Some links

Must read: 10 thoughts on becoming an indpendent fund manager from RV capital

Frenzel & Herzing have a 2 part mini series on 3U (part 1, part 2), a potential German (very) deep value situation plus a great study on soon-to-be-taken-over Kabel Deutschland.

A great review of the book “The art of short selling”

Another must read: The annual Credit Suisse Investment Returns yearbook 2014

Long story how Abercrombie & Fitch lost it (not every maniac CEO guarantees success…)

Finally, the new interesting blogs:

Contrarianville, a blog with some great, “deep thought” posts on Value investing in general
Otakuinvest, a relatively new value Stock picker blog with blog portfolio

Some links

Good overview and outlook for the beaten down Emerging Market countries from Prof. Cowen

Interesting analysis on Delisting from German stock exchanges (Frosta BGH Urteil, German)

Alphavulture likes MAgix AG, the German media software company

Cullen Roach explains why waiting for the fat pitch is not for everyone

Great post on Alleghany from HoldCo expert Brooklyn Investor

Fascinating book review “The panic of 1819″ from valueprax (already ordered…)

Finally Nate from Oddball with some insights on sharing investment ideas.

Some links

Great documentary about legendary investor John Templeton

Eddy Elfenbein’s 2013 buy list has beaten the S&P 500 for the 7th year in a row. So don’t miss his 2014 buy list.

Good analysis of the US-based Dover/Knowles spin-off

Nate from Oddball on dividends

Finally, reader and commentator Martin seems to have started his own blog with posts about Eurokai and IMW Immobilien. Keep going !!!

Book review: “Short stories from the stock market” – Amit Kumar

Books about short selling are few and rare so I decided to buy the Kindle version, which around 7,50 EUR is fairly cheap. The author, Amit Kumar runs an independent research firm called Artham Capital Partners and used to post occasionally on Seeking Alpha. There is also a “Manual of Ideas” interview with him to be found at Beyond Proxy.

The book itself is fairly short with 167 pages, which in itself is not bad. The book covers many aspects of short selling, including some case studies from the author himself.

However what is completely missing in my opinion are for instance references to existing books like the “Financial Shenanigans” classic from Howard M. Schilit. He also mentions David Einhorn’s Allied Capital Short thesis and Bill Ackman’s fight with MBIA, but again he does not reference to the book about Ackman and MBIA.

Jim Chanos, the most famous short seller, is mentioned once with in the context of Enron but nowhere else. Chanos made some great presentations for instance with regard to value traps.

It is also strange that in the beginning, the author explain the P/E ratio over a full page, but later on assumes quite some advanced accounting know how like knowing what Comprehensive Income is.

The best parts of the book are the sections where he lists the various areas in Balance Sheets and Income statements where to look for trouble and the interview with the guy behind “Off Wall Street”. Strangely enough, in his list he doesn’t mention the Cash Flow statement as another place to detect “Shenanigans”, but he gets a special point from me for mentioning differences between Net income and Comprehensive Income as a warning sign.

I would have also expected something about Chinese Reverse mergers, but it seems that the author somehow was not interested in that part of the market although it might have been one of the “Life time” short gold mines in the last few years.

So overall, I have some mixed feelings about the book. Yes, it covers a lot of stuff and there are not many books out there which cover the topic. On the other hand, a lot of important stuff and sources are missing. the book could gain a lot, by referencing more to existing works of other short sellers like Chanos, Block, Bronte etc.

Nevertheless, for the price offered I think the book looks like reasonable good value for investors who are generally interested in short selling, although in its current form it will be clearly not an “investment classic” anytime soon. T e fair, the author mentioned that there will be future editions of the book, so maybe he will add some of the missing parts.

Some Links

MUST READ: Great new blog from two young German guys. 2 comprehensive write ups: Sto AG and Hornbach AG

Congratulations ! The writer of the “Value Uncovered” blog got a full-time job at Yachtman because of his blog.

Gannon on Catering International, an interesting French company.

Good post from Nate why not every value investor should / could “go Buffet”.

Great post about the South Sea bubble in 1720. Nothing is new in finance.

A review of a new book about short selling. Interesting and very counter cyclical….

Some links

Great analysis of Nicholas Financial by the excelent Punchcard blog

Eddy Elfenbein with a great look back into history into the Great Salad Oil Swindle. Good for Warren Buffet who bought into Amex because of this.

Damodaran still thinks that Twitter is worth only 18 USD per share

Sear has been an actually good investment over the last 20 Year, if you include all spin-offs.

Will the machines take over investing ? They seem to be even better at brewing coffee now.

Some links

Why Eike Batista’s downfall was not such a big surprise

Katsenelson likes Tesco. Just a few days before, Buffet sold part of his stake.

AlphaVulture on FFP, the French HoldCo of the Peugeot family

Jason Zweig on bad market timing by investors (hint: google the headline in order to read it)

Google, currently at the peak of investors attention, seems to loose it in some areas. I still don’t understand why the killed the Reader.

Finally, I discovered this new and very promising blog: Wertart Capital. Includes some well known ideas as well as some uncommon and interesting ideas. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !!!

Some links

The Brooklyn Investor is looking at some potential “Outsider” companies: The “new” Teledyne and Colfax from the US and Transdigm.

Especting Value is looking at UK wallpaper company Colefax

Very interesting presentation from Kerrisdale on Lindsay, an US company which produces automated water irrigation equipment for farmers.

Interesting presentation with some stock ideas from German value fund Discovery Capital.

The funny story of Carl Icahn’s sale of netflix shares by Kid Dynamite. His son didn’t want to sell…..

Finally a non-investment story from Sports Illustrated about the remarkable life a former NBA player who dissapeared on a boat some 10 years ago. I found it remarkable for several reasons:
- captivating story
- great presentation, if online stories are presented like this, traditional media outlets might stil have a chance
- there is finally a “hidden” investment angle: The best friend of the NBA player was Patrick Byrne, CEO of the company overstock.com. Not only is overstock.com a company which is suspected to be a fraud by Sam Antar, but he is also the son of GEICO CEO John Byrne, highly admired by no one else than Warren Buffet himself.

Some links

Very interesting post from Prof Damodaran on the differences between (value-)investing and trading

Bloomberg story about Eike Batista, the guy who lost ~ 35 bn USD in one year

Nate from Oddball muses about patience, simplicity and retail stocks

Good post about the implosion of Albermarle, the UK pawnbroker

Plus 2 interesting blogs I discovered just recently, both highly recommended:

- Valuevista from the UK
- AlphaVulture , a poker player and value investor

Finally, an interesting small cap “pump and dump” from Warren Buffet himself in 2000 (via Alphavulture comment section):
– Buffet buys privately a company called Bell Industries in Dec 1999
– in Jan 2000 he sells it after it has jumped 80% because of the disclosure
– in November 2000, he then bought again after the stock collapsed

Some links

MUST SEE: 30 minute video with and from Ray Delio about the “economic machine”.

Damodaran with a 4 item checklist in order to identify potential value traps

The Brooklyn Investor explains, why one should concentrate on businesses, not on stock market levels, tapering etc.

A potential arbitrage opportunity with US “forever stamps” ahead of an announced price increase

Punchcradblog on Blackbaud, a software company with an interesting business model, which nevertheless is too expensive. Very nice write-up and way of analyzing a company.