Securities and Schools: Our Perspective and Process

Trip Family PictureMy wife, Jenny, and I are the proud parents of Dorothy Grace Miller, “Gracie”. Gracie turned two years old in February. Like most parents, we want to provide our child with the best resources possible to empower her to enjoy a happy and productive life. At the top of the resources list, is a strong academic experience.

Unfortunately, a strong educational experience in our hometown of Memphis, Tennessee is generally not available in the public school system. And slots in the best private schools are very competitive. Parents start working to secure a place for their children well before they reach school age. Our process for selecting a school began in November 2013 – when Gracie was not yet one year old. The process was like quantitative/qualitative analysis meets sorority/fraternity rush. Over a seventeen-month period, the Miller family visited, analyzed, and re-visited half a dozen private schools in Memphis in search of the best fit for Gracie. While we evaluated the schools, we knew they were evaluating us. We hoped the schools we liked, would like us in return.

Our selection criteria included: a school with a great reputation in the community/nationally; the finest facilities; state of the art teaching processes; a sense of warmth and love for each child; a belief in the uniqueness of each child; a strong moral/spiritual foundation; convenience; and, last but not least, price. Tours of the schools led to meetings with teachers and administrators. These meetings were followed by “play days” for Gracie with other prospective students.  Finally, we made the rounds of the schools cocktail party circuit where existing student’s parents attempted to sway us to their school. During the process we learned that many parents took a much less disciplined approach to evaluating schools than we did. For some parents, the emotional issues seemed to overwhelm the more substantive ones. Given the significance and importance of the decision, we were surprised by this.

Our school selection process was not unlike the securities selection process we undertake at Gullane. We spend countless hours analyzing investments from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective to find the best possible investments for our client partners. We place a premium on the capital allocation skill and efficacy of the management teams we partner with – just as we do with the administrators and teachers to whom we will entrust Gracie. Similar to the school selection process we gather as much information from as many sources as possible in order to make a fully-informed decision; but we never feel pressured to make an investment based on emotions (ours or others).

Thank you for reading our blog. We will be posting articles, books, and information of interest to investors several times a month. If you are not already receiving this by email, please subscribe to our blog to receive our updates via email. If you’d like to learn more about how Gullane Capital’s investment process helps our clients achieve their investment goals, please give us a call at 901-766-1969.

Thank you for reading our blog. We will be posting articles, books, and information of interest to investors several times a month.

Please subscribe to our blog to receive our updates via email.

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