The Triad Perspective

Since we last wrote at the end of May, major indexes have been roughly flat.  The small-cap Russell 2000 Index is the exception to the rule, rising a little over 2% since May 27.  Since the start of the year, the S&P 500 is up about 2.6% while the Russell 2000 is up close to 1.9% after this past move.

We see the market as fully valued but areas such as energy, industrials and media continue to offer long-term opportunities.

Successful investment ideas come from a lot of different sources.  This month we discuss the value in understanding the portfolios of other respected investors with an eye toward our investments here at Triad.  

John Feb 5
John Heldman, CFA
Partner | Portfolio Manager

Dave Hutchison, CFA
Partner | Portfolio Manager

Twelve Heads are Better than One

I'm not a fan of most Modern or Contemporary Art.  Instead, I prefer the older stuff, say Renaissance, Neoclassicism (you know, Dutch Masters) and French Impressionists.  Ok, art experts, Impressionism is technically Modern Art, but at least Monet or Renoir doesn't look like a five-year old threw paint on a blank canvas.
So I wouldn't call myself a big Pablo Picasso fan.  But I saw a Picasso quote that resonated with me: "Good artists copy (or borrow); great artists steal."  The poet T.S. Elliot said something similar: "Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal."  Clearly, one of these gentlemen borrowed from the other.  The late Steve Jobs mentioned the Picasso quote during an interview years ago, and remarked that Apple "was shameless about stealing great ideas."  Even rock group Led Zeppelin is now embroiled in a lawsuit alleging that parts of Stairway to Heaven were "borrowed" from another rock group.  Hey, if these heavyweights "borrow", why can't I?
Our view of prudent investing is buying a dollar for far less than a dollar.  It entails turning over many rocks to find a few hidden gems.  One of the many challenges is time.  There is only so much time, and the amount of available information is literally endless, even if much of it is useless.  So time management becomes critical for success.  How to find great ideas in a sea of choices, ideally before they're widely known?

Like many other experienced investors, we've learned what's important, and avoid trivia (hello, CNBC?) with a vengeance.  What's more, if you're rational, you can supplement your own efforts by "borrowing" ideas from other successful investors.  I've learned investment principles and borrowed investment ideas from others over the years.  Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, of course.  But there are a select few investors who have spent many decades honing their skills and, most importantly, have track records that warrant analysis of their decisions.  Why wouldn't an investor study other successful investors?  It makes a lot of sense. 
While you can't rely exclusively on another person's work, following the efforts of some of the best investors on the planet can provide additional insights when doing research and considering an investment decision.  In the competitive game of investing, we have no "pride of authorship" that says everything must come from our own idea generation.  Picasso, Steve Jobs and Jimmy Page would probably approve.

-John Heldman, CFA
About Triad
Triad Investment Management is a 100% employee-owned SEC-registered investment adviser.  We serve families, individuals, & foundations.  Triad manages all-cap, small-cap and balanced portfolios with a focus on Research, Behavior and Ethics.  We serve as the Adviser to the Triad Small Cap Value mutual fund (symbol TSCVX).  Learn more at and

Past performance does not guarantee future results. Results are presented net of fees and include the reinvestment of all income.  The opinions expressed herein are those of Triad Investment Management, LLC and are subject to change without notice. Consider the investment objectives, risks and expenses before investing. The information in this presentation should not be considered as a recommendation to buy or sell any particular security and should not be considered as investment advice of any kind. You should not assume that any securities discussed in this report are or will be profitable, or that recommendations we make in the future will be profitable or equal the performance of any securities discussed in this presentation. The report is based on data obtained from sources believed to be reliable but is not guaranteed as being accurate and does not purport to be a complete summary of the available data. Recommendations for the past twelve months are available upon request. In addition to clients, partners and employees or their family members may have a position in any securities mentioned herein. Triad Investment Management, LLC is a SEC-registered investment adviser. More information about us is included in our SEC Form ADV Part 2, which is available upon request. 

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