Bill Lipschutz: Dealing With Mistakes

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June 10, 2013

The following excerpts are derived from Jack Schwager’s interview with Bill Lipschutz in The New Market Wizards. Lipschutz helped build and ran Salomon’s currency desk for many years – here is a 2006 EuroMoney Article with additional background on Bill Lipschutz. There are number of worthwhile portfolio management tidbits here, mainly the relationship between making mistakes, […]

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More Than You Know: Chapter 1

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June 1, 2013

Below are numerous psychological gems extracted from Chapter 1 of More Than You Know by Michael Mauboussin. Also be sure to check out his thoughts on Process Over Outcome. Psychology, Sizing “The behavioral issue of overconfidence comes into play here. Research suggests that people are too confident in their own abilities and predictions. As a […]

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Baupost Letters: 1998

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May 25, 2013

Continuation in our series on portfolio management and Seth Klarman, with ideas extracted from old Baupost Group letters. Our Readers know that we generally provide excerpts along with commentary for each topic. However, at the request of Baupost, we will not be providing any excerpts, only our interpretive summaries, for this series. Hedging, Opportunity Cost, […]

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Consequences of Contrarian Actions

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May 9, 2013

Below are excerpts from a speech Bob Rodriguez of First Pacific Advisors gave in May 2009. Quite a few interesting lessons derived from his previous trials and tribulations in dealing with clients and redemptions during periods of contrarian actions and underperformance. Psychology “I believe I have found success because I have been deeply aware of […]

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Mauboussin on Position Sizing

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May 1, 2013

Below are excerpts from an article written by Michael Mauboussin in 2006 on the importance of position sizing (Size Matters). For fans of the Kelly formula, this is a must-read. Mauboussin highlights a few very important flaws of the Kelly formula when applied to our imperfect, non-normally distributed world of investing. Sizing, Diversification “To suppose […]

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Monkeys & Team Management

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April 26, 2013

The following video perfectly explains why (the perception of) fairness matters, and the degree to which fairness is built into our DNAs. Given the reaction of the monkey (compensated unfairly for task performed), this concept is pretty relevant to team management.    

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Mind of an Achiever

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April 20, 2013

In the competitive world of investing, each of us should constantly be seeking out competitive advantages. Personally, I believe that a certain degree of competitive advantage can be found in the cross-pollination of different schools of investment thought. Many in the value school often deride trading strategies, but they cannot deny the existence of those […]

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Montier & Mauboussin: Process Over Outcome

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April 16, 2013

James Montier’s Value Investing: Tools and Techniques for Intelligent Investment is a book I often recommend to others – Montier does a wonderful job of pulling together a range of topics related value investing. Below are excerpts from Chapter 16 titled “Process not Outcomes: Gambling, Sport and Investment.” Montier derived much of the content below […]

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Wisdom from Whitebox’s Andy Redleaf

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April 12, 2013

Ever experience those humbling moments when you read something and think: “Wow, this person is way smarter than me” – happens to me every single day, most recently while reading a Feb 2013 Whitebox client letter during which Andy Redleaf & Jonathan Wood devoted a refreshing amount of text to the discussion of portfolio management […]

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Howard Marks’ Book: Chapter 13

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April 9, 2013

Continuation of portfolio management highlights from Howard Marks’ book, The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor, Chapter 13 “The Most Important Thing Is…Patient Opportunism” Selectivity, Patience, Cash “…I want to…point out that there aren’t always great things to do, and sometimes we maximize our contribution by being discerning and relatively inactive. Patient opportunism […]

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The Importance of Knowing Thyself

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March 23, 2013

Readers know that I’m a fan of Mariko Gordon of Daruma Capital. Below is an excerpt from her recent March 2013 Letter. Although she is referring specifically to equities, I think her comments are applicable to all portfolio assets. Lao Tzu wrote that “He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” This […]

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Buffett Partnership Letters: 1968 & 1969

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March 20, 2013

During 1969, the Partnership transitioned into Berkshire Hathaway. Therefore this concludes our series on portfolio management and the Buffett Partnership Letters. Please see our previous articles in this series. Control, Hurdle Rate, Compounding, When To Sell “…controlled companies (which represent slightly over one-third of net assets at the beginning of the year)…we cannot make the same sort […]

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Treatise on Equity Risk Premium

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March 17, 2013

Howard Marks recently wrote a letter focusing almost exclusively on equities (March 2013 Letter). Within the letter, he thoroughly explores the equity risk premium – a concept usually taken for granted or as a given figure – in such a thoughtful and intuitive way, that the usually esoteric concept becomes nearly graspable by people (like […]

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Howard Marks’ Book: Chapter 12

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March 13, 2013

Continuation of portfolio management highlights from Howard Marks’ book, The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor, Chapter 12 “The Most Important Thing Is…Finding Bargains” Definition of Investing, Portfolio Management, Position Review, Intrinsic Value, Opportunity Cost “…‘investment is the discipline of relative selection.’” Quoting Sidney Cottle, a former editor of Graham and Dodd’s Security […]

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Wisdom from Peter Lynch

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March 10, 2013

Previously, we summarized an interview with Michael F. Price & an interview with David E. Shaw from Peter J. Tanous’ book Investment Gurus. Below are highlight from yet another fantastic interview, this time with Peter Lynch, the legendary investor who ran Fidelity’s Magellan Fund from 1977-1990, compounding at ~30% annually during that period. When To Buy, Volatility, Catalyst […]

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Observations on Correlation

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March 8, 2013

I recently found an old letter sitting at the bottom of an unread pile of papers. A friend had passed it along with a note commenting “pretty cool…quant/technical work that makes intuitive sense.” Feeling guilty for having forgotten about this for so long, I read through the old letter, and thought the following observation on […]

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Ruane Cunniff Goldfarb 2012 Annual Letter

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March 6, 2013

Portfolio management highlights extracted from Ruane Cunniff Goldfarb’s Sequoia Fund 2012 Annual Letter. These letters always make for pleasant reading, with candid and insightful commentary on portfolio positions and overall market conditions. Risk Free Rate, Discount Rate “Valuations for stocks are heavily influenced by interest rates, and particularly by the risk-free rate of return on […]

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Buffett Partnership Letters: 1967 Part 2

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March 2, 2013

Continuation of our series on portfolio management and the Buffett Partnership Letters, please see our previous articles for more details. For any business, tapping the right client base and keeping those clients happy is crucial. To do so, Buffett believed in the establishment of mutually agreed upon objectives, and keeping his clients abreast of any changes in […]

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Howard Marks’ Book: Chapter 11

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February 28, 2013

Continuation of portfolio management highlights from Howard Marks’ book, The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor, Chapter 11 “The Most Important Thing Is…Contrarianism” Trackrecord, Clients, Mistakes, Redemptions, Patience “‘Once-in-a-lifetime’ market extremes seem to occur once every decade or so – not often enough for an investor to build a career around capitalizing on […]

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Low Net Exposure Won’t Save You

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February 25, 2013

I’ve been noticing quite a few 2009-vintage long/short equity hedge funds (the 137% gross, 42% net exposure variety) with steadily expanding capital bases, via both portfolio compounding and capital inflows. The latter is understandable given the spectacular return trackrecords of these funds. Yet, ever the skeptic anytime I observe capital chasing performance, I’d like to […]

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