Take another example, few years afterwards, back in 97-98, the oil open market worldwide traded below $10 for a period of several months.
At the time, the five-year averages is probably in $20, as I said it before, but also the majority actually if not all of the production is on the west is above $10, cost. ExxonMobil, you know, BP, you name it.
Everything outside Saudi Arabia, couple of Gulf States countries and a little part of Russia, part of those are small portion — is not that small, but it's still a fraction of the overall production. Everybody has become unprofitable at $10 per oil. And at that time we have not really figured out how to replace oil.
And so there were plenty, plenty companies at the time, who's not losing money even at the 10 and who's really making a great — and who has a huge amount on the balance sheet and you can calculate as to what it is, amount to per share. And so there are really examples after examples after examples.
So in every period of time as I was in business, this is a from the mid 90s — 94-95 — so it's nearly 20 years, I've never really go through a period of time that I couldn't really find something that's enticing and interesting.
So if you especially operate a smaller pool of the money, at any time, because you're really kind of choosing from a hundred thousand different securities, mostly stocks all over the board. There are always opportunities like that, that give you plenty margin of safety.
But of course, the most interesting thing you want to do is not only you talk about assets, you talk about enduring earnings generating franchise, a compounding machine. In the other words, if you can combine the cheap prices on the asset and also the quality of that asset, the ability to consistently generate cash earnings on a compound and growing basis. That is the Holy Grail that you can really hold of our longest period of time and no matter what the market had really fall against you, you can really basically ignore it.
Now, does that situation like that exist? I would argue it does. Maybe not for the larger amount of capital, but a smaller amount of capital.
The Holy Grail of investing is buying assets at a cheap prices that has enduring earnings and consistently generating cash.