Examples of Excellent Shareholder Letters
... and the case for providing them.
In a recent Fund Spy column, I emphasized the importance of clarity, detail, and opinion in the letters that fund managers send to their shareholders. I explained why this is important and what elements a good shareholder letter should include. However, that column did not have room to highlight examples that met the standard. Therefore, today's column will look at a few that, though not perfect, do reach a level that all should aspire to.
At a basic level, these letters should provide a feeling that the author is an energized, thoughtful investor with a personality, holding opinions that don't simply repeat the consensus view. This might seem a low bar, but you'd be surprised how many letters are blandly written and have little of value to say. Moreover, asking for personality and opinion actually sets a higher standard than it might appear. Anecdotes or jokes alone do not demonstrate these qualities. Rather, detailed discussions of investment strategy and specific, well-supported views on securities in the portfolio--or those consciously excluded from the portfolio--tell a reader that a real person is at the helm.
Gregg Wolper does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.