We realize that helping customers solve real problems is core to any sustainable business. Our portfolio companies should regularly deliver value as leaders of their niche.
We depend on our portfolio CEOs. Many of these bold leaders have dreams of changing the world and we are excited to get behind them and share in the process.
Achieving and sustaining a high IRR results from hard work and diligence on a particular mission. We are involved for the long term and expect greatness from our partners.
LEV is a private investment partnership with an evergreen, hybrid fund. We believe ownership matters. We help small businesses accelerate growth and become more valuable to all stakeholders. Basically, we work really hard to have massive upside with the least downside. That's positive optionality.
We are entrepreneurs as well as investors. Sometimes disruption is the only way. We are happy to partner with founders in target industries. We like to lead where we have expertise, but are excited to continue learning. Because of the long term nature and the risk of loss, we limit portfolio exposure to less than 15% of assets under management and generally make 4-5 investments per year.
We are value investors. We take a comprehensive view of committed capital and believe in the power of compound earnings. As free cash flow is generated from other categories, we seek deep value, mis-priced equities. This is most often found in micro-caps (<$300M.) And, as a result of our structure, we are willing to hold large portions and get involved when helpful.
We are long term owners. Truly great investments are rare. When circumstances permit, we are willing to become very concentrated. Also, our partners and structure allow us to function as permanent capital. Ideal companies are small ($1-10M) with a retiring owner-operator. We will do our best to grow it over the next generation or more.
We are willing to take on small amounts of debt to acquire low risk, high yielding assets and because of our liquidity are appealing partners for those interested in wealth generation.
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Latest Blog Posts
Around the LEV office we like to differentiate between “hunting” and “foraging.” What does that mean? How can it help your approach to finding great companies that meet your investment criteria? Also, what makes our thesis different and difficult to follow? For the management of LEV’s investment fund, we are charged with locating great companies[…]
Updated on April 20, 2017 by Daryl Starr The first room in the LEV office has three, floor-to-ceiling walls of built-in bookshelves. The other wall has windows. Rather than have the bookshelves ripped out and replaced with a single Amazon Kindle, we decided to populate the shelves with books (and other trinkets.) If you want[…]
Watching the news is dangerous to your decision making. Protecting your “priors” is all about making sure you are working from a sound set of base data. Many people have a fear of flying. Why? Because an airplane crash makes for terrific news coverage. It also makes for a great action movie. The more airplane[…]
LEV Acquires Spectrum Seed Solutions, One of the Fastest Growing Non-GMO Seed Corn Companies in the US
LAFAYETTE, IN – LINDEN, IN – AUGUST 18, 2016 Little Engine Ventures (LEV), LP and Spectrum Seed Solutions, LLC today announced they have closed on an asset purchase of Spectrum for an undisclosed sum of cash. Scott Odle, Spectrum founder, will remain on as a shareholder. “Odle and I have worked together for years and[…]
I once had a large and successful farmer ask me, “What is better than owning farmland?” Caught in the moment, I did not have an alternative answer for him. Farm ground was appreciating rapidly (12%+/year), as was year to year earnings (6%+ ROA.) This was especially true for the profit oriented professional operator at the[…]
Recently, I was pondering my ability to forecast cyclical businesses (which is very low, I might add), and had to return to Ray Dalio’s “How the Economic Machine Works” for a little inspiration. This is a terrific 30 minute video-infographic explaining the foundation of economic cycles. I have enjoyed viewing the video numerous times over the[…]
There is something special about technology. Steve Jobs once said that he perceived the computer as the bicycle for the mind. Just as a bicycle transformed the ability of a person to move great distances, very quickly, with very little effort, the personal computer transformed the distance, speed and effort required to accomplish many mental[…]
We are not “traders.” Although we buy and sell, we are fundamentally business owners. In practice, what does that mean? Business owners start, buy and hold companies that they expect to increase in value. Value increases as the result of increased income (or the expectation of future increases in earnings.) Income increases by improving[…]
“You have to strike the right balance between competency and gumption.” said Charlie Munger. “Too much gumption and not enough competency can get you killed. But the more you know the limits of your competency the more valuable your gumption is.” Competency – (noun) – the ability to do something successfully or efficiently. “the players displayed[…]