I am the founder and manager of Richtwert. I am also a family man.
Businesses and investing have been my passion since I can remember. I believe this had a lot to do with spending time after school at my father's shop and listening to him and his partners talk about businesses. Having won a stock competition in school probably did the rest and made me want to learn more about businesses and investing.
Studying business, engineering and IT, I quickly realized that I enjoyed business strategy, marketing, and technology most. Therefore, I started out as a consultant in Silicon Valley in 1999 and returned to Europe to start my own startup company, a search engine for product comparison and shopping.
Things went well until we needed more capital than our savings permitted and the Internet bubble started to burst. Still, we managed to sell our business and to make it a success at a leading Internet company. More importantly, I gained my first costly lesson as an investor when we sold our startup for stock options of an overvalued Internet firm. This experience served as a powerful reminder of how far markets can deviate from reality. In the process, I also learned a great deal about the potential risks, entry barriers and competitive advantages of Internet and media companies.
Between 2001 and 2009, I expanded my knowledge about businesses by advising global corporations in various industries and countries on matters of corporate performance. In parallel, I enhanced my investment skills primarily by learning from the writings of Warren Buffett and Benjamin Graham as well as by investing my own capital in undervalued companies. I also became a CFA® charterholder.
In 2010, I decided to devote my time fully to investing and joined the investment management industry with great enthusiasm. To my great surprise, I discovered that in investment management investment decisions are rarely based on criteria related to intrinsic value and are almost never made with the mindset of a business owner. I also experienced that team environments discourage independent thinking. Yet, I was convinced that determining intrinsic value and independent thinking are crucial requirements for above-average investment success.
Disappointed with how the majority of the investment management industry functions and the disservice this does to investors, I decided to start an investment management firm that is meaningfully different. The result is Richtwert Capital.
I hope you find it worthwhile.
Bahram Assadollahzadeh, CFA