C&B Notes

Investing is a discipline built on cumulative knowledge, and it requires a continuous evaluation and assessment of new information. The purpose of C&B Notes is to pass along the ideas, concepts, stories, and information that are informing, influencing, and updating our worldview. We use them to build on our “latticework of mental models” that help us make better decisions.

823 articles in list

Pancho Garza, In Memorium

In April, we lost a dear friend and business leader in Francisco “Pancho” Garza.  Pancho was the long-time CEO of Arca Continental from its formation in 2000 until his retirement in 2018.  Under his leadership, Arca grew from three newly combined private Mexican Coca-Cola bottlers to the fourth largest Coca-Cola…

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A Sage Resignation Letter

In 1989, Wesco Financial, a Berkshire subsidiary, resigned from the United States League of Savings Institutions.  In this colorful letter, Charlie Munger expresses his…

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Buyout Bonanza

Over the last few decades private equity markets, or leveraged buyouts as they were known before being rebranded, have gained a substantial share of global capital markets.  Private markets can be a powerful force for good when they serve as a check to complacent management teams, make meaningful operational changes…

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Death of a Reserve Currency

We enjoyed reading this study on the decline of the Dutch florin in the late-1700s and its loss of “reserve currency” status.  This discussion is timely given the recent surge of inflation in the developed world as well as the potential ramifications of U.S. sanctions against Russia, which cut off…

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Data as a Moat

  We enjoyed this talk by Stanford Professor Andrew Ng.  He makes the case that in an era of Artificial Intelligence, access to data with which to train your algorithms can create an economic moat.  While the algorithms themselves can be easily replicated or copied, the huge data sets required…

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Just-In-Time Shortages & Opportunity Costs

For the first time since 1931, General Motors has been dethroned as the largest U.S. auto manufacturer.  During 2021, Toyota sold 2.3m cars in…

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Muslim World Demographics

About 25% (and growing) of the world’s population is Muslim. This map shows the geographic reach of one of the world’s largest and fastest growing religions. CCI, a Cook & Bynum holding since 2018, is the Muslim world’s leading Coca-Cola bottler. Currently serving only 430 million of the world’s 2…

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Chick-fil-A Unit Economics

We have long admired Chick-fil-A’s business both as consumers and as business analysts.  The family-owned company has created incredible wealth and value for its owners through a combination of an ownership culture, a simple but clear value proposition, excellent customer service, and attractive unit economics.  It does not surprise us…

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The Lightest Beer Bottle in the World

Sustainability is an important topic for our businesses, and in the beverage space, sustainability initiatives often lead directly to cost savings. This story about AB InBev’s efforts to reduce waste in packaging is an interesting example. All the beverage companies in our portfolio have taken prudent approaches to sustainability that…

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DuckDuckGo’s Privacy Approach

We take internet privacy seriously and use DuckDuckGo as our primary search engine. Recent Federal warrants being issued for anyone that searched certain keywords should…

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1908 Network Effects

Network effects can be an important competitive advantage for companies. Though the importance of network effects must have been evident in Phoenician trading routes and 19th century railroad companies, the first reference to network effects that we know of comes in AT&T’s 1908 Annual Report describing the telephone business. It…

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New On Our Bookshelf – Nomad Letters

Nick Sleep and Qais Zakaria’s Nomad Investment Partnership Letters to Partners 2001-2014 offer a treasure trove of great insights. One idea worth highlighting is…

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