Yours is an excellent question. I'm not well placed to comment on the others, but certainly a goodplace to start is to look at each year's book value growth % plus dividend yield for that year, for each firm, and how that hasevolved over time. It's not that meaningful for a short interval, but over 10-15 years you start to get a feel for what the firm is capable of. Investment returns times leverage minus cost ofleverage (mostly avg cost of float) is what ultimately matters. The only hard part is trying to estimate how sustainable each of thoseis based on results (easy), corporate culture, and management skill.My general rule is to avoid insurance firms entirely because managementhas the means, opportunity and motive to crank leverage andunderestimate dangers and incurred liabilities. I make a very few specific exceptions that I'm comfortable with,so I generally don't end up in the position of trying to compare firms numerically. Jim
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