What is good, what is great?
In the Formula One car race just held in Melbourne the difference between first and fifth place was 59 seconds. Being good enabled the fifth-placed driver (Felipe Massa) to participate in the race. To become great, he would have needed to find a way to make up the time lag to the winner (Nico Rosberg).
Investing in global equities is a quest to find the companies that have made, or can make, the leap from good to great. The world is full of good companies. Most of these businesses, especially in consumer services, possess the ingredients an investor seeks in any stock – competent management, an ability to innovate, respect for regulation and high service standards. But few of them will ever be great. What would make them great?