How do you define “high quality?” What factors will make you think a company has a high quality business?

(A; Van Den Berg)
Companies that are of real high quality have a true franchise, have pricing power, an enviable competitive position, a strong balance sheet, earn a good return on capital and equity, and have a culture that can stand the test of time. I am sure that most of your readers would agree with this. This is the ideal, but very rarely do you have the opportunity to buy the ideal at cheap prices. Most of our returns have been by companies that did not fit this category of the ideal, but the price made it an ideal investment. However, in order to get a good value, which is what we are looking for, it is not sufficient to just have a great company; you also need to buy it at good price. If not, you may end up with a comfort stock that gives you a mediocre return. Always remember that even a great company can disappoint you, especially if it is not bought right.

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