Value Investing

Tilson Gloats Buffett Says Trump Never Got It Right

From Whitney Tilson’s latest email to investors entitled pot calling the kettle black … JK – presented without comment

1) Yesterday I published my third in a series of four articles I’m writing on short selling: Lessons From 15 Years Of Short Selling: How To Find Great Shorts, https://seekingalpha.com/article/4164016-lessons-15-years-short-selling-find-great-shorts. Excerpt:

  • Short selling is brutally difficult, but it can make sense for certain investors.
  • I think now is an excellent time to be looking at short ideas, which is why I’ve organized a conference around this.
  • The savviest short sellers focus on stocks valued on a multiple of earnings – and then correctly forecast an earnings collapse.
  • I focus on eight primary reasons that can cause a company’s earnings to collapse.

2) Speaking of short selling, my conference on The Art, Pain and Opportunity of Short Selling is coming up in less than two weeks on Thursday, May 3 (see attached for the latest list of speakers). I’ve now seen many of the speakers’ presentations and they’re AWESOME! Companies that will be discussed include Tesla, Disney, Kraft-Heinz and Stericycle. We’ve extended the early-bird rate of $3,000 through Sunday, and you can save 20% using my friends and family discount code, FF20, when you register here: http://bit.ly/Shortconf

3) Well over a decade ago, I made a 48-page transcript of Buffett’s three lectures in 1991 to Notre Dame faculty, MBA students and undergraduate students and posted it here: https://www.tilsonfunds.com/BuffettNotreDame.pdf. Interestingly enough, it’s been getting some attention recently because in it he criticizes Trump:

Replying to a student’s question about Trump’s business troubles in 1990, Warren Buffett exclaimed, “Where did Donald Trump go wrong? The big problem with Donald Trump was he never went right”.

“He basically overpaid for properties, but he got people to lend him the money. He was terrific at borrowing money. If you look at his assets, and what he paid for them, and what he borrowed to get them, there was never any real equity there. He owes, perhaps, $3.5 billion now, and, if you had to pick a figure as to the value of the assets, it might be more like $2.5 billion,” he said according to a transcript published by former hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson.

Buffett certainly is a wise man – and Trump hasn’t changed a bit in nearly 30 years!

4) Speaking of Buffett’s wisdom, I enjoyed this article he published in January: Warren Buffett Shares the Secrets to Wealth in America, http://time.com/5087360/warren-buffett-shares-the-secrets-to-wealth-in-america/. Excerpt:

I have good news. First, most American children are going to live far better than their parents did. Second, large gains in the living standards of Americans will continue for many generations to come.

Some years back, people generally agreed with my optimism. Today, however, pollsters find that most Americans are pessimistic about their children’s future. Politicians, business leaders and the press constantly tell us that our economic machine is sputtering. Their evidence: GDP growth of only 2% or so in recent years.

Before we shed tears over that figure, let’s do a little math, recognizing that GDP per capita is what counts. If, for example, the U.S. population were to grow 3% annually while GDP grew 2%, prospects would indeed be bleak for our children.

But that’s not the case…

 

5) In case you’re going to Omaha for the Berkshire meeting in 15 days and missed my earlier email about the our events Glenn and I are hosting, here it is again:

On May 5 (only three weeks from Saturday!) I will be attending my 21st consecutive Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. If you’re going to Omaha that weekend, I’d like to invite you to four events that Glenn and I are hosting on Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning/afternoon. They are free, open to all, and will take place in the St. Nicholas Room (2nd Floor) at the Hilton Omaha, right across the street from the CenturyLink Center where the meeting is held:

 

1) Our annual cocktail party from 8pm-midnight on Friday, May 4th. No agenda, no speeches, no dress code – just come, enjoy the drinks and snacks, and meet other value investors.

2) A casual get-together immediately following the annual meeting (~3:30pm) on Saturday, May 5th – just walk across the street or take the skybridge to the Hilton. It will end at 5:30pm.

3) A breakfast from 8-10am on Sunday, May 6th during which we’ll give a presentation and take questions about Kase Learning and our various programs: a three-day Lessons from the Trenches bootcamp; a one-day seminar on How to Launch and Build an Investment Fund; and two programs for high school and college students: An Introduction to Economics, Business, Finance and Investing and An Advanced Seminar on Finance and Investing.

 

4) After the breakfast from 10am-3pm, we’ll take questions and share additional case studies and materials, in particular those from my upcoming book (due out in August), Whitney’s Worldly Wisdom: Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger.

 

To RSVP for any/all of these events, please go to: https://kaselearning-berkshire-events-2018.eventbrite.com

I look forward to seeing you!

PS—Hotel rooms in Omaha are hard to come by that weekend, but I always hear about a few rooms that become available because someone can’t make the meeting, so if you: a) have an extra room or b) need a room, email me and I’ll try to put people together.

PPS—To better understand why I go to the Berkshire meeting every year and host various events, read the chapter below that I wrote for Lawrence Cunningham’s new book, The Warren Buffett Shareholder: Stories from inside the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting:

 

Second email

After two decades of value investing, as the founder and manager of numerous hedge funds and mutual funds, I’m now teaching the next generation of investors via my new venture, Kase Learning, an educational platform offering a range of programs for people interested in becoming better investors and launching and building a successful investment management business. Further information is available at www.kaselearning.com
 
I’m particularly excited about a best-ideas conference we’ve organized, The Art, Pain and Opportunity of Short Selling, which will take place in NYC on Thursday, May 3. If you’d like to join us, see below for a special 20% discount code available exclusively for members of the Value Investor Insight community.
 
The idea for the conference is rooted in the fact that this long bull market has inflicted absolute carnage among short sellers, and even seasoned veterans are throwing in the towel. This capitulation, however, combined with the increasing level of overvaluation, complacency, hype and even fraud in our markets, spells opportunity for courageous investors, so there is no better time for a conference focused solely on short selling.
 
This full-day event is the first of its kind dedicated solely to short selling and will feature some of the world’s top practitioners who will share their wisdom, lessons learned, and best, actionable short ideas. Featured speakers include include:
 
  • David Einhorn, Greenlight Capital
  • Anthony Bozza, Lakewood Capital
  • Carson Block, Muddy Waters Capital
  • Sahm Adrangi, Kerrisdale Capital
  • Ben Axler, Spruce Point Capital
  • Soren Aandahl, Glaucus Research Group
  • Enrique Abeyta, Project M Group
  • Chris Brown, Aristides Capital
  • Mark Spiegel, Stanphyl Capital
  • Chris Irons, Quoth the Raven Research and GeoInvesting
  • Gabriel Grego, Quintessential Capital
  • Berna Barshay, Viola Capital Management
  • Jonathan Tunick, Vitalogy Capital
  • Andrea Benenti, The Analyst
  • Jillian McIntyre, 221B LLC
  • Justin Hughes, Philadelphia Financial of San Francisco
  • Victoria Hart, Pinnacle View Capital
  • Carlo Cannell, Cannell Capital
  • Clare Gogel, Wildwood Capital
  • Jon Gattman, Cloverdale Capital
 
You can register here – and use discount code VII20 to save 20% ($600) off the current early bird rate of $3,000. Don’t delay, as the price jumps to $4,000 at midnight on Sunday, April 22nd.
 
I hope to see you there!
 
Sincerely yours,
 
Whitney Tilson, Co-Founder Value Investor Media
Founder & CEO
Kase Learning, LLC
5 W. 86th St., #5E
New York, NY 10024
(646) 258-0687
WTilson@KaseLearning.com