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Buying Fairfax in US


jtvalue
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Dumb Question - but if i I want to buy Fairfax in the US would I input the ticker FRFHF?  It appears to trade OTC?  If I remember correctly Fairfax delisted from the NYSE several years ago.  Thx

 

Yes. FRFHF is the ticker I use to buy or sell Fairfax in the US. I think the company delisted from the NYSE some six years ago.

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You can buy both FRFHF, which trades OTC, and FFH, which trades on Toronto exchange. I have an account with Interactive Brokers and prefer to hold FFH for 2 reasons: the spread is much better and FFH is marginable while FRFHF is not. IB has very good margin rates; currently 1.78 % for the first 100,000, 1.38% after that.

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Everyone should agree that it makes no difference which you own, FFH.to or FRFHF otc, since in both cases, you own one share of Fairfax.

 

The major difference, apart from the much more limited liquidity of FRFHF and the wider spread, and the fact that FRFHF is not marginable, is that FFH is denominated in CAD and FRFHF in USD. Any difference in past returns is a result of the ever-changing exchange rate  -currently, USD$1=CAD$1.35, which is higher than it has been in a couple of years, resulting in a higher Fairfax price in CAD$ (i.e.FFH) than in USD$ (i.e. FRFHF). If the CAD were to rise to par with the USD again, FRFHF would far outpace FFH, just as it has underperformed in the last few years, but this would make no difference to the returns you make as an investor.

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