I have been reading again the excellent Book ‘The warren buffett way’. This book was my first exposure to Warren buffett and his approach to Investing. I have followed and learnt from him since then. The following were the key re-learnings I have had over the past few days (I am yet to finish the book)
- ROE (Return on equity) is one the most important indicator of the economic performance of a company. A company can raise this measure through five different means
o Higher Asset turns (Sales / Total assets)
o Higher margins
o Higher leverage
o Cheaper leverage
o Lower taxes.
I have seen the above happen for several companies in the past few years and have seen the stock price follow the improvement in ROE
For ex: Bluestar (better asset turns), ICICI bank (cheaper leverage, higher margins).
- Inflation does not improve ROE and actually reduces the net return to an investor
- The best companies are the ones which have strong franchies like crisil. Over time some of them become weak franchises. Further weakning of the franchise leads to a good business and then finally to a commodity company.
- Pricing strength is a key attribute of Franchises. These companies can raise prices even when the demand is flat and can earn good returns.