Hottest links for Tuesday, January 22nd, 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 are included below. Some wonderful midweek stories today, including more on the S&P vs. US unfolding story, a chart of interest rates going back to 3000 BC, and the Jennifer Lawrence of investing.
Hottest Links: Stories
Buffett Leans on 29-Year-Old Cool to Oversee Problems
When Warren Buffett bought half of a commercial mortgage finance company in 2009, he hired a 25-year-old fresh out of business school to keep tabs on the investment. [Noah Buhayar and Laura Colby, Bloomberg]
Building a Better Passive Mousetrap
In a recent blog, Passive Management Does Not Equal Passive Investing, we showed how passively managed portfolios actually create an active investment in which volatility isn’t benign and risk exposures can vary wildly over time. [AllianceBernstein, Pragmatic Capitalism]
Soft Skills for Finance: Books That Inspire
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Considered a groundbreaking work in the field of psychology when it was published, it chronicles the author’s accounts of his experience in and survival of Nazi death camps and his resulting concept of logotherapy. [Heather Packard, CFA Institute]
My Second Venture Venture: Avcorp
Avcorp Industries, Inc. (TSE:AVP) (OTCMKTS:AVPFF) is an interesting little story that I have a small (less than 1%) position in. Before I go too far into it, a word of warning; this is a stock that certainly might not work out and it may just languish at these levels indefinitely. [Lsigurd, Reminiscences of a Stockblogger]
The Empire Strikes Back?
Contra to Ben’s take, the Wall Street Journal tells us that profits for major financial institutions are right back to where they were, give or take, prior to 2008…. [Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker]
Here’s A Chart Of Interest Rates Going Back To 3000 BC
The chart below, one of a number of excellent long-term charts put together by @Macro_Tourist, shows interest rates going back to 3000 BC. [Matthew Boesler, Business Insider]
Greenlight Capital Adds to Cairn Energy Stake
David Einhorn’s hedge fund Greenlight Capital has added to its stake in London-listed oil and gas exploration company Cairn Energy (LON:CNE). [Market Folly]
Is S&P Being Sued Because It Downgraded the U.S.?
Why is the Justice Department suing Standard & Poor’s for mis-rating structured credit securities before the financial crisis, and not suing Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO), which gave a lot of the same products the same ratings? I have a theory, but Standard & Poor’s has another theory, and theirs is a corker: [Matt Levine, Bloomberg]
Vanguard: Curb Your (Stock Market) Enthusiasm
Vanguard Group’s recently issued economic and investment outlook has a caution for recent converts to stock-market bullishness. [Brendan Conway, Focus on Funds]
Davos HotPhrase Generator: now you, too, can share Big Ideas
Did your ticket to the Alpine resort get lost in the mail? Ours did too, but we’re not letting that stop us from taking part in the creative word salad coming out of the annual World Economic Forum. [Heidi Moore and Guardian US interactive team, TheGuardian]
Wall Street Shorts Economists
We provide evidence on the speed and accuracy of price discovery by studying stock returns and trading volume surrounding the crash of the space shuttle Challenger. While the event was widely observed, it took several months for an esteemed panel to determine which of the mechanical components failed during the launch. [Climateer Investing]
My First SEC Trial Transcript Has Some Real Comedy and a Message to Mary Jo White
I couldn’t have asked for a better case to kick off loading SEC vs …. trial transcripts on this blog. But before I get into it, let me add some disclosures. [Mark Cuban, Blog Maverick]
Mom and Pop Flock to Options Market
Small investors stepped up their options trading last year, even as a steady bull market in stocks meant hedge funds and other big traders pulled back. [Kaitlyn Kiernan, MoneyBeat]
The Jennifer Lawrence of investing?
Award winners are both a beneficiary and a victim of circumstance. Many have taken the proverbial “tough script,” making unpopular bets that made them a little harder to own in, say, 2011 or 2012, and only had those wagers pay off in 2013. [Chuck Jaffe, MarketWatch]
Does IBM Love or Hate Itself?
For the past 20 years, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) has been an avid, methodical buyer of its own stock. In 1993, it had 2.3 billion shares outstanding. Today it has 1.1 billion, shrinking at more than 1% per quarter over the past few years. At that pace, there will be no more publicly traded IBM shares left by 2034. [Dennis K. Berman, The Wall Street Journal]
Billionaire Carl Icahn’s Investment Fund Returned 31% In 2013
By just about any measure, billionaire investor Carl Icahn had a great year in 2013. The stock of Icahn Enterprises LP (NASDAQ:IEP) returned 158% last year as investors embraced Icahn’s publicly-traded investment vehicle, which not so long ago traded at a discount to its net asset value. [Nathan Vardi, Forbes]
The 13-F Spotlight: Revealing And Concealing Hedge Fund Trades
One of the more interesting snapshots of the investing universe is captured by the 13-F filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which come out 45 days after the end of each quarter. [Ronan Cosgrave, FINalternatives]
Bryan Caisse Comes Home
Bryan Caisse, the former submarine weapons officer turned hedge fund manager, was arrested Saturday in Bogota, Colombia by officers from the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service. [Roddy Boyd, SIRF]
The essential guide to being a newbie nobody at Davos
Last week, Quartz reported that nearly 80% of the people who attend the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, which starts on Wednesday, are first-timers. [Stephen Gandel, Term Sheet]
Hottest Links: Not the Onion
Man shares post seeking his arrest on Facebook; is arrested within the hour
Posing as an attractive woman, investigating officer T.J. Rentschler, began chatting online with Lescowitch about the post. Over the course of half an hour, the officer was able to gather key information about Lescowitch and eventually arranged to meet up with him for a cigarette [Metro]