James Hall

Mawer manager believes his extensive research process sets him apart.

Diana Cawfield 5 November, 2010 | 6:00PM
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For James Hall, the long-time lead manager of the 5-star rated Mawer Canadian Equity  , successful investing always starts with buying good businesses.

"What we define as a good business is one that creates wealth over time, where its return on capital beats the costs of capital," says the chairman and director of research at Mawer Investment Management Ltd. in Calgary. "The hard part is finding very good businesses run by good people, and not paying too much," he adds.

After finding a good business, the second key consideration is assessing management. A great business model with a bad management team can run the business into the ground, says Hall. The third key factor is valuation, making sure they are buying companies that are trading at a discount to intrinsic value. While the perfect company doesn't exist -- and there is some give and take on some of the stock-picking criteria -- one thing that is essential is a wealth-creating, sustainable business model.

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About Author

Diana Cawfield

Diana Cawfield  Diana Cawfield is an award-winning writer who has been a regular Morningstar contributor since 2000. Her numerous publication credits include the Toronto StarAdvisor's Edge and Chatelaine, as well as the Canadian Securities Institute's online educational services.

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