"Put Money to Work"
Life-long most of us work to make money. Wouldn't it be nice, to have money work for us. Having money work for us, is one of the most important things we can do. Yet, it's also the most overlooked. Our goal at DoorDarshi is to help you towards this quest.
Einstein has said, "Compounding is the eighth wonder of the world." We are here to help you experience the 8th wonder.
My approach towards my investors is that of a partnership. In the current setup, I am the General Partner while my investors are Limited Partners. However, my key consideration is always to ensure that structure (fees, communication) would be acceptable by me if our roles were to be reversed. This principle borrows heavily from what Warren Buffett has laid out in his Owners Manual – “Though our form is corporate our approach is a partnership.”
A partnership only works if it is fair and partners feel that they are getting appropriately rewarded. Our focus at DoorDarshi is to make money with our investors rather than from them. Hence, our fees are driven based on the performance of the fund with a hurdle. The more money our partners make, the more money we make.
In a world where everyone has all the information, we have to stake out our competitive advantage. The key one that we have is a long-term orientation. We primarily invest in companies where the thesis may play out over many years. This reduces the competition and allows us to enjoy our returns over the long-term.
We carry the same approach when we work with our investors/partners. We would rather have one investor for ten years rather than twenty investors for one year. This allows us to take a long-term view of our relationship with our investors. Hence, all our focus is on maximizing the duration of our relationship with our investors by behaving well.
We are lucky to do what we love. We are also lucky to do it with people who are experts in their field and for whom we have a lot of admiration and respect. We find that welcoming good partners provides us new insights, helps raise our game and gives us that extra boost of energy. We can also lean on them when we need suggestions or a kind word. Warren Buffett has a famous saying, “It's better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you'll drift in that direction.”
We apply this approach even in our investing. We invest more money in our best ideas. These ideas are chosen based on their attractiveness from a future return perspective. The key advantage of this approach is that it allows us to know our top positions better and take advantage of the decent returns that will come from those positions.
In the investing world, many fund managers are closet benchmark funds. They want to mirror the benchmarks to avoid looking inferior to them. Through this behavior, they end up with bad results because of the costs associated with running the fund.
Our approach couldn't be more different. We don't look at what is in the benchmark or index. We ignore highly promoted stock and that by definition includes IPO and the stock which is the latest fad. We only look at companies with the following characteristics:
a. Business which we can understand.
b. Management who is competent and whose incentives are similar to that of minority shareholders.
c. With a long runway for growth
d. Compelling valuation
Alternatively, it could be a special situation.
By training ourselves to stand apart from the crowd, we are able to better see how the crowd is behaving. It also reduces the "Institutional imperative" which forces most institutions to follow what others are doing.
Jeff Bezos of Amazon says, "It's always day one at Amazon." This mindset is even more important in Investing where things are changing continuously - the price of the stock is changing, the company's business is changing and the business environment is changing. To be able to succeed in such an endeavor one needs to be humble and learn continuously.
We love learning and it is one of the attributes that pulled us towards investing. We learn, not just to succeed in investing but also to succeed in life. We subscribe to Charlie Munger's quote, “I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent, but they are learning machines. They go to bed every night a little wiser than when they got up. And boy does that help — particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.”
Our investment partners come to us for our track record and our values. However, they will stay with us for our future returns and our behavior. Hence, our willingness to learn and adapt will be a critical factor that will determine our success.