GuruFocus experienced the enjoyment of web hosting a presentation with Benj Gallander, the co-editor of the Contra the Read Expense Letter, which has amongst the highest returns in the world at 18.1% annualized in excess of the past 20 several years.

He is the writer of 3 very best-providing guides, two in the stock marketplace sector and The Canadian Tiny Small business Survival Tutorial, which was very first revealed in 1988 and is nevertheless in the stores right now. There are also American, Chinese and Czech editions of this get the job done.

He was a normal on BNN – Bloomberg’s number 1 show for pretty much 20 decades. In addition, he appeared each pair of weeks on CBC’s On the Cash with Peter Armstrong, talking about matters as varied as marijuana, crypto currencies, AI and many some others right until, ironically, the show ran out of revenue. Benj is also on the Boards of Datametrex AI (TSXV:DM, Economical) and Char Systems (TSXV:Certainly, Money).

6 of his plays have witnessed the phase throughout Canada. He is a co-founder of a person of Canada’s major general performance festivals, SummerWorks, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Gallander has traveled to over 35 countries, functioning in many of them. This integrated a stint with the Centre for Worldwide Reports and Cooperation (CECI) doing anti-poverty work in Nepal educating in Czechoslovakia before long right after the Velvet Revolution and doing the job in the Center East and France.

Enjoy the whole presentation in this article. at?v=bx82p1eoQG0

Essential takeaways

Gallander kicked off his presentation by diving into the governing philosophies that he follows together with his tiny team at Contra. He described that he believes they are all deep worth investors and take a concentrate on shares that are undervalued and unpopular.

He ongoing to clarify that his screens start off with stocks that are trading down 33%, if not 50% in a lot of instances, and are generally approaching 10-yr lows. At situations, this sort of as throughout the commencing of the pandemic last calendar year, this method applies to the general current market when issues have been pushed down. This results in an perfect chance for wonderful returns.

Within just his possess portfolio, Gallander focuses on shares that have been about for at least 10 decades. These nicely-set up corporations supply prolonged-time period money statements and he usually avoids everything new to the market. For any of these firms to make it earlier the initial round of his screen they have to have the opportunity for a 50% upside, but Gallander continued to make clear that he is regularly searching at businesses that can boost 200% to 300%.

Gallander also will take into account the potential of management to truly deliver on their stated ambitions. He does this by attempting to continue to keep an open up line of conversation with the management teams of the enterprises he invests in. If at occasions a organization continually delivers a favourable outlook, he will generally discounted the management’s statements.

An additional crucial place Gallander built in the course of his presentation was the follow of developing business market targets. As soon as an expenditure reaches that target, he will sell a minimum amount of 50% of the holding and he on a regular basis sells totally out of holdings. This follow makes it possible for him to wade by the sound of the 24 hour news cycle and manage a stage head whilst staying away from marketing holdings also early.


Gallander applied a few diverse stocks to emphasize a number of factors of philosophy on investing. The initial instance he used some time on was Banco Santander SA (SAN, Economic). He explained that the bank is the largest in Spain and has operations in quite a few other nations all-around the world. He described it getting operate “wonderfully” as the lender had not lost any funds prior to this yr in spite of its operations going again two hundreds of years.

The second case in point Gallander to a brief appear at was Gold Resource Corp. (AMEX:GORO, Economical). He started off expressing that he needs that he owned far more gold businesses but that Gold Source Corp. is a properly run corporation and a strong financial investment. The enterprise has certainly no credit card debt and gold delivers quite a few exclusive chances transferring into the upcoming.


The very last instance Gallander explained as a play on oil and fuel. Black Diamond Team (TSX:BDI, Money) has a significant degree of insider possession and Gallander ongoing to explain that the company has been growing and he could see share charges increase drastically. He admits the firm has a large amount of debt that he would like to see arrive down, but that he sees a good amount of money of upside.



Gallander designed sure to go away enough time for audience concerns and the initial problem he took requested him how a lot funds or liquidity he retains in the portfolio he manages. He began with a speedy clarification that the portfolio operate by Contra’s vice president at present has about 50% of its benefit in cash.

In his personal portfolio they do not involve cash in the overall value, but he ongoing to say that he normally maintains lots of income on the sidelines. Presently, he needs that he experienced additional of that revenue invested into shares. Nonetheless, at the starting of the year he marketed off many diverse holdings as these investments had viewed large gains.

Gallander also explained that he has been sluggish to devote money more than the final yr as numerous prospective investments have taken care of significant share charges. He is moderately assured that there will be a crash of some kind relocating into the future so he has loads of money ready to be invested should that time crop up.

One more dilemma asked Gallander how he decides to exit a situation should he see it just take a negative switch. He described that he continuously displays all of his investments so that he understands what is likely on with them and if he desires to make a alter. At instances he is keen to acknowledge tax losses and he ongoing to reveal that he likes to do the the vast majority of his obtaining at the end of the calendar year when others are performing tax reduction offer offs.

All through these times he sees elevated quantities of shares trading which in convert permits him to buy organizations at a lower price. Gallander also included that he will normal down at situations, but that he believes end-losses are a squander as he has watched firms fall below popular cease-decline percentages in advance of climbing back up. In the finish he believes that an investor should really emphasis on possessing extra money in their pocket that can be invested so each individual trader has to perform the tax video game at instances.

Disclosure: Creator owns no shares pointed out.

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