Our returns this year, compared to the market’s, are primarily due to our exposure to housing and housing-related securities, and our lack of exposure to energy. A few thoughts on both are in order.
Owning housing stocks in the midst of the worst housing market in at least 15 years, and one where the problems may linger until 2009, may prompt a reaction similar to that one client had when we bought a company in the midst of a scandal: don’t you read the papers? At LMCM we actually try to buy low and sell high, and you don’t buy low when everything is great and the headlines reflect it. Usually, but not always, when you read about some industry or company having the worst time since some period of years, or even decades ago, you will find that buying that industry or company when it was going through those difficulties proved quite profitable if your time horizon wasn’t measured in days or months. The headlines today are all about this being the worst housing market since the early 1990’s. Had you bought housing stocks during that previous period of duress, you would have made many times your money and handily outperformed the market over the subsequent decade.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Bill Miller: Commentaries