I am an "extreme value" investor, focusing mostly on micro and nanocap companies selling for a steep discount to price/book, price/sales, EV/EBITDA and other traditional measures of value. (Price-to-book is my favorite.) My emphasis is on low priced stocks, since the marketplace is very inefficient in valuing them. I am a dyed-in-the-wool contrarian, and like to invest in the most unloved and out of favor sectors of the market, and numerically screen for the best relative values in those out of favor sectors. I like to buy companies where the insiders are buying in the open market, to "confirm" the underlying value proposition. I like to buy stocks trading near a multiyear low, and average down aggressively if the stock moves against me (assuming the circumstances for my purchase haven't changed.) I also like special situations, including selective leveraged turnaround situations, that I can catch at their "inflection" point. I have achieved outsized annualized returns, over the last 25 years, with these strategies. I also take 5%+ positions in companies, and engage in selective shareholder activism, to hold accountable the insular and/or corrupt boards that are sadly all too common, especially in smaller, "family run" public companies.
A graduate of both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School, George Putnam, III first became involved with distressed securities as a lawyer in the late 1970s. Seeing the inefficient niche that bankruptcies and turnarounds were presented and researched, he founded New Generation Research, Inc. and began publishing The Turnaround Letter in 1986.
Since then he has frequently been quoted in Barron's, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today and other financial publications. In 1990, he was named investment advisor of the year by USA Today. In addition to his responsibilities at New Generation Research, Inc., Mr. Putnam also serves as a trustee for The Putnam Companies, a mutual fund group with over $100 billion in assets.
One of the first stocks Michael Goode looked to invest in when he first started investing in 2005 was a small company traded on the Pinksheets called US WindFarming. During his research, Michael found out that the CEO had previously been convicted of criminal stock fraud and had served time in jail for a scheme that purported to turn base metals into gold. Michael decided not to invest and six months later the SEC sued the company, alleging that all the press releases were fake and the company was a sham that existed for the sole purpose of selling shares to gullible investors in order to enrich the insiders.
Following that experience, Michael Goode became a bit of a cynic. While he called himself a value investor and even briefly ran a value investing newsletter, his true love was exposing fraud and failed businesses. At his blog GoodeValue.com, sometimes syndicated on SeekingAlpha.com, he blasted companies such as H2Diesel (later renamed New Generation Biofuels), Cytocore (later sued by the SEC), Remote MDX (later panned by Andrew Left of Citron Research and Carol Remond of Dow Jones Newswires), and Noble Roman’s Pizza (on which he was quoted in multiple articles in the Indianapolis Business Journal).
Michael Goode has continued to shine a light on stock promotions and the people behind them on his trading blog, GoodeTrades.com. He has blogged about lawsuits involving stock promoters (a couple more) and he has exposed the multiple websites used by certain stock promoters. He remains a full-time stock trader; you can see most of his trades on Profit.ly.
Michael Goode graduated from Earlham College in 2004 and obtained a Masters Degree in Cognitive Psychology in 2007, from Washington University in St. Louis. He is the managing member of MorningLightMountain LLC, the owner of GoodeTrades.com, OTCMicroCapResearch.com, and all other content he writes online. Michael Goode has never been charged with or convicted of any crime whatsoever.
Kerrisdale Capital is a private investment manager that focuses on value and special situations investments. We manage investment partnerships and separately managed accounts.
Jeffrey is a small time landlord and investor living in Lexington, KY; he recently graduated with a BA in general studies. As a die hard value investor, he finds micro and nano cap companies to be of great interest (and increasingly, the most undervalued). Check out his blog at www.ragnarisapirate.blogspot.com.
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..
Greenbackd is dedicated to unearthing undervalued asset situations where a catalyst exists likely to unlock the value. Greenbackd focuses on assets for three reasons:
1. Assets are simpler to value than earnings: Earnings are often difficult to forecast with any degree of accuracy and we can't value a security based on unknown future earnings. Assets, on the other hand, are known quantities at filing. This is not to say that the value of the assets recorded in the filing is the value we ascribe to them. We disregard intangible assets, heavily discount long-term and fixed assets, and apply a modest discount to current assets. We take only cash at face value. For these reasons, we prefer that each security is predominantly backed by cash, hence our name: Greenbackd. 2. Assets anticipate the downside, the liquidation value, first: This forces us to be conservative in our assessment of value.
3. Assets are a contrarian measure of value: To the extent that Wall Street makes any assessment of value, it is obsessed with earnings. It pays little attention to assets. This creates an opportunity where a valuation based on a company's earnings underestimates the company's asset value.
Our favorite stocks are those trading at a substantial discount to liquidation value with an activist investor pushing the company to undertake some corporate action (for example, return capital, pay a special dividend, buy back stock, sell a key asset or the entire company). Greenbackd is penned by a former securities lawyer now working in value-oriented activist funds management
Visit his website: Greenbackd (http://greenbackd.com/)
I am the President and Portfolio Manager at Motiwala Capital LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor in the state of Texas. I employ a value oriented investment philosophy. I look for quality companies that have strong balance sheets, produce stable free cashflow and generate above average returns on capital. We purchase at attractive discounts to their intrinsic value.
I started managing separate accounts in 2011. Currently managed $5.4million in assets. Please find presentations, interviews and client letters at www.motiwalacapital.com
Global Value Research Company (GVRC) provides investment research and analysis for the firm’s Investment Advisory divisions Milwaukee Private Wealth Management & Milwaukee Institutional Asset Management as well as Global Value Partners LLC. Investment research and analysis is only available to institutional investors as a service.
When evaluating investments, GVRC appraises each issue on a fundamental basis, analyzing income statements, balance sheets, and statement of cash-flows. This analysis allows for an appraisal of the company's worth as though the entire business were being purchased. When we make an investment, the primary consideration is whether a fractional share of the business can be purchased at a significant discount from our appraised value. This spread is our "margin of safety" which is a basic tenet of our investment principles.
Global Value Research Company is a division of Global Value Investment Corp.
Protecting and preserving capital over the long term is more important than growing capital. Particularly devoted to researching cheap stocks of high quality companies, GARP stocks, Magic Formula names, and stocks trading below intrinsic value. Participate long only without hedge when overall bull market is trading for a CAPE under 15 (Tobin's Q under .8X) or when blood is in the streets (not dip buyers), but strive to cut losers early when the facts change and refuse to marry long or short positions unless a "holding period of forever" makes sense. Hunches must be backed up by disciplined systems.
In fully valued markets, we prefer hedging via index options and light commodity trading/trend following. Not interested in participating in latest fad or bubble. Prefer to short the bubble, but only after evidence suggests the bubble has popped.
Prefer to hedge any long positions in frothy markets utilizing a balanced long short equity approach in fairly valued markets. In undervalued markets, we need confirmation from market conditions and valuations in order to invest 100% long (or more) using in the money call options for leverage. Covered calls, calendar spreads, and other options strategies for capturing theta decay.
Cut losers on short side by using ITM put options instead of stock, trend following strategies if trading commodities (for diversification). Fundamental analysis but also technical analysis. Mathematical, disciplined trading strategies. Strive first off to be right about the overall direction of the market (bull or bear). Hold lots of cash when people are being greedy.
Nothing we publish here is a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Please consult your financial advisor before buying or selling any security.
Founder of Old School Value (www.oldschoolvalue.com).
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Jonathan co-founded Booth-Laird Enterprises, LLC in 2007 and serves as the company’s chief executive officer. He is primarily responsible for structuring and overseeing the company’s vision of wealth creation via value-decision making, setting an appropriate culture, and overseeing the company’s investments.
Jonathan is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Certified Public Accountant. He was awarded the 2006 Elijah Watt Sells award for scoring one of the 10 highest scores in the nation on the 2006 CPA exam. He also passed all three levels of the CFA exam on his first attempt. In addition, he was awarded the 2008 “Top 40 Under Forty” award from the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, which is given annually to the forty men and women under the age of forty who have earned the most personal and professional achievements or made the most significant impact in the Greater Baton Rouge area.
He worked for three years as an auditor with Ernst & Young, LLP and KPMG, LLP, two of the four largest accounting firms in the world. At both firms, he was rated “exceptional performer” every year and was entrusted with responsibilities above his level within months of starting with each firm. He audited both public and private companies in a variety of industries, including acting as the lead audit senior on a Fortune 500 company. He was regularly assigned the most complex accounting issues and the most challenging audit areas. As a result of his experience, he has developed an astute understanding of risk management, team management, optimal business processes, effective corporate governance practices, and various industries and business models.
While at KPMG, he served as the only South Louisiana member on the KPMG Point-of-View group, an internal group of highly rated employees across the United States focused on strategic initiatives and determining best practices.
Subsequent to KPMG, he worked for a year in Governor Bobby Jindal’s administration as the Assistant Director of State Economic Competitiveness, a subgroup of the Department of Economic Development charged with helping to shape the State’s economic policy in addition to various other tasks. Among a number of other significant projects, he helped craft the department-wide business plan for Fiscal Year 2009-2010, which further developed his strategic planning capabilities. He also met with representatives of the business community to help resolve issues or to hear proposals, which gave him further insight into various industries and business models.
Jonathan earned a bachelor’s of science in accounting from Louisiana State University, graduating summa cum laude, and earned a master of science in accounting from Louisiana State University, graduating top of his class with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
The Rational Walk was created to provide a platform to publish equity research based on value investing principles. We believe that diligent and thorough security analysis has the potential to identify opportunities in the financial markets for the small number of investors who truly have long time horizons and the appropriate temperament to ignore short term market fluctuations. The Rational Walk’s extensive coverage of Berkshire Hathaway has been mentioned in several news articles.
Great ideas are the lifeblood of the investment business and the exclusive focus of The Manual of Ideas. Authored by investment and finance professionals who have grown up on the teachings of Ben Graham, Warren Buffett and Joel Greenblatt, and have studied under or worked with luminaries such as Yale Chief Investment Officer David Swensen and Economics Nobel Laureate James Tobin, MOI delivers timely, differentiated investment ideas. In a market flooded with data and opinion, we deliver clarity.
I am a private investor building a value focused portfolio. While I do not work directly in investing, I do have a financial background and hold the CFA designation.
The goal of Margin of Safety Investing is to share my investing journey as I review and analyze investing opportunities using a framework inspired from my readings of “value investors”, starting with Benjamin Graham but also Greenwald, Montier, Greenblatt, Lynch and others.
The first focus of Margin of Safety Investing is to build a long portfolio of 15 to 25 companies which I believe provide attractive return prospects and an appropriate margin of safety based on the analysis I will share. The goal is to find companies that “I would ...More feel comfortable owning even if the stock market was to close tomorrow for a few years” (Buffet). Later I hope to be able to complement this portfolio with a few opportunistic (spin-offs, net-nets) or even short ideas.
As I go through this journey I will share my reviews and analysis in the hope that you will find them worth reading and discussing.
Visit my blog: www.marginofsafetyinvesting.com
Saj Karsan founded an investment and research firm that is based on the principles of value investing. He has an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, has completed all three CFA exams, and has an engineering degree from McGill University. Visit his blog, Barel Karsan (http://barelkarsan.com/).