Insight From Jamie Dimon's Shareholder Letter

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon knows all about making a comeback–after his bank and many others were left reeling following the Financial Crisis in 2007-08, Dimon navigated through the crisis when JPMorgan’s stock price hit a low of $22.85 in December 2008. Now, the stock is trading at above $100 and the investing titan is viewed as a paragon of poise and resilience in addition to his prowess for company growth.

Related: Jamie Dimon: Tariffs Aren’t the Way to Go

In his annual letter to JPMorgan shareholders that recapped 2017, he highlighted some important takeaways that money managers, CEOs and other business leaders can use in their own growth strategies:

  • Using capital for growth as opposed to buying back stock: “We want to remind our shareholders that we much prefer to use our capital to grow than to buy back stock. Buying back stock should only be considered when we either cannot invest (sometimes that’s a function of regulatory policies) or when we are generating excess, unusable capital. We currently have excess capital, but due to recent tax reform and a more constructive regulatory environment, we hope, in the future, to use more of our excess capital to grow our businesses, expand into new markets and support our employees.”
  • Using tangible book value as a key metric for measuring shareholder value: “As you know, we believe tangible book value per share is a good measure of the value we have created for our shareholders. If our asset and liability values are appropriate — and we believe they are — and if we can continue to deploy this capital profitably, we now think that it can earn approximately 17% return on tangible equity for the foreseeable future. Then, in our view, our company should ultimately be worth considerably more than tangible book value.”
  • Focus on building the company rather than increasing the stock price: “We do not worry about the stock price in the short run, and we do not worry about quarterly earnings. Our mindset is that we consistently build the company — if you do the right things, the stock price will take care of itself. In the next section, I discuss in more detail how we think about building shareholder value for the long run while also taking care of customers, employees and communities.”

To read the full letter to shareholders, click here.