[책]Acacia Fund Annual Letter 2017

일전에 16년 보고서 이후 두 번째 아카시아 레터. 수장은 Gregory Alexander

참고로 Gregory Alexander는 워렌버핏이 인정한 걸출한 펀드매니저. 그랙이 운영하는 아카시아는 ’15년 +4.7% (S&P +1.4%), ’16년 2.7% (S&P 12%)으로 고전하다 ’17년 +40% (S&P +21.8%) 로 압도. 1885년 론칭 이후 수익률은 25,365%로 S&P 2531% 를 바르고 있음. 255 fold.

참고로 워렌이 인정한 투자자 (빌루안 말고도) Seth Klarman of the Baupost Group, 이번 레터의 주인공인 Greg Alexander 그리고 Li Lu who manages munger’s money.

워렌버핏이 그의 파트너쉽을 종료한 후 파트너들이 ‘그럼 내 돈은 누가 운용해요 이제?’ 하니까 추천한 사람이 Bill Ruane. Ruanecunniff는 현재 세콰이어와 아카시아를 운용.

빌 루안이 그렉알렉산더에 대해 언급한 내용이 그의 1996년 Annual Report 에 있는데,

“Twelve years ago, Greg Alexnder joined us out of Yale where, despite his economics degree, it appears that he spent most of his time reading annual reports. He is highly creative and still spends at least 8 hours a day consuming annual reports. I don’t know anyone who processes more ideas with greater anlytical depth and he is excellent at cutting through to the heart of an issue. He is a master of chewing through immense detail to reach original insights and judgments about our portfolio companies.”

아무튼 그렇고 아래는 이번 레터에서 내가 인상적으로 읽은 부분들.

-The number of companies publicly traded on U.S. stock markets fell by alomst half over the past two decades from more than 7,000 to only 3,672 as of early 2017.

-Interest rates are low, the economy is still growing, and tax cuts will help corporate earnings in 2018. On the other hand, the market was up every single month during 2017, and specualtion has definitely returned in some areas. We believe our companies have the muscle and moat to survive and thrive even in challenging economic times when those come, as they inevitably will.

-In a sign of progress in the Old World, France elected a new president, Emmanuel Macron, whose initial steps to reform labor laws, rationalize pensions, reduce capital gains and dividend taxes to 30%, and eliminate an annual tax on personal wealth seem to indicate that France has finally elected a leader who knows what he is doing.

-The gov. Of Russia, China and Venezuela have reverted to their all-too-normal condition as dictatorships, and the dystopian future of state control portrayed in the book 1984 by George Orwell, written in 1947-8, may in some ways slowly returning into reality. The Chinese state is beginnig to use the internet and the power of facial recognition tech to track and rate citizens, even as it shuts down virtual private networks, reducing the public’s ability to access uncensored news and info. This is one reason anoymous and portable cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether have become so popular in totalitarian states, and why China’s Gov. is moving to restrict them.

-Unexpectedly, we like parts of the new tax bill. Perhaps because it was passed under a President who finds it difficult to make friends even in his own party, the bill seems to have been laess mediated by two-party bargaining that is normally the case. It therefore includes several previously difficult-to-pass reforms, including the end of tax subsidies for people who reside in high spending states, those who have big mortgages or live in towns with high real estate taxes, and for companies that finince themselves with risky amounts of debt. It cuts tax rates on corporations more than on their owners – probably a more enduring way to reduce doubleb taxess on capital and to stop from wanting to relocate aborad.

아래 문단 핵공감

-We worry that politicians are now usually drawn from a professional class that lacks real-world operating experience. Businesspeople used to retire to Congress in considerable numbers, but today almost all of our legislators are professional politicians. The problem with people who have little to no real-world experience is that they ofrten do not truly understand the underlying issues, never mind which solutions are best. The situation is compounded by the fact that less knowledge leads to  lower conviction, but conviction is exatly what is needed to drive good legislation through the minefield of partisan politics and interest groups that dominate our legislatures today. Unfortunately, for all too many politicians on both sides of the aissle, real-world-based conviction seems to have been replaced by ideological invective.

여기도 역시 핵공감. 한 번 언급한 적도 있는 멍거 코멘트 인용도 있음.

-Last, and this may seem a small point, but we worry about the long-term effect of today’s bite-size and short-term-oriented smartphone communications. Because so-called ‘news’ is ubiquitous and instantly available, people think they know what is going on, but they often know little about the past, and lack context, depth, or breadth of understanding. All the wise people we know benefit hugely from knowing history and from being incessant learners. Sadly, history has become irrelevent to many people, while the public’s appreciation of a principle as fundamental as democracy has plummeted all over the West.

-On the importance of learning and history, Berkshire Hathaway’s vice-chairman Charlie Munger argues, eloquently and persuasively, in favor of reading:

In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’tread all the time-none, zero. You’d  be amazed at how much Warren reads- and how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out. I am a biography nut. I think when you’re trying to teach the great concepts that work, it helps to tie them into the lives and personalities of the people who developed them. I think you learn economics better if you make Adam Smith your friend. That sounds funny – making friends among the eminent dead-but if you go through life making friends with the eminent dead who had the right ideas, I think it will work better in life and work better in education. It’s way better than just being given the basic concepts.

여기서부터는 좀 생각이 많아지는 지점. 요약하면,

1)”betting against change seems a risker position than ever before.”,

2) “Given the accelerating pace and sacle of technological disruption, Acacia will continue to invest in businesses’ disruptors, not its disruptees.”,

3) Google 과 같은 disruptors 를 포함 한 포트 평균 ’18y Fwd. P/E 19x 를 reasonable and cheap valuation 이라 칭한점

내가 속한 펀드는 상대적으로 벨류에이션 허들이 더 높고, disruptor의 비중이 상대적으로 많이 떨어진다는 점에서 혼란스러웠음. 선배 애널리스트들에게 Acacia는 뭐가 여타 성장주 펀드와 다른지에 대해 답변 들을 기회 있었는데, 요약하면 1)compounder에 대한 고민 2) long term view 3) 일말의 valuation 허들의 존재 4) 성장에 대한 실체적이고 다양한 접근 5) multiple expantion 보다는 Earning 의 성장과 이를 지켜줄 굳건한 BM 에 대한 고민. 정도였던 듯. 크게 공감하지는 않지만, 나의 ‘여타 성장주 펀드와 뭐가 다른지 모르겠다’ 보다는 ‘뭔가 다르다’ 라고 생각하는 듯하니, 뭐 성장하면서 알게 되겠지.

이어서 흥미로운 부분

-The entire economies of some countries and industries are dependent on global labor arbitrage, with labor-intensive industries such as sewing garments a clasic steppingstone helping countries climb out from poverty. With robots getting closer to automating complex tasks like garment manufacturing, how will poor countries jump-start growth in the future?

글쎼 진짜 어떻게 될까. 도상국과 선진국의 격차는 이제 좁혀질 수 없는걸까. 우리나라와 일본도 그리고 중국도 방직 등의 노동집약적 산업으로 일어섰다. 아프리카, 동남아시아는 일어설 수 없는가.

-아카시아의 철학을 설명하는 재밌는 사진이 있는데, Management+Quality+Duration 에 신경쓰고, 시장에서 Misunderstood 되고 자신들에게는 understandable 하며, Value와 Growth stock의 교집합에 투자. P/E멀티플이 급격히 확장되는 구간 초입에 포지션 설립.

As our colleague Jon Brandt says, ” The biggest difference between us and 99% other money managers on Wall Street is that we’re thinking about how our companies will do five or ten years hence. When we buy a stock today, we are not thinking about what the company will earn in the nexy year or two, but what it will earn in 2020 or 2025 given the growth we expect. We are not worrying about current reported earnings, or whether the stock is going to perform over the next quarter. If we are comfortable with its franchise and the management, and feel that we are buying at an attractive multiple of normalized earnings, that is important. Most investors, by contrast, are thinking about how their stocks will do over the next few months, or maybe at the outside, the next six months to a year”

그리고 나오는 투자 사례들.

Fiat Chrysler 얘기가 나오는데 현재 현대차 상황과 유사하지 않나 싶었음. 투자 포인트의 핵심은 SUV seg의 높은 비중. 투자포인트 부분 share 하면,

When we bought shares, we kept that “auto companies are mature,” and that “FCA sales are down this year.” But beneath the surface, the company was eliminating the sale of traditional sedans and no-profit sales to car rental fleets, while growing Jeep significantly. The chart below shows Jeep sales volumes globally, including company forecasts for 2017 and 2018. Does this chart present the portrait of a a mature brand?

When we bought our shares, investors were sure that the auto industry was about to enter the dustbin of history, rendered obsolete by the likes of Tesla, Apple and Uber. Almost no one was interested in FCA, or noticed how many useful changes the company has made in recent years. Wall Street was certain that a future of shared, fleet-owned electric vehicles with autonomous driving and no steering wheel was nearly upon us, battering the price of auto company shares. We agree that it doesn’t make sense for every car to have its own power plant, and we agree that when batteries cost less and weigh less than an internal combustion engine, may consumers will buy them. But we are not so persuaded that FCA, at least, is doomed. 

이거는 Sergio Marchinonne (CEO) 의 멘트인데 의미가 있음.

“One of the things we try to do is to live a relatively simple life where we rely on data, approach our options with clarity of mind, unbiased. Whatever capital i need to spend, I spend on premium brands for which i have a higher level of certainty of commercial success. The amount of capital wasted in the industry is something that requires remedy [through merger] consolidation.”

그리고 다른 포지션들.

“Data is the new oil,” mathematician Clive Humby of the UK’s dunnhumby consultancy first said in 2006. Our internet holdings such as Alphabet, Amazon, Naspers, and Tencent (which we own through Naspers) collect and generate vast amounts of data to help their users, and constantly run tests to gain valuable insights into their own products, see which new products and features they prefer, and lower the risk of failure. Over time and through trial and error, lots of little insights and incremental gains add up to something difficult to replicate, similar to our own investment process.

제프베조스의 멘트도 아마존에 대한 설명에서 있었는데, share.

” If you are competitor-focused, you have to wait until a competitor is doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering. We innovate by starting with the customer and working backwards. That becomes the touchstone for how we invent. It used to be that if you made a customer happy, they would tell five friends. Now with the megaphone of the internet, they can tell 5,000 friends. The customers do part of the heavy lifting, marketing-wise. Today customers can tell whether product and service is good because there’s so much transparency. Rather than inferior products shouting louder, we have sort of a product merotocracy. It’s good for customers, and it’s good for the companies that embrace it” – Jeff Bezos

“One of the things that you learn in a rural area is self-reliance. People do everything themselves. That kind of self-relince is something you can learn, and my grandfather was a huge role model for me: If something is broken, let’s fix it. To get something new done you have to be stubborn and focused, to the point that others might find unreasonable” -Jeff Bezos

그리고 마지막 멘트

These companies are growing fast, reinvesting capital at high rates of return, and enhancing their already strong industry positions, with years of runway yet ahead of them. We look for opportunites during times of fear, or when progress is occurring beneath the surface which others have not yet observed.