Hey there! Welcome to the Circle of Competence website!
I'm Benton Moss and I was born and raised in the beautiful state of North Carolina. A little bit about me:
- I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and studied Economics and Finance at the Kenan-Flagler Business School.
- I played baseball while at UNC and professionally for 5 seasons until my retirement in 2019.
- I have studied the great investors throughout history to learn their worldviews, playbooks, and strategies.
- In 2015 I began investing actively in real estate and public equities.
- In 2018, I began sharing my reading list weekly filled with pieces on financial markets, real estate, technology, economics, history, and philosophy.
- I am an avid real estate investor and have experience in development, acquisitions, leasing, and property management. I have past project management experience on over $600MM in mixed use real estate developments.
My Investment Philosophy
My general view is that investing is the result of a long process of constantly expanding your circle of competence until an opportunity comes along that 1) fits into your circle of competence so 2) therefore you recognize it as an attractive opportunity and then 3) you act on your conviction. Moreover, I have written down my 6 general principles that I try to stick to when buying stocks, real estate, or any other type of investment:
1. Is the investment well within your CIRCLE OF COMPETENCE?
2. Always look at the DOWNSIDE possibilities first. What is your MAXIMUM LOSS?
3. All investment valuations require some sort of assumption (growth rates, liquidation values, discounted cash flows, etc.). Are you applying them CONSERVATIVELY so as to ensure a MARGIN OF SAFETY?
4. What are management's or your own options to RE-DEPLOY CAPITAL over a long period of time at a satisfactory rate of return, ensuring a growing capital base?
5. Does the business possess a strong ECONOMIC MOAT to weather capitalism's storms (or is the real estate well located and purchased below replacement cost relative to other properties in the market)?
6. Are INCENTIVES aligned for all parties in the investment as best as possible?