I will be in Colorado for the week starting Saturday.  While I imagine most will be busy with family, feel free to drop me a line if you are around (or at the Broncos game)!

The Stock Idea Farm

If my friend Wes keeps it up he will soon be publishing more than Harry Kat (whose titles, including some Spice Girls themed, are the academic versions of Altucher’s blog posts).  He just put out another paper on whether buy side ideas from SumZero have any value ( Do Buy-Recommendations Have Investment Value?).  This follows up an earlier paper on the value of picks (Do Fund Managers Identify and Share Profitable Ideas?) from Greenblatt’s Value Investing Club site.  Short answer is they both do.

Some good resources places to look to expand your stock screening ideas and building out your stock idea farm.


AFG Research (Summer)

Ira Sohn (Summer)

Value Investing Congress (Spring Omaha/LA, Fall NYC)


Blogs and Newsletters:

Hedge Fund Letters

Market Folly


James Altucher

CXO Advisory


Zero Hedge

ValueInvestor and SuperInvestor Insight

Books and Further Readings


Reading Lists





FX and Value Strategies

We’re finishing up a fun little paper internally on currencies and just saw this  paper from the folks at BIS this weekend (via Alea):  FX Strategies in Periods of Distress.  We’ve mentioned before one of the reasons for the negative carry skew is the valuation of the basket at times…

Also there is a new paper out from our buddies Wes and Jack at Turnkey Analyst on which valuation metric performs the best historically?


A Few Site Updates

1.  Since I assume most of you are not on Twitter, I’ve added a Twitter box on the right side of the page that will post my (re)tweets.  Often I’ll link to good reads that never make it onto the blog so now you can find them here.  If you’re on Twitter you can find me @MebFaber.

2.  I created Hedge Fund Letters to serve as a rescource for information on hedge funds.  I never had time to work on the site so it always just sat there.  After a few unsuccessfull attempts at outsourcing running the site, I have found a few great writers that are working on it now.  They will be cleaning up some of the old/poor profiles as well as adding content to about 50 new ones in the next month or two.  (For example, they recently finished the Hayman, Eclectica, and Bridgewater profiles.)

If you have any more ideas here or want to get involved please let me know.

3.  I plan on doing a (recorded) webinar for a number of new research pieces we plan on putting out soon.  I feel like so much context is lost with just the printed word.  If anyone has suggestions on what is best software/website for putting on a webinar that can be recorded for archived playback please let me know.

Recs so far:

Webex (up to 3000, but have heard it gets blocked by firewalls.  $49/month up to 25 people.  Unknown cost after that since you have to talk on phone with sales specialist.)

GoToWebinar ($99/month up to 100 attendees, $499/month up to 1000 attendees)

No webinar, but recording by Camtasia ($300 one time).  Leaning towards this but would not allow for Q&A.

MeetingBurner (in Beta, < 50 attendees)



Can record a webinar of a PowerPoint, then allow playback on demand.

Can open the webinar up to questions from participants.

Cannot be blocked by firewalls, etc.

Unlimited attendees (within reason)

Who Isn’t Getting Coal in Their Stockings?

QVT Financial, Carl Icahn, Rentech, Scout, and Ruane, Cunniff, and Goldfarb are all up over 15% YTD (top 10 holdings, long only via AlphaClone).

Active Management

I think this is a really big deal.  The average active mutual fund has a 0.3% to 2.0% per year tax disadvantage to an ETF (passive or active).

Was waiting for someone to put out a study like this – Managing Tax Challenges (granted it is by iShares so they are blowing their own horn).  Further reading from my buddy Peter Mladina  “Portfolio Implications of Triple Net Returns”.

“In 2007, open-end mutual funds paid the largest capital gain distributions on record.  That year, 67% of mutual funds paid capital gains while only 3% of iShares ETFs paid capital gains.  In 2009 and 2010, 16% and 25% of mutual funds paid capital gains, respectively; only 2% of iShares ETFs paid capital gains in both years.”

Gotta Hand it to Them

Morningstar does produce some beautiful publications:

Deja Vu All Over Again

The Real World is Not Normal






After my post the other day on Real Returns, my father thought he would send me a real time example.  So, I opened a letter the yesterday with a check inside.  The check was written by my great grandfather in the 1910s for $0.50.  He was a farmer that immigrated from Les Martigny-Baines, Voges France and ended up in Nebraska.  That $0.5 is about $13 today…

Look at that penmanship!


You Are Not Anonymous

My blog is too boring/academic to get many hecklers (though I still get a few).  And almost always, the hecklers are anonymous (or at least try to be).  You have to have a thick skin to be a writer, and I can’t imagine the inbox of some of my fellow writers like Altucher.

I once used to grab some meals with a fellow professional money manager (AUM > $100mln) when I would visit his city.  At the same time over the course of a few years I would also get consistently harassed by an anonymous commenter on a consistent basis.  It only took about five minutes to figure out who it was, and shockingly, it was the same manager.  (FYI people, you are never, ever, anonymous.)

Also just read a (published) paper that plagiarized, word for word, a lot of my work.  I guess at some point you just take it as a compliment and move on…so, with that, to cheer myself up I read this missive that this is the best time in history to be alive, and, a fun Xmas picture from The Big Picture


Taxes and Inequality

Here is a PPT on inequality from Prof. Hendricks, as well as a table of tax rates from “How Tax Efficient are Equity Styles?” by Israel and Moskowitz.

Click to enlarge:


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