"The correctness of a decision can't be judged from the outcome. Nevertheless, that's how people assess them. A good decision is one that's optimal at the time it's made, when the future is by definition unknown. (…) The fact that something's improbable doesn't mean it won't happen. And the fact that something happened doesn't mean it wasn't improbable. Every once in a while, someone makes a risky bet on an improbable or uncertain outcome and ends up looking like a genius. But we should recognize that it happened because of luck and boldness, not skill." - Howard Marks
Former buyside analyst now running my own fund for accredited investors. If you find my articles balanced and interesting, feel free to reach out - always up for a conversation. Things to know:
1) I research a lot of companies, but invest in very few. My goal on SA is to provide analysis, particularly of small and underfollowed companies, that readers can use as a starting point for their own research. When you read my articles, please understand that I try to present a high-level look. It's up to the reader to determine if it's the sort of situation that is worth monitoring. Note that I usually try to err on the side of conservatism, so just because I'm not enthused by a particular investment candidate doesn't mean you shouldn't be.
2) I appreciate comments whether you agree with me or not - especially in cases where I might be wrong, I'd like to know why! If you happen to be a particular expert on a topic and are interested in discussing it further, please shoot me a direct message. I would love to chat. Or if, you know, you're just a lonely value investor who wants a friend. Jokes aside, I've made lots of great friends through SA and am always open to talking.
3) If you enjoy reading my work, in no particular order, you might also enjoy reading fellow SA authors Vince Martin, Stephen Simpson, Brendan Rose, Brian Grosso, Bumbershoot Holdings, Adib Motiwala, Jeremy Raper, Investing 501, and Ted Barac. Most of them have professional investment expertise and the ones who don't are equally insightful. Like Amazon recommendations, not all of these will be perfect, but if you're new to SA, it's as good a place as any to start!
All the usual disclaimers apply... articles are provided for entertainment purposes only, interpret everything as opinion rather than fact, do your own due diligence, this is not an offer to sell securities, forward looking statements are not made using a crystal ball, etc. Most importantly, I will reiterate that everything I write is an opinion; analyzing stocks is inherently subjective and two reasonable people can come to different conclusions.
Stephen Simpson, CFA, is a freelance financial writer and investor.
PLEASE NOTE: As I means of honoring my late wife and grieving her loss, I do not intend to resume writing until mid-July.
I have worked for both sell-side and buy-side firms (equities and fixed income), with the largest percentage of my working time spent in med-tech. At this point I am now effectively in a "working retirement".
I write because I find that the process helps me take better notes, be more disciplined about modeling, and come up with a more coherent investment view for my portfolio management needs. If I'm writing about a stock, it's generally because I'm interested in it as an investment prospect or I think there's an interesting story to tell.
I don't share my models, so please don't ask.
More of my writings can be found at my blog Kratisto Investing (kratistoinvesting.blogspot.com), or Twitter (@Kratisto_Invest).
Robert L. FitzPatrick is an expert in examining and revealing deception and fraud in Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes and bogus home-based businesses. He is an internationally recognized authority in multi-level marketing schemes and pyramid sales fraud. Robert FitzPatrick is not an investor in multi-level marketing companies. He has never owned and never plans to own stocks of multi-level marketing companies. He does not offer investment advice and he is not an attorney.
He is co-author of False Profits, the first book to critically examine the recent rise in pyramid and Ponzi schemes in home-based businesses. He was featured on NBC Dateline, ABC World News, and he was interviewed by correspondent Mike Wallace on CBS 60 Minutes. He has been interviewed live on NBC Today show, Canada's CBC National News, Christian Broadcasting Network, and on several BBC radio news programs aired in the UK. He has been quoted in many newspapers around the world, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
In 2012, False Profits will be published in Mandarin by Nanjiing University Press. The booklet, Pyramid Nation by Robert FitzPatrick, has been translated to Chinese and used by government regulators in writing China's first laws on pyramid schemes. His essay, "The 10 Big Lies of Multi-Level Marketing", has been translated into four languages and posted on numerous websites. His White Paper, "The Main Street Bubble", which details the extensive influence-buying of the direct selling industry and in the failure of federal regulators to protect consumers from pyramid marketing fraud has been read by staff circulated among members of Congress.
In June 2005, Robert FitzPatrick was asked by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to address banking representatives from that country as well as India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal in Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo. The presentation was later published as part of a consumer education campaign against pyramid and Ponzi schemes.
Robert FitzPatrick was a featured speaker at the 2006 annual meeting in San Francisco of the Association of Certified Fraud Specialists. He has developed informational resources for consumers, journalists, academics and regulators including a multi-media PowerPoint presentation and a statistical analysis of the losses suffered by participants in pyramid selling schemes. He also published a widely read booklet on the landmark federal case brought against the Amway Corporation.
He is a expert network member of GLG Research, and Coleman Research Group, as well as other networks of experts who are referred to clients for consultation, speaking and report writing. In this capacity, he has provided expert consultation to financial many analysts who sought information about multi-level marketing companies and pyramid and Ponzi schemes.
Robert FitzPatrick co-founded and serves as president of Pyramid Scheme Alert, the first international organization to expose and prevent pyramid scheme fraud. He personally responds to hundreds of consumer and news media inquiries. He has served as consultant and expert witness for Attorney General or State Attorney offices in four states, the US Dept. of Justice, and in numerous cases involving distributor fraud and pyramid schemes.
Whitney Tilson is the founder and Managing Partner of Kase Capital Management, which manages three value-oriented hedge funds. Mr. Tilson is also the co-founder of Value Investor Insight, an investment newsletter.
Mr. Tilson has co-authored two books, The Art of Value Investing: How the World's Best Investors Beat the Market (2013) and More Mortgage Meltdown: 6 Ways to Profit in These Bad Times (2009), was one of the authors of Poor Charlie’s Almanack, the definitive book on Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger, and has written for Forbes, the Financial Times, Kiplinger’s, the Motley Fool and TheStreet.com. He was featured in two 60 Minutes segments in December 2008 about the housing crisis (which won an Emmy) and in March 2015 about Lumber Liquidators. He served for two years on the Board of Directors of Cutter & Buck, which designs and markets upscale sportswear, until the company was sold in early 2007.
Mr. Tilson received an MBA with High Distinction from the Harvard Business School, where he was elected a Baker Scholar (top 5% of class), and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, with a bachelor’s degree in Government.
Mr. Tilson spent much of his childhood in Tanzania and Nicaragua (his parents are both educators, were among the first couples to meet and marry in the Peace Corps, and have retired in Kenya). Consequently, Mr. Tilson is involved with a number of charities focused on education reform and Africa. For his philanthropic work, he received the 2008 John C. Whitehead Social Enterprise Award from the Harvard Business School Club of Greater New York. He is a member and past Chairman of the Manhattan chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization. Mr. Tilson lives in Manhattan with his wife and three teenage daughters.
Ashraf Eassa is a technology specialist with The Motley Fool. He writes mostly about technology stocks, but is especially interested in anything related to chips -- the semiconductor kind, that is.
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