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Value investing gold: Burry's 2000/2001 journal

  • What George Soros' The Alchemy of Finance was to global macro investors, Michael Burry's journal of trades in 2000/2001 may be to value fans. "My strategy isn't very complex. I try to buy shares of unpopular companies when they look like road kill, and sell them when they've been polished up a bit ... I care little about the level of the general market and put few restrictions on potential investments."
  • Plucked out of message-board obscurity and staked by Joel Greenblatt, Burry posted returns at his Scion Capital hedge fund of 8.2% in 2000 (partial year), 44.7% in 2001, and 13.1% in 2002, as the S&P lost 7.5%, 11.9%, and 22.1% during the same periods. When the S&P bounced 28.7% in 2003, Scion gained 50.7%.
  • This journal shows Burry willing to venture into just about any industry or situation as long as he sees value there. One place he definitely didn't spot value was in the previously-favored big cap tech names as their stock prices imploded. "Now that the bubble is pricked, tech stocks will face scrutiny they never faced before. It is a good time to start picking prices based on a solid understanding of the fundamentals ... greater bargains are sure to come."
  • Burry went on make an even bigger fortune for himself and his investors by shorting MBS from 2005 on (though his investors, including Greenblatt, never forgave him for straying from stockpicking).
  • Value ETFs: SPYV, IVE, RPV, VOOV, FTAIWD, VONV, UVG, SJFIWN, VTWV, UVT, SJHIWWMDYV, IJJ, RFV, IVOVSLYV, IJS, RZV, VIOV.
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