These guys managed to pull a 101% combined during the most devastating hurricane season to date. That's outstanding!
The stock historically trades about 2:1 Book Value. A premium compared to the industry, but rightfully so. Shareholders have average over 20% returns since they went public in 86!
Any time frame for that:>) I really get no pleasure when thinking of my demise. I hope I live long enough to where I don't know I'm going. Hopefully by then I still have some left for my kids.
I think one reason this board is quiet is that the typical MKL owner plans on holding for some time.
I would think someone who buys for a quick turnaround may tend to post more on boards like this one.
I realize I am generalizing but you get the idea.
but why would an insurance company invest in other insurance companies who are attempting to do the same thing with their investment portfolios? Clearly one of these will outperform the others, even if by a small amount. Seems to me they are hedging their bets which is a sign of uncertainty. If I was a focus investor I'd like to see no more than 10 stocks on their 13-f form. I'd be happy with 5 or less.
There are a few people that check here for info apparently. I bought in at 260 about 18 months ago (not as much as I wished I would have) and will probably hold this for a while. A large portion of Markel's historical success seems to be attributed to great investment results, and I currently have some concerns about overall market valuation - hopefully Markel is hedged against downside risk. If a market correction occurs, MKL has a very small short interest, so will have very few shorts covering and could fall if someone panics and sells. Although I think it is a decent buy now, I will wait on the sideline to purchase more.
I am optimistic that '06 will be a good year for Markel with profitable underwriting(with rate increases probably limited) & good equity returns. For an insurer to face 3 of the worst 7 storms in history in one year & still grow book value modestly is great.