—an investment discipline.”
Our investment process is both dynamic and disciplined—one part science, one part art. Intellectually agnostic, it combines disciplined methodology and gut intuition to limit excessive risk and capture the great return potential small caps offer.
Ours is a parallel, nonlinear process that creates a "virtuous circle" of investment thought. It combines our top-down perspective with bottom-up analysis—so we don't trip over our feet while our heads are in the clouds. It requires relevant experience and sound judgment.
Database Analysis: Invest in companies with the wind at their back
It starts with a database of approximately 5,500 companies, that we whittle down to those we believe will thrive regardless of economic trends. We look for many signs. Do they have a profitable business model based on intellectual property or a unique strategy? Maybe there's new management, a new product launch, or a change in their market's competitive landscape. Other things we look for include low debt, expected earnings growth of at least 15%, a history of success, and experienced management teams. This initial screening process narrows our field to approximately 300 companies.
Fundamental Research: Get out and kick the tires
We take a closer look at their earnings power, competitive environment, and product offerings. If we see a compelling story, we'll pay them a visit to make sure their fundamentals and values are a reality—not just on paper. In fact, nothing tells you more about a company than meeting their management team face to face. And we take the time to do this.
Theme Orientation: Move the way the world is moving
Investing in small caps requires creatively examining the political, social, economic, and technological movements that are shaping the world. Once we've identified these themes, we isolate the companies most likely to succeed in their wake. This helps us focus our thinking, take advantage of trends, and capitalize on strategic shifts in the global marketplace. It also maximizes our upside potential.
Sell Discipline: Get when the getting's good
Rising stars can explode. If our original thesis is no longer valid or price momentum deteriorates, we sell. We also sell when stocks do well. Of course, some stocks continue to thrive after we sell. But we believe that if you hang on for the last dollar, you run the risk of selling at a loss. No thanks.