Ron Sommer was a chief financial officer at an institution of higher education in New York City. He has 40 years of financial management experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Sommer has also been a private investor for more than 30 years. He uses a ruled-based quantitative model.
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David is CEO of New Constructs (www.newconstructs.com), an independent research firm that leverages proprietary technology to find key insights from the Financial Footnotes of 10Ks and 10Qs. Having analyzed over 70,000 annual reports and their Financial Footnotes, New Constructs helps protect clients from the red flags/unknowns in SEC filings.
David is a distinguished investment strategist and corporate finance expert. He is a member of FASB's Investors Advisory Committee, and he is author of the Chapter “Modern Tools for Valuation” in The Valuation Handbook (Wiley Finance 2010).
David's insights into the markets and his stock picks have been popular with a wide variety of media outlets.
Friedrich is the name given to our algorithm for analyzing companies that trade on the global stock markets. In creating Friedrich we concentrated on analyzing each company’s Main Street operations through various established ratios, along with our own unique ratios that we developed over the last 30 years. What we came up with is a final "Main Street" price per share based on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which is a framework of accounting standards, rules and procedures defined by the professional accounting industry, which has been adopted by nearly all publicly traded U.S. companies. We feel that our Main Street price result is what each company would need to trade at in order to be attractive to a businessperson on Main Street looking to buy at a bargain.
Since the only constant in the universe is change, the results for each company fluctuate by varying degrees. No company is an island unto itself, but each operates in a world of constant change and at times in areas where Chaos is the norm. By analyzing a company’s Main Street operations over time, Friedrich is able to give the potential investor a decade long analysis (opinion) as well as offering a Trailing Twelve Month (TTM) analysis (opinion), as well. Thus our readers will not only get as close to a real time view of operations on Main Street as is possible, but then can measure the consistency of the company’s operations over time to determine if s/he should invest or not.
Through our Friedrich algorithm we can analyze ten years of Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Cash Flow Statement data for each company all at once and generate one final result in seconds. Friedrich was designed to be ultra-conservative and thus will cut zero slack to any company under analysis and will do so with zero emotion. Companies must be exceptional in order to get an attractive Main Street valuation and the ideal investments according to our backtesting are the ones that have been consistent over time.
By being so ultra conservative Friedrich is designed to identify bargains that Wall Street investors may have overlooked. Companies shares may trade on the stock market but the companies themselves operate on Main Street, so Friedrich is designed to generate a Main Street price per share first and only then does he go to Wall Street and see the price for which Benjamin Graham’s “Mr. Market” is offering the shares.
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Kenneth S. Hackel C.F.A., Biography
Kenneth S. Hackel is founder and President of CT Capital LLC, an institutional investment advisory firm specializing in the analysis of corporate cash flow and cost of capital in investment decision making. Until 1996, he was President of Systematic Financial Management Inc., (SFM) a multi-billion dollar institutional investment firm he conceived and founded in 1982. At SFM, Kenneth successfully implemented his free cash flow-based investment philosophy in managing funds for institutional investors across multiple US equity investment disciplines.
Kenneth's upcoming book, "Security Valuation and Risk Analysis: Assessing Value in Investment Decision-Making", to be published by McGraw Hill later this November, significantly extends the theories and analysis presented in his earlier book, "Cash Flow and Security Analysis," 2nd edition (McGraw Hill, 1995). His new book provides extensive analysis and discussion of innovative methods for cost of capital and return on invested capital that are not dependent upon generally accepted accounting principles or market-derived measures of stock volatility. Instead, the models are based on cash flows and extensive credit analysis. To this end, half the book is devoted to the understanding of cash flow; half to cost of capital, as risk to cash flows are meticulously expounded upon. The analysis of risk represents, according to Mr. Hackel, the single most important under-explored factor in security analysis and the primary reason for investor disappointment of their investment returns.
He posits that using fundamental factors to calculate cost of equity capital (reflecting a company's operating and financial risk, capital structure, and miscellaneous intrinsic items) and return on invested capital based upon free cash flow generation (in lieu of traditional earnings or EBITDA-based measures) more accurately reflect the underlying financial profitability and stability of a firm, its growth potential and value enhancement level. Kenneth believes that while beta measures stock volatility, it is, at best, a very loose surrogate for financial health. Consequently, using a more robust discount rate (to model and discount free cash flows) to arrive at 'fair value' will provide a more accurate comparison to current valuation levels, thus leading to more accurate trading signals. He illustrates the use of a comprehensive cost of capital credit worksheet utilizing 50+ credit variables in place of the popular Capital Asset Pricing Model in divining an entity's true cost of equity, which results in superior investment performance with considerably lower risk.
Ken is the author of many articles on security valuation and analysis, and pioneered the use of adding a percentage of excess corporate expenditures to free cash flow. He is internationally recognized as a leading expert in valuation analysis, having also created the use of free cash flow in lieu of EBITDA in ROIC analysis. EBITDA, he explains, is a deficient metric, in many respects.
Ken is accepted to be the sole investment advisor in US equity mutual fund history to take over management of the worst performing mutual fund, and in a single year turn it into the best performing fund.
With over 35 years of investment experience, he has consulted on mergers and acquisitions, including fairness opinions. His work has been published in leading academic journals as well as leading financial news media, and is quoted worldwide. He is a graduate of City College of New York and earned his MBA (Finance) from Baruch College.
His blog may be read at www.credittrends.com and his twitter @credittrends.
David J. Winters, the managing member of Wintergreen Advisers, LLC, is primarily responsible for the management of the Fund's portfolio, and has responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Prior to forming Wintergreen Advisers in May 2005, Mr. Winters held various positions with Franklin Mutual Advisers, LLC, including, president, chief executive officer and chief investment officer. Mr. Winters led the Mutual Series group of global and domestic equity value funds and served as the chief investment officer of Franklin Mutual Advisers, LLC with assets under management in excess of $35 billion as of March 31, 2005. Mr. Winters also served as the portfolio manager of the Mutual Discovery Fund during the period beginning February 1, 2000 through May 10, 2005, and other client accounts managed in a similar investment style. Mr. Winters had been a member of the management team of the Mutual Series since 1987. He was named director of research in 2000, and was promoted to president and chief investment officer in 2001.