Category Archives: Uncategorized

Some links

Some really good advice on how and for what to use Twitter

Morgan Housel with a big post on 17 “common mental models

Value Situations with a write up on Spin-off Wickes Group Plc

Interesting Twitter thread on how much wheat could actually be missing from world markets due to the Ukraine War (Spoiler: very little). From the same author some facts on fertilizer as well.

Despite the “tech crash”, private Ultra Fast delivery start-up Getir is able to raise money at a record valuation

Some thoughts on what might have triggered Buffett’s interest in Alleghany

The low beta premium seems to be mostly an illiquidity premium

Panic Journal – Russia / Ukraine edition Part 1

Roughly two years after the beginning of the Pandemic, a lot of people thought that we would now get slowly back to our “normal lives” and chill out. Until Mr. Putin decided that he needs to protect himself by invading Ukraine.

As in the original Panic Journal series, these posts are more “self therapy” than anything else, so please excuse me any irrelevant ramblings.

Maybe one upfront remark: I am an investor, not a political expert. So I don’t know what will happen and speculating about it will not add any value. However one thing is clear: War is always a catastrophe, not justified by anything and in the end, everyone is a loser (or dead). Everyone will pay a price, someway or another.

For good measure, I will add some general remarks about Putin and Ukraine at the end.

Russian stocks: No, no and again no

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Some links

An interesting deep dive into the upcoming “no revenue” IPO Rivian

Great insights how the guy behind “stock spin-off investing” achieved more then 100K in annual revenue from his newsletter

Is this the real reason why Eon Musk wants to sell Tesla shares ?

A great (German Language) post from Verus on long term stock ownership (Hypoport, Pandora, SNP)

Good long read on famous investor Bill Miller

The recent blunder at Zillow shows that AI can do many things but not trading houses (yet)

Hayden Capital’s massive write-up on Coinbase

All Swiss Shares Part 15 – Nr. 141-150

Moving forward with another 10 almost randomly selected Swiss stocks. This time, only one stock looked interesting but in that case so interesting that I initiated a 1% starter position.


ASMALLWORLD is a 36.4 mn CHF market cap company that was IPOed in 2018 at 9,75 CHF per share, climbed to over 20 CHF and then dropped big time even pre Covid. According to their web site their are some sort of travel community, whatever that means. Life is too short and there is a big world full of more interesting stocks. “Pass”.

142. Schaffner AG

Schaffner is a 176 mn CHF small cap that seems to be active as a specialist automobile supplier and produces components for electrical systems. A third division active in “Power Magnetics” was just sold to Swedish AQ Group, a company that I covered several years ago.

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Some links

Why Theranos was “special” among startups (or maybe not ?)

An interesting review of Michael Milken’s career as the “Junk Bond King”

Some insights into Salesforce’s unique “borderline” culture

Good article on the new Covid “wonder drug” Molnupiravir from Merck 

ValueX Vail conference presentations 

The Music business seems to be back (IPO Universal Music)

Net Interest (Marc Rubinsteins) with a look back to the 2006 ICBC IPO and the Chinese Financial system


Some Links

Prof. Damodaran looks at Zomato, the Indian Food Delivery market leader

An interesting analysis on (abnormal) returns of SPACs

A good reminder how bad behavior can prevent success in investing

The story of (soon to be public) Chobani Greek Yoghurt

Form Energy (backed by Bezos and Gates) has developed a new (and cheap) powerful Iron based battery 

Nice pitch for European Stocks in general

Fred Wilson on how the VC process and landscape has changed since the start of the pandemic

Grenke AG – Update: All clear or the “same old song” Again ?

Disclosure: I have no exposure to Grenke nor do I plan to have no exposure for the foreseeable future.

Grenke is a company I have written about quite often in this blog. My only investment had been the purchase of Grenke Bonds after the “Short Attack” in September 2020. I divested them relatively soon after the first rebound with a decent profit.

Since then a couple of things happened: The COO suddenly resigned on Feb. 8th, with an understandable explanation given only one day later. The story that was also communicated via some back channels was, that everything was fine and the main issue was that the German regulator BAFIN is over eager after the Wirecard Fiasco and there is no reason to worry. Another story is that Grenke is still an “innocent” inexperienced company and therefore communication is not so professional but the company as such is a great company with a great future.

Personally, I always had issues with Grenke. Yes the numbers always looked great, but I found the reporting very intransparent, for instance their “Free Cash Flow” definition which included debt issuance which at least in my “old school” thinking is not even close to free cash flow.

Last week now, Grenke came out with an update which at first sounded like what we in Germany would say is a “Persilschein” or a proof that everything is great. It starts as follows:

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Performance review 9m 2020 – Comment “Covid 19 Portfolio Lottery & the allure of speculation”

In the first 9 months of 2020, the Value & Opportunity portfolio gained  +3,7% (including dividends, no taxes) against a loss of -6.9% for the Benchmark (Eurostoxx50 (25%), Eurostoxx small 200 (25%), DAX (30%), MDAX (20%), all TR indices).

Since inception (01.01.2011), this translates into +201 % vs. 98%  for the Benchmark.

Links to previous Performance reviews can be found on the Performance Page of the blog. Some other funds that I follow have performed as follows in the first 9M 2020:

Partners Fund TGV: +6,3%
Profitlich/Schmidlin: -4,1%
Squad European Convictions +5,99%
Ennismore European Smaller Cos -19,82% (in EUR)
Frankfurter Aktienfonds für Stiftungen -6,1%
Evermore Global Value  18.37%(USD)
Greiff Special Situation -3.69%
Squad Aguja Special Situation 12.45%
Paladin One 15.94%

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Grenke fOllow up: Recap & Fundamentals (and why Grenke is actually a stealth insurance broker)

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Please do your own research and never believe anything from  anonymous bloggers !!!!

A first a quick quick recap on what happened since the last post.

Friday’s written statement from Grenke pre press/analyst was actually pretty lame. I think they made clear that the money laundering and Ponzi issue were indeed minor issues but they didn’t shed any more light on the whole CTP issue.

Unfortunately I missed the press/analyst call. From what I have heard there was nothing new.

A quite surprising statement from Grenke on Monday was more substantial. All past M&A transaction with Franchises will be checked by an independent auditor, Grenke AG will have the option to buy the existing non-consolidated franchises and Wolfgan Grenke will (temporarily) step down from the Supervisory Board. It is also mentioned, that in the future, Grenke AG will fund new franchises.

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