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Circle of Competence Issue #51

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"Charlie and I happily acknowledge that much of Berkshire’s success has simply been a product of what I think should be called The American Tailwind. It is beyond arrogance for American businesses or individuals to boast that they have “done it alone.” The tidy rows of simple white crosses at Normandy should shame those who make such claims." - Warren Buffett, 2018 Shareholder Letter

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Search Fund Resources

Last week I wrote about the nascent search fund movement and the economics associated with it. I was encouraged when Karen Spencer from Searchfunder.com reached out to me to explain how they are creating a worldwide community that connects search fund entrepreneurs with seasoned veterans, capital, and potential deal flow. If you are a searcher or know of someone who might benefit from the website, refer them to searchfunder.com for more information on how to get plugged into the community that Karen and her co-founders are creating.

10-K Thoughts

It's that time of year when 10-K's start rolling in, and I enjoy reading through companies' filings I've flagged to learn more about as well as older companies that are regular annual reads for me. I wanted to share a few different companies that have interested me lately and also would love to hear from any readers on companies they've come across lately that they believe are solid businesses with good long term prospects.

First up, Planet Fitness. PLNT is a gym franchise focused on the lowest cost but relatively high quality gym experience. As of its latest Q4 press release, it has over 1700 stores open and is growing at about a 200 store clip per year. It is growing revenue at north of 25%, profits at north of 30%, and same store sales right around 10%. The franchise model generates solid cash flow per store, attracts good entrepreneurial talent, and has good runway for new store openings. It boasts same store sales growth for each of the last 44 quarters according to its 2018 10-K. Although it is priced pretty richly, I like their business model of getting everyone to the gym - a combination of low fees and a judgment free zone makes for a welcoming atmosphere for all. Disclosure - I am long a ver