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Our Process:

Our practice of trading only once a month is the bedrock below our investment process. From there, our stringent screening process creates a scaffolding that ensures we do not waste time on companies that are fundamentally unfit for long-term investors.

We then use a creative synthesis of analytical tools to study the companies that remain in our investable universe, and translate the resulting insights into portfolios with the help of decision aids.

The underlying intention is to continuously improve our investment decisions by revisiting them rigorously, regularly, and holistically.

Sloane Ortel
Founder & Chief Investment Officer

Defining Our Investable Universe

  • Excluding questionable issuers focuses our research on viable companies. 
  • The top three reasons we’ve excluded an issuer are shown at right. 
  • Roughly a third of our ~3,000 exclusions are based on internal research.
Direct harm to living things
0%
Unacceptable emissions
0%
Human rights violations
0%

Scoring Investable Securities

We score each issuer or security that makes it through our screening process on wide-ranging criteria. Any material factor can affect a security’s score, but the following six areas usefully summarize the most common contributors. Mousing over each area will reveal some illustrative indicators we use.

People

Do great people want to work here?

Illustrative indicators:

  • Effective Governance
  • Distinctive Culture
  • Retention of Diverse Staff

Product

Do they make something people want?

Illustrative indicators:

  • Vision for future innovation
  • Market share growth
  • Focus on correct KPIs

Execution

Are they getting things done?

Illustrative indicators:

  • Returns on R&D investments
  • Effective sales and marketing
  • Improving operational results

Valuation

Can we buy at a reasonable price?

Illustrative indicators:

  • P/E, P/B, P/S, & P/TBV
  • Sensible asset valuations
  • Free cash flow

Moat

Is their progress protected?

Illustrative indicators:

  • Risk of disruption
  • Competitive pressure
  • Community engagement

Risk

What could go wrong?

Illustrative indicators:

  • Adoption risk
  • Regulatory and geopolitical risk
  • Potential for permanent capital loss

Constructing Portfolios

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Scores
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Owned Firmwide

The tabs below detail how the scoring process informs portfolio construction in our strategies. 

Refining Our Perception

All investors must make decisions with incomplete information. But we can sharpen our intuitive powers by organizing observations into testable forward-looking narratives in a process known as scenario analysis.

While in a prior role at CFA Institute, Sloane co-authored the textbook embedded here which identifies sources and methods investment teams can use to harness the power of this process.  

The following practices discussed in the book are key components of our investment process, and particularly the way we collaborate internally:

  • Enumerating and classifying “big” questions 
  • Itemizing materials used in decision making
  • Identifying and assessing mental models 

Revisiting Our Decisions

A Natural Cycle

Each process cycle culminates when we rebalance our portfolios on the new moon.

As we begin the next cycle anew, we evaluate past decisions and attempt to identify recurring weaknesses in our thinking.

Selected Factors Associated with Past Mistakes:
  • Desire to prove ourselves
  • Fear of missing out
  • Copying other investors
  • Perceived pressure to transact
  • Insufficiently robust thesis
  • Poor scrutiny of public filings
  • Failure to collaborate
  • Unguided position sizing
  • Lack of sell discipline
  • Complex financial model
  • Seduced by charismatic leader
  • Poor unit economics