This post by John Huber is excerpted from a letter of Saber Capital Management.
I recently read a good book called Deep Work. The book is about increasing productivity by prioritizing your time, trimming the “fat” out of a work day by avoiding distractions, and focusing more intently on important projects. Each year I set a few goals, but one goal that always is on top of my list is very simple: “Get Better”. I try to refocus each year on self-improvement, looking for areas where I can improve as an investor. The ultimate objective here is to expand my list of companies I follow (and sharpen the understanding of those already on the list). This increases my opportunity set for potential investments.
This year, my focus is to make a conscious effort to do more deep work – read more books, dig deeper into companies and subjects, minimize busy work, and cut distractions that tend to keep a lid on productivity and creative thinking.
One of the things I’ve always loved about business and investing is that they have something very much in common with other things I like such as athletics, music, and chess – and that common denominator with all of those endeavors is that there is always room for improvement. These are examples of crafts – and the way you improve your craft is by practicing.
And unlike Allen Iverson, I’ve always loved practice. Practice is where you get better, and I’ve always felt the greatest satisfaction comes not necessarily from the achievement (although that is the ultimate end-goal), but often from the noticeable self-improvement that happens from time to time along the way.
To summarize this concept with a more practical question: How does an investment manager best position himself or herself to achieve great results? One way is to do more focused practice – that is, engage in more “deep” work and less “busy” work.
Original disclosure: Returns are based on the “Saber Capital Portfolio”—a real money account that is managed alongside all other accounts. I also refer to this as Saber’s model portfolio. Performance data of this account is produced directly from Interactive Brokers. Returns are not audited. It is important to note that each client may experience slightly different results from the model depending on the timing of deposits, withdrawals, the opening/closing of the account, the fee structure specific to each account, and other timing issues. The valuations of your investments at the time of purchase may be significantly different than the valuations at the time of purchase in the model because of these timing issues. I expect the net results of the model account to roughly equal the results of client accounts over time, although there can be no guarantee because of the timing issues referenced above. The gross returns of the Saber Capital Portfolio are taken directly from Interactive Brokers. The net returns are estimated using a 1% management fee and 15% performance fee. Your net returns could vary from the model depending on the fee structure of your account. Your personal account statements with your account specific performance net of all fees will be coming in the mail each quarter, and can also be accessed anytime online. Please note that any performance fees earned during this year will show up in the following year’s 1st quarter statement. Also note that the time weighted return (TWR) on your account specific performance summary is net of all fees.