Because our investors embrace our philosophy, we can leverage our ability to tread off the beaten path to our advantage. Thus, our strategy includes uncovering situations where where the potential upside is uncertain (but possibly convex), yet the downside is well-known and limited.
An example is a company whose price appears to fully reflect its recent net earnings, but our research indicates that the owner-manager’s investment in a future growth opportunity has been weighing those earnings down. We may determine that whether the project is completed or abandoned, its expense will abate and the remaining core earnings from a moat-advantaged business provide protection against the downside. The market may disapprove of the speculative project, so the stock price implies no chance of success as well as a belief that the project’s expense will offset core earnings indefinitely. Such a situation may represent a case of “heads, we win; tails, we don’t lose much.”
Our ability to accept uncertainty that most fund managers cannot is thus a source of opportunity.
This strategy hinges on the primacy of avoiding permanent loss of capital.
HVC manages the risk of permanent capital loss by: