At Harris Associates, we believe there is no better way to convey confidence in our stock-picking abilities than to invest in our own funds. Each year we voluntarily disclose the total assets that the firm’s employees, our families and the Funds’ trustees have invested in the Oakmark Funds; as of December 31, 2015, that number is over $440 million, reflecting significant share purchases during the past year. In the words of Warren Buffett
), “To be successful in business and investing, you’ve got to have skin in the game.” The Oakmark Funds family, incepted in 1991, was born out of that idea: The partners at Harris Associates wanted to start mutual funds in which they could invest their personal money with the same long-term, value-investing approach successfully employed in the firm’s client accounts.
One of our central investment tenets is to buy stock in companies that have management teams whose interests are aligned with their shareholders. We look to buy stock in businesses with management teams that think and act like owners as demonstrated in their capital allocation decisions and ownership structure. We like to see management teams invested right alongside us, or if not possible, they must be properly incented to grow shareholder value. Internally, we abide by that same manager-shareholder alignment tenet by investing our own dollars in our own strategies. Continue Reading »