Friday File, Part One: Fairfax, Columbia, IIPR and some Random Thoughts

No Transactions in the Real Money Portfolio this week, but thoughts on Fairfax Financial and Fairfax India, Innovative Industrial Properties, and Columbia Financial

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, April 13, 2018

A few thoughts to share with you today, and I’m breaking it up into two different pieces — this first one includes a few updates on companies and a couple articles that caught my eye this week… and the second piece is my notes and reactions following the Grant’s Interest Rate Observer Conference, which I attended this week.

And speaking of conferences, there will not be a Friday File at the usual time next week — I’ll be on the road at the end of the week, and will then be traveling the following week to the Fairfax Financial annual meeting in Toronto, so I should have some additional commentary for you after that.

I haven’t been to the Fairfax meeting before, so I’m looking forward to this Canadian variation on “Woodstock for Capitalists” that emulates (but is a far smaller deal than) the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. I’ll also be at the Western University Value Investing conference the day before, listening to some luminaries like Mohnish Pabrai and William McMorrow (of Kennedy Wilson), and given my interest in India right now I’m particularly looking forward to the Fairfax India annual meeting (and may make it to the Fairfax Africa meeting as well, we’ll see how the schedule goes).

This is a much smaller deal than the Berkshire Warren-and-Charlie fest in Omaha, which I’ve attended a couple times, but, like Buffett and Munger, Fairfax CEO Prem Watsa does sit down after the brief annual meeting presentation and answer shareholder questions for hours… so perhaps some wisdom will leak out. If you combine the Fairfax Financial and Fairfax India positions, my exposure to Prem Watsa’s ideas and strategies is more than 8.5% of my equity portfolio, and likely to grow given my current sentiment, so this is starting to be pretty meaningful. Will I really want to commit more capital to any of the Fairfax investments after attending the meeting? I’ll let you know.

Still, when it comes to “story stocks” it’s hard for me to avoid coming back to the story of the Bangalore Airport, which I think of as one of the crown jewels of Fairfax India’s portfolio — Kempegowda International (KIA) is growing so fast, even before they expand the terminal and put in another runway in the next couple years, that this could really turn out to be a hugely profitable property (you have to ...

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