Ted Weschler is Buffett's other investment manager at Berkshire - notes on one of his rare interviews below:
24:45 Peer Comparisons
Compare peers in an industry and once in a while, you'll find a company that stands out - these are the type of stocks we work on.
25:15 Twenty Punches
Buffett advised investors to imagine having only 20 ideas to invest for a lifetime - that mindset forces you to think harder about businesses, it's a standard worth striving to.
Weschler literally applied this philosophy and ended up with a 19/20 success record.
27:00 Private Equity Mindset
Weschler applied a private equity mindset to public securities i.e. think like a business owner buying the whole company instead of trading in the market.
We try to apply this mindset in our evaluation - to find pieces of businesses (stocks) available at ridiculously low prices relative to their worth; prices no intelligent business owner would sell you of his free will.
30:00 No pressure to bid
There is no pressure to bid on public securities - there are over 40,000 stocks available on public markets. Large institutional investors can practically invest in only about 10% of those whereas small investors have the whole playing field.
Just pass on ideas till you find one that fits your criteria . This is one of the most underrated advantages of operating in stocks.
We systematically filter through every stock to bring you the best ideas that pass our rigorous financial criteria and basic qualitative tests.
31:45 Connecting the dots
Read widely. Get different perspectives. Investing is about connecting the dots and getting a "variant perception" on an idea - different from the market and profitable.
Weschler reads obscure material for insight - similar to Todd Combs (last week's newsletter) - Furniture Today and Uranium Weekly (!).
40:15 Covid investing
Interesting to hear Weschler say Berkshire had a lot of "very good information" but "no relative edge" in how investments would play out. Of course, the Federal reserve stepped in early, which minimized Berkshire's opportunity set for negotiated investments.
Weschler considers inflation's impact worth thinking about along with US$ strength, and China-US relations. You need a "little bit of background knowledge" for the right lens to look at opportunities.
Re inflation, we try to find businesses with above-average profitability and pricing power, which should perform well in an inflationary environment.
53:15 Endlessly interesting
Investing is a broad and fascinating field - stay curious, and enjoy the ride.
10:00 Warren's courtship style and getting what he wants
11:30/29:00 Bankruptcy work on a single case for 13 years (!) - 100,000+ lawsuits against it for asbestos exposure
21:00 LBO/private equity experience and starting own hedge fund
52:00 Benefits of running and thinking about investing