Hottest links for Tuesday September 3rd, 2013 (see Monday’s edition of hottest links here). Top stories for the day include; The summer is over so you might be having trouble finishing that summer reading of yours, here is some advice to help you; Steve Ballmer strikes again and sends tears into the eyes of Microsoft shareholders with his announcement of a big deal; Shareholders of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are not the only ones crying today, many hedge funds have large short positions in Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V); The perks of working at Pershing Square, Blackstone, and other alternative managers; Does distressed investing do exactly that to investors?; Some great quotes from a ton of different value investors; Time to say goodbye to those whacky Bloomberg News headlines; KFC Japan is now offering deep fried soup to customers. That and much more below.

Hottest Links

Hottest Links: Stories

The Ballmer Premium Vanishes

The rally in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares following CEO Steve Ballmer’s retirement announcement lasted less than two weeks. [Steven Russolillo, The Wall Street Journal] We had to pick one story for the one million on the topic so we picked Steve Russolillo’s since he has a very clever and funny title on the Nokia news. Additionally, Microsoft shareholders are not the only people banging their head against the wall today. Many Tiger Cubs are short Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) and are getting bled in a 40 percent rise in the price of shares. [Tabinda Hussain, ValueWalk]

Finding Time To Read

How do you find the time to read so much?” ask readers of Farnam Street. The answer is not because he has no life or readers slow, as he notes, “While remarkably enjoyable, Blood and Beauty consumed almost a week. I was incredibly slow reading Seneca’s Epistles 1-65, and even slower with Antifragle.” Find out the answer in this post. [Shane Parrish, Farnam Street]

Fed Dread August’s ETF Outflows a Record-Breaking $15B

Investors pulled a record-breaking $15 billion from ETFs worldwide during the month of August, according to BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK). The figure would have been higher but for inflows into short-maturity ETFs such as Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF (NYSEARCA:BSV) and PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II (NYSEARCA:BKLN). Some $8.1 billion left longer-maturity ETFs like iShares IBoxx $ Invest Grade Corp Bd Fd (NYSEARCA:LQD). [Brendan Conway, Barron’s]

Buying Improvement at a Discount: Third Avenue’s “Grading Matrix”

In a recent article in our Learning from Superinvestors series, we learned about the investment philosophy behind the successful track record of Third Avenue Management. Here, we take a more detailed look at the specific investment tool employed by Third Avenue to implement its investment philosophy in practice: the “grading matrix.” [Oliver Mihaljevic, BeyondProxy]

Bloomberg’s very strange headlines are in danger of making sense

The famously bizarre and inscrutable headlines that often adorn Bloomberg News articles are a cherished joke among journalists, most of all within Bloomberg itself, ie a real headline ‘Feeding Naked Chef’s Chickens Killing Biggest Bond Rally’. But Bloomberg News might be changing that all, with a new strategy. [Zachary M. Seward, Quartz]

Are tactics the same thing as strategy?

The two terms are often confused and misused. At the beginning of the lesson I described tactics as local operations. For the most part, strategy refers to an overall plan, while tactics signify the individual actions needed to bring about that plan. Strategy tends to be long-term, tactics short-term. Strategy is usually general, tactics specific. [Shane Parrish, Farnam Street]

Follow up notes on prior post presenting potential value

25 ideas based on prior weeks insider buying, Revett Minerals Inc ADR (NYSEMKT:RVM) (TSE:RVM), Industrial Services of America, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDSA), Hudson Global Inc (NASDAQ:HSON),  Cosi Inc (NASDAQ:COSI), ImmuCell Corporation (NASDAQ:ICCC), Great American Group Inc (OTCBB:GAMR) are among some of the names which show up on the screen. [ShadowStock]

Does Investing in Bankruptcies Bankrupt Investors?

Distress or bankrupt investing is often where many value investors hunt for ideas. But how often does distress debt investing pay off? A look at some numbers based on a new study. [Wesley R. Gray, Turnkey Analyst]

Some of my favorite quotes

Some really great quotes from a slew of value investors in this post. Check out this great compilation of David Dreman, Ben Graham and many other great investors. [ROICblog]

Buying a Frontier Market Fund?

It’s been a rotten year for one of yesteryear’s favorite investing categories: iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Indx (ETF) (NYSEARCA:EEM) is down 13% on the year. But iShares MSCI Frontier 100 ETF (NYSEARCA:FM), which tracks stocks from tiny, less trodden markets that are too underdeveloped for EEM, is up more than 10%. [Brendan Conway, Barron’s]

Investor, Know Thyself

Personal intuition does not mean that you can translate last night’s exotic dream into some brilliant choice in the market. Professional money managers often seem to make up their minds in a split second, but what pushes them over the line of decision is usually an incremental bit of information, which, added to all the slumbering pieces of information filed in their minds, suddenly makes the picture whole. [Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker]

19 Awesome Perks For Workers At Hedge Funds

There are lots of perks involved with working at hedge funds. Check out this great list of perks by specific firm. Where would you like to work? [Julia La Roche, Business Insider]

Kyle Bass’ Fund Takes 5 Percent Stake In J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) just got rid of activist investor Bill Ackman, but now another major hedge fund manager has taken an interest in the company. Kyle Bass, who manages Hayman Capital Management, has disclosed that the fund holds a 5.2 percent stake in the aging retailer. [ValueWalk]

Some Thoughts on Joel Greenblatt’s Magic Formula

I often describe my investment philosophy as a synthesis of ideas from Ben Graham, Walter Schloss, Warren Buffett, and Joel Greenblatt. At the core of my strategy is Graham and Schloss’ quantitative methods for valuing stocks. It’s far more difficult to make mistakes when you simply make obvious, simple decisions based on valuation. In each investment, I want to ensure I’m not taking on valuation risk. [John Huber, Base Hit Investing]

Not The Onion

KFC Japan to Start Offering Deep Fried Soup

In what seems like an apparent one-upsmanship act against American county fairs, the folks at KFC Japan have recently announced they will be offering a deep-fried soup product this month. [Elie Ayrouth. FoodBeast]