I recap Guy Spier’s lessons and his investing evolution as he shared with the Kolkata Investor Group. The biggest takeaway is learning new ways to value tech for future investment gains.
One of the top themes that Guy Spier discussed was how we should look for investment ideas (water) in the oasis of tech rather than in the desert of value.
On position sizing Guy has about 20 positions, his 3-4 largest positions each comprise between 15-20% each of the portfolio and many of them started off as below 4-5% positions. We can see his position in Alibaba (BABA) started out like this, and he has a few more positions in addition to what we can see from his 13-F filing.
Even though he was a dyed in the wool value investor, Guy said that the old approaches to value investing may not be as applicable right now, and he is gathering Venture Capital tech lists to learn more about tech-related opportunities.
I found it interesting how he said that “our greatest teachers can also be our biggest limiters.”
He said that the art of cloning is subtle and difficult. And that “yes valuations are high and that makes life difficult.”
Guy said to look for companies that have a noble mission and which care about all stakeholders and the community.
Guy said that “the way to invest in equities is to invest in them oneself,” or to buy an index with a reputable provider. Or to invest with a fund manager who treats investors as if they’re family and has the right orientation. He said that his clients are almost like my family.
Prosus became a position in the Aquamarine Capital portfolio because the management talks through their investments clearly and in an open way that make sense to you or me, Guy said.
He borrows a concept from NFX’s James Currier, who said that “networks are valuable, but not all networks are.” Some networks keep getting more valuable as grow, but others top out.
Unlike Warren Buffett or Charlie Munger, Guy doesn’t believe that crypto is really rat poison. However, he isn’t sure if something will come along that will perform blockchain functions better than bitcoin or ethereum will, and that’s why he’s putting this area into the too hard category (for now). He is very enthusiastic about learning about blockchain tech.
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