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Tisch High on Quality Large-Caps


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Larry Sarbit had an article in the Globe and Mail yesterday outlining how he's buying U.S. stocks:




He doesn't mention any names but his US equity fund fact sheet lists his Top 10 holdings:





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Guest Bronco

This is great - here is an email I sent to Loews IR a couple days ago....




Surely we can do better than earn 0% - 1% on the cash at the holding company level.


It seems like the bias is either 1) hold cash 2) buy back shares or 3) invest in entire businesses.


There seems no reason, much like Berkshire Hathaway, that we can't invest our excess cash at the holding level (let's say $2B is a safety net, so $2B is excess) in stocks.


Many companies are trading cheap, such as ITT and JNJ.  Exelon is at a 5 year low.  What is wrong with a 5% dividend?



I understand the logic with the share buybacks, but let's generate some income.  Let's shift gears and grow our capital.




I am a shareholder of Loews, and only have the best interest of the company at heart.  I will be a shareholder for a long time as well. 

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I've got a very funny story about Larry.  When I first entered the financial industry, I was a mutual fund and insurance dealer, and I was selected by AIC Funds to go to Omaha with them, including Michael Lee Chin.  The morning of the Berkshire AGM, AIC had set up a fantastic buffet breakfast, with just about anything you would want to eat.  They even had a chef making fresh omlettes with whatever you wanted, pancakes, crepes, etc.


Everyone had been there for an hour or so, enjoying breakfast and talking, including all of AIC's investment managers.  Towards the end of the breakfast, Larry walks in and everyone is clamoring for him.  He had predicted the demise of tech stocks, was 90% cash before the market fell, and now everyone was interested in what he had to say. 


He walked over to the breakfast buffet, had the chef make him a crepe, and then he topped it off with four scoops of strawberry ice cream.  He just walked over to an empty seat on my table, sat down and started to eat his breakfast...er dessert.  He quietly ate it, and then got up to leave for the AGM.  All these advisors and other managers at AIC started yelling to him "Hey Larry, wait for us, we want to sit with you."  He just quietly responded "I want a good seat and you guys are going to take too long" and he left. 


I spoke to him on several occasions, did an interview with him for our predecessor board, and have followed him over the years.  He's always been somewhat of a maverick in the Canadian mutual fund business.  He parted ways with Investor's Group because he held so much cash, then he parted ways with AIC for similar reasons.  He then started his own fund, but hated the administrative side...he just loves to invest and run a portfolio.  So he sold it to Clarington.  A very, very nice guy...a loner who trusts his instincts completely and will preserve his investor's capital.  Cheers!

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