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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

Apple is Thriving under Tim Cook

22 September, 2014 by Ben O'Brien in Commentary, Large Cap Stocks
(Source: Apple.com) A recent cover story from Businessweek profiles Apple CEO Tim Cook and describes how he has changed the culture of the company. The magazine also published a follow up interview with Cook after Apple’s recent iPhone 6/Watch announcement. Back in 2012 after the death of Steve Jobs the company appeared to be in trouble, and a lot of commentators doubted Cook could fill the shoes of the charismatic founder Jobs.  Both Businessweek pieces are worth reading and give the picture of an Apple that is still innovative and perhaps more focused and efficient that under the sometimes erratic Jobs: Until Sept. 9, all the other changes at the world’s most valuable and scrutinized company were largely invisible to the public. Then Tim Cook took the stage at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts and laid out much of what Apple has been working on over the past three years. The immediate aftermath is that Apple is swamped by a record number of preorders for the new ... read more...

What We’re Reading: September 22

22 September, 2014 by Ben O'Brien in Commentary, What We're Reading
Quote of the Day:  “Both big established players like Calpers and the hot new start-ups use the same investing mantra: Cut costs and simplify. It’s working. … That means even dumb-as-a-post investors get to keep more of their money. And that’s pretty smart.” –Ben Steverman, Bloomberg   Monday links:  U.S. Stocks Open Lower (WSJ) The “Dumb Money” is Getting Smarter (Bloomberg) The Short-Sighted U.S. Buyback Boom (FT) Yahoo is Both a Winner and a Loser in Alibaba’s IPO (Businessweek) What a Leading Finance Blogger Learned after 30,000 Posts (Washington Post) Why Warren Buffet Hates Gold (USA Today) New iPhone Sales Top 10 million in Opening Weekend (New York Times) Profits in a Time of War: Chaos and Violence are Not as Bad for Companies as You Might Think (Economist) EMC Weighs Merger, Other Options (WSJ) How the NFL Fleeces Taxpayers (Atlantic)   Chart of the Day:  The Origins of ISIS’s Recruits Source: New York Times ... read more...

What We’re Reading: September 19

19 September, 2014 by Ben O'Brien in Commentary, What We're Reading
Friday links:  U.S. Stocks hit fresh record highs (WSJ) Scotland rejects independence as UK vows to give it more power (Bloomberg) Remembering that time a few years ago when investors suddenly went crazy over gold (Reformed Broker) If you buy the Alibaba IPO, be ready for a rough ride (Jason Zweig) How Tim Cook is remaking Apple (Businessweek) Apple watch says its time to buy the stock (Barron’s) Dump your hedge funds  (MarketWatch) Spacefight: Jeff Bezos declares war on Elon Musk (Businessweek) Beoing faces a future without fighter jets (WSJ) This 8-Year-Old Makes $1.3 Million A Year By Posting YouTube Videos (Business Insider) . Chart of the Day:  Source: Bespoke Investment Group read more...

Alibaba’s Public Listing is a Disaster Waiting to Happen

17 September, 2014 by Matthew O'Brien, Ph.D. in Commentary
Suppose I told you that I had a great stock tip: there’s a shell company in the Cayman Islands that owns, through a bunch of subsidiaries, a portion of the portion of the profits of a huge, fast-growing Internet company in a quasi-Fascist country where the rule of law is basically nonexistent.  This Cayman Islands shell company doesn’t have any meaningful control over the Internet company that is the source of its expected profit-stream.  The owners of the Internet company and its various subsidiaries “promise” to give profits to the Cayman Island shell company, but at the same time they state that there’s no guarantee that they “will not breach the existing contractual arrangements.” Sound enticing?  This is effectively what Alibaba is offering its prospective shareholders as it prepares to list on the New York Stock Exchange — the term “shareholder” should be used lightly, of course, because Alibaba’s shareholders ... read more...

What We’re Reading: September 17

17 September, 2014 by Matthew O'Brien, Ph.D. in Commentary
Wednesday Links: FedEx Profit Jumps 24% As Revenue Rises Across Segments (Wall Street Journal) Most Americans Are Single, and They’re Changing the Economy (Businessweek) Boeing and SpaceX Share $6.8 Billion in NASA Space Taxi Contracts (Wall Street Journal) China’s Central Bank Injects $81 Billion Into Top Banks to Counter Slowdown (Wall Street Journal) Upon failing to read the F1, Alibaba edition (FT Alphaville) iPhone 6 Review: Apple’s Cure for Android Envy (Wall Street Journal) Bill Gross Used $45 Billion Derivatives to Lift Fund Gain (Bloomberg) Homebuilder Confidence in U.S. Increases to a Nine-Year High (Bloomberg) Chart of the Day: Alibaba’s Byzantine Corporate Structure read more...