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Our long-established investment philosophy has developed over many years of independent thought, reflection, and study. We have been influenced, however, by our observations of a number of successful investors and business executives, especially Warren E. Buffett. We would not begin to suggest that our approach is identical to Buffett's or that we offer the same genius as Buffett does when applying investment principles. We do wish to acknowledge, though, that he has had a considerable impact on our philosophy. Our observations of Buffett's approach to investing predate the formation of our company and extend back to the early 1970s.

We believe that investment in good businesses is an optimal way to accumulate capital. We seek the superior returns that stocks can offer only to the extent that this is consistent with client objectives and risk tolerance. While we typically seek substantial appreciation from each equity we select, we are content to realize this potential over many years. For clients seeking income as well as growth, we employ a conservative fixed-income strategy in the belief that the risk exposure of a balanced portfolio should be focused on the equity sector.

We recognize there are expenses associated with investing, and we focus on minimizing them. Our objective of compounding the returns of good businesses over many years serves to reduce transaction expense. Of greater significance, it also tends to defer and reduce taxation for clients subject to taxes.

Investment returns are negatively impacted not only by expenses but also by errors in judgment. All investment managers make misjudgments, and any investment program has inherent risks. We endeavor to manage these risks through a variety of efforts, which include employment of Benjamin Graham's concept of "margin of safety."