Our Criteria

Buying exceptional companies at fair prices

We employ a unique qualitative method of evaluating companies:

  • Integrity of Management
  • Employee Empowerment
  • Teamwork
  • ​Purpose and Passion
  • Long-Term Focus
  • Disciplined Capital Allocation

For over 25 years, our team has focused on investing in businesses that demonstrate these core values. We believe that buying great companies at fair prices can generate significant long term returns.

Our unique qualitative criteria helps identify companies that we believe continuously improve through stakeholder engagement.

Our Philosophy

Front Street Capital Ethos

Ignoring the pack, staying true to our principles

Our investing principles are simple:

  • Ignore short term market fluctuations
  • invest in great companies when the price is right
  • Hold those companies as long as they adhere to our qualitative criteria

We have not wavered from these principles for over 20 years, and will not in the future.

What makes a "great" company? We invest on this assumption: that great managers can create a corporate culture of continuous improvement, getting the best out of each employee. The resulting customer and supplier loyalty, along with the breaking down of barriers within the company creates long term growth and profitability.

ESG Investing

Our stakeholder-oriented investment philosophy means we strive to invest in socially responsible learning organizations. Check out our quarterly letters and portfolio of investments for more information.


“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”

Warren Buffett

Focusing on the long term

We have been investing in companies that believe strongly in our philosophy and the ability of companies that operate under these principles to produce wealth indefinitely into the future. If we believe a company continues to meet our criteria, our preferred holding period is forever.

At Front Street we are long term investors, not financial planners.

“Eating our own cooking”

Our own capital is invested in the same companies as we choose for our clients, ensuring that our interests are always aligned with our clients.

We love to talk about our philosophy! For more information, we invite you to contact us, or if you are feeling really adventurous — feel free to browse through recordings of our annual investor meetings.

View our Customer Relationship Summary View ADV Part 2A+2B
Our Fund

The Tarkio Fund (TARKX)

The Tarkio Fund, is a no load mutual fund with a 1.00% management fee and an initial investment minimum as low as $1,000. Detailed information on the fund's performance is available from any of the major fund rating platforms.

Learn More About Our Fund launch * By clicking the link in the button above, you will leave this site and be taken to the Tarkio Fund website.

Investor Insights

At Front Street Capital, we are passionate about both learning & teaching. To learn more about how we invest and see examples of these principles, check out the Investor Insights page. Or reach out to learn more about how we invest.

Explore Investor Insights

Who We Are

Front Street Capital Management, Inc. is a registered investment adviser serving clients with a long term investment focus. We are the portfolio manager to the Tarkio Fund, a no-load mutual fund (TARKX), and provide professional management of individual accounts, IRA and retirement assets, 401(k)s, trusts and foundations on a fee only basis.

Russ Piazza

Portfolio Manager/Tarkio Fund Co-Manager
Russ Piazza co-founded Front Street Capital Management with Michele Blood in 2006. Russ started his investment career in 1977 with Crowell Weedon & Co. In 1979, he moved to Piper Jaffray & Co. where he became a Portfolio Manager. Russ holds a B.A. in Finance from University of Montana.

Michele Blood

Operations Manager
Michele Blood co-founded Front Street Capital Management in 2006 with Russ Piazza. She was previously a Senior Sales Assistant with Piper Jaffray & Co. from 1987 to 2006. Michele received a certificate of Accounting and Technology from the University of Montana, College of Technology.

Ginger Belker

Chief Compliance Officer
Ginger joined Front Street in 2006. She was previously a Branch Administrative Manager at Piper Jaffray & Co, Utility Auditor at The Dunamis Croup Inc, as well as a Grants & Contracts Officer at the University of North Dakota and Dept. of the Navy. Ginger received a B.A. in Business Management from Saint Mary's College of California.

Jeremy Brown

Development Manager/Tarkio Fund Co-Manager
Jeremy joined Front Street in 2016 following a 10 year career in corporate and securities law with Dorsey & Whitney LLP and K&L Gates LLP. Jeremy received a law degree from New York University School of Law in 2005 and a B.A. in Philosophy from Seattle University in 1999.

Dominic Piazza

Marketing Manager/Tarkio Fund Co-Manager
Dominic joined Front Street Capital Management in 2016 after interning the previous year. Dominic has a B.A. in Environmental Science from Willamette University and an MBA in Corporate Sustainability from Colorado State University.

Contact Us

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218 East Front Street
Suite 205
Missoula, MT 59802