A Rigorous, Disciplined Process
We seek out and scrutinize young, dynamic growth companies for potential addition to our watch list. For a stock to eventually make it from “watch” to “own,” however, the threshold becomes even higher.
Our portfolio typically holds 10 to 15 names at any given time. In general, we look to add one to two new companies each year, and we will hold successful positions for multiple years, usually through one or more business cycles.
Investment Process for New Ideas
Define Our Investment Universe
Focus on equity investments of companies located in developed markets with strong legal systems, clear accounting standards, and long histories of protecting the rights of equity shareholders.
Eliminate companies with no current revenue and those that are smaller than $500mm in market capitalization.
Cull financial black box, commodity, and natural resource companies.
Prune away companies with low or no growth and that are bigger than $50 billion in market capitalization.
We deep-dive on a small group of companies to understand the unit economics and the competition.
Does the company do something noticeably different?
Do they sell a distinctive and different product or service?
Can we grasp why a customer might want to own the product?
Do we understand the service that the company provides?
Is the company under-appreciated or misunderstood?
Purchase a company from the watchlist if it offers a compelling investment opportunity.
When do we sell?
Given the extent of Barton’s initial and ongoing due diligence, our goal is simple – to identify good investments at reasonable prices and hold them until something changes materially. For example:
We will typically sell a position:
when there is unanticipated deterioration in the investment’s core business, or its growth prospects diminish significantly.
when a company’s strategic focus pivots, and it no longer matches our criteria for owning the stock.
if the original thesis for our investment is no longer valid, or it becomes less significant for value creation.
if a demonstrably better idea comes along, and we don’t want to increase the number of holdings in the portfolio.
We will typically reduce a position:
when it has grown too outsized in relation to the overall portfolio.
when we wish to reduce the size of one holding in order to add to another. Typically, the reduced holding is a long-held investment and the increased holding is a new idea that we are building up to full investment.
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