IN FOCUS: GAMES WORKSHOP ‘ HIDE THE SHOPS IN A COAL MINE, GAMERS WILL STILL COME’
Games Workshop, which sells war game figurines that hobbyists assemble and paint themselves, has been our bestperforming stock over the past two years.
We could see some of the success coming, but equally there have been some pleasant surprises along the way.
The firm was cutting its costs by moving shops from major shopping centres to places just off the beaten track. It has also moved from having multiple managers at major stores to just one.
So keen are the people who play these games that if you put the shop 100ft under the ground in an old coal mine, they would still find them. And if there’s a sign up saying “manager gone for tea, back in five minutes” they will wait.
We always thought the strategy would work, and my word it has. On top of that we have had the devaluation of sterling, which has helped. Most of the company’s costs remain in the UK and it sells abroad.
The firm introduced a couple of new games recently that went down really well with the hobbyists and it has started to actively engage with the fans on social media, boosting its following. fool’s errand trying to predict what they will do.
There is so much uncertainty around next year that your guess is as good as mine.
The fund’s charge is rather high. Can you explain why?
The charge is 1.23pc, which covers the licence to use the Buffettology name, outsourced services to third parties and distribution – we receive less than half. Remember your Buffett: price is what you pay, value is what you get.
Do you invest in the fund?
The entirety of my pension and Isas, along with my family’s, is invested in the fund – 100pc of my equity investing is through Buffettology.
What would you have been if not a fund manager?
I would have attempted to join the Nasa Astronaut Corps or worked on the American space programme.
As a kid I was a space nut and my first degree was in astrophysics – rocket science is not a million miles away.