2007 Investment year results

Investment Manager's Letter January 2008

In the 2007 investment year Losch Investment Management Company's accounts with over $1 million showed an average gain of 19.92%. Accounts with less than $1 million gained on average 23.15%. The difference comes from the fact that the larger accounts are generally managed more conservatively, and may have long term gains that make changing positions difficult. In addition, there are a few smaller accounts that engage in (gasp) short term trading (mostly in Berkshire Hathaway) and they have beaten the long term buy-hold approach for the last few years. For the year the S&P 500 was up 3.82% in price or 5.49% when you include dividends.

This means that we beat the index by somewhere between 14.4% and 17.6% for 2007 so in spite of a poor start the year turned out to be quite satisfactory. For me the best news is that this strong performance came while holding a limited number of low risk stocks and high cash levels throughout the year. Losch Investment Management Company's focus has been, and will continue to be on limiting risk. As I, investment manager, have said before, it is more important to out-perform in a bad market that it is bull market. Losch Management Company feel that the current market correction has a ways to run, but we will be watching for fat pitches. Losch Investment Management Company expect to add a few new positions and gradually reduce our cash, and our positions in Berkshire Hathaway over the next year or two. If Mr. Market cooperates, and compelling values do appear, I expect that our Portfolios will look quite a bit different by the end of 2009.

Annualized Longer term results are as follows:

  2 Years 3 Years 8 Years 10 Years
Losch Management Conservative Accounts 18.2% 12.1% 8.4% 11.8%
Losch Management Aggressive Accounts 18.8% 13.6% 15.4% 13.6%
S&P 500 With Dividends 10.3% 8.6% 2.0% 5.9%
Difference Conservative Accounts +7.9% +3.5% +8.4% +5.9%
Difference Aggressive Accounts +8.5% +5.0% +13.4% +7.7%

Since all of Losch Investment Management Company accounts are managed on an individual basis there will always some be some difference between the results of individual accounts. These differences occur because of several factors.

  1. When an account is opened, positions are initiated based stocks with attractive current values, so no two accounts ever start out with the same positions.
  2. Individual Clients have different investment objectives, and whenever possible we run the account to fit the customer.
  3. The tax impact of a particular trade varies dramatically from account to account. We have established accounts whose owners are in high tax brackets and some have large positions with very low tax basis. On the other hand we have quite a few accounts that are completely tax exempt. So a trade that generates a short term gain might be attractive in a tax free account, but not attractive at all in the account of an individual in a high tax bracket who lives in California or New York.

There may not be specific accounts that have experienced the exact results shown in the above table, but the above classification represents a range of results that does include almost all of our client accounts.

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