As we have discussed many times in the past, the letter to investors is an art form, especially in a down month/quarter/year. All the best shops know deflection of responsibility + rationale for losses is essential. Got your ‘nads ripped off and shoved down your throat? Naturally the explanation there is that it was due “the market’s ridiculous mispricing of equity” and investors can take solace knowing it’s just a temporary reaction– you’re still right on the numbers. But…you know…that’s what everyone says. How does one set himself apart from the pack? One word: analogies. Eleven words: Analogies likening being a steward of capital to being a bus driver.
And hey, while you’re at it– and no joke, investors LOVE this– how about a nonsensical story about driving your kids to school wherein you debate the merits of taking the GWB versus the Harlem River?
What it basically boils down to is heavy traffic = not our fault. Investors will not only be thankful their money wasn’t involved in a horrific twelve car pile up involving a fuel truck explosion but they’ll appreciate your ability to explain things (e.g. losses) in ways they can understand. Might even thank you for it.
Glenview Capital Q2 Letter [PDF; also includes 5 paragraph analogy about how investing today is like bowling]