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Straightforward Investing Since 1969

The investment advisory firm of O’Brien Greene & Co. provides independent investment management to a diverse clientele. Individuals, families, and corporate retirement plans make up the majority of clients, although longtime clients also include trusts, insurance companies, and charitable endowments. We seek the preservation and growth of capital through good and bad markets, and our investment strategy emphasizes several themes: simple, transparent, separate accounts; direct ownership of high-quality stocks and investment-grade bonds; diversification across the market; customized portfolios with a high degree of personal attention. The firm has more than $270 million under management and its offices are located in suburban Philadelphia in the borough of Media, Pennsylvania.

Review & Outlook

Our take on the investing, financial, & economic themes of the day

What We’re Reading: July 21

We apologize if posting here is a little light for the next week while some of our main bloggers are on vacation. We will make sure to check in periodically, though. Here are our daily links: Dow Drops Below 17000 Before Rebounding as Earnings-Heavy Week Begins (WSJ) “Old Tech” Making Big Moves in 2014 (Think Big) Large Cap Stocks Continue to Trounce Small Caps (Reformed Broker) AbbVie’s Acquisition of Shire is Fueled by Cheap Debt (Financial Times) Jim Grant’s Critique of the Yellen Fed (Fox Business) The New Subprime Lending Bubble (DealBook) Hedge funds braced for some of their worst returns since 2008 (Financial Times) Three Reasons This is a Good Time to be an Investor (WSJ) What to Watch for in Chipotle’s (CMG) Earnings After the Close Today (Motley Fool) Genuine Parts (GPC) Motors Past Earnings Estimates in Q2 Report  (Investors.com) Chart of the Day: (Source: Think Big blog)   read more...

Uber is Delivering Ice Cream?

18 July, 2014 by Ben O'Brien in Commentary
I got an email this morning (see below) from Uber, the tax cab smartphone app service, saying that they will now be delivering ice cream via their app. While this might seem like a strange move for a taxi cab service, it is big news since the company has become a sort of bellwether of the current technology boom. I wrote an article a few weeks ago in which I referenced a valuation of Uber by NYU professor Aswath Damodaran who thought the private company was wildy overvalued based on the venture capital investments made so far. For Damodaran the company was a symbol of the current excess in technology investing. I agreed with the analysis at the time. Damodaran did entertain the idea that the company might some day expand into other businesses, but he valued the company mainly based on its tax cab service. Damodaran later responded to critics and clarified his argument but still stuck to his guns, saying the company was not worth nearly as much as investors are paying.   ... read more...

What We’re Reading: July 18

Here are our Friday morning reads: Double-Digit Stock Annual Stock Returns are Actually the Norm (Irrelevant Investor) After Dizzying Rally, Real-Estate Investment Trusts May Be Overheating (WSJ) Guarding Portfolios Against Bubbles (CFA Magazine) Google (GOOGL) Stock Rises After Earnings Miss but Revenue Up (USA Today) VF Corp (VFC) Stock Falls Despite Earnings Growth (Benzinga) Invensense (INVN) Continues to Rally, Up 2% (GuruFocus) Millenials Save More for Retirement than Baby Boomers (Forbes) Forbes Media Sells Majority Stake (Business Insider) Buffett’s Achilles’ Heel: Investing in Retail (WSJ) Bacon Prices Are Going Bananas (Business Insider) You can’t escape Sharknado (Businessweek) Chart of the Day: Source: Bespoke Investment’s Think Big blog read more...

What We’re Reading: July 17

With earnings season getting into full swing, here’s a few articles we’ve been reading this morning: Why Jack Bogle is Right to Distrust ETFs (Barron’s) Is the Underperformance of Small Caps Stocks a Bad Sign for the Market? (Barron’s) Maybe Uber’s Valuation is Reasonable After All (Musing on Markets) Obama Administration Urges Immediate Action on Tax “Inversions” (WSJ) Robert Schiller: A Time of Dangerous Speculative Excess (Project Syndicate) Amazon (AMZN) Tries Netflix for Books Model (Wired) Another Impressive Quarter of Earnings from Sherwin Williams (SHW) Huge Potential for Alibaba As IPO Nears (Seeking Alpha) Netscout is Still Killing it After Earnings Release (WSJ) All 171 World Cup Goals Ranked (Deadspin)   Chart of the Day: Source: Think Big blog read more...

Spirit Airlines (SAVE) Soars to New Heights

Spirit Airlines (SAVE) is a fast-growing “ultradiscount” carrier known for its no-frills service. The stock, which is in our small cap fund, reached a new high this week after being up strongly the last two days in a row. Dow Jones Newswires reported that the company recently raised guidance for the year, saying it will have a higher profit margin and lower costs than previously expected.  Because of its low cost model, Spirit has the highest profit margins in the industry. Another recent report on the airline industry by IdeaWorks Company reported that Spirit’s recent success has been largely due to its ancillary charges, that is charges other than the ticket itself. According to the report, ancillary charges accounted for 38% of Spirit’s overall revenue, the highest in the industry. Though some customers have complained about all the fees, Spirit maintains that its “unbundled” model allows people to pay only for what they use. With the normal ... read more...