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15 traits that tell me I’ve found a great business : UKInvesting

My investing style: Buy and hold high-quality businesses.

Here are 15 traits that tell me I’ve found a great business

1/ Recurring Revenue Types:

Business Services $MCO

Contracts $AMT

Consumables $MNST

Exchange $MKTX

Franchise $WINA

Membership $TDOC

Platform $ETSY

Razor/blade $DXCM

Real Estate $STOR

SaaS, PaaS, IaaS $TWLO, $NOW, $FSLY

Subscription $NFLX

Tollbooth $BIP

2/ Recession-Proof Demand

Great companies sell products/services that are in-demand in good times and bad

That allows them to grow regardless of what is happening in the broader economy

3/ Organic Growth

“Organic” growth: Growing by increasing sales of internally developed products/services

“Inorganic” growth: Growing from mergers & acquisitions

Organic Growth > Inorganic Growth

4/ High & Expanding Gross Margin

Indicates that the company’s products/services create a huge amount of value for the customer Rising gross margin also indicates pricing power

5/ Widening moat

Capitalism is brutal

A widening moat will protect a company’s profits from competition

Sources: Network effects: $FB

Switching costs: $ADBE

Durable Cost Advantage: $WMT

Premium Brand: $PTON

Patents: $OLED

Counter-Positioning: $TSLA

6/ Operating Leverage

If a company can grow its costs at a slower rate than revenue then its profits will grow at a FASTER than revenue.

7/ Low-cost customer acquisition

The best marketing is no marketing Great companies create demand through word of mouth and spend little on sales & marketing

8/ Diversified Revenue

Companies that depend on a few customers for most of their revenue are fragile One customer leaving can ruin the investing thesis Great businesses serve thousands of customers, not just a few big ones

9/ Great Management

Management matters Here is a thread I wrote in what I look for in a great CEO

Track Record Of Outperformance Winners keep on winning


Has the business outperformed under this CEO?

Market share growing?

Revenue increasing?

New products/services selling?

Invest in CEOs with a proven track record of success

10/ Reinvestment Opportunities

Great businesses can reinvest profits back into themselves at high rates of return for long periods of time This continuously grows the profit stream, which will eventually lead to share price appreciation

11/ Profits

Companies that produce profits have far more control over their destiny than companies that don’t I want to see that both net income & free cash flow are positive & growing

12/ Optionality

Great companies create new revenue opportunities for themselves by launching new products/services that open up new markets



$MELI -> Payments

$TSLA -> Energy Storage

13/ Huge Total Addressable Market (TAM)

I want to own companies that have only captured a small fraction of their opportunity That creates a long runway for continued growth

14/ Price Maker

Companies that sell commodities have no control over the price of their product I want to own price makers, not price takers

15/ Anti-Fragile Balance Sheet

Cash-rich companies get stronger in downturns Debt-laden companies get weaker in downturns

If you enjoyed this then maybe I can tempt you with my Twitter page /_JosephWilks where I write daily insights on long-term investing like this.

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