In his latest article for Canada’s Globe & Mail, Validea Co-Founder and CEO John Reese talks about how some of the world’s most successful investors have targeted firms that have what Warren Buffett calls “enduring moats” — competitive advantages that can make for big-time stock gains.
“What is an enduring moat?” Reese writes. “It can come in several shapes and forms. One that Mr. Buffett has cited, for example, is a powerful brand name. Take Coca-Cola. The company is one of the (if not the) best-known brands in the world, and its famed cola has become enmeshed in our culture and lexicon.”
Other types of moats include being the low-cost producer in an industry, or having exceptional product quality, Reese says. “These various types of ‘moats’ all have a similar effect,” he explains. “They make it difficult, if not impossible, for other companies to move in on a firm’s business turf. A new startup could have unlimited funds and one of the best managers in the world, and it still likely couldn’t supplant Coca-Cola as one of the world’s leading beverage companies; the Coke brand’s tentacles are simply spread too deeply into the global consumer psyche.”
Reese says Buffett isn’t the only guru to use the “moat” concept. Others like Joel Greenblatt and Kenneth Fisher also make a point of targeting firms with competitive advantages. And, while such advantages are subjective qualities, Reese says these gurus used a variety of different metrics to identify firms that likely have “moats”.
To read the full article, which includes a few “moat stock” picks that Reese’s Guru Strategies like, click here.