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Jacob L. Taylor  

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  • Are Japanese Businesses Worth More Dead Than Alive? [View article]
    Michael,

    I appreciate your thoughtful comments. I believe that in investing, just like life, you can't have everything: a great business, strong balance sheet, able management, bullish macro sentiment, cooperative government and cheap price. I think the key to success is understanding where you are compromising. With many of these Japanese stocks, multiple boxes are checked.
    Sep 27, 2011. 11:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Japanese Businesses Worth More Dead Than Alive? [View article]
    That's an interesting idea, kwm3. I'm not sure how expensive it would be to implement though. I must confess I'm not the strongest when it comes to options and I still consider it outside my circle of competence.
    Sep 27, 2011. 11:27 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Japanese Businesses Worth More Dead Than Alive? [View article]
    As far as other vehicles, how about this?

    http://seekingalpha.co...

    P/B of .78:
    http://bit.ly/qSnYbK
    Sep 26, 2011. 01:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Japanese Businesses Worth More Dead Than Alive? [View article]
    We're definitely take a long-term approach.

    I'll have to plead the 5th on the individual 30-- as Buffett says, a good investment idea is as valuable as a good business idea and we're still accumulating. :)

    I will say many ideas are pretty easily captured through some thoughtful screening. MSN is a high quality data source for financial statements and the below is a very useful screener for narrowing the list:
    https://screener.co/

    Happy hunting!
    Sep 26, 2011. 12:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Japanese Businesses Worth More Dead Than Alive? [View article]
    Definitely agree it's suboptimal, RM13. Too conservative or too aggressive sounds like a fragile state in the Nassim Taleb-sense of the word.
    Sep 26, 2011. 12:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Japanese Businesses Worth More Dead Than Alive? [View article]
    Wow, Max, that's high praise. Thank you!

    I wish you genuine luck on timing a potential turnaround. I don't have the confidence in my own abilities to be that agile, even at the risk of being too early.
    Sep 26, 2011. 12:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Japanese Businesses Worth More Dead Than Alive? [View article]
    Thanks, Mike. Cumbre Capital going to be "turning Japanese" at all? :)

    If Japan even gets back to an average level of sentiment in the world's eyes, the returns will be quite adequate for today's investors.
    Sep 26, 2011. 12:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Japanese Businesses Worth More Dead Than Alive? [View article]
    Hi BTM,

    Please see my comments above to Hester. I'd add that I know what you mean about catching a falling knife, but at these prices, the Japanese knife appears to already be on the ground in my mind. :)
    Sep 25, 2011. 11:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Japanese Businesses Worth More Dead Than Alive? [View article]
    Thank you, untrusting investor and TAS. I'm glad you both got some value out of it. We hope to follow up with another article in the not-too-distant future that's even better in my eyes.
    Sep 25, 2011. 11:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Japanese Businesses Worth More Dead Than Alive? [View article]
    Hester,

    What you're saying is true. The problem is, you don't get assets this cheap unless there's all that associated pessimism. Waiting for the all the kinks to be ironed out, it'll be tough to get in for these prices. The train will have pulled out of the station without you.

    At least you know the sentiments for Japan can't get much worse, which can't be said for many other markets out there. As the companies keep plugging along adding money to the balance sheet every year, eventually something has to give. It's like gravity: it can be resisted but not ignored indefinitely.
    Sep 25, 2011. 11:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Japanese Businesses Worth More Dead Than Alive? [View article]
    Our belief is that as the world continues to shrink and flatten out, there will be increasing pressure on management to respect shareholders' capital, even in Japan. The next generation of managers will be more conscious of the real owners. To paraphrase Max Planck, "Shareholders' rights advance one funeral (pinkslip?) at a time."
    Sep 25, 2011. 07:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Japanese Businesses Worth More Dead Than Alive? [View article]
    Thanks, king707.

    The language barrier preventing thorough qualitative analysis is a little tough to swallow for a deep value investor, but our strategy is to buy a basket and not over-concentrate on any one idea. By keeping our position sizing small, we're trying to be the casino, not the player.
    Sep 25, 2011. 07:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Japanese Businesses Worth More Dead Than Alive? [View article]
    Great observations, flash9, and thank you for the kind words. When exploring the deals to be found over there, we couldn't help but think of Buffett's 1974 quote from Forbes when they asked him how he was feeling: "Like an oversexed guy in a whorehouse. Now is the time to invest and get rich." We could barely sleep either the first few weeks. :)

    That is an interesting side note. We have an admitted bias toward strong balance sheets and abhor debt, but it makes sense that some of the higher-debt stocks would do well as they've been even farther discounted for failure-- the investing equivalent of nuclear waste. Those that survived probably had huge returns.
    Sep 25, 2011. 12:38 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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