Hottest links for Monday, January 27th, the late edition (see weekend’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.  Kicking off your week, we’ve got the periodic table of hedge fund returns, a search for the Asian Ben Franklin, and the AIM IT project.

Hottest Links: Stories

Value Investing

The barbarians are at the gate! Of universities, moats and disruption!

Borrowing from the terminology of value investing, universities have moats around their “educational castles” and the online barbarians (at least as seen by the members of the educational establishment) are trying to breach the establishment. [Aswath Damodaran, Musings on Markets]

Any Benjamin Franklins in Asia? (Part 2)

Without Dr Irwin Jacobs, Sam Walton most probably cannot scale up Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) with the VSAT technology enabling Captain Sam to solve the inventory management problem that comes from scaling up at the VSAT-network of distribution centers and to video-call his managers to give pep talks for Saturday meetings; and San Diego will not be able to transform from a sleepy West Coast town to a successful innovation hub. [Koon Boon Kee, BeyondProxy]

AIM IT Project (CLP)

This is the first post of the AIM IT Project I announced last time. I’m starting off by reviewing Clear Leisure PLC (LON:CLP), I don’t intend to do an entire post for every Investment Trust in the list, but when one tops the list trading at apparently only 10% of Net Asset Value I can’t help but kick off the series with it. [Investing Sidekick]
Laws of Character and Personality

The Unwritten Laws of Engineering is a book for those engineers who have more obstacles of a personal nature in organizations than technical. First published as a series of three articles in Mechanical Engineering, the “laws” were written and formulated as a professional code of conduct so to speak circa 1944. Although fragmentary and incomplete, they are still used by engineers, young and old, to guide their behavior. [Shane Parrish, Farnam Street]

Keep Looking for Growth

I am not always a contrarian, but an opposite view from the crowd often gives an investor a safer perspective. Thus the lackluster performance of the US stock market in the first half of January is a prod to look elsewhere for investment inspiration. [A. Michael Lipper, Inside Investing]

Funds

The Hidden Risks of Bank Loan Funds

Retail investors are currently pouring money into “bank loan” funds at a record rate, and the longer term implications are cringe worthy. [David Schawel, Inside Investing]

5 Things To Ponder: Valuations, Triggers & Inequality

If you don’t read Doug’s site daily you are really missing something as part of your daily research.  I always dedicate some of my time to review his valuation studies in particular but most importantly, for me, is the combined study of 4 different valuation measures. [Lance Roberts, Pragmatic Capitalism]

Dshort-4-valuation-indicators-012414 Hottest links

Asset Class Dashboard

An asset class dashboard. [Barry Ritholtz, The Big Picture]

Hottest links

Infographic: 2013 Periodic Table of Hedge Fund Returns

The ever-popular infographic of hedge fund strategy returns has been updated with full 2013 performance. Who’s on top, and who missed the mark? Find out…[ai-CIO]

Periodic_2013_top Hottest links

Reflexivity Redux

One of the most important philosophical constructs ever created to explain markets is the Theory of Reflexivity by George Soros. The basic idea behind Reflexivity is that values in the investment markets can create their own fundamentals in the real world. [Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker]

An oddball: Sugar Terminals Limited

Have you ever heard of the Australian National Stock Exchange?  I hadn’t either until Dave Waters mentioned that I should take a look at a little company that trades on the exchange, Sugar Terminals Limited (SUG.Australia). [Nate Tobik, Oddball Stocks]

Algoma Central – TSX:ALC

Algoma Central Corporation (TSE:ALC) is a interesting little Canadian shipper and real estate operator with hidden assets and a profitable market niche. [OTC Adventures]

Fairholme Hedge Fund Builds On Berkowitz’ 25 Years Of Success

Bruce Berkowitz may have made his name with his $11 billion mutual fund, but it’s his partnership that’s making headlines these days. [FINalternatives]

Who Decides Your Fund’s P/E? Answer: You Do

There’s a debate raging whether U.S. stocks are getting expensive. There’s an even headier debate about whether certain high-flying sectors such as social media and biotechnology are in bubble territory. [Brendan Conway, Focus on Funds]

The Choreography Of Design That Have Made Costco So Successful
Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), the sixth largest retailer in the world, succeeds because of its adeptness in breaking the rules of retail common sense. [Stan Laegreid, Fast Company]

Sherritt and the Indonesian Nickel Ban

I spent my free time during the last couple of days reviewing Sherritt International Corporation (TSE:S).  I wanted to get some more clarity on my investment and come to a conclusion about the size of the position that I should have.  As I have talked about in the past, my free time is limited and so my upfront research on names can be less than complete.  [Lsigurd, Reminiscences of a Stockblogger]

Hottest Links: Not The Onion

Man in jail for marijuana is allowed to leave once a month to smoke marijuana

If ever the laws don’t make sense, this is one case which entirely proves that our criminal justice system is in dire need of reform. [Texas Cannabis Report]