Private full time investor since 1994, graduated in medicine, with interests in art and philosophy coming from Italy and living in Hungary, dealer in old masters painting until 1996. Overcame 2 big market crashes in 2002 and 2008. The strategy is to divide the assets in 2 categories: the first one invested in long term holdings and and the second for short term investments and trading.
I am a value conscious investor looking for bargains.
1) Price is what you pay, value is what you get
2) Success in investing is limiting losses when you're wrong, and maximizing gains when you're right
3) Start with business model. Margins reflect value add a company's products bring to the market place. Does the Gross Margin and the Product match? High GMs accompany differentiated products with limited competition that do not compete on price. Low GMs accompany undifferentiated products that compete on price, CAPEX spend, cyclicality.
4) How is the business financed? Be wary of companies with a lot of debt. Great businesses do not require huge debt to generate high returns on equity. There is no achievement in generating high ROEs by levering up like banks, leasing businesses (car rental, equipment rental, aircraft rental). ROA should be telling here.
4) A company's value changes because the NPV of future profits changes. NPV of future profits is a function of changes in revenues, gross margins, OPEX, leverage, taxation. A company's value appreciates when the NPV of profits goes up due to revenue growth, GM expansion, OPEX reduction, leverage (refinancing) / tax (change of domicile) reduction.
5) Markets look forward. Bottoms coincide with maximum pessimism while tops coincide with maximum euphoria.
6) A stock is not undervalued because it is cheap and it is not overvalued because it is expensive (based on traditional valuation metrics). Similarly, a stock is not undervalued because it has gone down a lot or overvalued because it has gone up a lot.
7) Look at market cap when valuing companies. Don't be overly influenced by management projections, analyst reports, share buybacks, cash on B/S, price movements, other people in the stock.
8) Companies with significant debt can go bankrupt. Cash burn typically determines if they go bankrupt before the cycle (for their industry or the economy) turns.
9) Undervalued stocks can get cheaper, overvalued stocks can get more expensive.
10) Keep emotion out of investing. You will be wrong. Unpredictable things will happen. Stay vigilant to anger, anxiety, exuberance. Stay vigilant to thesis creep.
11) Leverage will kill you sooner or later. Companies have large operating and financial leverage.
12) Have a thesis. If the thesis plays out, stay with it. If it doesn't exit. Always have a thesis.
13) Understand the business you are invested in. It's valuation and what can go wrong. Know the business inside out.
13) Don't trade.
14) Diversify. There are many good ideas in the market. Don't put your eggs in one basket.
15) Failing businesses rarely turnaround.
I am a musician/guitar player in a band called The Harmonic Cosmonauts. I've been drawn to the markets since the collapse of 2008. I'm a newbie investor/trader, seeking to understand the markets. I believe in a combination of top down and bottom up, macro, micro, fundamental, and technical analysis. It all depends on the time frame, and the goals of the trade or investment.
Former Chicago Mercantile Instructor and staff member of Chicago Board of Trade.Author of five books on Trading. Currently, trade for myself and offer computer trading and Spread trading courses in Chicago. Featured in Wall Street Journal. A strong Advocate of Spread and Pairs trading.
New book on Amazon.com
Predicted Dow would go to 19,100.
We went past that, but will return to 8815 on the Dow.
I am a Portuguese independent trader, analyst and algorithmic trading expert, having worked for both sell side (brokerage) and buy side (fund management) institutions.
I've been trading professionally for about 20 years and also launched www.thinkfn.com in 2004. Thinkfn (Think Finance) carries thousands of educational articles on finance and the markets.
I trade futures, stocks from the long and short side, forex and options. I trade both discretionary and fully automated systems (Metatrader, Quantshare and others).
I can be reached at paulo.santosATthinkfn.com or followed on Twitter at twitter.com/ThinkFinance999