My notes on Guy Spier’s book, The Education of a Value Investor. The book is much better for beginners, but there are very interesting tidbits for experienced investors. Some of what he shared about productivity and about finding a group of people you both admire and trust so you can debate ideas with them resonated a lot with things I had been thinking about, or doing, without necessarily having an idea of where it could lead to.
Very interesting post today by The Brooklyn Investor showing, with real-life examples, what great CEOs or investors can do to generate value even when the market is flattish or going down for long periods of time. He’s humble enough to say that this is far from the norm, but that’s precisely the point of, well, pointing out these examples: it is possible and it’s our job as stock pickers to focus substantial portions of our time to finding these great companies run by great people.
Joseph Calhoun of Alhambra Capital in the US reminds us of the basics of Value Investing, in a quick post with some funny moments. Worth the read if only for the laugh. The follow-up regards Zynga, profiled here on Dec. 31st 2009. After that initial post I’ve come back to discuss the company before and after its IPO. I’ve also done the same with Groupon after a larger, initial post. Zynga has just followed the path of Groupon and the founder CEO has left the post after a collapse in share prices.
Since I posted two days ago about the “new Warren Buffetts”, here’s an article with “plain old” Buffett saying “vintage Buffett” things about investing, conflicts of interest, shorting stocks… and even about money managers he admires nowadays (or “manager”, since he mentioned just one: Seth Klarman).
As part of the warm-up for Fortune editor Carol Loomis’ new book on Warren Buffett, Fortune is republishing a 1989 article called “Are These the New Warren Buffetts?” (H/T Abnormal Returns). It’s a highly talented group: Seth Klarman, Jim Chanos, Michael Price, Eddie Lampert… Better track record than BusinessWeek!
Two stories about Bill Ackman. The most interesting by far is about Ackman’s desire to attract permanent capital that would allow him to focus more on the long-term activist efforts that have both made him famous and, according to Ackman, made most of the returns for his investors. The second is Bill’s full 45-minute video on Finance and Investing for Floating University, made free to watch yesterday.
The 2012 Ira Sohn investment conference is today at 12:00PM Eastern Time, that is, 13:00PM in Rio. Last year I was there, but I couldn’t make it this year. Its speaker roster is usually top-notch and this year’s brings David Einhorn, Bill Ackman, Larry Robbins, John Paulson, Steve Mandel and even Prof. Dan Ariely. I recommend ValueWalk.com’s live coverage.
Bill Miller himself once said: “This is a brutal business, success equals survival. If you have survived, you will have succeeded”. We have said it a little differently since 1988: to finish first, you must first finish. Mr. Miller, famous for his 15-year streak of beating the S&P 500, has announced that he will step down as co-manager of the Legg Mason Value Trust in April 2012. Is Mr. Miller’s rise and subsequent fall a matter of genius becoming overconfidence or simple probability theory playing out – as per Taleb? Not knowing the inside workings of Legg Mason, no one can really claim to know the answer. To help us think about it, we collect several links inside.
A few notes about Day One (Monday, Oct. 17th) in the 2011 Value Investing Congress. You can follow their own live updates on Facebook or Twitter. We start with David Einhorn – he wasn’t the first speaker of the day, but things started to get interesting when he came onto the stage. Having attended both, the Ira Sohn Investment Conference is a better event: shorter in length, better attended and with better speakers, more focused and, we dare say, with more committed speakers.
Our article in the August 2011 edition of the Valor Investe magazine, discussing the financial education of Warren Buffett. The entire section on Financial Education in this edition is worth the time and couldn’t be more vital today – with the mess in Europe, the US debt/ global banking system imbroglios and general volatility. In a country like Brazil, the lack of concern with financial education is even more worrying. Initiatives such as this one are very important.