Below you will find a copy of the full collection of the Nomad Letters to Partners, our magnum opus, as it were. These letters were written every six months, from the end of 2001 to early 2014, and sent to Partners in the Nomad Investment Partnership. More recently, they have enjoyed a life of their own in the financial press and internet, quite without our knowledge or, in some cases, approval. Indeed, these bootleg copies were never intended for wide circulation, let alone involuntary publishing, and contain our personal details. We would ask that readers of those hooky letters please respect our privacy and preference to maintain our low profile (think deep-burrowing earthworms). The approved letters that follow have been lightly edited mainly for privacy purposes (and topped and tailed with this preamble and a postamble) but otherwise remain unchanged from the original. We hope that you enjoy reading them and would ask only that we are attributed where required and that any web links used in reference are to the approved version found here, on the I.G.Y. Foundation website (not back to the bootleggers), please. Those that do wish to get in touch may do so through the “contact us” function on the I.G.Y. Foundation website.
The Nomad letters themselves have been reproduced here in chronological order which will help the reader who has the stamina to make it through the next hundred and ten thousand words (what did we find to say?), understand our journey from cigar butt investing to near permanent holdings. With just a few months to go to the twentieth anniversary of the inception of Nomad, it is now all but inevitable that our annual performance will be around twenty percent for twenty years; evidence perhaps that investors don’t have to go changing their holdings with their underwear and, forgive us if we continue the theme, they really can make their money sitting on their assets!
Our motivation for publishing the letters here, on Nick’s charitable foundation website, is to raise the “and what then” issue: that is, if you are blessed with some success from investing, what then? Elsewhere on this website we have described our “what then” thinking in a drop down tab entitled “X-amount”. But that is our journey and everyone is different. (As an aside, these may be the only investment letters published on a charity website, which asks the question, why aren’t there more? If there were, might it help put the investment activity in more productive psychic space?)
Investing is a wonderful, thoughtful, adventure but it can also be self-centered, a tendency that can be reinforced by the wealth that can follow. We think it is true that, once past X-amount, real meaning comes with reinvesting in society through charitable giving, which can also be a thoughtful, challenging, wonderful adventure, but with the added bonus that it feels like the world working properly. We hope that you can join us.
Nick Sleep and Qais Zakaria, Spring 2021.