Making Fun of Fundamental investors – The Frank Thelen edition

Frank Thelen is a household name in Germany. As part of the German version of “Shark Tank” (which he left in 2019), he clearly became the Venture Capital investor with the biggest public exposure (the guy in the back in the middle):

Recently, Thelen announced that he will launch the “German Version” of Ark Invest which he calls 10xDNA Fund. The idea behind is that he, as successful VC investor is able to run a big fund of public stocks that aims at “disruptive technologies”.

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Some links

HBR (and Bain) on why Founder led companies perform better

An interesting deep dive into the Market Panic of 1792

Very comprehensive overview how the Venture Capital landscape has changed over the past few years

Good profile of ETF tech guru Cathy Wood (ARK)

The Lightning network, Bitcoins answer to scaling issues, still doesn’t work

AQR thinks that shorting (high emission) stocks should decrease a portfolio’s carbon footprint

Microsoft did a big study on remote working on its own work force. The results are not positive.

Summer Reading summary

Over (spring and) summer, I managed to read a couple of books that might be interesting for my readers. This time a try a new format with a shorter summary on a couple of books compared to the more detailed single reviews I did in the past. I hope this is helpful nevertheless.

  1. The Rise of Carry

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“The Rise of Carry” is a more macro oriented book written by two former Hedge Fund “dudes”. Their thesis is that a significant part of today’s market activity is driven by “Carry Trades”, which are defined as leveraged bets with an asymetric return profile (“fat tails” on the downside). It is a very interesting approach to look at markets. The book was written well before Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital collapsed due to …leveraged bets.

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Some links

Great deep dive from Mathew Ball on Netflix and Gaming

An interesting look at “alternative performance measures” that are used by Tech companies

Highly recommended: AMA with Vitalek Buterin on Twitter (only people he follows could ask, first question from Elon Musk)

Thanks to Elon Musk, in theory “Space Base load Solar” could become a thing

6M reports from TGV Intrinsic ( Frontier Digital Ventures, VEF) and TGV Compound Interest (Amaysim, EQS, FEMSA)

A pretty cautious take on Chinese stocks

Spotify needs to take social streaming (and TikTok) very seriously

 

All Swiss Shares Part 12 – Nr. 111-120

Half time. With this post I will have covered more than 50% of the 217 SIX listed stocks. This time only one stock made it onto the watch list. Again, I will be on vacation when this scheduled post will be published.

111. Basler Kantonalbank AG

Basler KB is another one of the Swiss regional banks. The listed stocks seem to be “participation” shares only. As the other regional banks, the stock looks cheap with a dividend yield of almost 5%.

However, as the other banks, Business has been stagnating for some time and I don’t see any scenario that looks better. “pass”.

112. Hochdorf Holding AG

Hochdorf is a 115 mn CHF market cap Dairy company that has a surprisingly exciting chart for such a boring business:

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All Swiss Shares Part 11 – Nr. 101-110

Again 10 randomly selected Swiss stocks with 2 watch candidates. As I am still on holidays, please do not expect quick reactions from me on any comments.

101. Bank Cantonale Vaudoise

BC Vaudoise is with around 7 bn CHF market cap one of the bigger regional banks. As the other regional banks, business is stagnating since a couple of years, however with an ROE of 9-10% they achive one of the highest ROE’s in the industry.

However I am not interested in the shares of such a bank, therefore I’ll “pass”.

102. Stadler Rail AG

Stadler Rail is a 4 bn market cap company that manufactures “rolling stock” railcars and went public in 2019. Currently the stock price is pretty much where the stock started:

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All Swiss Shares part 10 – Nr. 91-100

Another 10 randomly selected Swiss stocks, this time with 3 candidates to potentially “watch”. As this is part of my pre-scheduled “Gone swimming” break, please do not expect quick reactions on any comment from my side.

91. Bellevue Group

Bellevue is a 570 mn CHF market cap asset manager that in contrast to many other listed asset managers seems to be doing quite good over the past few years, with the stock doubling since the beginning of 2020 after trading sideways for years:

Bellevue

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“Gone Siwmming” & Short comment: “Feeling (too) smug”

First things first:

I wish all my readers a nice summer break. For the rest of August, posting will be very light, I have lined up further posts of my “all Swiss Shares” series but that will be it…..

 

Beach

Short comment: “Feeling (too) smug”

I just completed my monthly performance review and I couldn’t help myself to think: “Wow, you have been really smart lately”. Out of the last 17 months, 16 months have shown a positive performance and the Portfolio is up more than +50% vs year end 2019. 

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All Swiss Shares Part 9 – Nr. 81-90

Another week, another 10 randomly selected Swiss stocks. This time, 2 stocks might be worth watching.

One quick comment on why I continue to go through all Swiss stocks despite many of the good ones being very expensive: First, I like to finish projects that I started. Second, I think there is always a lot to learn to look at any company, even if it is expensive. And third, there might be a time when stocks become cheaper again and then having a list of great companies might be very practical.

81. SoftwareOne AG

SoftwareOne is a 3,6 bn CHF market cap company that was IPOed in October 2019 at a share price of 18 CHF. Since then, the share price has made little progress at currently 22,50 CHF, considering the run in other software related stocks.

SoftwareOne seems to allow companies to manage their various software applications via some sort of cloud environment. The majority of revenues seems to come direct or indirectly via Microsoft products, their main business seems to be reselling Microsoft licenses which is actually a pretty crowded market.

KKR seems to have been involved only for 4 years or so.

Looking at the P&L reveals that their margins are not very Software like, but rather look like a wholesale business: 7,9 bn CHF in sales only result in ~190 mn EBITDA.

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Some Links

A good reminder that the “cash on the sidelines” argument is nonsense

9 very good questions that every investor should ask himself after the recent bull run

Great Profile of iconic VC firm Bessemer Venture Partners

AI company DeepMind has found out how to model the folding of Proteins. This could be big. More here.

David Einhorn’s  Q2 letter. As always, good comments but awful performance.

Nice write up on DNA sequencing pioneer Illumina

For finance nerds: Special report on Credit Suisse’s 5,5 bn Archegos loss (and I learned a new word: lackadaisical)

 

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