Hottest links for Tuesday October 8th, 2013 the — late edition (see Monday’s edition of hottest links).  Get our free daily newsletter (which is being updated to make it superb) and never miss a single linkfest.

Top stories for today … More on Greece now the hottest investment around, which could be a contrarian indicator (disclosure: I have been long for close to two years); ETF assets have hit a new record high coming in at $2.22 trillion; Excellent article on the danger of believing returns which are not audited along with some math explaining how there can be such a wide discrepancy between actual returns and some returns posted on websites, without newsletters/websites outright lying; A company changes its name to stop dumb investors from losing their money; Lots of great valuation pieces out today; Finding value in small caps amid the return of animal spirits; Berkshire Hathaway is in the news again… Warren Buffett’s right hand lady, who was undoubtedly chosen for her investment skills was behind the firing of Benjamin Moore CEO; Buffett has raked in $10 billion from the financial crisis according to data compiled by the WSJ; That and much more below.

Hottest Links

Hottest Links

Value Investing

Alermarle & Bond (ABM) Blow-up Time

Everything exciting always comes at once with stocks, and so it’s been with Albemarle & Bond Holding (LON:ABM) (OTCMKTS:ABMLF), the pawnbroking company I’ve looked at in the past – mostly in comparison to a portfolio constituent, H&T Group Plc (LON:HAT). [Expecting Value]

Missed opportunity: Autogrill SpA Spin-off

Sometimes, the good old-fashioned simple ideas still work very well. One very recent example, which for some reasons I totally missed, was the recent spin-off of Word Duty Free from the parent Autogrill SpA (BIT:AGL) (OTCMKTS:ATGSY) in the beginning of October. [ValueAndOpportunity]

Newsletter Returns: Be Skeptical

The situation was far different at the end of the bear market in early 2009. Then the market was at the fear end of the fear-to-greed spectrum, and few advertisers were making outrageous claims. Investors were more preoccupied with capital preservation than risk-taking; greed wasn’t selling. [Mark Hulbert, Barron’s]

Finding Value in the Current Small-Cap Bear Market

“With small-company stocks up 27% so far this year, do they still have room to run?” asked Nightly Business Report Anchor Tyler Mathisen who, along with Co-Anchor Susan Gharib, hosted Portfolio Manager and Principal Jay Kaplan on their September 26, 2013 program. [TheRoyceFunds]

And Now Let Us Praise … Greece?

The Greek economy is improving, which should benefit the banking sector,” Mr Paulson told the Financial Times. He confirmed his fund, Paulson & Co, had substantial stakes in Piraeus and Alpha, the two banks that have emerged in best shape from the crisis. [Brendan Conway, Focus on Funds]


Ted Williams, Ford F-150’s, and Market Valuations

In late 2008 Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc Plan Trust (OTCMKTS:LEHMQ) had just collapsed, American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) needed help from the US government and markets around the world were in a tailspin. Five years ago the average price of the Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) F-150 pickup truck was $18,000. Today, the average price is $24,000. [Robert Mark, Advisor Perspectives]

Berkshire Hathaway

Buffett’s Crisis-Lending Haul Reaches $10 Billion

Billionaire Warren Buffett tossed lifelines to a handful of blue-chip companies during the financial crisis. Five years later the payoff on those deals is becoming clear: $10 billion and counting.  The latest windfall for the Omaha, Neb., billionaire and his conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B), came when candy maker Mars Inc. repaid $4.4 billion that its subsidiary, Wrigley, borrowed in 2008. [Anupreeta Das, The Wall Street Journal]

Warren Buffett protégé in trouble at Benjamin Moore

The Nebraska billionaire — whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) conglomerate typically gives free rein to management at the companies it buys — is grappling with a crisis at his Benjamin Moore paint brand, which has spilled over on the watch of his 29-year-old financial assistant, Tracy Britt. [James Covert, New York Post]

Twitter, Tweeter

Twitter’s Shady Accounting

In the registration statement for its upcoming IPO, which was filed on Thursday, Twitter said through the “eyes of management” the company had a profit of just over $21 million in the first six months of the year. That’s probably how Twitter’s execs would like potential investors to see it. Through an accountant’s eyes, though, Twitter actually lost just over $69 million. [Stephen Gandel, CNNMoney]

$50 Share Price Target for Twitter

It has been only four days since Twitter first took the wraps off its initial public offering prospectus. But that hasn’t stopped Robert Peck from setting a high $50-a-share price target on the still-private social network. [Michael J. De La Merced, DealBook]

Tweeter Changes Stock Symbol After Twitter Confusion

Tweeter Home Entertainment is back; this time with a new ticker symbol. The bankrupt retailer, which saw a flurry of trading activity last week as investors confused it with Twitter, will now trade under THEGQ rather than its former TWTR Inc (OTCMKTS:TWTRQ), according to a Finra website. Tweeter’s shares aren’t listed on an exchange and instead change hands in the “over the counter” marketplace. [Matt Jarzemsky, MoneyBeat]


Will Fund Classification Hurt Your Fund Selection?

As a selector, on the other hand, I search for a fund or funds that fit a specific need in terms of a combination of portfolio, expense and management skills both at the portfolio and business levels. Absolute performance is critical for some accounts. In other cases, relative performance is very important. [A. Michael Lipper, CFA Institute]

Consistency Is The Key

Great investors have turned research into a habit. If any of you remember joining a gym  getting into a workout regiment, you know the hardest part is the first month- if you can keep at it for a month, research shows you will likely keep at it for a long time. [Whopper Investments]

Global ETF And ETP Assets Reach New Record High

Strong net inflows of US$35 billion in September and positive market performance helped to push global ETF and ETP assets to US$2.22 trillion, a new record high, at the end of Q3 2013, according to ETFGI’s Global ETF and ETP industry insights report. [ETFGI, AlphaNow]

Euro Deficits

UK Pension Deficits

US Pension deficits

Source: Citigroup

Graphic: Corporate Pension Deficits, by Firm and Region

If you consider pension deficits to be a barrier for investing in a company, have you considered which regions might be struck off your list? Investment bank Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) had its analysts…[Elizabeth Pfeuti, aiCIO]

Four Lessons from Sport’s #1 Overachiever

Over recent years, Tampa Bay has been outspent by the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox three- and four-to-one. Despite that, Tampa Bay has made the playoffs in four of the past six seasons, the same as the Yankees and one more than the Red Sox. [Dan Richards, Advisor Perspectives]


Stop Caring About Super Expensive Software and Love the GoScreen

I what it looks like. But it’s really not like that. This is not a paid advertisement. I just decided to make this video. That is how much I like the new software. [finansakrobat]

Emerging Markets in Asia Might Be Better Off Without Cash

The Institute of International Finance (IIF) now predicts that $153 billion fewer

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