Let me introduce myself
Greetings and welcome to Woodlock House Family Capital.
My name is Chris Mayer. I’m the Portfolio Manager of the Woodlock House Family Capital fund and co-founder of the firm. I also blog about this thing of ours we call investing. And what a fabulous thing it is. I love it.
I carved out this space to tell you a little about myself. Further on down, I’ll tell you the story behind Woodlock House Family Capital - how it got its name, logo, etc.
First, let me share some of my background…
In 1994, I started out as a corporate lender. I did that for ten years. Banking taught me about managing risks, about how businesses work and how to value assets. These skills would prove invaluable as an investor.
While I liked my banking job, I always had a passion for writing and for investing. Even during my banking career I was reading books by, or about, great investors. I also started freelancing on the side for investing publications and websites.
In 2004, I decided to start my own newsletter, called Capital & Crisis. Jim Grant, Marc Faber and Bill Bonner were all inspirations. I wanted to do what they were doing. Six months after starting my letter, I made a deal with Agora Financial (one of Bill Bonner’s companies) to publish my letter. And so I left banking and wrote investment newsletters for the next fifteen years.
It was great fun. I traveled the world, visiting over 40 countries, often in the search of some elusive investment idea or insight – though, I certainly did more than that and had my chance to explore the world’s many wonders, such as Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, Angkor Wat and much more...
I met all kinds of interesting people. I learned a lot about… well, everything. I wrote four books. I was a guest on TV and radio shows. And, amidst all that, I compiled a strong track running my newsletter portfolio.
This led to managing money for the Bonner family office for a few years before I finally founded, along with Bill Bonner, Woodlock House Family Capital in October 2018.
So, here we are…
What’s the story behind Woodlock House Family Capital?
The Bonner family owns a property in Portlaw, Ireland, called Woodlock House. The main house dates to 1864. It served as a family home, then a convent, then a nursing home. Today it houses several publishing businesses owned by the Bonner family.
I visited in the summer of 2018. Since Bill and I sealed the deal in Ireland, we thought the house would be a good name for the firm. The house itself exudes a certain classic staying power, rich in history yet also adapting to the changing times.
Our logo is a rendition of the skylight in the grand foyer.
We added “family” because the capital initially invested to start the firm and invest in the fund was family money. The purpose of the firm, really, is to solve a problem: How to invest our family wealth without turning it over to “Wall Street” and to people who do not have “skin in the game”?
The word “family” also reflects a basic orientation. Successful families tend to think long-term. They think of the next generation. They tend to be patient. They tend to use less debt. You can see all this in the behavior of publicly traded firms controlled by families. (These firms also tend to outperform their peers.)
We believe long-term performance grows out of these timeless principles. We trust in experience over theory. We value the tested over the unproven. And we think old-fashioned effort and careful study, along with a healthy appreciation for risk, still bring their just rewards.