27 May 2020

On today’s show, Robert Leonard sits down with Gary Mishuris to talk about the ins and outs of the Warren Buffett style of value investing and how Coronavirus has impacted the investing landscape. Gary Mishuris is the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Silver Ring Value Partners, an investment firm with a concentrated long-term intrinsic value strategy.



  • What exactly Warren Buffett value investing is.
  • How Coronavirus will continue to impact the stock market.
  • What are the common misconceptions about value investing?
  • How investors build conviction to hold during hard times.
  • And much, much more!


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Disclaimer: The transcript that follows has been generated using artificial intelligence. We strive to be as accurate as possible, but minor errors and slightly off timestamps may be present due to platform differences.

Robert Leonard  00:02

On today’s show, I sit down with a great value investor who has taught me many things over the years. Gary Mishuris. Gary is the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Silver Ring Value Partners, a professor at Babson Graduate School of Business, and holds a degree in computer science and economics from MIT.

Throughout this episode, Gary provides a ton of little bits of advice and wisdom that are super helpful when investing in the stock market, and especially when implementing a value investing strategy. I really enjoyed this conversation, and I hope you all enjoy it as well. Let’s dive in.

Intro  00:41

You’re listening to Millennial Investing by The Investor’s Podcast Network, where your host, Robert Leonard, interviews successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, and investors to help educate and inspire the millennial generation.

Robert Leonard  01:03

Hey, everyone! Welcome to the show! As always, I’m your host, Robert Leonard, and with me today, I have Gary Mishuris. Welcome to the show, Gary.

Gary Mishuris  01:12

Hey, thank you for having me.

Robert Leonard  01:13

Let’s start the conversation by talking about your background. How’d you get to where you are today?

Gary Mishuris  01:19

I’m an immigrant to this country. I grew up in the former Soviet Union, came to New York when I was a nine, and then came to Boston, which is where I stayed when I went to school at MIT. That’s where I actually got into investing. During the tech bubble about 20 years ago, Warren Buffett happened to come to speak on campus at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

I was fortunate enough to meander over and listen because, at that time, I was getting interested in investing, and I thought I was smart. I was studying computer science and economics, and thought that I would be able to figure out how to make money in tech stocks, which in hindsight, of course, was crazy, but I would say I was twenty and I was foolish. And then I went in and I heard Buffett speaking. Here was this guy talking about long-term intrinsic value, advantage, predictable industries, and all that kind of stuff that I never thought about, which made me realize that I had been speculating and not investing. That was really the start of my path of learning to be a value investor.

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Now, 20 years or so later, I’ve worked at a few firms. I started my career at Fidelity Investments where I was very fortunate to learn from a great value investor, a gentleman by the name of Joel Tillinghast, who manages a low-price stock fund. He was a terrific value investor. He’s beaten the market over a quarter-century by 4% per year. He’s in a small group of people who’ve done that well, and very rational, disciplined value investor, so I was very fortunate.

And then, most recently, I was in a big company, called Manulife Asset Management and Trust Corporation, and I decided that, basically, it wasn’t the money even though I was well-paid, and I liked the people. It was more that I couldn’t really invest and accomplish the things that I wanted as part of a big company that’s trying to maximize this fee revenue, which essentially means that you’re trying to gather as much as possible.


I came to a point in my life where, while I grew up poor, extra money wasn’t going to get me a big difference in lifestyle. I could drive whatever car I want, but I still drive an SUV Highlander because we have three kids, and why not? If I drove a Maserati, and I’ll be stuck in the same traffic, it doesn’t really make a difference, so my lifestyle wouldn’t change.

After 15 years of professional investing, I realized I wanted to do it the way I felt was right for me. So, in 2016, I went to this Chief Investment Officer, I told him. I wanted to make sure he knew it wasn’t him, and I liked him. I think he understood and he was very supportive. He actually became an investor in my partnership at Silver Ring Value Partners, as did a few of my co-workers. That was kind of the genesis of how I got to where I am today, which is managing a small concentrated value partnership in a tiny little boat in what now is a very turbulent sea.

Robert Leonard  04:07

You were studying computer science at MIT. Did you plan on going down the investment route? Or did you have a different plan?

Gary Mishuris  04:13

You know, I don’t think I did initially. My mother is a computer programmer. She programs on mainframe computers, and she works for UPS (United Parcel Service). In high school, I went to Stuyvesant High School in New York, took AP Computer Science, and was really programming. I thought that I was going to kind of follow in her footsteps. I also liked economics, but I never really like thought of myself as an investor. In high school, I don’t know if anyone really knows much about investing. Maybe a few people do, but I didn’t.

I think that part of my interest was piqued by the whole tech bubble phenomena, which many people don’t remember, but it was kind of a crazy time in the markets, and I said, “Wait a second. Everyone’s making money,” but I was poor. I had to work two jobs just to pay for my tuition, room, and board. Half of the loans I take out with the help my mom gave me, so I had to work pretty hard to get by. I said, “Wait, people have been making this easy money. Let me see if I can figure it out.” So, I didn’t intend it, but then as I kind of got sucked into it and heard Buffett speak, I started reading about value investing, and I liked it.

It was also maybe due to the disillusionment part with computer science. I was interning at Goldman Sachs in the IT department since my senior year in high school, and I saw that people were doing, basically, the same work that I was doing as a high school student, as full-time employees. I questioned, “Why do I want to spend four years studying computer science at MIT, just to do the same kind of work that I do now?” Also, to be honest, I was a student at MIT in computer science, which is certainly not bad, but I’ve met people who are so much better than me at computer science that I just knew deep down that I wasn’t going to be one of the best in the field. Not everyone should necessarily be like me. We need all kinds to make the world go around, but I felt that I would be competing for not being the best. And I thought that in investing, I really could be one of the best. That’s part of the reason I pursued it. The other part is I really liked it. And after I heard Buffett speaking, I started reading it as this fascinating world, which was very different from the more mechanical and logical A to B to C world of programming computers.

Robert Leonard  06:25

Yeah, it’s very different than what you just said, the logical side of computer programming, where if you do X, you get Y, whereas with the stock market, that’s not always the case. It might seem like that’s the case, but the actual results always vary. Much of the audience is interested in the Warren Buffett-style value investing, which is one of the many reasons why I think the audience is going to really enjoy our conversation today. I know you model much of your investments around the likes of Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, and Phil Fisher. Of those three that I just mentioned, I’m going to assume that the audience is probably pretty familiar with the first, but I don’t think many have heard of Phil Fisher. So, tell us a bit about who Phil Fisher was, and why you studied him similar to Buffett and Graham.

Gary Mishuris  07:11

Before I answer, and I will answer, but I just want to give you the framework for how I think about “How do you develop your investment approach?” Because I think it’s important, and it goes to the part of your question.

I teach a value investing seminar at the local business school here in Boston. I always tell my students that you’d want to study the masters, but beyond a certain point, you don’t really want to imitate the Masters because the strengths or weaknesses that each of us has is going to be different than the strengths weaknesses that Graham had, or that Buffett has, or that Fisher had. You’d want to create a style that really suits your own strengths or weaknesses, so I think it’s a good starting point to understand great investors. But ultimately, there are some people out there who say, “I’m going to be a Cloner.” I’m not entirely sure whether that’s right for them, but I’m pretty sure it’s not right for me, and that’s not how I teach. I teach people to try to understand the masters, and then use the elements of those styles to build their own approach that suits them the best.


So, to your question, Phil Fisher started investing after World War II, so a bit later than Graham, and he was a bit of a different animal. Yet, at the same time, both he and Graham were intrinsic value investors in a very different way. Graham was really trying to figure out situations mostly based on quantitative financial analysis, and a little bit of quality of thinking, but not a lot. He could find businesses that, if they remain somewhat similar to what they’ve been, are really undervalued.

An example might be if a company has produced on average $1 of earnings in the past 10 years. And you think, qualitatively, the future is not going to be too drastically different. Maybe it will be a little worse, but not much worse, and the stock is trading at $5 or $6. At that point, you can say the stock is implying that the earnings power will get cut in half or more and you think it will be a lot closer to that dollar, and you buy it, and then it goes from $5 to $10 to $12, and that’s it, you’re done. The price-to-value gap is closed, and you find the next investment. Or Graham’s famous net-nets. where you’re buying a company that, if it were to liquidate, would liquidate for a substantial premium to the current price. So maybe buy it at 60% or 65% of networking capital. So that’s Graham.


Fisher, on the other hand, was trying to understand a business deeply and qualitatively. He was trying to understand the competitive advantage. What makes it special? The culture. The management. The growth opportunity. Ultimately, he wants companies that are going to be much, much bigger in 5 to 20 years. He ideally wants to own a very small group of stocks, about 5 to 15, or something like that. These companies are going to be compounding capital. They’re going to have amazing reinvestment opportunities, which means that if they’re producing free cash flow profits with business, they can put that back into their business. That’s very attractive incremental returns.


Graham doesn’t care about that. He would acknowledge that that’s nice and positive, but he’s not willing to pay up the prices that Fisher is. He’s not frankly interested in doing that in-depth fundamental analysis beyond the numbers. Also, Graham has a very widely diversified portfolio. Graham talks about security analysis and insurance principles. The offers the idea that if you were to find the healthiest person on earth, and write them a life insurance policy as what you think is a great premium, you could still do really poorly as they could die tomorrow, and that would be a bad outcome for you if you’re investing in that insurance policy. But if you find 10,000 people, and write them insurance policies at an attractive premium, the laws of large numbers kicks in, and you get a good positive expected return. He thinks the same way about investing, in that you want to have a large number of investments to have a reversion to the mean.


Fisher doesn’t want to revert to the mean because he’s looking for the outliers. He is looking for companies that are so exceptional that maybe there are only 20 or 40 of them in the world that are going to overcome the financial gravity, if you will, of reverting to the mean, escape from the mean, and become 30x to 100x their size in one year. And so, when Fisher executes a style correctly, it looks amazing. You do nothing, you own the same companies, you relax, and you don’t worry about the markets, and, come back in 20 years, and you have amazing returns.

Now, I don’t invest like any of these three investors. I think I’ve learned something from each of them, and I would say that the primary research aspect I think is important. I think that I’m going to talk about that more. But today, the market is more efficient, and outside of these crazy turbulent times, in most normal environments, it’s harder and harder, with the prevalence of computers, to find companies that are mispriced purely based on historical results. Because a lot of times, when things are cheaper based on historical results, there is some problem, like there are some fundamental questions, or a secular decline, or something. And so, I think that they bring to bear a more quality-type of analysis to help you build your own edge or competitive advantage that a computer run by Renaissance can’t replicate well. My reminiscence can easily replicate an analysis of trailing 10 to 20 year’s earnings and so forth.

Robert Leonard  12:24

I think that the dynamic that you mentioned is super important, and that’s one that I actually learned very early on in my investing career because, when I first started, I thought I could buy undervalued or “undervalued” stocks conclusively, based on quantitative data. I thought that if the DCF model said that it was undervalued, or if it was trading at a low P/E, and have a ton of debt, that it was undervalued. I thought I could buy it. But in reality, as you said, markets are relatively efficient and more efficient these days than they were in the past, and so, that didn’t work. I had to find undervalued companies based on qualitative metrics. I think that was definitely a great point you made.

Now, I learned a lot of what I know from studying Buffett and Graham, but it seems at least to me that, as of late, nearly everyone wants to be classified as a Buffet-style value investor, but what does it really mean to be a value investor? What exactly is value investing?

Gary Mishuris  13:20

I think it’s funny that you mentioned that everyone wants to be a Buffet investor. I think it was true up until the recent market meltdown, where people were starting to question Buffett, saying that maybe he lost his ties, or maybe what he does isn’t as applicable anymore, maybe value investing doesn’t work. I would say that, for a while, everyone wanted to be like Buffett up until his 10-15-year performance for Berkshire Hathaway, versus the market that started to not look as good, and then people start to doubt.

I think that, at a very high level, the idea is very simple, but it’s hard to plan. It’s kind of like chess. Chess is a game in which it’s easy to understand the concept of the rules, but it’s very hard to master. The idea of intrinsic value investing is that you were thinking of stock as partial ownership in the business and that you’re estimating intrinsic value, “What would the private owner pay for the whole enterprise?” Then, buying a stock or bond discount relative to that intrinsic value, so that’s the idea.


Graham was an intrinsic value investor, same as Buffett, and Fisher. All of these guys apply the intrinsic value. It’s a very high-level idea, but they’re implementing it in a very different way. I think that people who are trying to blindly copy Buffett actually make me smile a little bit because they misunderstand Buffett. I study Buffet almost as much as anyone, and if I’ve seen one thing about his behavior is that he is an amazing learning machine. He evolves more than any other investor. If you were to start reading his partnership letters from the ’50s up until the most recent Berkshire Hathaway annual letter, you will see tremendous evolutionary growth. I wrote an article for Forbes last year about the evolution of Warren Buffett’s process.

If you look at most master-level investors, and I’m not talking about someone who dabbles, but people who have successful records of more than 10 years, whether it’s a Peter Lynch or Graham, there may be some changes or some experiential improvements, but by and large, their style and their approach are fairly the same. They’re perfecting the same thing. But the one thing most unique about Buffett is that he changes. He moves more from a Graham, as Graham was his professor and his teacher in Columbia, to a little bit of more in direction of Fisher. But he’s not moving to Fisher. He’s learning from Fisher, and he’s incorporating ideas, whether it’s from Fisher, or from his partner, Charlie Munger, and into his arsenal, coming up with his own framework that’s uniquely fitted to his own strengths, weaknesses, and circumstances. There’s a structure to the size and all of these things.


And so, I think to me, it’s ironic that people are trying to copy and clone Buffett. The part that should be cloned is his original thinking, and his willingness and ability to evolve and learn as an investor and become better in applying the general concept of intrinsic value investing to different environments, rather than cloning some very static, current snapshot of how he does something. By the way, I run a relatively small value partnership, but Buffett’s managing hundreds of billions, he can’t possibly invest in many of the things that I can. So why should I be trying to clone Buffett in certain ways? I think the way I should be trying to learn from Buffett is learning how he learns, learning from ideas, and so forth, but then applying them to my own unique context, which I think many people forget to do.

Robert Leonard  16:31

Yeah, I think that’s absolutely great advice because I think about it in the exact same way. When you think of individual investors, we’re not investing billions of dollars like Buffett is. We can invest in different things that he just can’t, and if you read back some of the things he’s written, he said that if he had a smaller portfolio, he could probably grow it at 50% a year or something.

Gary Mishuris  16:50

Yeah. It’s funny that you say that. I think in the last annual meeting, he kept getting asked about it because everyone wants to how do you compound capital at 50%, right? I’m sure you guys would like to know that, right? I think he was talking about, literally, a million dollars. He said that if my money went up even to $10 million, I wouldn’t be able to do that anymore, which made me feel a little bit better because I’m not compounding at 50%, so I was relieved. It wasn’t like I’m completely just missing something so obvious and it should be compounding at 50%.

I think that however, he would be buying very different things, in my view. I’m not saying that the things he buys are bad, but he’s constrained by size. When people see Buffett buy X, what we really want to know is what will Warren Buffett buy if he were managing $100 million, in that scenario? That would be really interesting, but I don’t think he really gives it much thought, because that’s not the situation, nor would he be willing to share it. So, I think we’re gonna just have to do our own work there, and that’s just the way it should be.

Robert Leonard  17:50

Do you think that there’s a way to learn from Buffett’s smaller holdings, to see what he might invest in if he had smaller capital? Or do you think that might not be a good indicator of it?

Gary Mishuris  18:01

He wouldn’t buy a $200 million – $400 million market cap company unless he’s buying the whole thing. Just a general premise, I think it’s not there’s nothing wrong with studying the holdings of other good investors. I think it’s reasonable, one of many ways to source ideas. But I think that the more important point is thinking, and learning how to think from great investors, and then being able to apply those thinking patterns yourself. I think there are so many articles out there. “The Warren Buffett’s portfolio”, “Follow these Top 10 Best Strategies”, … Okay, that’s fine, but a lot of times, they’re the victims of their own success, and whether it’s Warren Buffett, or someone like Seth Klarman, here in Boston, these are great investors, but they’re managing so much money that they can’t… Now, by the way, I’m not saying one should never buy large companies. I think one should ignore size, and focus on other important characteristics, such as the business, the people, the balance sheet, and the price, and not the market cap. But I would say that the holdings of these very proven well-known value investors are not indicative of what I think they would do with $100 million in salary.

Robert Leonard  19:16

The other component of this is if you just follow a super investor blindly, you don’t know their thesis, and you don’t necessarily have the same conviction that they do, if the stock declines in value, you might not have the conviction to hold it through that, whereas a super investor knows their thesis, and they can hold through that.

Gary Mishuris  19:34

Yeah, or the reverse, and maybe it’s time to sell.

I remember reading Joel Greenblatt taught a class at Columbia Business School, and he had a guest speaker. I’m not going to say who this is, but it’s a well-known value investor, and he came in ’05 or ’06 and spoke to the class, and he presented, as an example of a value idea, a certain company, and he basically says it’s a no-brainer, an awesome business, and really sung its praises. Joel introduced this gentleman as one of the smartest guys he knows. He’s smarter than me, he’s an amazing value investor with a proven record. A few students in that class or someone reading these transcripts, might look at this, and buy it.


The interesting thing is that subsequent to his ’06 pitch, over the next two years, the company went bankrupt in the great financial crisis, and the guy held on all the way into bankruptcy. He made a mistake. By the way, sometimes people say, “Well, this is temporary impairment.” But when what you’re holding goes bankrupt, that’s a mistake. Maybe if you were getting some crazy risk-reward, like 5:1, and you were saying, “I know it can go bankrupt, but I’m still willing to buy it because if it doesn’t go bankrupt, I’m going to find extra money.” Maybe it’s not a mistake. But I think, for this guy and the way he presented the company, he never contemplated the possibility of it going bankrupt, and he kind of went down with the ship, probably for behavioral reasons as he was probably anchored in his thesis.

I think what might have helped if the guy was giving updates. I think you always have to think for yourself, and that’s what I always tell people. You have to think from first principles. You have to think for yourself.

When I started out, I was in awe of all these great investors. Mason Hawkins, Bill Miller, and all these people who probably have been somewhat forgotten to some degree, or at least are less well-known these days. I remember that anything they bought, or anything they pitched would immediately be seen as good prospects. But then as I was looking at one pick, I started thinking.


Basically, if someone I respect buys something, it has to go through the top of my funnel, meaning I will consider it on an equal basis with anything else that goes on top of the funnel. But once it goes through the top of the funnel, I don’t care if The Almighty himself is buying the stock. I’m going to use my own criteria, my own process, and I’m going to buy it or not buy it based on my own reasoning, and not because someone else is doing it. I think that as you get better at this, you’ll realize that sometimes some of your heroes, these amazing investors, that you think are infallible, are just humans, and we’re all flawed as humans. Your heroes are flawed too.

Robert Leonard  22:58

I want to dive into how you specifically analyze companies. I get a lot of questions about how to analyze individual companies from people who listen to the show, and from people who are a part of our Facebook group. As you mentioned, you teach a value investing seminar at Babson Graduate School of Business, so I want to walk through this. Where do you start? What is the first step you take when you’re looking for potential investments?

Gary Mishuris  23:23

There are two separate components. One is generating ideas, potential candidates, and then the other is how do you do a deep dive into a company once you decide it’s worth pursuing. I’ll kind of walk you through both. I use 4 idea generation streams, and the reason I use four that I’ll describe in a second is that I think they’re complementary and that they make sure I don’t have big blind spots.


I think everyone to some degree reuses screens, but I would say that that’s the least value-adding way to generate ideas. I use them, and what I specifically screen for are seven-year trailing free cash flow yield meaning, you take the current market cap and you compare it to the average free cash flow the business has generated on average of the last seven years. The reason I do that is twofold. One is to scream out companies that don’t have a lot of free cash flow. It also happens to eliminate a lot of frauds. Now, it also eliminates some earlier-growth stage companies, but I don’t do those anyway, so that’s not in my circle of competence. My type two error is the error of omission because I’m looking for companies that already have a proven financial record, and I think having a seven-year period typically captures a full cycle, so it avoids the mistake of having a company that looks cheap on recent results. But those are unsustainable for some reason. So that’s kind of one of the screenings. I have a couple of other screens like net-nets, and a few other things.


Then next, I like to look at special situations. Now, what’s a special situation? I had a friend who told me that every single thing in his portfolio is special, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. The special situation, as Joel Greenblatt wrote in a great book, called You Can Be a Stock Market Genius, talked about spin-offs, post bankruptcies, and reorganizations.

Essentially, these things are companies where screening doesn’t help, and this is exactly why it’s a very great complement to screening because a spin-off might only have three years of data, and the data might be partially incorrect because it might be burdened with historical costs, and are no longer applicable or something like that. It’s great because, by studying that pool, first of all, you’re getting into a pool of companies where computers can’t easily tread, number one. Number two, they’re usually subject to one of two forces that cause mispricing, which is either neglect or poor selling.

A spin-off, for example, might be a small company, has a less attractive division, or gets spun-off from one big company, and that’s like a big portion of an index. The typical PM gets this tiny distributed stake in this new spin-off, and just sells it without thinking about it because he had a 1% position. Now he’s getting a five-basis point position on this new thing, doesn’t want to do the work, and just sells. So whenever someone is selling irrespective of the relation between price and value, that’s a good area to hunt for mispricing. So, special situations are the second stream.


The third stream, is I have a watch list of a few hundred companies I’ve identified as being good companies, and whenever there’s a price dislocation of any sort in any company, I take a deeper look, even if it’s not obviously cheap, but these are really good companies, globally, maybe 300 or 400 or so of them, and I know them to varying degrees. I don’t know every single one perfectly, but I know enough to say these are good businesses, good companies. If something drops 20-30% I’m going to dig in a little bit more.


The fourth stream is looking at other good value investors. So that might be looking at filings from well-known value investors, but I would say I would get even more value from talking to less well-known but good value investors who are managing smaller amounts of assets because I think, a lot of times, they’re able to hunt for more unique ideas that bigger value investors can’t invest in because of size.


Those are the four. Now, what do I do with them once I get them into the top of the funnel? The first thing I tried to do is try to kill the idea and try to find anything at all that would disqualify this from being a good investment for me, despite any work I might do. Because if I have a  hundred companies up the funnel, and I then spend all this time with each company, it’s too much time. It doesn’t work. Let’s say that the balance sheet is too weak, I pass. Let’s say there’s not enough free cash flow relative to net income, which to me, is a kind of a yellow flag, so I’ll probably pass. So, I accept that I’m going to have many mistakes of omission, and that’s okay as long as I minimize the mistakes of commission. Because of the constrained portfolio, if you own 10-20 investments as I do, and there are 5,000 investments, you can afford to miss many great investments as long as the things that you own do well. So you’re not that worried about mistakes of omission up to a point. Obviously, if you keep missing everything, then you didn’t get to invest.

Now, well, let’s say it didn’t get eliminated. Then I’d like to understand the company’s history. I like to read 10-Ks, annual letters to shareholders, correlating all the historical metrics, and read the proxy statement to understand how the management gets compensated and if incentives align. From there, it really branches into company-specific questions. Sometimes it might be primary research, like checking with competitors, and suppliers. Sometimes it might not be because maybe the key questions aren’t related to that. I’m not doing primary research to impress some potential client when I talk to 20 customers.

I try to figure out what are the key issues that will answer the question of “What is this business worth?” And then I try to spend the vast majority of my time answering those questions. It’s not always company-specific. It might be as simple as assessing “Will this company survive?” Like right now, I have a company where, if they survive, I think the stock will at least double or maybe quadruple. So it’s really like balance sheet analysis and security analysis from Ben Graham. Do your work on covenants. Do your work on scenario analysis. “What will happen to them in the recession? Will they be able to service their debt?” Yeah, I don’t need to do private research. That is the key question.

I have other companies where I’ve talked to competitors to understand the culture, the turnaround. Are the employees leaving? Are you as a competitor seeing resumes flying across the street because their best producers want to leave the company or not? Things of that nature. So, again, it depends. I really don’t have a cookie-cutter approach beyond a certain point. I know I want to understand the history of the business, how it got there. I want to understand how history jives with the historical financial performance of the company. And I want to start to formulate a thesis, which should lead me to have questions bubble up, say, Huh, what about this? What about that? What about this threat? And that then leads to the rest of the process for each company in terms of trying to answer those questions.

Robert Leonard  29:47

After you’ve done all of these analyses, at what point do you feel like you’ve gathered enough information and you’ve conducted enough research that you’re actually comfortable to start a position?

Gary Mishuris  29:58

When I get to the point where I have the historical financials, I’ve answered the key questions, like I think it’s important to estimate the range of intrinsic values, I then use that to come up with a forecast of future possible values, and come up with a range of values. There’s always a range, right? Nobody knows exactly what any business is worth, but you can put a range around worse to best, with the base case being the most likely. After that, it’s a function of meeting my minimum absolute standards because I’m an absolute value investor, meaning that if it doesn’t meet my hurdle rates, even if it’s the best thing out there, I’m going to pass and wait for something that meets my standards.

But then it’s also a question of opportunity cost. If you’d asked me six months ago, for example, I had a lot of cash, and there were not enough things beating my hurdle rate. I had a lot of cash bottom-up now because I was timing the market. If you ask me now, I am pretty fully invested. That’s not to say I think that the market is amazingly attractive, whether it’s going to go up or down. I have no idea. It’s just that in this dislocation that we are experiencing now has caused, I think, a lot of somewhat irrational price gaps to open up that I think I can take advantage of with my work.


I think, right now, especially if the company has done the work, I can start position very quickly, and I don’t need to redo the work, maybe just recheck the assumptions, and make sure that the value range hasn’t changed. For some businesses, it has. If you have a cruise company, for instance, they may go out of business. And this is a tangent, but it’s an interesting tangent, like who in their wildest dream has imagined the government comes and says, you cannot operate your business. Nobody has run that scenario on any business because people just assume that there are certain prior assumptions that people say maybe there’s a recession, maybe demand declines by a certain amount or by a certain number of orders a year. But nobody says government comes in says to you that, unless you’re a fraud, or like killing people, or do something bad. If you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, people assume that you’re allowed to operate as a business. So like, will the cruise lines go bankrupt? I don’t know. But you cannot argue that their value has not changed. The value has changed. I’m not sure necessarily by how much. Maybe some people are sure or whatnot. Maybe the values change a little bit, maybe in three months, we’re back to cruising, and everything is fine. But even then, some of them will get hit because they don’t know they’ve missed out on the free cash flow, and they have fixed costs they need to meet. Or maybe people will never cruise again. I’m not saying that that’s likely. I’m saying hypothetically, that’s the range of that. Maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle.

So, using that as an example, you don’t want to blindly buy something based on an unchanged value estimate as events develop. But once you’ve thought about it and updated the value estimate, you have to act. If you’re not going to act on your work, then you probably don’t have enough conviction in your work Then you should work on different companies or do better work in the companies you’re working on. But one of my old bosses used to call this watching the tennis game. Which is kind of watching the stock go up, down, left, etc. but you’re not doing anything. Just watching.


At some point, you have to act on your convictions if you feel that you trust yourself. And if you don’t trust yourself, then you shouldn’t be investing. You should still buy index funds or whatever is appropriate for you. But if you’re going to do this, I think that, at some point, you’re not going to have all the answers. It’ll still feel uncomfortable. So that’s one of the things that I think, as an investor, you have to get over. It will feel uncomfortable. As a matter of fact, many good values feel uncomfortable at the time when you buy them because, like, if everything feels comfortable, it might not be undervalued enough. We’re not that good at estimating the future, and there’ll be a small difference to the material enough.

But if you are pretty sure that the business will survive even the prolonged downturn, what the market is pricing as if it’s not going to go bankrupt in the next few years, that’s a pretty big gap, and you should act. It doesn’t mean you put all your net worth in it, obviously, to manage risk, but you should act. So I think, to me, once I’ve gotten the comfortable range of values, I’ve done the work, I’m ready to act if it meets my standards and if it’s in that best opportunity, as I said. Because obviously, even if something is a great investment, if there are 20 others that are better, I might not include the 21st one in the portfolio.

Robert Leonard  34:06

So assuming you’re going to act on a position, do you buy your entire position in one trade? Or do you generally buy into it in small chunks over time?

Gary Mishuris  34:15

Well, it’s interesting because, usually, everything I buy immediately goes down. I kind of told myself that I probably should just stop, and like wait three months from my first, It’s reached a point where I’ve decided to not buy anything because I’ll save myself a bunch of money. I mean, I have basically position-sizing guidelines, so a small position for me is 5%, and medium is 10%, and the largest 15% at cost. I have parameters such as the quality of the business, the discount from intrinsic value, the downside to the worst-case intrinsic value, quality, the balance sheet, and so forth. And the idea there is that to become one of my largest positions, it needs not just to be really undervalued, but also to be an above-average business with a safe balance sheet. Because Charlie Munger is really good at making simple statements, that makes sense. His idea of inverting.


Now, to answer the question, how to lose the most money in stock investing is you buy bad businesses run by bad people with weak balance sheets at high prices. So, I think that if you were to avoid losing money, you try to avoid all those things. So, I might be comfortable with a company with a somewhat weak balance sheet for a small position if I’ve done the work, and I think that the risk-reward is really good. If I’m right, that gets me 4x my money. And if I’m wrong, I lose all. I’m okay losing 5%. I try not to do that, but it’s fine if it happens if this was a good expected value investment. But I’m not okay, losing 15%. I think the larger the position size, the more qualitative criteria kick in to guard me against putting a lot of capital into weak businesses or businesses with a very weak balance sheet.

So then, in terms of scaling in or not, I think in the past, if I had available capital, and there was extra cash, I would just make it whatever position size was merited. But nowadays, I’m scaling it because I have no idea where the bottom is, and nobody can find the bottom. I think that the right way to approach such a crazy environment where stocks are up 10% and down 10% and so forth is to act deliberately on your conviction and your work. You don’t want to be sitting out and getting frozen. I have invested through 2 downturns prior to this, so this is not my first rodeo. In the two prior downturns in investment, I started right before September 11. I was at Fidelity when September 11 happened. We went into a downturn. I’ve seen pretty big blow-ups, and I’ve seen cheap stocks go cheaper, and go down some more, and then that’s when they become very cheap. And they go down again.

A lot of times, young naive value investors are so eager to apply their art that they go all-in too early. They find something that’s pretty cheap, and go for it. Especially if you think about it, we had an environment where, for a few years, it was hard to find meaningful bargains. It was kind of like a sailor stumbling on-shore after six months of voyaging at sea, the First Lady might look pretty good, irrespective of what you think of her if he hadn’t been at sea for six months. So you want to make sure you’re not going all-in on the first cheap stock you see. That’s number one.


Number two is I think that you want to make sure that you have different portions of your portfolio. You don’t want to have whole stocks or investments that, if there’s a quick recovery, yes, you do really, really well, but if there’s a prolonged recession, you lose half your money. Managing risk, almost by definition, involves trading off the results you would get in one outcome, making sure that a more diverse outcome is not as bad as it would have been. So, you’re taxing the good branches of the future to make sure that the bad branches of the future are not nearly as bad.

Let’s take a business like Berkshire Hathaway. I’m not saying you should buy it not, but it’s very unlikely to go bankrupt in all likelihood. I would say that Berkshire Hathaway might be like the last business to go bankrupt. The structure, the insurance, the flow, it’s like it’s a fortress of a balance sheet. So if you have a company like that, is it going to be the cheapest company ever? It shouldn’t be. No, it’s not. But the cheapest companies ever in this market might go to zero. So do you have the whole portfolio in the Berkshire Hathaway’s of the world? Or do you have your whole portfolio in companies that are offering you amazing odds, but there is some chance that they’ll go bust? I think the answer to that depends on what you’re trying to accomplish in your own approach.

In my case, I’m trying to make sure that most of my family’s money, the vast majority of it, other than retirement money, is in a partnership. I invest. I always tell my partners that I invest in my partnership as if it’s my own because it is, so I am risk-averse. So, if we have a very quick recovery, I’m fine looking like I’ve underperformed. But because I don’t want to lose all capital in case we’re in a 3-year recession. On the other hand, I’m not afraid to put a portion of our capital in situations where, in some crazy severe scenario it might go bankrupt, but most other scenarios, we triple quadruple our money. As long as that portion is limited in totality, so that even if that happens, the part of the portfolio that is not susceptible to that phenomenon is still the significant majority, and we still do okay.

I think, because of those things, I’m kind of moving very deliberately, but gradually now because there are so many opportunities. But in normal times, when there’s more capital and ideas, I’ll probably just size the position to its appropriate size right away.

Robert Leonard  39:37

When you’re deciding to buy a company’s stock or not, how much do you weigh other potential investment opportunities in comparison to the company you’re actually considering?

Gary Mishuris  39:49

Opportunity cost is something you always have to consider. I also think my attention is finite. We can only research so many companies and have the depth of knowledge that makes me comfortable to invest. I can only find so many bargains, so I think that I want to make sure that I am comparing opportunities to other opportunities. I think that if I have an investment at 70% of my base case value, let’s say, but I find an equally good company that’s at 50%, I would make the switch. So I think that’s one of the reasons to sell. It’s to sell something that’s moderate in the value for something that’s drastically undervalued.


I think I compare opportunities a lot, but I’m not a relative value investor in the sense that I’m not looking at options and say, “I’m going to own some energy companies, irrespective of whether any of them are attractive. I want to find the best one of the bunch.” That’s the approach that a lot of mutual funds use, and I think that logic is weak. Their little argument is something along the lines of, “Well, people already gave us money to invest in equity. I have to stay fully invested, so I have to buy the tallest midgets, even if they’re still midgets.” I don’t think that that’s right. I think people give you money to make money by investing in equities. They didn’t give you money for you to dumbly invest in equities, even if prices are attractive.

I think that the approach that many managers use lowers their careers or their clients through business risk. It doesn’t actually produce the best returns. I think that that’s part of the difference between having your own very small firm versus working for a big firm, where the goal is to gather as many hats as possible. It’s that you can just say, “Look, if you don’t like how I’m doing it, that’s fine. There are many managers out there, but I’m going to be very clear and transparent about what I’m doing, why and how I mixed in my process, and then you can decide if that’s right for you.”

And, for me, I think you always want to have both absolute minimum criteria. For instance, I don’t invest in anything I don’t think would offer me a 12% annualized rate of return. I’m going to be wrong, and when I’m wrong, I’m going to obviously achieve a less than 12% return on certain investments. That’s obvious, but it’s not because I intended to. It’s because I’ve made a mistake in a certain case, or maybe the business changed in unforeseen ways, or something like that. So, therefore, I have both absolute criteria, and then I also want to make sure that if there’s a bunch of 20% annual rates of return available, I don’t want to invest in the 12%s. I want to invest in the best possible portfolio subject to minimizing the risk of permanent capital loss at the portfolio level.

Robert Leonard  42:11

So, we couldn’t really record a podcast episode right now, which is March 24, 2020, without at least mentioning the current environment that we’re in, which is what some are calling the stock market crash of 2020, and it’s during the time of COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus. How has this impacted the investing landscape? What long term impact do you see this having on stocks?

Gary Mishuris  42:47

I think that when Buffett was looking for the two people to be his assistants at Tom & Teddy, one of his criteria was to have people who think about risk from first principles, and not just by looking at things that have happened before. A lot of times the financial crisis banks are famous for using stupid risk models. They basically lose the historical volatility, and use some kind of value of risk analysis, saying this is the worst that can happen because that’s the worst that has happened. Well, bad things can always happen that have not happened before. I’m just finishing part one of Churchill’s biography. This sounds like a non sequitur, but it talks about World War I. The Germans were shelling Paris, then six months after, it was complete peace, and everything was great. If you asked a guy 12 months before the Germans were shelling Paris over 100 years ago, he would never have guessed that that would be possible. Things we think might never happen, do happen. Another way of saying that is black swans, that life has fat tails and all that.


So, I think that one thing we’ve learned is that a business that has an otherwise strong balance sheet, but has a high fixed cost structure could still go out of business if something like this happens. Because, normally, you would say, “Look, this company has this much cash, this much debt than the other company.” But any company that has debt, and I’ll even go further, any company that has fixed costs can go bankrupt even if it’s net cash. There’s a micro-cap company I’m looking at in Europe that has no debt, net cash, but travel-related, and if this goes on long enough, it will go bankrupt, even though it’s free cash flow positive, because they have fixed costs, and basically their revenues are going to zero for some period of time. I think that we have learned to be careful that these things can happen.


The other thing is that if you start with very optimistic prices, which I think we did start with, and I’ve talked about this for a long time, that prices are pretty high, we could potentially have a long way to go. Right now, people are just reacting to the Coronavirus that shutdown this, but there are secondary and tertiary effects that we’re not sure yet. Nobody knows, like how will the Fed act, and politics. I don’t want to into politics, but imagine this: If there are tens of millions of people who were willing to support a self-identified socialist, how many more would be willing to support a person with ideology if there was vast unemployment? And that’s not to say, who’s right, who’s bad, who’s a good politician or leader, but it’s that socialism was bad for stocks. I came from a former Soviet Union, I have firsthand experience, and I would say that, regardless of your personal opinion, stocks will not be higher if you have a socialist government. And so, I think that we have no idea what we’re going to knock on with the consequences of something like this. How it will affect supply chains, and so forth. I think that’s still developing.

What we’ve got a reminder of is that managing risk is very important. So if you’re kind of oblivious and you assume that we’re never having another recession, and you load up on high-flying companies, you are in the process of getting your behind handed to you on a plate in the process. I think you can infer from that that I don’t think we’re done, given where we started, and given where we are.

I think there are still a number of high-flying companies that are still trading at very optimistic valuations despite that because it hasn’t fully sunk in. And, again, this is the difference, I think, between reading about past financial recessions and market sell-offs and actually living through them. Things go a lot lower than you think. And it’s weird, unfortunately, at the beginning of the period, at least for some period of time, expectations will be missed. Wall Street isn’t really asking what the businesses where. Wall Street is asking what happens next, whether it’s what will the guidance be for next year, will they meet the quarterly estimates, or even build the server, or will they meet their covenants. It’s always asking about what happens next. If you listen to company conference calls, it’s what happens next. We know some of what happens next, but it just doesn’t sink in until a company bankrupts.


Right now, everyone’s pulling guidance and it’s just a big uncertainty. What happens next is many of them are gonna report and say, “We have terrible results.” People expect that for a quarter, but what happens when they report that the following quarter? The range of outcomes is this: The best case is we kick this thing’s butt in a month or two, and we start rebuilding. But even then you still have a lot of people who lost their jobs, lost income and the multiplier effect of that, and we need to recover from that over some period of time. The worst case is it takes us a lot longer, and we’re in a multi-year recession. That’s the range. I think it’s unclear where we are along the range.


Frankly, I’m a bottom-up investor, so I don’t think that much about it. But I’m cognizant as far as choosing what kind of companies to invest in, and also how to structure portfolio companies. This can be pretty darn bad, but also, I’m cognizant that they’re pretty amazing values, and so I’m trying to balance them and managing the risk. I have a portfolio that I think will do at least okay. That’s my personal belief, but the future is unknown in almost any environment and pretty well in many environments. But it will never do as well as someone who just bets it all on black and says, “I’m going to bet on this one outcome.” Because you don’t know the future. You have to come up with a portfolio that does well across many possible futures.

Robert Leonard  48:17

You mentioned that you’re a bottom-up investor, and I know Warren Buffett is known for saying that he doesn’t spend much time focusing on the macro environment. Rather, he just focuses on buying wonderful companies at a fair price. How much time do you spend focusing on macro versus analyzing individual companies?

Gary Mishuris  48:34

Very little, with the one exception that I’m cognizant of where we are in the cycle. What I mean by that is that if we’re well-past mid-cycle, meaning we’re close to the peak then to any other part, I’m going to be highly skeptical of buying cyclical companies as I started with Fidelity as a cyclical analyst, covering especially chemicals, and I remember being the young, stupid, and naive guy, going to experienced portfolio managers, and saying, “Oh, I know things are getting worse, but it’s already pricey and the stock’s too cheap.” And then it goes down 50%. I had these couple of these gut-wrenching experiences, and I’ve written about some of them. And that’s how you learn. It’s hard to learn from readings. It’s easier to learn from actually experiencing them. So, I think that you want to be aware of. I’m highly suspicious of company turnarounds when we’re near the peak of the cycle because turnarounds do much worse, very hard, and they do even worse when you’re starting in a scenario where any moment the cycle might turn, and you have the wind in your face. So, I don’t time the market. I don’t worry about that kind of stuff, but I am highly skeptical about cyclicals near the peak.


Conversely, I’m much more interested in looking for potential ideas amongst cyclically beaten-up names, once there’s blood in the street, so to speak, and there have been a number of quarters of missed expectations, and the cycle is unfolding and everyone is worried and don’t know when things will get better. That’s perfect for me. I think it guides a little bit about where I hunt for ideas, but when I build my valuation models, I assume a recession is going to happen. And if you ever do the CF, you’ll realize that when the recession happens in year five or year two, it changes. The value would be 5% to 10% max. The value range doesn’t change a ton based on when the recession comes.

I always assume one will because one always does, and I think I’m ready. I think the companies I’ve invested in by and large should be ready for recession. I can always be wrong because there’s a difference between a recession and the Great Depression, but I also think we, as a society, have learned a bit since the Great Depression in terms of what not to do without a contract credit that makes things even worse. I think we learned from the financial crisis in terms of securing the banking system and having saved balance sheets and making sure the lending happens. So I think that we should never say never, but I don’t think the odds of a 1930s-type event are very high, but also, the odds of a severe recession are not low. And so, I think that I’m still being highly-hesitant of very cyclical businesses because I’d rather see the pain first, and invest after the stocks have been completely decimated, rather than be too early, which, in a cyclical business, frequently is the same as being wrong as these businesses do not compound. These are businesses where you buy them for 0.5x with the idea that they’re worth x, and you’re going to double your money over two to three years. If you buy them at 0.7x, and then it takes four years, then your CAGR or IRR is not that great. So, I think I’d rather miss some of the upsides than just getting to the point where there’s complete fear and panic, which we’re starting to see in some names.


Then the top-down stuff only guides where to fish. I usually like to fish where there’s distress, pain, and suffering. That makes me sound like a bad individual who enjoys the suffering of others. I don’t think of myself as a good person, but as an investor, I think you want to look to where there’s neglect or selling in distress and fear. And, by the way, one of the biggest advantages a value investor has is a long time horizon, and I think that it’s easy to apply when everyone is asking when the cycle will turn, and you don’t care, and you’re willing to be early enough in front of that, but once the price is distressed enough.

Robert Leonard  52:08

Buffett has that quote that says, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.” A lot of people think about that as the market overall, but that might be specific companies or industries. It can be all these opportunities that a lot of people are being too fearful, like you mentioned, and that’s a good opportunity where you could be greedy and make a good return.

Gary Mishuris  52:28

Yeah, I think that, right now, we have stocks that have been really decimated, but they’re really heavily-related to travel or retail. Basically, they’re related to people going out. I think a lot of other stocks have declined, but they’re not at the bargain levels yet. A few are, but we’re not at the level of where, bottom-up, I’m seeing every single stock deeply, deeply mispriced.

By the way, we had a very strong stock market performance for many years, and valuations were high, but now we’re down 20-30% off of those peaks. There’s some dispersion around there because obviously, some stocks have declined of more than that, but these are not trough levels of valuations for the average company. So I think that the right posture, for me at least, is to be selectively aggressive, but cognizant that the fundamentals are challenging, and that there’s a good chance of even better bargains. That’s what I’m trying to balance by my prior answer to your question, by scaling into positions rather than jumping in with both feet.

Robert Leonard  53:27

What is the best way for a value investor to deal with the psychological or emotional tests they have when they analyze a company, determine its intrinsic value, then buy it, and it goes down in price? How can investors build enough conviction to hold through these times if they believe their thesis is still intact?

Gary Mishuris  53:48

I think part of it is having the right degree of concentration for your own temperament. That goes to my earlier point that there’s no one right approach. You have to know yourself. You have to have position sizes that you can sleep with, and if that means you can have 20% of the idea, great. If that means it’s 2%, great. I think, at the risk of sounding like I’m gambling, which I’m not, it’s like in poker. I don’t know if you play poker, but poker is another situation where you’re making decisions under uncertainty, and the last thing you want to do is think about the dollars at the poker table. You’ll want to think about chips as chips, and expect values rationally. So if you’re playing a poker game, and you’ll sit there thinking, “Oh gee. That’s a $5,000 bet. That’s a lot of money.” Just play the lower stakes game. What that translates into investing is have more investments if that makes you so uncomfortable that you can’t be rational.

In an environment like this, temperaments are far, far more important. You can be a decent but not great analyst, but have an amazing temperament like Vulcan Lt. Commander Data from Star Trek, and just be over rational, and you would be a guy who is super smart and does amazing analyses, but can’t pull the trigger on anything because he’s frozen. So, this is not about being the smartest guy nor figuring out the cleverest business model. It’s just that you have to execute in your process.


I think one of the things you have to do is you have to force yourself to act on your process. That’s one of the reasons I’ve written down my process in my owner’s manual that I shared with all my investors. It was partly for me because I judged myself based on how well I’m following the process. And yes, there’s room for the process to evolve. You don’t want to say, “I wrote this process, and I’m never going to change it.” But now is not the time to change it because when you’re changing the process in the middle of a crisis like this, that’s just another excuse for not acting on your analytical convictions.

Right now, it’s time to say, “I came into this with this process. It’s the best I’ve got nothing. I think it’s pretty good for me.” At least I’m not saying that’s good or bad. I think, for me, it’s pretty good. I’ve worked in it for 20 years, and I’m going to follow through it, and I’m going to judge myself based on how well I stuck to it. And I’m going to say this to all the people who are listening now. If you’re going to judge yourself, and you should judge yourself, many years from now, looking back, based on how well you acted on your analytical insights. Did you panic? Did you follow the herd? Or did you say, “Okay, my process says I should buy here, and I did”? Now, if you don’t have a process that’s robust enough, then don’t do invest. You’re just speculating, and you’re going to get blown off your positions because if you’re just using social proof, like so today, the market is up 10%, do you feel relief? Who cares? I mean, tomorrow, it might be down 20%. The situation didn’t get 10% better just because a bunch of computers and quantum traders decided to beat up the market, nor would it have been worse.


You have to think for yourself, and then you have to derive validation not from the opinions of others, but from cold logic, facts, and analyses, and then just follow through. I think you have to follow through, and in three to five years from, now when you look back on this, if you haven’t followed through, you’ll be ashamed, and if you have followed through to the best of your ability in your process at this time, I think you will, and you should be, proud. I think what you should tell your present-day self is: “Hey, I’m going to make myself in three to five years proud of the decisions and the quality of the decisions I’m making. I’m not going to worry if I’m stuck, and it goes up 20%. That’s going to happen. That’s okay. My logic’s sound. I have a good reason. My risk management makes sense. When I was speculating, I wasn’t investing.” Stay rational, invest based on your process, and I think that, over time, it’ll work out.

Robert Leonard  57:15

What is the biggest or most common mistake, you see new value investors make? And how can listeners of this show avoid that same mistake?

Gary Mishuris  57:23

I would say there are two. One, I would say, is one of the things I said earlier, in which they get involved too early and at too big a size, and by the time the stock becomes a real bargain, they are mentally exhausted. When they think something is worth 100%, they buy at 70%, then they back up the truck at 60%, and then the stock goes to 50%. And then they’re holding on, saying that all of this is temporary, then they see 40%, and now they’re mentally exhausted and just they don’t know where to look. They don’t know if the 100% was right anymore. They’re just lost. I think that’s where it might be better to go a little slower. Like I said earlier, everything I buy goes down anyway, so what’s the rush? So, I think, it’s to not get too trigger-happy, where as soon as something gets just a bit cheap, you go too big too soon.


I would say the other thing is underestimating the intrinsic quality of characteristics of the business and the management team. Right now, there are a bunch of management teams that are going to do the standard thing. They’re not going to do any buyback, but they’re going to buy back debt even if they shouldn’t. But there’s going to be a small group of really good capital allocators who will use this time of distress to snap up good assets at really cheap prices, so quality is going to matter. There are also going to be businesses that are just ironclad no matter what, and then you don’t have to worry about them. There are also going to be a lot of companies where, if they were real businesses, to begin with, as Buffett likes to say, the rising tide hides who’s swimming naked, and then when the tide goes out, you’re going to see who doesn’t have any Speedos on. You’re going to see business miles that looked like they were decent in the bull market that we had up until now, and you’re gonna realize that they weren’t that good as businesses. And so, make sure that you have a qualitative analysis done, and that, you’re not, as a young or beginning value investor, just focused on earnings. Some of the biggest losses people have had started at 8x earnings then went to 25x earnings, but not because the price went up, but because the earnings imploded and eventually became zeros.


I guess a good checklist item would be: What positive remark can I say about this investment if I didn’t rely on the valuation ratios? What can I say other than it’s cheap? If your thesis is cheap, okay. I’m not saying cheap is not a good thing. It’s just that if that’s the only thing, try to look for better ideas where it’s cheap and a great or good business, or it’s cheap with rock-solid downside protection because they have these excess assets they could sell even if the core business is not as good as I think, or something else. I think that you can be picky in an environment where there’s a lot of irrational selling, which we have entered in. That environment, in my experience, has never happened for like 10 days in stocks. It’s possible, but once you enter that kind of mindset, I think there will be more opportunities, so don’t worry about missing out on things, but rather be really sure that you’re comfortable both with the price you pay and with the quality of what you’re buying in this environment. And then go out, and actually follow through. Don’t just look at it. Once you have that, actually act on it.

Robert Leonard  60:20

I have two podcasts. I have both this one that we’re talking on, Millennial Investing, which is all about stock investing, and then I also have another one about Real Estate Investing. And one of the big things that I always try to push across to listeners is that you need to take action, so I love that you’ve mentioned that multiple times throughout this episode because I think that is such a key point of it. Such a big factor of success is actually going out there and taking action on everything that they’ve learned throughout this episode.

Gary Mishuris  60:48

Investing is a contact sport. It’s not an armchair fantasy. Look, when I teach people, I tell them that having a paper portfolio on Yahoo! Finance is useless because it takes out the most important elements, which is determining if you can stomach the mental pressure. Everyone, after some training, knows what they should do more or less, to some basic degree. But I have friends who hide under their desk crying about the underperformance, and I have people who are gritting their teeth and staying rational even if their mark to market results make them look like idiots. They just have stamina. They have staying power, and that’s what matters in this kind of environment. It’s not about how smart you are. It’s about keeping an even keel, maintaining your temperament, and just acting rationally.

Robert Leonard  61:29

I could probably go on for hours talking about this stuff. I’m super passionate about it. I love learning about it, and I’m sure the audience is going to enjoy this conversation, as well, so I’ll definitely have to have you back on the show soon. Where can those listening to the show today go to learn more about you and connect with you?

Gary Mishuris  61:47

I have a site called behavioralvalueinvestor.com, where I publish articles about once a month. I have a YouTube channel under my name, and my company’s website is Silver Ring Value Partners. There’s a contact email there, as well. I’m always happy to connect. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. I’m pretty active there. I try to post something, hopefully of value to someone, most days. I’d be happy to get in touch that way.

Robert Leonard  62:11

I’ll be sure to put a link to all those different resources that Gary just mentioned in the show notes, so you guys can go connect with him further and read his material. I’ll also put links to various resources and books that relate to the topics that we talked about throughout the episode today, so you can go read up on those further if you’re interested in doing so.

Robert Leonard  62:28

Gary, thanks so much for your time.

Gary Mishuris  62:31

Thank you really appreciate it.

Robert Leonard  62:32

All right, guys! That’s all I had for this week’s episode of Millennial Investing. I’ll see you again next week!

Outro  62:39

Thank you for listening to TIP. To access our show notes, courses, or forums, go to theinvestorspodcast.com. This show is for entertainment purposes only. Before making any decisions, consult a professional. This show is copyrighted by The Investor’s Podcast Network. Written permissions must be granted before syndication or rebroadcasting.


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