What fundamental analysis means (and why we are bad golfers)

Stephen Groff's picture

We often get asked what it means to do fundamental or bottom-up analysis. In a nutshell, it is a lot of hard work, time and travel in the pursuit of finding attractive risk/reward opportunities around the world for the benefit of our fundholders. It’s because of this level of effort and diligence that our investors entrust active management and specifically Cambridge with their hard earned savings.

Instead of simply saying we hold “lots” of calls, meetings and on-site visits, we thought it would be helpful to quantify it for you. It speaks to the length that our team goes to in adding value for clients.

Year-to-date (as of August 25) the team has held:

  • Well over 250 in-person company meetings (on site, at conferences or in our offices)
  • Over 150 company calls
  • Over 150 analyst meetings and calls

These meetings have been across Canada, U.S., Europe, South America and we are headed to Japan in a little over a week.

Keep in mind this excludes public conference calls, general information sessions and the many filings, transcripts and research notes that are attended and reviewed over this time.

Our trip to the U.K., a week before Brexit, is an example of the process at work (and some fortunate timing). We were able to meet with 15+ companies all the while being fully unaware if the U.K. would vote to stay in or out of the EU. By focusing on company fundamentals, we were able to acquire positions in a number of companies at outstanding prices as a result of the vote – an example of volatility creating opportunity. Having recently met with them, we were able to act decisively when the opportunity arose.

As the team continues to expand (with Kam and Derek being our newest investment team additions), our ability to conduct deeper diligence and “turn over more rocks” only improves. The Cambridge machine is operating well and this is critical to our ability to drive strong risk adjusted returns over the long term. It also explains why no one on the team is particularly strong at golf.

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