From Whitney Tilson’s latest email mostly related to his new value investing seminar which could be a lucrative career since his hedge fund shut down
1) If you would like to learn more about Facebook, read on: I have a close friend who founded a $1+ billion hedge fund who now runs a media company that uses Facebook extensively for very targeted marketing. He showed me some of the tools and strategies he uses and it’s simply amazing how you can micro-target ads to potential customers, instantly track the impressions/subscriptions and see your return on investment, etc.
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2) A final reminder that Monday is the deadline to apply for my new one-year advanced seminar on value investing, which will launch with the one-week in-person component in NYC on Dec. 4-8 (see description below).
I’ve confirmed some extraordinary guest speakers and am finalizing the agenda/curriculum. I’m very fired up, as I think it’s going to be special and unique.
My only regret is that something like this wasn’t available when I was in the early stages of my value investing career. I, like so many other investors then and now, didn’t have the luxury of gaining experience in this experienced-based-business the best way: by working for many years for people like Julian Robertson, Leon Cooperman, Seth Klarman, etc. Instead, I was forced to improvise, reading everything I could get my hands on, sitting in the back of the room in Joel Greenblatt’s value investing class at Columbia Business School, going to Berkshire and Wesco meetings, etc.
But, in truth, I mostly gained experience – both as an investor as well as an entrepreneur starting my own money management business – the hard way: by getting scars on my back. Trust me, it’s so much better to learn tough lessons via observation rather than stumbling around making mistakes!
In a nutshell, this is what my seminar is about: imparting my 18 years of hard-earned experience (as well as that of the guest speakers), so that the students can stand on our shoulders and achieve even greater success.
It’s already oversubscribed, so I have some tough decisions to make (or I may launch a second seminar sooner than I’d planned – perhaps the week before or after the Berkshire meeting, since many folks from around the world will already be in the U.S. for that).
One of the first things I’d like to do more of now that I’m not managing outside money is teaching and mentoring. I’ve done a lot of it over the years and really enjoy it.
To that end, I’ve created a year-long Kase Advanced Seminar on Value Investing based on my nearly two decades of experience founding and running hedge funds and mutual funds, as well as materials I’ve developed and taught over many years. I plan to launch two new seminars per year and will limit each to a dozen carefully selected participants. They are open to anyone in the world, as only the first week will be in-person (in New York City), with the remainder of the seminar conducted remotely. The first one will start at 1pm on Monday, December 4th and end at noon on Friday, December 8th (with three very long days in between).
I’m looking for people who are passionate about value investing and want to learn with me. I’m open-minded about what type of investor might benefit most from the seminar, but I think the sweet spot would be those early in their careers, a few years out of college or business school, perhaps a junior analyst at a fund, someone managing personal or family money, or in the early stages of building a money management business.
The seminar will focus on major investing topics such as developing a competitive advantage as an investor and a sound investment process, idea generation, portfolio management, how to do in-depth research, when to buy and sell, how to identify and avoid value traps, short selling, special situation investing, activism, and behavioral finance. In addition, depending on the interest of the participants, we will discuss various facets of building a money management business: how to raise money, build a public profile, communicate with investors (e.g., write a great investor letter), hire the right people, select the best service providers, etc.
I won’t be doing a lot of lecturing; rather, the seminar will be highly interactive so we can all learn from each other. As such, I will carefully choose the participants, as I’ve found that great things happen, both in the short- and long-term, when smart, motivated, ambitious people connect and work together.
Each participant (myself included) will prepare, present, and receive feedback on: 1) a current favorite stock idea; 2) a failed investment; and 3) an investing-related book. Lastly, there will be a few “field trips” to visit and learn from top investors (for example, I’ve already scheduled a visit with Joel Greenblatt after we read his book, You Can Be a Stock Market Genius and study special situation investing).
After the first week, there will be monthly Skype meetings to share stock ideas and discuss topics of interest. In addition, I will be available to advise and mentor each participant as needed.
There will be a fee for tuition and participants will need to make their own travel and lodging arrangements.
If you’re interested, please email me the following no later than Monday, Oct. 23rd (six weeks before the start of the seminar):
· A brief letter of interest, telling me about yourself, what you would bring to the seminar, and what you hope to get out of it;
· Your resume/bio; and
· A brief write-up of one of your current favorite stock ideas, long or short.
I look forward to hearing from you.