The Evolution of a Value Investor | Tom Gayner | Talks at Google | Summary and Q&A

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June 29, 2015
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Talks at Google
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The Evolution of a Value Investor | Tom Gayner | Talks at Google

TL;DR

Thomas Gayner, Chief Investment Officer at Markel Corp, shares his investment philosophy and key insights on the importance of character, the power of compounding, and the need for a long-term perspective in investing.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How do you evaluate the character and integrity of management teams?

Gayner suggests spending time with management teams, reading their annual reports and proxy statements, and looking for indicators of trustworthiness and alignment of values.

Q: What is the importance of growth in investing?

Gayner explains that growth is crucial for long-term investing success, but it can be more challenging to quantify and evaluate compared to other quantitative factors. He recommends looking for scalable, replicable businesses with a track record of profitability.

Q: How do you deal with missed investment opportunities?

Gayner acknowledges the regret that comes with missing out on certain investments but stresses the importance of learning from those mistakes and focusing on finding new opportunities.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Thomas Gayner emphasizes the importance of character and integrity in the management of businesses, along with their talent and ability.

  • He highlights the need for investing in profitable businesses with good returns on capital, while remaining cautious of excessive leverage.

  • Gayner discusses the reinvestment dynamics of a business and how it can contribute to long-term value creation.

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