Quarterly Articles

 
  • Lessons From The East

    04/23/2018

    One of the mantras we like to say at CWS that is borrowed from Buddhist thought is “Eat when we’re hungry and sleep when we’re tired.” We want to design... Read More

  • Tax Reform: Very Favorable for Rentors

    01/26/2018

    Tax reform is a big deal and that is why it does not happen very frequently. It can also have some very large unintended consequences. The 1981 tax law... Read More

  • Houston: Back from the Abyss

    10/27/2017

    Some time has passed since the devastating flooding that took place in Houston. This has allowed us to wrap our arms around the damage and to formulate... Read More

  • Stay to Play

    07/28/2017

    I just celebrated my 30th year with CWS and I have been so fortunate to have worked in one place with such great people for all of these years. It has... Read More

  • The Next 30+ Years

    04/28/2017

    This is my 30th year at CWS so I thought this would be an appropriate time to look back on some important trends during my three decades at CWS and to... Read More

  • CWS - My Family Office

    01/27/2017

    2017 should be quite an interesting year. We have a new President for which there is very little historical parallel. Donald Trump has clearly shown he... Read More

  • CWS and the Success of Founder-Led Firms

    10/28/2016

    “To live in a great idea means to treat the impossible as though it were possible. It is just the same with a strong character; and when an idea and a... Read More

  • $50 Million and Counting

    07/29/2016

    Since late 2011 I have been tracking how the cost of our variable rate loans have compared to the fixed-rate options we could have chosen at the time of... Read More

  • Better Than We Thought

    04/29/2016

    Over the years I have found that it is good discipline to take the time to articulate in writing the hypotheses that are the basis of making an investment.... Read More

  • Weathering the Storm

    01/29/2016

    2015 was a pretty interesting year and so is the beginning of 2016. 2015 was so challenging from an investment perspective that, according to a report... Read More

  • Lessons From Andrew Carnegie

    10/30/2015

    Over the years I have written about individuals who have had a great influence on my thinking in business and life. Examples include Shakespeare, Charlie... Read More

  • From Fare Thee Well to Keep on Truckin'

    07/31/2015

    In a recent blog post, I wrote about my trip to Santa Clara, CA to see one of the final "Fare Thee Well" shows for the Grateful Dead, commemorating their... Read More

  • Positive Optionality

    04/30/2015

    One of the most important pieces of advice that I could give for not only positioning oneself for success in the world of investing, but probably in life... Read More

  • Houston, Do We Have a Problem?

    01/30/2015

    It would be naïve and utterly foolish to believe that Houston won’t be negatively impacted by the significant drop in oil prices in such a short period... Read More

  • Cleaning the Fish

    10/31/2014

    It’s important to me that our investors, current and prospective, have an understanding of how CWS operates. A lot goes into making investment decisions... Read More

  • The CWS Circle of Life

    07/25/2014

    The focus of this article is to illuminate two important ways CWS generates long-term return for our investors. The first way is providing investors with... Read More

  • Looking Back and Looking Ahead

    04/25/2014

    I have heard someone ask the question, “How do you avoid an avalanche?...Don’t be on the mountain when one occurs.” If an investment drops by 50%, then... Read More

  • Is CWS Right for You?

    01/31/2014

    A few years ago I came across letters written by Warren Buffet to his investors prior to Berkshire Hathaway being his sole investment vehicle. Between... Read More

  • Let the Numbers Do the Talking

    10/25/2013

    This article will be shorter than others as I would like the numbers to do the talking as well as Bill Gross from PIMCO. For those of you who have paid... Read More

  • Shoot First, Ask Questions Later or Read My Lips: Stay the Course

    07/26/2013

    We had people over recently and I was distressed to pull a bottle of wine out of the wine cooler to find that it was not very cool. I impatiently tried... Read More

  • How Did We Do?

    04/26/2013

    There is a line from a Talking Heads song that says, “Say something once, why say it again?”. I am usually a firm believer in this “less is more” communication... Read More

  • Silver Linings Playbook

    01/25/2013

    I really enjoyed the movie Silver Linings Playbook. In fact, I saw it twice I liked it so much. Rather than discuss what the movie is about, I thought... Read More

  • Heraclitus, Jung, and the Road to Damascus

    10/26/2012

    The graph at the top of page 2 speaks volumes about the collapse in the lending market for owner-occupied home purchases in the United States. This picture... Read More

  • A Labour of Love 25 Years and Still Learning

    07/27/2012

    This July I will have completed my 25th year at CWS. Having just returned from a great trip to England that ended with a couple of days in Stratford-upon-Avon,... Read More

  • The Renter Generation

    04/27/2012

    The following article is a summary of the key points and charts I presented at our annual investor meeting that took place on April 2, 2012 Read More

  • A Political Calculation

    01/27/2012

    The economic system had pulled out of its sinking spell of 1929-33 only to become a chronic invalid, whose temperature was lower now in the mornings but... Read More

  • Collapse Into Now

    10/28/2011

    For many people in my world, the most shocking event of last quarter was the collapse of Treasury yields which led to the 10-year Treasury note yield dropping... Read More

  • Enhancing Lives the CWS Way

    07/29/2011

    For a long time I have felt that to be successful in business, and in life for that matter, one of the necessary traits is to be an effective hypothesis... Read More

  • Tectonic Shift

    04/29/2011

    Note: If you attended our Annual Investor Meeting then this article may be repetitive since it was the basis of my presentation.​ Read More

  • A Picture Worth 1,000 Words

    01/28/2011

    Sometimes there is a picture that really is worth 1,000 words, or in my case, closer to 1,400. CWS has owned apartments on an uninterrupted basis since... Read More

  • A Paper Blog

    10/29/2010

    I’ve been thinking about starting a blog. Blogging is pretty much a 24/7 endeavor for it to be relevant and fresh. So rather than doing that right now,... Read More

  • Falling into Place in a Keynesian Way

    07/30/2010

    “The importance of money flows from it being a link between the present and the future.” John Maynard Keynes Read More

  • Thank You Benjamin Roth

    04/30/2010

    This quarter was particularly challenging to find a relevant and interesting topic for my article. I feel like I have said what needs to be said over and... Read More

  • A Year of Hope and Transition

    01/29/2010

    “Well now, everything dies, baby, that’s a fact But maybe everything that dies someday comes back” Bruce Springsteen, “Atlantic City” Read More

  • Doing More with Less

    10/30/2009

    National job losses have been massive over the last year. We have now returned to a level of employment that we had in 2005. The following chart shows... Read More

  • Finding Wisdom

    07/31/2009

    “The wonder on this side of the Atlantic deepens, in view of these circumstances, that Chamberlain remains in office. In the five years previous to the... Read More

  • Is it 1932 or 1942, 1958, 1962, 1970, 1975, 1978, 1982, 2002?

    04/24/2009

    Two caveats: If you dislike a lot of numbers, then this article is not for you. In addition, if you’re hoping to get the answer to the question posed... Read More

  • The Road to 125 (or 130?)

    01/30/2009

    At the peak of home lending insanity, lenders aggressively sought borrowers to provide them financing of up to 125% of the (inflated) value of their homes. Read More