Hottest links for Wednesday, January 29th, the late edition (see Tuesday’s edition here). Get our free daily newsletter (which HAS BEEN RECENTLY UPDATED) and never miss a single linkfest. Also, now if you sign up you will get our new e-book on value investing.

Top stories for today can be found below.  Some great stories for you Wednesday afternoon reading pleasure, including a debate on China possibly facing its own Bear Stearns moment, a five year market review, and a “Not The Onion” headline that truly could have been pulled from The Onion.

Hottest Links: Stories

Value Investing

Tomorrow Should be Interesting for Vringo (VRNG)

Trading on Vringo, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRNG) was halted after hours after a 13.35% rise on reports that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) will pay the company  6.5% royalties on AdWords sales. [Focus On Value Investing]

GNI is Not an Opportunity We Thought It Might Be

We recently came across Great Northern Iron Ore Properties (NYSE:GNI) with unusually high dividend yield. It is a special situation that warranted a deeper look to see if there is a hidden opportunity here somewhere. [Shailesh Kumar, Value Stock Guide]

My Investment Thesis on Kobayashi

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (TYO:4967) (~US$2.4bn market cap) is a “niche” under-followed (and misunderstood) 125 year old company that is engaged in the sale of simple, predictable products for sanitary, oral hygiene, toilet bowl cleaners, heat pads, eye-wash and skin care. [Sid Choraria. BeyondProxy]

Only 57% Of December CFA Takers Are Reevaluating Their Lives Today

Back in December men and women across the globe sat down to take the first exam in a series of exams that they hoped would, one day in the distant future, allow them to place three little letters next to their name, on their business card, email signature, linkedin profile, and maybe even cock: CFA. [Bess Levin, DealBreaker]

Funds

By What Benchmarks Should Hedge Funds Be Judged?

I drew attention last week to the way hedge fund returns have been left badly behind by long-only equity returns over the five years of the post-crisis relief rally, and this understandably provoked comments that this was an unfair comparison. [Climateer Investing]

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Five-year Market Review

This chart-heavy post is coming out of a conversation I had with Credit Bubble Stocks on Twitter on Saturday: while a number of OECD equity indexes have been making all-time or post-2009 highs as of earlier this month, there are plenty of country, regional, industry and asset-group indexes that are well below their post-09 highs. [Barbarian Capital]

Hottest Links

European Luxury: LVMH

As LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (OTCMKTS:LVMUY) (EPA:MC) prepares to report fourth quarter earnings results on Thursday (following a disappointing Q3 release), we thought we’d take a closer look at MSCI Europe’s largest luxury retailer. [GaveKal Vapital Blog]

image Hottest Links

Wyndham Worldwide – A Meryl Witmer pick that goes undiscussed?

Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE:WYN) is a hospitality company with three major segments: Lodging, Vacation Exchange and Rentals and Vacation Ownership. The latter segment is the Timeshare business of Wyndham. [Trevor, Vancouver Analyst]

 Hottest Links

The “No Risk, Guaranteed Return” Retirement Savings Bond

One final point: in the aftermath of the demonstration that the market is run by absolute idiots, courtesy of TWTRQ and NEST, we fully expect that tomorrow Myriad Entertainment & Resorts, Inc. (OTCMKTS:MYRA), trading at a lofty price of $0.00, will soar tomorrow to, what else, Obama’s target price of $10.10. [Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge] Related; A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors. Ponzi scheme organizers often solicit new investors by promising to invest funds in opportunities claimed to generate high returns with little or no risk. In many Ponzi schemes, the fraudsters focus on attracting new money to make promised payments to earlier-stage investors to create the false appearance that investors are profiting from a legitimate business. [SEC]

Hottest Links

SEC Slams KPMG For Independence Violations

On January 24 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced an $8.2 million settlement with KPMG over violations of auditor-independence rules. [Francine McKenna, re:The Auditors]

Australia, PIMCO, GDL CEFs on the “Avoid List”

Eight closed-end funds (also called CEFs) were added to the list during the quarter that ended Dec. 30. They are The GDL Fund (GDL), the Cushing Royalty & Income Fund (NYSE:SRF), the Guggenheim Enhanced Equity Strategy Fund (NYSE:GGE), the Guggenheim Enhanced Equity Income Fund. (NYSE:GPM), the Guggenheim Strategic Opportunities Fund (NYSE:GOF), the Aberdeen Australia Equity Fund Inc (NYSEMKT:IAF), Pimco Income Strategy Fund (NYSE:PFL) and the Pimco Income Strategy Fund II (NYSE:PFN). [Johanna Bennett, Focus on Funds]

Do China Insider Transactions Lie?

In our business, we like to say that insider transactions never lie. For this reason, one of our eight criteria for selecting common stocks is strong insider ownership, preferably with recent purchases. [Smead Capital Management]

So I Got Sued By A Patent Troll

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a fan of Patent Trolls.  Actually, there are only a few areas in which Im a fan of patents at all.  The lawsuits filed against Magnolia (and Apple, Amazon and Weinstein Companies) are perfect examples of why.  [Mark Cuban, BLog Maverick]

The Onion’s ‘area man’ has no idea what an ETF is

Will Tracy, the satirical publication’s editor-in-chief, and Django Gold, a staff writer, drew plenty of laughs as they gave a luncheon keynote speech at ETF.com’s Inside ETFs conference in Hollywood, Fla. [Victor Reklaitis, The Tell]

US Endowments Beaten by Public Pensions in FY2013

US university endowments performed well in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, recording an average net return of 11.7% and bouncing back from a 0.3% decline last year, NACUBO and Commonfund have reported. [Sage Um, ai-CIO]

Is China About To Plunge Into Financial Crisis?

Is China about to have its own Bear Stearns moment? I have been thinking a lot about this after reading a smart report released today by BofA Merrill Lynch Chinese economist Bin Gao, which looks at the recent debt restructuring at the China Credit Trust Co., a major Chinese financial institution. [Rana Foroohar, TIME]

Show me the earnings per share: Atlantic Investment’s Roepers

Japanese managers talk a lot about sales and operating profit targets, but what really matters is how much profit they can squeeze out of each share of capital, says Alexander Roepers, president of Atlantic Investment Management, an American hedge fund. [Jo Kawakami, Nikkei Asian Review]

Why investors aren’t snapping up cheap, battered emerging markets

With the benchmark iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Indx (ETF) (NYSEARCA:EEM) sliding 7% in the past month – and the underlying stocks becoming as cheap relative to developed-market equities as they were in the 2008 washout – some would-be dip buyers are tempted but continue running through reasons not to step in. [Michael Santoli, Yahoo Finance]

Senators for billionaires: Edward Markey edition

Long ago I thought that Bill Ackman’s thesis on Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) was silly. It was “I am a billionaire hedge fund manager and I can get the government to help me”. [John Hempton, Bronte