After having studied Warren Buffett while also observing investor personalities as a money manager, I believe there are two primary investment traits that Warren Buffett has that most simply do not possess:
- He intrinsically understands time is the friend of good businesses and the enemy of bad businesses
- He is focused on the long-term
Identifying the characteristics of a good business isn’t subjective at all. A good business must possess sound economics (high returns on equity capital), a sustainable advantage, and a capable management team (FMT Advisory prefers Superinvestors).
Time benefits the attributes of good businesses in unbelievably stellar ways, so holding good businesses is often the right thing to do as an investor. Patience is a huge virtue and those with the most tend to get rewarded far more handsomely then those that lack it.
But sitting on your hands and doing nothing has always been the hardest thing for investors in publicly-traded businesses.
With the advent of nanosecond headlines, quote checks counted by the seconds, and information overload, investors have never been more burdened by quick triggers.
We’ve asked many investors what the longest holding period has ever been for businesses in their portfolio. Amazingly, most have never held a business in their portfolio for more than 3 years, 2 years was a rarity for a holding period, and in most cases, under 1 year and counted by months or days was the typical holding period. That isn’t investing.
It is no wonder your average investor’s returns have suffered: extremely short-holding periods, not differentiating between good and bad businesses, and being incapable of letting time work for them have left too many in the dust.
We’re a low-cost fiduciary advisory firm and our investor assets get the same investment traits possessed by Warren Buffett, something the clear majority of Americans could vastly benefit from and need desperately.
We’re welcoming new investor inquiries now that the busy tax season is finally behind us!