Another major closure see from the inbox

First some memorable moments

See the email from Tilson below

 

I recently decided to close my funds and return capital to investors (excerpts from my letter to them are below). It was a hard decision, but the right one.

Now, I am filled with enthusiasm about what I will do with the second half of my life. What might that be? I’m not sure, but I want to share a few thoughts – and would be grateful for your feedback and ideas.

 

I’ve been working full time for more than 30 years, almost all of that time in an entrepreneurial capacity. While my one “regular” job early in my career was a good experience, I like being independent and plan to remain so. My goal is to find opportunities that are personally interesting, give me the chance to collaborate with great people, and are sufficiently remunerative (contrary to Elizabeth Warren’s belief, I am most definitely not a billionaire!).

 

I expect that most of my work will continue to be in the investment field, as I still love it and am confident that I can put my energy and 18 years of experience to good use. While I no longer intend to manage others’ money, I’m exploring a number of ideas, such as:

 

1) Unearthing a few great investment opportunities each year, in which I can invest personally as well as share with a few others;

2) Serving on corporate boards;

3) Doing consulting in areas in which I have expertise such as capital allocation, strategy, and activist investing; and

4) Teaching and mentoring young value investors via writings, videos and seminars.

 

I would welcome your advice and suggestions, so please don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected] or call me at (646) 258-0687.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Whitney

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Here are excerpts from the letter I sent my investors recently:

 

Dear Partner,

 

I wanted to follow up on the conversations I’ve had with each of you recently regarding my decision to close the fund and return your capital.

 

Most importantly, I’d like to reiterate my tremendous gratitude for your patience and confidence in me over the years. You gave me the time to try to improve the fund’s performance, and I deeply regret that I was unable to do so.

 

If I were managing only my own money, the fund’s recent results wouldn’t bother me quite so much. But investing and running a money management business are two very different things, and reporting sustained underperformance to you was making me miserable.

 

I would have liked nothing better than to have rewarded you for standing by me during these difficult times by ending on a high note, but I ultimately concluded that I couldn’t in good conscience continue to manage your money unless I had a high degree of confidence that I could turn things around within a reasonable time frame.

 

Over the nearly two decades that I have managed money professionally, I have endured other periods of underperformance. During those times, however, I was certain that the losses were temporary because our portfolio was filled with cheap stocks that would quickly rebound.

 

Alas, I don’t have that feeling today. Historically, I have invested in high-quality, safe stocks at good prices as well as lower-quality ones at distressed prices. Given the high prices and complacency that currently prevail in the market, however, my favorite safe stocks (like Berkshire Hathaway and Mondelez) don’t feel cheap, and my favorite cheap stocks (like Hertz and Spirit Airlines) don’t feel safe. Hence, my decision to shut down.

 

It has been a tremendous privilege to manage your capital, and I want to express my deepest gratitude for your support and friendship over the years. It means the world to me.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Whitney