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My interview with Zeke Ashton of Centaur Capital


ExpectedValue
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http://streetcapitalist.com/2010/07/29/my-interview-with-zeke-ashton-of-centaur-capital-and-the-tilson-dividend-fund/

 

I recently did this interview with Zeke Ashton of Centaur Capital who also manages the Tilson Dividend Fund. I think you guys are going to enjoy it - Zeke mentions a number of companies that come up frequently on this board.

 

He mentions Fairfax Financial, Berkshire Hathaway, and even Michael Smith's Mass Financial Corp.

 

 

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This is great.  Thanks for the interview.

I've actually been looking at the Tilson Dividend Fund recently.  Its performance is nice, but more importantly, the manager seems very intelligent (as evidenced by this interview).

My couple concerns are the very high expense ratio (1.95%) and the low assets under management (19m), which are probably correlated (as AUM go up, I expect the ER to go down).  

I know that mutual funds are not typically discussed on this board, but does anyone else have any thoughts regarding TILDX?

Thanks.

-M

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Great Job...

 

Interesting about the companies to hold for 15 years...BRK, FFH, Lab Corp and Dreamworks. 

 

Thanks, yeah I think it is an interesting mental exercise. Even if it is hypothetical, it gets you thinking about which businesses in your portfolio have the strongest kinds of competitive advantages that will enable them to at least preserve wealth.

 

Ideally you want a company with great competitive advantages and then hopefully a good capital allocator at the helm. I think Berkshire is a good choice because even without Warren, the company has so many diverse business lines that are run by really talented people. It should be able to withstand the test of time.

 

To be honest, I have not researched DreamWorks too much, but I do think that if this 3d movie trend continues, it will be a major boon for studios, especially studios that produce animated films for children (e.g.: DreamWorks with Shrek).

 

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Thanks.

 

Enjoyed the article.

 

I have tried to have a more focused portfolio (~ 10 companies)

 

How do folks here purchase their core holdings? say you want a 10% position + you find a company like what is mentioned in the article + company is selling at a good price (say 40% discount to intrinsic value)-do people just buy the full allotment or do you buy say 2.5% at a tie and average in (I have had the same experience  that asoon as I purchase something the price will continue to contract a further 20%). Portfolio size is say 4 x your net income so that 10% is relatively large $$$ some.

 

 

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Thanks.

 

Enjoyed the article.

 

I have tried to have a more focused portfolio (~ 10 companies)

 

How do folks here purchase their core holdings? say you want a 10% position + you find a company like what is mentioned in the article + company is selling at a good price (say 40% discount to intrinsic value)-do people just buy the full allotment or do you buy say 2.5% at a tie and average in (I have had the same experience  that asoon as I purchase something the price will continue to contract a further 20%). Portfolio size is say 4 x your net income so that 10% is relatively large $$$ some.

 

If it's a great company for a good price: I buy in blocks of 5-10% of my portfolio if the price drops an additional 15% I add another 5-10% up until I reach 25%.

If it's a good company at a great price: I buy 5% of my portfolio and not more.

 

I have a very concentrated portfolio, but that's all my schedule can afford. The reason my blocks are big compared to my portfolio is that I want my frictions costs (less then 0.2%) as minimal as possible and that my portfolio is small enough to allow it.

 

BeerBaron

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Thanks BeerBaron,

 

I like your thinking, I am going to keep your approach in mind + may try it with my next  position.

 

I am sure buying 10% of your portfolio is motivating in doing lots of homework before hand.

 

I like you idea of limiting "good companies" to 5% (I may have some work to do here as well)

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The Achilles Heel of many value investors is making buying decisions with reference to a fixed ratio such as 60% of perceived IV.  This method may work OK in normal markets and with most stock purchases, but it's not the method we have used with greatest success for buying stocks that become home runs.  These big gainers  were all bought at fire sale prices because we became aware of forces that might drive their prices to very low levels.  We waited until it seemed that these forces were playing out before making a big buy of the stock.  Occasionally, we missed a few that took off before we thought they would find the bottom, but our cautiousness has paid off amazingly well with a few big winners.  

 

Doe's anyone have  examples of using this cautious method successfully?

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  • 8 years later...

Haha, gawd, how times have changed.  Whitney Tilson and crew were freaking losers.  Even Tilson finally gave up the ghost.  They basically fleeced their investors with insane expense ratios and barely returned jack squat.  Tilson has even finally relented and admitted that his investing performance has gotten worse over the years.  Really makes me wonder why people are going with active managers.  Smart beta funds with macroeconomic timing is all you need.

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Haha, gawd, how times have changed.  Whitney Tilson and crew were freaking losers.  Even Tilson finally gave up the ghost.  They basically fleeced their investors with insane expense ratios and barely returned jack squat.  Tilson has even finally relented and admitted that his investing performance has gotten worse over the years.  Really makes me wonder why people are going with active managers.  Smart beta funds with macroeconomic timing is all you need.

 

Such as?

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