Chris Bloomstran – Taking Principled Stances

Hosted by
Bill Brewster

Bill Brewster is a private investor. He cohosts the podcast Value: After Hours with Tobias Carlisle and Jake Taylor. Tobias, Jake and Bill met at a Berkshire Hathaway meeting and formed a lasting friendship. And, as it turns out, people really like the podcast.

While Bill tries to replicate Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger’s thought processes, he is heavily influenced by Bill Miller III, Stan Druckenmiller, and others. This podcast is his attempt to dig deeper into other investing/business philosophies and share the knowledge with the world.

This week Chris Bloomstran stops by The Business Brew to catch up. Part of this conversation are a bit scary. Parts you may disagree with. Regardless, it’s very apparent that Chris thinks A LOT about what he is investing in.

Chris is the President and Chief Investment Officer of Semper Augustus Investments Group. He is best known for his annual letters; most of which have an incredibly detailed analysis of Berkshire Hathaway. See https://www.semperaugustus.com/clientletter.

We hope you enjoy the discussion. Detailed show notes below the Koyfin sponsor and thank yous.

Please leave us a rating in your favorite app store. This episode is brought to you by Koyfin, one of the fastest-growing platforms for financial data and analytics to research stocks and understand market trends. Check out Koyfin.com to see what a Bloomberg-lite, with tons of high-quality fundamental data and a powerful graph engine looks like.

Album art photo taken by Mike Ando. Please see https://www.mikeando.com/.

Thank you to Mathew Passy for the podcast production. You can find Mathew at @MathewPassy on Twitter or at thepodcastconsultant.com.
In this episode Chris and Bill discuss:

  • 0:34 – Chris’ wine hobby
  • 7:34 – Chris setting weight lifting records in high school
  • 11:33 – Playing football against Barry Sanders
  • 14:04 – Pivot to investing
  • 14:47 – What about today rhymes with the late 90s
  • 22:00 – Chris’ warning about Twitter, Shopify, and Tesla
  • 25:00 – What rhymes between ARK and Janus
  • 27:54 – How Chris thinks about today’s multiples
  • 35:25 – Why Chris has positions in energy companies
  • 37:00 – Chris’ use of Twitter and his Twitter threads
  • 47:31 – Chris’ love for teaching
  • 50:03 – Bill and Chris discuss Berkshire
  • 57:45 – Berkshire Hathaway Energy and how it fits within the renewable energy landscape
  • 1:01:45 – Discussion about opportunity cost and value traps
  • 1:05:45 – Why Chris is lukewarm on Big Tech
  • 1:07:00 – Chris’ take on the idea of never selling a great business
  • 1:13:10 – Chris discusses Costco vs. Amazon and concludes the opportunity cost discussion at 1:18:52
  • 1:19:00 – More energy (in the context of opportunity cost)
  • 1:23:53 – Commodities, capital cycle theory, and the “max pain” trade
  • 1:27:57 – How to treat the expensing of R&D and depreciation
  • 1:38:13 – Thinking about terminal economics of a business
  • 1:44:13 – Ex-FAAMNG the S&P components are priced as high as they have been
  • 1:48:40 – Why the market might be right on Apple, Nike, and other quality companies
  • 1:54:02 – Government debt loads
  • 1:57:06 – What should Berkshire do with its cash

Disclaimer: Bill manages a portfolio under the name of Sullimar Capital Group. This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast or on SullimarCapital.Group is investment advice. All information in this is opinion based, potentially biased, and requires verification.

Bill and his guests make no representation, warranty or undertaking, express or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness or reasonableness of the information contained in these podcasts. Any assumptions, opinions and estimates expressed constitute the participant’s judgment as of the date thereof and are subject to change without notice. Any projections contained in the information are based on a number of assumptions as to market conditions and there can be no guarantee that any projected outcomes will be achieved. This podcast does not accept any liability for any direct, consequential or other loss arising from reliance on the contents of this presentation.

This podcast series DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFER TO SELL OR THE SOLICIATION OF AN OFFER TO BUY ANY SECURITIES MENTIONED OR DISCUSSED. Seek the your financial, tax, legal, accounting, or other advisor’s advice before making any investment decisions. We are not your fiduciary or advisor.

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Episode 49