I recently added to FFH @ 374/share. FFH has traded down this year from a high of $440. FFH's recent quarter was good, helped by solid insurance operations. Premium prices ( the price you pay for insurance coverage ) appear to firming up, a nice change from the soft market of the last several years.
Watsa has a lot of dry powder to deploy when opportunities arise. We won't know when that will be, but being hitched to his wagon has proved to be prudent. FFH, has also proved to perform well in down markets, making it a good hedge to my portfolio should the markets "tank". You might be wondering why I'd invest in a company where they have more cash than ideas (this will be old news for WatsaWatchers) and the guy who runs it, is buying stock in companies that are in trouble. Well, if you can take the ups and downs, and look out a few years, here's why: Watsa's record of value creation is truly extraordinary. The growth in book value ( a proxy for the true value of the company) at FFH is detailed below:
As of December 31, 2011
5Yr 10Yr 15Yr 20Yr Since Inception
compounded annual growth in book value 19.4% 12.0% 12.4% 16.1% 23.5%
source: 2011 Chairman's Letter
So, I'll be watching the developments at RIM, but at the end of the day, if the RIM investment doesn't work, FFH will still do fine. For the record, I don't own a BlackBerry.