East Coast Asset Management on Competitive Advantage: Quarterly Letter ~ market folly

Friday, April 8, 2011

East Coast Asset Management on Competitive Advantage: Quarterly Letter

East Coast Asset Management's quarterly letters have become one of our favorites for insight and timeless advice on the topic of compounding as well as variant perception. This time around, Christopher Begg focuses on competitive advantage and the ability of businesses to first become 'local champions'.

Begg writes that, "high quality businesses that can raise prices and whose products have localized advantages with a growing emerging market consumer will thrive." This point is exemplified by Warren Buffett & Berkshire Hathaway, whose latest purchase of Lubrizol was seemingly based on pricing power.

The main gist of the letter is that solid investments are found in businesses with solid competitive advantages that allow them to do something their competitors cannot.

East Coast's letter also goes on to quote Steve Mandel of Lone Pine Capital who said, "Our ability to identify businesses that have the market opportunity, product distinction, competitive advantage and management skill to grow earnings and cash flow for longer than is factored into consensus expectations has distinguished our investment effort over the years."

Lastly, Begg gives an example of misclassifying an investment in Cisco Systems (CSCO) and how he has learned from the mistake. Investors never stop learning and this is the perfect example of why many successful investors critically focus on competitive advantage.

Embedded below is East Coast Asset Management's latest letter:

You can download a .pdf copy here.

Begg has also accepted a position as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School and will be teaching Security Analysis this summer. For more great insight from this firm, check out East Coast on gaining an investment edge.

blog comments powered by Disqus