You’ve been stalking Buffett telling him to buy for the last 2 years and you didn’t? Interesting.
The endless strawman presentations defending and idolizing Saul were boring 4 years ago, they were boring in October 2021, and still embarrass the logical mind today. Saul has literally destoryed his cult group and they, just like they are supposed to do, cling to him with deperation. Same story as all such groups, never changes. You don’t recover from such.
All of us have periods of outperformance. It is only some of us to have a need to pretend to be superstars.
Huh? I don’t follow the board, but is this right? I would think that such a stellar record would be fully audited, scrutinized and and well publicized by now.
I wanted Buffett to buy TSLA when its market cap was $50B. Today’s TSLA’s market cap is $300B+. Instead he bought OXY (and airlines and cash). One reason why BRK trails S&P.
div I bought NIO at $2.25 or something like that. Went to $60 and I didn’t sell LOL. But you never knew. Why? Because it was off topic.
Elon will intermittently blow up. Enjoy the ride.
In this post, I’ll compare Saul’s returns over the past 30 years to BRK.A and SPY. I’ll also show how you can validate his returns for yourself. It’s easy to do this, because he posts his buys and sells every month. Since this is the Berkshire board, I’ll also point out some similarities between how Saul and Warren approach investing. You may be surprised by how much they have in common.
We all need to decide what investing style suits us best. I discovered Saul’s board in early 2018, and decided there was no way I could run as concentrated an aggressive growth portfolio as he does. Doesn’t suit my risk tolerance. So I allocated just a portion of my portfolio to his stocks and wound up with a 15% return in 2018. Whereas his portfolio returned 71% that year because he was all in. 2018 was a down year for index fund investors, so I was more than happy with my 15% return. I’ve continued with the approach of following Saul with only the aggressive growth portion of my portfolio since then.
Check out the following table.
|Saul’s Historical Record|
|Year||Saul’s return||Saul Amount||SPY return||SPY Amount||BRK.A return||BRK.A amount|
The table above shows that even after last year’s painful 68% drawdown, Saul has achieved a 23% annualized return over the past 30 years. That puts him in the same league as the best investors of all time. $10,000 invested with Saul in 1993 would have turned into $4.7 million last year, assuming a non-taxable account. That same $10K invested in Berkshire 30 years ago would have turned into $398K today (13% CAGR). An index fund investor would have wound up with about $160K by comparison (9.7% CAGR).
The ups and downs of Saul’s port are something else, though. In the table above, you can see that the Saul-following investor hit a portfolio peak of almost $15 million at the end of 2021, only to come crashing back to the $4.7M level today. The port was also down 62% in 2008, and took more than 4 years to recover.
About 7 years ago, because of Saul’s stellar investing record, he was interviewed by financial blogger Chris Reining. You can read the interview at Interview with Saul Rosenthal: How He Makes a Living off Stocks | Chris Reining
Reining validates that from 1989 through 2007, Saul averaged 32% annual returns.
Here’s a message that tabulates his annual returns since 1993: I think I'm Done - #36 by Lester2216
But the easiest way to validate his returns over the past 8 years is to go to the page that indexes all his month-end messages at Info Respository For Saul's Board
Start with the oldest message (Nov 2013), and click on each month after that. In a Google spreadsheet, track his buys and sells and allocate the percentages he reports to confirm his returns. I (along with hundreds of others) can personally vouch for them based on following him since 2018.
- They are both interested in buying businesses and holding them for multi-year periods rather than trading stocks.
- They both bury themselves in company earnings reports and 10Ks, and read them from start to finish
- They don’t engage in any market timing of any kind
- They both seek businesses with moats
- Both of them have experienced drawdowns of 50%+, and they take it in stride. Yes it hurts, but they don’t flinch. It’s just a cost of doing business.
Hope this helps. Good luck to all.
Thanks for the informative post.
Saul has an impressive skill and disciplined approach of latching on to a soaring ship and jumping off it at slightest hint of trouble. The selling part is impressive and takes dispassionate analysis and ruthless execution.
His businesses (DDOG, SNOW, BILL, NET etc.) are high quality but frequently have out of whack valuations. He doesn’t care about valuations, only growth. This is where the followers get their head handed to them. They often come in too late (price is already high) and sell it too late if at all (price has already fallen). His approach is hard to replicate because it has a lot of timing elements.
What you say timing, he/they say is reaction to adverse/lesser company economic events.
I do not understand the continual barbs at him on this site. None of the posters here has posted his/her results which would seem appropriate and would allow a full comparison of the approach by the person objecting to Saul with Saul’s returns. His is a high risk, high reward style of investing. Like it or not, he is able to practice it successfully.
Wow, wouldn’t these returns indicate that Saul is the greatest investor of all time?
Even better than the Beardstown Ladies?
In a market that is quite efficient these results are almost too good to be true.
I laugh so hard tears roll down my cheeks. Saul’s board posters have abandoned each one of the explosion stocks and for the most part they’ve now have a large amount in SNOW which…
You know the story.
As is the norm, it doesn’t matter what the board name is or what the subject to be discussed is, whatever stock and CEO has had most recent success will be the only thing chanted. Worthless discussions, worthless focus, terrible outcomes for 99%.
But then, at least in theory, we know that The Last Mohican is out there maybe…somewhere! Get a life boys.
I have been following Saul for some years now. I have lost money and am down at this time. It is not Saul’s method that lost me money, it was my failure to follow the method.
First, the very very very first thing you have to learn is this. You are buying a company and literally handing you money over to a CEO. Imagine meeting someone, and after a few days you walk and hand them a stack of 100 $100 bills. This is the level
of trust you are handing to any CEO of any company you are investing in.
Second, see the first thing. You are not investing in factories, “the economy”, the charts or anything else.
Third, see the first thing. You are not getting married. You are not even dating. You are dancing with the prettiest person in the room and the minute they get a zit, put on a pound or trip over your feet, you find a new dance partner. Being a wall flower, going to cash, is not an option.
Saul has a book sized series of post on how he evaluates a company. It is on the site and it is free. I recommend everyone, no matter what the investing style is, print read and highlight the book.
Had I remained in the market during the Covid crash bull run, and post Covid crash I would be up about 200 percent from 2019. As it is, I am down about 70 percent from peak and down about 10 or 15 percent from when I started in 2017.
Please note. While Saul is an excellent investor. I can make you a lot of money also. Simply buy everything I sell, and sell everything I buy. You will rule the world.
Example - He jumped into UPST and jumped out when he saw a signs of a problem and cut his losses. It is not easy to do what he does. I accumulated UPST (cost basis $15 now) and have a long term horizon (2030).
This is a false statement. Saul and those who follow him have not abandoned long term holds like Datadog, Bill.com, Crowdstrike, etc. Saul’s latest portfolio still has the following stocks and allocations.
What you say timing, he/they say is reaction to adverse/lesser company economic events.
Besides, in these monthly summaries I’m giving you a static picture of where I am currently, but I may change my mind about a position during the month. In fact, I not infrequently do, and I make changes in the position. I usually don’t announce these changes until the end of the month, and if I’m busy or have some personal emergency I might not announce them even then.
Translation: you have no idea what he’s buying or selling.
Those posted returns are at least in part fictional.
“Those who disagree with market efficiency always claim they know a man, a bank, or a fund that does do better. Alas, anecdotes are not science. And once Wharton School dissertations seek to quantify the performers, these have a tendency to evaporate into the air or, at least, into statistically insignificant t-statistics.” Paul Samuelson, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate in Economics
There are at least 5 other people - Paul Bryant, stocknovice, and others - who have been regularly posting their results on Saul’s board at the end of each month for years now. Their returns are all similar to Saul’s. Mine have been as well, for that portion of my portfolio.
Saul’s portfolio managenent is way more boring than you think. He generally holds on to his winners for years, and turnover is pretty low. If you missed his exact buy point on a stock by a couple of weeks, because he announced it at the end of the month, it won’t make any meaningful difference to your results. For him, new buys are not that common, but he does frequently change his allocation percentages for his existing holdings.
My problem was that I could not verify or falsify his results because when I tracked his stock purchases at the end of each month he would announce trades (often fortuitously timed) earlier in the month. I take him at his word but it was impossible for me to verify or falsify his claimed returns.
Take it or leave it, it´s up to you.
Do a simple search of Saul Rosenthal on that powerful engine called Google. There is more written on SR, the MD, or SR, President of Oxford Capital than the SR of Motley Fool fame. In fact, you won’t get much further than the first few entries on the first page of a Google search before his name is consigned to oblivion…yes, there’s one obscure interview by that Chris Reining guy…and a few other fleeting references of his name in sporadic Twitter feeds, but that about it.
Just Google Buffett, Peter Lynch, Bogle, Irving Kahn, Sir John Templeton or any other investing icons in the last century, and you’ll be spending all day scrolling through endless Google pages for any of them. If the incredible long term returns of the Saul portfolios were rigorously verified by a legitimate auditing firm or two, (and not just second hand hearsay from biased sources who insist on the veracity of the online reported figures), then they would have been thoroughly documented for posterity throughout the annals of the most respected financial journals.
I simply don’t believe the results claimed on TMF. As someone else opined, fiction….
Why would you need to believe a claim when you can verify the results yourself? All you need is a Google sheet or Excel that can do quote lookups and record Saul’s buys and sells in his end-of-month posts at the link I gave above.
I can help you get started. As an example, Saul says that he first bought Twilio (TWLO) in his Jan 2018 update at My portfolio at the end of Jan 2018
In your Google Doc, put the date 1/31/2018 in cell A3 in Column A. In Column B, in the same row, put the stock symbol TWLO. To pull the quote for TWLO for 1/31/2018, enter the following formula in Cell C3.
Then cell C3 will populate with TWLO’s closing price on 1/31/2018 which was $26.24.
If you go through his monthly posts, you will find he held TWLO for 21 months (almost 2 years!) and said he sold it during November 2019 at this post My portfolio at the end of Nov 2019
So pull the quote for TWLO for 10/31/2019 using a new row in your spreadsheet, and you will see it closed at $96.56. You can therefore calculate that his return on TWLO was around 264% over this 21-month period. The exact buy and sell dates may be off by a couple weeks on either side, but when you’re holding stocks for multiple years, it’s a good ballpark figure.
To validate the results for his entire portfolio from 2014 through 2022, enter more rows and columns in your spreadsheet for each stock he says he owns in the percentage he says he owns, and record his buys and sells each month.
So his results are easily verifiable, but you need some spreadsheet skills and some hours to put in the work. If you do that, you can convince yourself, and you don’t need to take my word for it or to depend on hearsay and “beliefs”.