Videos

Why Hedge Funds Can Be Good News

Hedge funds get a lot of stick in the press, but the best ones are very good at spotting overvalued shares. Once they’ve found these overvalued shares, hedge funds will short them – in other words, they’ll bet that the share price will fall. In this video, I’m going to look at some of the warning signs that hedge funds look for when they’re hunting for shares to short.

Get The Timeless Reading eBook in PDF

Get the entire 10-part series on Timeless Reading in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues.

Q2 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc

Warning Signs That Hedge Funds
Pexels / Pixabay

Warning Signs That Hedge Funds Look For When Shorting

Transcript

High in this video. I'm going to look at hedge funds and shorting and I know that they're both things that a lot of people are quite negative about. But in this year I'm going to look at why they can actually be positive things for investors and for markets. So let's just quickly look at what we're talking about here hedge funds a hedge fund is basically a high end investment fund. They often have quite high charges for investors and they often pursue quite complex investment strategies and many people argue that hedge funds are at least partly caused the stock market crash a few years back and shorting is very simple you short a share. When you place a bet that the share price is going to fall where is most investing when you buy a share in the hope the share price will go up. That's going long. Betting the price will fall is going short or shorting. Now you might think oh my goodness hedge funds their bats are doing all these complex strategies charging too much causing financial crises and shorting that that's bad too. That's ripping off ordinary investors and driving share prices down so that ordinary people end up losing their money. And if you combine the two together hedge funds and shorting. Wow that sounds really nasty and unpleasant but sometimes hedge funds that sure can do good. Think back to the whole Enron scandal in the early noughties. It was hedge funds who first spotted the dodgy things were going on at Enron and the hedge funds hadn't been around. Hedge funds hadn't been around looking for shares to short.

Enron could have carried on being fraudulent sacking more investors into the Babul for longer and more people would have ended up losing money in the end. And we've seen similar examples not as well publicized but similar examples of fraudulent companies more recently. Most recent one is a Spanish company called GALAX. Now jalex had a business providing Wi-Fi in Spain and its share price was going up and up and up. It was a great stock market success and then a small specialist hedge fund called Gotham City Research. This is a hedge fund that just focuses on fining companies to short Gotham City realized that Güllü X was very overvalued. So Gotham City took a short position and Galaxy shorted lots of garlic shares and then Gotham City publicized its findings to the markets. So the share price would then fall and Gotham City could make money and you might say that's terrible shareholders in Gatwick's lost out because share prices fell. But the reality was jalex X was basically fraudulent. The CEO of the company had been claiming revenue that was way way too high. You know it's wasn't doing anything like as well as it made out because Gotham City came along the galaxy fraud collapsed earlier than might otherwise have been the case. So Gotham City did a positive thing. And there's been other examples of hedge funds shorting companies and successfully pointing out not necessarily that a company was fraudulent but that it was just overvalued. And when you have these specialist hedge funds looking for overvalued companies you actually get a more efficient market where share prices correspond more closely to the real underlying value of the company.

So I guess the next question is what do the shorts like Gotham City look for when they're looking for companies to short. Well I think they often focus on the issue of revenue and revenue.