Investment Philosophy and Approach of Freedom Mountain Investments

Freedom Mountain Investments bases its investment approach primarily upon fundamental analysis of individual companies. Some consideration of macro-economic and overall market conditions are taken into account in our investment decisions. FMI seeks to be long term investors in most positions. FMI will sell if there are significant changes in the business case including excessive market valuation.

In almost all cases stocks selected for individual accounts will be stocks owned by Dr. Roche in his individual investment accounts.

FMI identifies companies that in most cases have the following basic characteristics:

  • A history (3-4 years or more) of real and rising financials including sales, earnings and cash flow Many companies have long operating histories of 10 years or more
  • A solid balance sheet. Companies with low or no long term debt are preferred
  • A business model that has proprietary features that are likely to lead to sustainable future results. Most portfolio companies have net profit margins in excess of 5%. This can be indicative of competitive advantage
  • Companies that have excellent management with a history of straight forward and honest communication to shareholders. FMI also prefers companies that have a significant level (15% +) of insider ownership. High levels of insider ownership act to align managment and shareholder interests
  • FMI seeks to purchase such companies when they are selling at low valuations relative to likely prospects
  • While the above guidelines fairly represent the typical investment approach FMI reserves the right to make exceptions based upon other factors in cases where we think a company may be an excellent investment based upon other criteria.

FMI favors a mix of large, mid and small cap companies for most portfolios.  A portion of solid large cap companies provides a solid platform and reduces overall portfolio volatitilty.  FMI places special research emphasis on identifying mid and small cap companies that are under-followed and under-recognized by the market.  As these companies continue to have business success they are likely to received increased recognition and higher valuations.  FMI will include more thinly traded issues among our small cap holdings.  Some of these issues are too thinly traded to be suitable for large mutual funds.  A number of these are not well covered by institutional analysts.  But FMI carries out extensive research on these small companies and their management to select the best.

We also seek geographic diversity in the portfolios including large cap ex-US companies, Closed End Country funds, and ETFs that invest in promising ex-US countries.

FMI tailors the degree of expected portfolio volatility to match investor goals and tolerance. For more aggressive accounts FMI can place greater emphasis on specialized approaches (Zenith Strategies) including specialized small and micro cap trading techniques and the Venerable Owner Strategy described below.

Zenith Strategies for more aggressive accounts

Specialized trading techniques for illiquid stocks – FMI has developed successful short-term trading strategies to take advantage of the market inefficiencies that may result with a very select group of thinly traded stocks. FMI limits these strategies to companies with very sound business fundamentals.

Venerable Owner Strategy - This strategy tracks all US based companies where an older owner owns 40% or more of a company. These situations often lead to sale of the company at a significant premium to market value upon the retirement or death of the venerable owner.