Landing a Hole-In-One with Buffett

It’s not unreasonable to assume that many a golfer discusses the stock market while rolling over the back nine. But for fund manager Jamie Wilhelm, golf and investing represent his life’s passions. In a recent Barron’s article, he discusses how investment guru Warren Buffett has influenced his market approach.

Years of competitive golf taught Wilhelm how to make decisions under pressure and manage his emotions, essential skills in the investment world. Like Buffett, Wilhelm and his team find businesses with a durable competitive advantage and buy the stock when it’s trading below what they consider its intrinsic value. He describes the strategy as one that “takes advantage of the one thing that won’t go away over time, and this is irrational human behavior.”

His investment approach seems to work pretty well, as Wilhelm’s $1.4 billion Touchstone Focused fund (TFOAX) has delivered a 13.67% average annual return (versus 12.15% for the Russell 3000) since 2012. He believes that over time a company should earn more than its cost of capital if the business model is sound and barriers to entry are high. As far as Buffett’s influence, Wilhelm says “I’m a huge believer in trying to study the best.”