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Author: BenHacker Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 35367  
Subject: Re: Income Investment Managers Date: 10/21/2010 12:40 PM
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I was making a snide remark to the effect that Fairfax historically has been a pretty lousy operator in the insurance business, despite their sucess at fixed income.

I see.

FWIW, the big nut that Fairfax made was not in an insurance company, but in a holding company. That may not sound like a big deal, but their managers were successful in the context of a portfolio that was largely unconstrained by insurance company regulatory considerations.

Their insurance subs participated heavily in their CDS gains. An added portion was also within their holdco, but your statement needs quantification as just looking at ORH's insurance sub filings show the killing they made on the CDS (just one example) which was not all for hedging recoverables. Also, I assume CDS was what you meant when you said "nut", but their bond results (again, what I was talking about, we are on the fixed income board) were >10% annualized for 15+ years and those don't even count the CDS or derivative gains so again you seem to want to bring something into the discussion that is irrelevant.

I'll drop this as this is the income board, but Fairfax always seems to have a lot of opinions and thoughts about it that are unfounded. Their 102% combined ratio (average over ~20 years) which is inline with broad industry insurance average (short / long tail weighted appropriately) during that time is always highlighted as holding them back in some way. For company who has done as well as they have as ethically as they have they get a lot of dirt kicked on them. Now you're talking about the holdco making the money while the insurance company didn't as if that is some kind of knock against them...

Anyway, for those interested in fixed income investing, Brian Bradstreet and Prem's team at Fairfax are good to watch. No comment on the holdco or the insurance company. Their results can speak for themselves.

Ben

Long FRFHF / FFH for >5 years
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