Hottest links for Thrusday, April 3rd, the late edition. Get our free daily newsletter 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 are posted below.  For your Thursday afternoon reading pleasure, we’ve got a great Reformed Broker piece on the fickle double-edged sword of randomness and time, the winner of the annual Value Investing Contest revealed, and a piece on the fallacy of letting an argument devolve into attacks on a person rather than on their position, a key component of some recent *cough* HFT *cough* news items.

Hottest Links: Stories

Value Investing

The Best and Worst Thing About Investing

Excess returns can show up anywhere, in any portfolio, and are randomly achieved in aggregate: Any schmuck can hang with the pros, for a long time, and beat a skilled investor for years before his information disadvantage becomes apparent. [Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker]

HLS - 1

Value Investing Contest Winning Entry #4: Gabriel India Ltd.

All these pointers indicate that Gabriel India Limited (BOM:505714) (NSE:GABRIEL)’s financials are pretty good and the competitive advantages enjoyed by it are reflected via floats, payable days being twice that of receivable days, efficient working capital management, short cash conversion cycles, high cash flows and low debts levels.  [Vishal Khadelwal, Safal Niveshak]

HLS - 4

A beautiful thing

As is typical of his writings that “view capital markets through the lenses of game theory and history,” Hunt provides some interesting context, beginning with Apocalypse Now and closing with T. S. Eliot to illustrate his points about “information and communication, authenticity and deception.” [Tom Brakke, Research Puzzle Pieces]

The Ad Hominem Fallacy

In a wonderful book, “You are not so smart”, the author, David McRaney, writes about the “ad hominem fallacy”. Sometimes an argument can get so heated you start calling the other person names. You attack the other person instead of the position that person has taken. [Chetan Parikh, capitalideasonline.com]

Could some investors benefit from working to suppress their ‘inner child’?

One answer could be found within an ongoing set of psychological studies that originated in Stanford University in the US in the 1960s with an experiment, developed by Professor Walter Mischel, now widely known as ‘the marshmallow test’. Aiming to assess the willpower of four-year-olds, it involved a researcher leaving a sweet on the table within the reach of a child and then saying they were going to leave the room. [The Value Perspective]

Greed Proof — Not Greed Free

We need to design systems that are greed proof, not greed free. That’s the conclusion of Nassim Taleb. Two millennia ago, Sallust wrote the following: When I was a callow young man, I plunged enthusiastically into public life. [Shane Parrish, Farnam Street]

Funds

StarTek: A Micro-Cap Turnaround That Is Turning

As can be seen from the charts below, StarTek, Inc. (NYSE:SRT)’s turnaround has only begun to take effect in the past year or so. Sales growth has been significant, which represents the addition of new clients and winning additional business from current clients. [Douglas Ott, BeyondProxy]

HLS - 3

ViryaNet: An Innovative Player in a Rapidly Growing Consolidation Market

ViryaNet Ltd. (OTCMKTS:VRYAF)’s recurring business has kept revenues stable, and a rationalizing of the cost base brought the company to profitable operations over 2008-9, which it has since maintained. The company experienced a breakthrough year in 2013 with record revenues, operating income, and a large jump in shareholder’s equity as debt was paid down. [Mackie, Moatology]

HLS - 2

Benjamin Wey Sent Me A Threatening Email About AgFeed

I received a threatening email yesterday from Chinese stock promoter Tianbing “Benjamin” Wey, whose New York Global Group (“NYGG”) was closely affiliated with the failed, fraudulent Chinese hog producer AgFeed during the period under litigation by the SEC and shareholders. [Francine McKenna , re: The Auditors]

Passport Capital Adds to 58.com (WUBA) Position

John Burbank’s hedge fund firm Passport Capital has filed an amended 13G with the SEC regarding their stake in 58.com Inc (ADR) (NYSE:WUBA).  Per the filing, Passport now owns 5.1% of the company with 2 million shares (held via 1 million ADR shares). [Market Folly]

Nelson Peltz’s Trian Partners Boosts Ingersoll Rand Stake

Nelson Peltz’s activist investment firm Trian Partners has filed an amended 13D with the SEC regarding its position in Ingersoll-Rand PLC (NYSE:IR).  Per the filing, Trian now owns 6.2% of the company with over 17.9 million shares. [Market Folly]

Hottest Links: Not The Onion

Russian minister’s advice to US over Crimea: do yoga and chill out

“Clearly, the US leadership is really annoyed, and cannot come to terms with the new situation, which has arisen in large part due to the deliberate line taken by the US and its allies in Europe to prepare anti-Russian forces to take power in Ukraine,” said deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, in an interview with Interfax. [Shaun Walker, The Guardian]