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  • Spotting Lies For Fun And Profit [View instapost]
    I think the stealing/lying is partly genetic. Here's a good article about that by Joshua Kennon:

    Personally I will say "white lies" to make peoples' feelings be pleasant, after much experience as a kid being absolutely devoted to accuracy and scientific truth and pissing everyone off. However, people usually detect the white lies because I have to think carefully and state each word slowly in an ambiguous way to make it be roughly consistent with objective reality.

    I would be terrible at poker. Actually on the topic of poker I would guess that there are small imperceptible motions of the face and eyes, that could be amplified by graphics techniques, to gain an edge. For example, I would guess peoples' eye motion is statistically different when they have a bad card than when they have a good card (and eye motions such as saccades are involuntary). Reminds me of the first wearable computer by Ed Thorp, which was for the purposes of gaining an edge in blackjack.
    Aug 17 05:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • King Digital - Could The Near Capitulation Of Investors Create Opportunities? [View article]
    The main game of Nonstop seems to be Heroes of Honor which has ~450 votes on the iOS app store (for all versions). It's a bit underwhelming compared to ~590,000 votes for Candy Crush. The ratio between these is 1300x. Whereas the ratio of King market cap to Nonstop market cap assuming $50 million total buy cost is only ~80x. One wonders how price sensitive King management is.
    Aug 13 06:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mallinckrodt's CEO Could Be Leading His Shareholders To The Slaughter [View article]
    Paulson lost "$107 million over the life of the [Sino-Forest] position."
    Aug 13 03:35 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • King Digital - Could The Near Capitulation Of Investors Create Opportunities? [View article]
    Luciom -- I think you're looking at this the right way. I guess the Candy Crush franchise will fall off with most earnings in the next 2 years but should not be discounted too much because of cross-selling options as you mentioned. A Candy Crush franchise value of $600M sounds conservative, perhaps overly so, because it's effectively at 1-2 PE for that business segment. (Any Chinese growth and cross-selling effects may not be priced in, for example).

    FWIW I recently saw people playing clones of Candy Crush on the Chinese metro. I take that as a positive, indicating interest in such casual games in China.

    The acquisition of Nonstop Games looks to be a potential capital allocation mistake with their games not being very popular currently, and not much comment from management on this. Shareholders have to handicap the chances of management doing expensive acquisitions / diworsification, and also increased cap ex (mentioned in the conference call) of hiring good workers in the future. With some of the titles peaking I think capital allocation becomes more important going forward.

    On the plus side King has 3.9 stars rating on Glassdoor, hopefully indicating a good company culture.

    I would guess low teens would be a reasonable valuation, but with a high uncertainty band in the valuation.
    Aug 13 03:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mallinckrodt's CEO Could Be Leading His Shareholders To The Slaughter [View article]
    John Paulson now owns 12% of MNK and keeps adding to his long position:
    Aug 12 03:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ebix's Valuation Says 'Guilty Until Proven Innocent' - Worst Case: 25% Upside [View article]
    Kiran -- any updates on the worst-case growth projections?
    Aug 11 04:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Xinyuan: A Cheap Housing Stock [View article]
    What I like about long XIN is China will grow to be the world's largest economy pretty soon. And its population is predicted to continue to grow at moderate rates. Housing prices are ridiculously high in China. I saw real estate vendors open late night in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities when I visited China this summer. Men need to buy houses to get married.

    The buy to rent ratios are currently bubble-ish in cities like Beijing (30 or 40 for 1 year rent costs). That's why the real estate sellers are so excited. So housing prices will likely revert downwards due to some minor corrections in real estate over time. But then the correction will run into the longer term mega demand in real estate which is backed by a conservative 5,000+ year culture that demands families own housing (and not rent). Further, capital controls mean most people put their wealth in housing.

    Point is, any declines in real estate are quite priced into XIN, and will bounce off the rock wall of (1) world's largest economy, (2) growing population, (3) capital controls, (4) demand for people to buy houses to get married.

    Disclosure: Long XIN.
    Aug 7 11:36 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Adobe May Trade At $133 Per Share By 2016 [View article]
    I'm a defensive value investor so I like paying only extreme bargain prices, and usually make false negative errors. Nice call so far. I'll keep an eye on this going forward.
    Aug 4 11:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cutting Through The Multicultural Nonsense [View instapost]
    I think multiculturalism is interesting. I remember in elementary school studying Australian Aborigines, native Americans, Greek mythology, Nazi Germany, etc. We learned a lot about different cultures, and I particularly like Aboriginal dot art.

    But as kids, we didn't learn that much about the underlying economic properties of those countries, which among most people in this world who are pragmatic and money-oriented is more interesting. If I had a kid I might try to redirect any multicultural studies into a comparative study of what factors make countries rich or poor on a per-capita basis. Factors could include economic and political freedom, political system, leading industries, natural resources, religions, etc.

    Why is Luxembourg so rich? Hint: it's not agrarian farming. Why are North Koreans so poor?

    You could also go through different groups of people in the countries and make such analyses also. Possibly a road map for kids to get rich, or at least to understand how the world works.

    I suppose that's not really what people are getting at when they say multiculturalism but it's more quantitative. I like facts and statistics :-).
    Aug 4 12:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • No More News, Please [View article]
    KING is nice too. Goes up and down and possibly makes something. Check it out.
    Aug 4 11:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cutting Through The Multicultural Nonsense [View instapost]
    Lagavulin is delicious! Haven't had that since grad school, where my friends claimed I was drinking "paint thinner." I will have to check out the others you listed.
    Aug 2 03:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cutting Through The Multicultural Nonsense [View instapost]
    Awesome story about Honda! But it seems like your grandfather still had a good career.

    I guess the optimum career is having no boss, unlimited funding without fundraising (no need to do grants or talk to investors), being able to make what you want, and work with smart people. E.g. an investment partnership closed to outsiders, or a research lab in a monopoly company. But reality is all compromises. People idolize founders but forget that founders have many bosses and do much fundraising.

    I always liked Japanese Zen houses and gardens. I like the interplay of light with contemplative designs.
    Aug 2 02:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • If You Are An Alpha Seeker Looking For The Next Big Energy Play, Load Epsilon Energy Now [View article]
    I don't know anything about oil. But I suggest you check out page 26 which shows the different operating segments and page 4 which shows the positive cash flow after adjusting for large depreciation and impairment charges (see also the footnotes). Someone with more industry knowledge than I could probably weigh in on what to do with these numbers.
    Jul 30 04:11 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Day I Sold Everything: Questions Answered [View article]
    Why not reconstruct the portfolio in less pricey international markets like Argentina, China, Russia, Japan? Then you can still be invested but at lower valuation risk.
    Jul 27 11:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Do Rising Rates Spell Doom For REITs? [View article]
    Hi Larry -- Thanks for your articles on here. They have been good, and I've recommended them to those who want to know about investing.

    Would you be willing to cross-post links here to your writings on other sites e.g. on your StockTalk or your blog post?
    Jul 24 04:36 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment