Category Archives: What we read

Some links

Graham & Doddsville Winter 2016 issue (Edit: the Craig Effron interview is a MUST READ)

TGV Partners Fund 2015 letter  explaining the Mutui Online investment plus thoughts on Tech stocks and Oil & Gas from a value investor perspective

Cliff Assness vs. Eugene Fama (on momentum)

Pipeline companies, distress, long term contracts and more

The “indiscriminate” sell-off of European Banks (WSJ, google for Headline)

AIG vs. MetLife from Aleph blog

Some fun with probabilities and Russian Roulette


Some links

Why drivereless cars might become reality more slowly than we think

A great inside story of a bank trader who was down 200 mn USD on a single oil trade

Rob from RV Capital has released his 2015 letter. +46,7% in 2015 and a new stock: Trupanion

The Punchcard blog on Ackman’s Q4 letter and “platform value”

Rare interview with “Big Short” Steve Eisman

Interesting matrix on relevant types of moats per sector (H/T Valuewalk)

Wertart goes “deep value” in Australia with LogiCamms

Some Links

As aways, don’t miss Eddie Elfenbein’s annual 20 stock buy list which has an incredible good track record

Clark Street Value’s 2015 portfolio review with a nice list of very unusual positions

A good write up of Leucadia

Unfortunately only in German: A 45 minute documentary about the Samwer brothers (Zalando, Rocket Internet)

Great advice from Farnamstreet blog how to get your reading done

The 2015 review from Frenzel and Herzing

A good summary of links on what is going on in Brazil (H/T Abnormal Returns)

Some links

Muddy Waters is short Casino and thinks parent Rallye is worth zero. Good that I filtered Rallye out quickly. Last year, Rallye was still presented as a “value investment” (Never buy a story)

The Brooklyn Investor takes a look at Ametech, a stock held by Lou Simpson

A hard value investing lesson from the Oil & Gas sector

The big Fintech bubble already shows some weakness

John Hempton’s (Bronte) somehow sceptical November report

Finally a video of a lecture from “deep value” guru Peter Cundill (2005)


Book review: “Think like a Freak” (Levitt/Dubner)

think like a freak


“Think like a Freak” is not an explicit  finance book. I had read both predecessor books and I liked the original “Freakonomics” a lot, the second book not so much.

For those who haven’t read them: The Freakonomics books look at how every day life and real life problems can be explained by economic variables like incentives etc. often with very surprising and not really obvious connections.

The third book in my opinion is very good. They want to encourage readers to “think like a Freak”. This means among other things, trying not to tackle big problems head on but trying to solve little problems that might then have large effects or do things differently. And mostly the way to solve those problems is very unique.

One example for instance was David Lee Roth (the singer of Van Halen) who was famous for demanding a very detailed list of things for his concerts, among others a bowl of Smarties but without the brown ones.

The reason for this seems not to have been pure vanity but a test if the people organizing the concert halls actually had also read the other stuff, especially with regard to the technical equipment. So the first thing he did when he arrived at any stage was to check the Smarties bowl. If the brown ones were still in, they directly went to checking all the equipment really thoroughly, in order to make sure that everything really worked. If the brown Smarties were out, they just made a standard test and saved a lot of time and effort.

Interestingly, I actually could make a connection to investing when I read the book.

I do think that value investing is actually very similar to “Invest as a freak”. As a value investor, you don’t really care about the big problems like “will the stock market go up or down”, “what will GDP growth be” etc. Rather you concentrate on “small” problems, looking at company by company without caring so much about the “big picture”.

I think it is also important for an investor to develop some kind of “brown Smarties” test similar to David Lee Roth. For me for instance this is the comprehensive income line. If I see something strange there I know I have to be really really carefull when I further analyze the stock.

Anyway, even without making the connection to Value Investing, “Think like a Freak” is a very entertaining book. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !!!




Some links

Funny conversation between “legendary raiders” Carl Icahn and Boone Pickens

Red Corner looks at a potential interesting distribution company, Brammer Plc

Good reminder: Turn-arounds rarely turn around (Aeropostale)

Interview with Marathon Investment Management (h/t valueinvestingworld)

Why outdated technologies have such long lives

A good list of investment books from the Aleph Blog. Especially the risk books are rather unusal ones.

Interesting post on Renewable/Green Energy projects and funding costs

Some links

A look back how Buffett invested into special situations back in 1962

Meb Faber compares investing based on Buffett’s disclosures with the Berkshire stock

Driverless cars’ chances halted by tumbleweed (Paywall, Google for title)

Broyhill Capital likes Sea World

The short case for Union Pacific Railroad

Why a Chinese Billionaire paid for a 170 mn USD art purchase with his Amex

Interesting Michael Bloomberg interview from the Robin Hood 2015 conference:

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