Oil equipment manufacturers suffered a harsh 2020 just as the major oil producers did. As the price of oil dropped dramatically in early 2020 the profitability of drilling for oil was eradicated. The products and services involved with oil and natural gas extraction then became unnecessary as thousands of oil wells sat idle.

As consumers get back on the road, back on flights, and start driving to work more often the demand for oil will see an uptick and the oil equipment and services industry will benefit accordingly.

However, the long term horizon of these companies is less certain with…


As consumers were forced to do more of their shopping online due to global lockdowns digital payments on Visa’s platforms became a necessity for U.S. consumers and retailers. The company brought in $21.8 billion for their 2020 fiscal year, slightly below last year’s revenue.

Many of the retail giants such as Amazon and Walmart have been seen as saviors during the pandemic as their digital shopping efforts have allowed millions to avoid the risk of purchasing items in store and instead opt for either delivery or pick-up options. …


Like many others within the financial services world I look forward every year to the release of Berkshire Hathaway’s annual report, which for the past half century has started with a letter from their chairman and CEO Warren Buffett. In those 50 years, he has never failed to provide investment, business, and life advice that supersedes all other similar writings.

Over the past decade however, a letter still full of life and business advice, but more targeted toward the banking industry, has been the annual letter to shareholders from J.P. Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon. Since taking control of the bank…


Since fiscal measures — started during the great recession — have pushed interest rates to almost non existent levels, and which sustained themselves at similar levels till the next crisis spawned in 2020, fixed income securities have seemed as if they are little more than things of the distant past, reserved only for the most conservative investors, of whom I hold the utmost sympathy.

Present level interest rates, however, will not sustain themselves forever. When the inevitable day comes when the Fed chairman elects to raise rates, a horde of investors, who have grown too accustomed to fiscal stimulus, may…


On the week of December 6th 1951, thousands of financial professionals received in their mail that week’s issue of The Commercial and Financial Chronicle. Within the issue, an article entitled The Security I Like Best, written by an Omaha born Columbia graduate by the name of Warren E. Buffett, appeared on page 24. The article, which was part of a weekly series of stock recommendations, covered a small insurance company located in Washington D.C. named Government Employees Insurance Company, otherwise known as GEICO.

Unlike most insurance companies of the time, GEICO operated through just a few hundred representatives spread out…


For almost the entirety of the 20th century, the most essential decision posed upon the U.S. investor was that between the purchase of common stock in publicly held corporations and of fixed income securities, namely corporate and government bonds. The widely acknowledged dean of security analysis, Benjamin Graham, devoted an entire textbook, and in fact an entire life’s work, to intelligently deciding between these two investment vehicles.

What Graham could not have reasonably foreseen was the estranged world of the financial markets that have sustained themselves over the past two decades. Not long after entering the 21st century, the U.S…


I once had the misfortune of sitting in a lunch room whilst a man in his early 50s bragged to his uninterested colleagues about his unique ability to pick stocks. Included with his boastful comments was an explanation about the benefits of stock splits and details of how a company within his portfolio had had 2 stock splits within the past 15 years. With these stock splits, he bragged, came an ensuing rise to the value of his portfolio.

His colleagues, like myself, tried desperately to drown out the sound of his voice as he continued on about various strategies…


In the 1990s corporations across America started to look for solutions that would allow them to transmit electronic documents among people within their organization as well as to their customers and suppliers. Up until that time there were no standardized methods for sending and storing digital records and dozens of software companies were competing to find the answer.

The solution came when in 1993 Adobe introduced what it called a Portable Document Format, or PDF, which quickly became industry standard; mostly as a result of Adobe partnering with Microsoft to distribute their PDF reader with every Windows operating system. …


Principle 1: An Investor Must Understand the Difference Between Investing and Speculating.

There are two requirements for a security to be considered an investment: 1) A safety of principle 2) An adequate rate of return. If a security is lacking one of these requirements it cannot be considered an investment and should instead be classified as a speculation. In order to be successful, an investor must restrict themselves to securities consisting of both requirements.

While often misunderstood by the general public, the definition of investment was determined in the late 1940s when Ben Graham set out two requirements an asset must have in order to be considered an investment:

  1. An investment must…

William Douthat

Licensed Investment Advisor since 2018 | Helping people to achieve their financial goals through unique investment ideas: www.olympusw.com/william-douthat

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