I'm a financial auditor that holds a BA in accounting and a MBA. I'm interested in where value can be realized. This could be a small or large cap company selling at favorable EV/EBIT or a special situation/event driven investments. Warren Buffet once said, "You have to turn over a lot of rocks to find those little anomalies" and I hope to do this.
Former buyside analyst now running my own fund for accredited investors. Things to know:
1) I research a lot of companies, but invest in very few. My goal on SA is to provide analysis, particularly of small and underfollowed companies, that readers can use as a starting point for their own research. When you read my articles, please understand that I try to present a high-level look. It's up to the reader to determine if it's the sort of situation that is worth monitoring. Note that I usually try to err on the side of conservatism, so just because I'm not enthused by a particular investment candidate doesn't mean you shouldn't be.
2) I appreciate comments whether you agree with me or not - especially in cases where I might be wrong, I'd like to know why! If you happen to be a particular expert on a topic and are interested in discussing it further, please shoot me a direct message. I would love to chat. Or if, you know, you're just a lonely value investor who wants a friend. Jokes aside, I've made lots of great friends through SA and am always open to talking.
3) If you enjoy reading my work, in no particular order, you might also enjoy reading fellow SA authors Vince Martin, Stephen Simpson, Brendan Rose, Brian Grosso, Bumbershoot Holdings, Adib Motiwala, Jeremy Raper, Investing 501, and Ted Barac. Most of them have professional investment expertise and the ones who don't are equally insightful. Like Amazon recommendations, not all of these will be perfect, but if you're new to SA, it's as good a place as any to start!
All the usual disclaimers apply... articles are provided for entertainment purposes only, interpret everything as opinion rather than fact, do your own due diligence, this is not an offer to sell securities, forward looking statements are not made using a crystal ball, etc. Most importantly, I will reiterate that everything I write is an opinion; analyzing stocks is inherently subjective and two reasonable people can come to different conclusions.
Andrew Shapiro is Founder, President and Portfolio Manager of Lawndale Capital Management, an investment advisor that has managed activist hedge funds focused on small- and micro-cap companies for over 23 years, one of the longest periods of experience deploying an activist/relational investment strategy today. Mr. Shapiro’s proactive ownership approach has been effective in directly creating and unlocking shareholder value in Lawndale’s portfolio companies and has contributed to Lawndale’s activist funds often being ranked among the top event-driven and small-cap value funds in peer databases for long-term performance. In addition to leading Lawndale, Mr. Shapiro has also served as a Director or Observer on portfolio company boards and debt and equity bankruptcy committees. Mr. Shapiro is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and, via Lawndale, has been a long-time Sustaining Member of the Council of Institutional Investors (CII).
Mr. Shapiro has more than two decades of portfolio management and analytically varied experience from a number of "buy-side" positions, employing a rare combination of credit, legal and equity analytic and workout skills. Prior to founding the Lawndale organization in 1992, Mr. Shapiro managed the workout and restructuring of large portfolios of high-yield bonds, distressed equities and risk arbitrage securities for the Belzberg family's entity, First City Capital. Before joining First City, Mr. Shapiro was involved in numerous highly leveraged corporate acquisition and recapitalization transactions for both Manufacturers Hanover Trust and the Spectrum Group, a private equity firm.
Mr. Shapiro received his JD degree from the UCLA School of Law where he was an Olin Fellow, an MBA from UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management where he was a Venture Capital Fellow and a BS in Business Administration from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, where he has taught finance courses and frequently guest lectures.
Mr. Shapiro was recently selected to the 2012 NACD Directorship 100, a list of the most influential leaders in the boardroom and corporate governance community. He is often quoted on matters of corporate governance, fiduciary duty and activist investing and has been the subject of several articles, including a Business Week article in 2000 calling him “The Gary Cooper of Governance”. Mr. Shapiro frequent speaks and panels on corporate governance and activist investing issues at a broad range of prestigious forums that include the Council of Institutional Investors, National Association of Corporate Directors, American Society of Corporate Secretaries, SEC Advisory Committee on Small Public Companies, and the Director’s education programs of Stanford Law School, UCLA Anderson Grad. School of Mgmt., the Wisconsin Business School and Yale’s Millstein Center for Corporate Governance, among others. Mr. Shapiro is a Contributing Author at Seeking Alpha.
Mr. Shapiro started Lawndale’s funds in 1993 with only $188,000 under management and through performance and added capital has grown the firm’s managed assets substantially. Lawndale applies a private equity approach through active and relational ownership of public company securities. In most investments, Lawndale plays a constructive relational role by actively working with boards and management teams to help them achieve their strategic and operating goals. In other instances, Lawndale is a direct value-unlocking catalyst, utilizing a range of tools that include aggressively promoting improvements in a company's governance and operational structures, proxy actions, asserting shareowner’s legal rights and taking active roles in restructuring and buyout proposal negotiations..
Stock investors are always asking what is the catalyst for value to be realized? I originally thought like this which lead me to take too much risk. I now focus on being patient, controlling risk, and minimizing permanent capital losses. These steps have lead to significantly better returns. Even when there is no clear catalyst, an undervalued stock is eventually its own catalyst.
I think the benefits of communicating on Seeking Alpha are enormous. Many times I have a strong financial view of a company but do not understand the specific industry or industry competitive dynamics. I can often interact and read insightful comments from engineers, scientists, and technology experts. These experts offer great free advice and I try to add value in my specific areas of expertise. One area that I have been specifically helped is the energy sector.
While some investors are very negative of people who short, I view shorting stocks and posting factual information as noble. The focus of course is on truthfulness and accuracy of this information. Anyone who is posting rumors, lies, or other unscrupulous behavior (long or short) to manipulate a stock should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
I graduated from the University of Arizona in 2002 with a BS in Finance. From 2002-2006 I worked in the Wealth Management Group at Bank of America. I left Bank of America to manage family/friend money in long/short equity strategies. I also helped start-up two internet retail businesses.
I don't post much on twitter but think it is another great resource. I can be followed at https://twitter.com/jrhUofA
I currently live in Phoenix, AZ. If you live in the area and are a serious investor, please send me a note as I would be happy to meet and exchange our best ideas.