INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY

Mercer Capital's philosophy has been strongly influenced by legendary investors such as Warren Buffett, Ben Graham, and John Templeton. Our job is the rational allocation of investment capital. Investments are chosen on the basis of value, not popularity.


  • Our first objective is the preservation of capital. Investments must have an attractive “margin of safety.”
  • Independent thinking is critical. Conventional wisdom is often wrong on Wall Street. The best long-term investment opportunities tend to be discovered in out-of-favor situations.
  • Investor psychology exerts a powerful force on the financial markets. Markets are susceptible to manic changes of mood. We try to profit from these swings between fear and greed.
  • Investments are focused on our best ideas. We are patient and disciplined. Like baseball great Ted Williams, we wait for a fat pitch.
  • We stay within our circle of competence and invest only in companies that operate businesses we understand.
  • The ideal equity investment is a business franchise, a company with a durable competitive advantage.
  • Management should respect shareholders and deploy capital wisely. We prefer modest, team oriented CEO's, not empire builders.
  • We are disciplined about value. Our goal is to buy superior businesses at reasonable prices. Investing at a discount to fair value enhances the margin of safety.
  • Attractive businesses earn high returns on invested capital. We follow the axiom of Charles Munger, who observed that: “The real money is made in great businesses which can earn very high returns on capital over a long, long period of time.”
  • We try to be as tax efficient as possible. Portfolio turnover is low.