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Arraig Investing Concepts

The Arraig Investing Approach

Published 4 months ago • 2 min read

Issue #1: The Arraig Investing Approach

This isn’t advice on how to invest your money or someone else’s money. I’m sharing my experience so that it serves as an example to develop your own framework.


Dear Reader,

In 2016, I co-founded and spun a membrane filtration technology business out of MIT, called Sandymount. Over the following five years, almost all of my time was dedicated to that business. Still, I always made time for hobbies, including investing. I saw (and still see) investing as complementary to what I do in building my own businesses. Investing is about capital allocation, risk and people, and I found that investing gave me added focus and motivation to dive deeper and learn from other businesses.

From 2016 to 2020, my allocation was split roughly between stock, real estate investment trusts and reserves (bonds, currencies). My main investments were in Berkshire Hathaway (still a major holding today) and Store Capital (acquired and taken private in 2023). My frame work of one-third stocks, one third real estate and one third reserves was inspired by Gerd Gigerenzer, an economist with ideas that overlap with those of philosopher/investors Taleb and Spitznagel. Buffett himself, through his annual letters, has also been influential. Indeed, I was lucky to have seen the Annual Berkshire Meeting live in person while both Munger and Buffett were around.

At the end of 2020, Sandymount was acquired by Alfa Laval. This gave me the opportunity to explore making private investments as well as expand my interest in specific public stocks. My one third - one third - one third approach still remains in place for the larger part of my investing holdings. I detail that below as my "Talmud Fund". Separately, I have defined what I call my "Growth Fund", from which I invest in a concentrated selection of private and public stocks. The vast majority of my time remains focused on building my own businesses (notably Trelis.com - offering tutorials for developers to train and deploy AI models). Still, I enjoy reading the transcripts of the earnings calls for companies that I follow, and evaluating my portfolio on a quarterly basis.

The objective of the Arraig YouTube channel is to share practical lessons I have learned (e.g. the pitfalls of AngelList rolling funds). As a complement to those videos, I am making available a quarterly briefing for paying members. This "Arraig Quarterly Briefing" will document my investing progress on a quarterly basis. Briefings will include a high level overview of the Talmud Fund [1] (which changes little quarter on quarter) and a more detailed view of the Growth Fund [1], in particular for public stocks where there is marked to market data available.

To give you a flavour for each "Fund", I have provided the goals, composition and style of each below.

Cheers, Ronan

Ronan McGovern, Managing Director, Arraig LTD

Two Funds, Two Purposes

  1. The Talmud Fund:
    1. Goal: Steady Growth.
    2. Composition: Very roughly one third stocks, one third real estate, one third reserves (bonds, commodities, currencies).
    3. Style: Diversification across asset classes, but concentrated holdings within each asset class. The companies and real estate (all REITs) are low debt and high cash-flow.
  2. The Growth Fund:
    1. Goal: Learning. Where possible, I take an interest in the quarterly calls and annual reports of the companies, to follow and learn from the CEOs.
    2. Composition: Publicly traded stocks. Private stocks (AngelList rolling funds, SPVs and direct investments through personal relationships).
    3. Style: Buy and hold. Concentrated positions in founder-led cashflow positive companies with low debt.

Notes:

  1. Note that although I say "fund", I only invest my own funds, whether personal funds OR in entities that I fully own.

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Arraig Investing Concepts

A Practical Journey in Public and Private Investing

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