The Cheetah Bottleneck

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In their recent episode of the VALUE: After Hours Podcast, Taylor, Brewster, and Carlisle discussed The Cheetah Bottleneck. Here’s an excerpt from the episode:

Jake: All right, let’s get it cleaned up. Cheetahs today, it’s not sperm whale, sorry. I’m going to keep this relatively short. These are just some facts at the beginning, because you guys like these facts, even though they don’t really mean anything for investing.

Tobias: Everybody’s subscribed to cheetah facts.

Bill: [laughs]

Jake: Yeah. Cheetahs, carnivores, meat only, no veggies, ironically, but so they have evolved to live in very dry environments, and they can get by with having one drink every three to four days, which is not normal for most animals, obviously. Everyone knows they’re the fastest land animal and they can get up to speeds of like 70 miles an hour. However, what I didn’t know was that they can get up to close to full speed in three seconds, so the acceleration is just off the charts. One of the ways they do that is they have this heart that is a turbo pump. Their normal beating is 120 beats per minute, which would be fast for a human, that’s us jogging. For them, that’s their normal run rate. Within three seconds, they can ramp up to 250 beats per minute. This thing is a high-performance heart, especially relative to our clunkers.

What’s interesting that I really want to focus on is that cheetahs went through this evolutionary bottleneck, maybe a few thousand years ago, to the point where their DNA is remarkably similar to each other. In fact, you can take a graft from one Cheetah to another and it won’t reject it. They’re almost interchangeable parts, because their DNA is so close together. Whereas, if they had had time to evolve and be apart from each other, there’s a greater chance of, the immune system rearing up and trying, it seems another other part of flesh as a foreign flesh–

Tobias: Are they geographically distributed or are they only all found and developed in Africa somewhere?

Jake: Yeah, mostly, I think there are two– I don’t know if you call them subspecies or what, but there’s like an Asian one, and then there’s obviously the one in Africa that we all think of.

Tobias: Okay.

Jake: To cut out some of this and make it a little easier. To draw this back to an investing idea I had while I was reading this, is it possible that value investors are going through an evolutionary bottleneck right now? On the other side of that is the growthier version, maybe more quality-focused value guys who survived through this, this evolutionary bottleneck. If that’s the case, what does that mean then for the other flavors of value? Does that mean that one value guy could go from a shop– could go from one shop to another very easily, like a graft going from one Cheetah to another, and there’d be less chance of a rejection, because they’re all same, because we’re the only ones who survive through the last 10 years? I don’t know. What do you guys think about that?

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