Business

Whitney Tilson “I would gladly pay $1 million right now – seriously – to go back in time” and take my seminar

Whitney Tilson’s investing newsletter for September 11 discussing, the seminar on raising money; OPKO and shrinking hedge funds.

1) Of the 6,000+ people on this email list, I’d guess that at least 1,000 are in some way, shape or form trying to raise money, which is the most important thing we teach in our seminar on How to Launch and Build an Investment Fund that we’re teaching via webinar this Friday, Monday and Tuesday, and again in person in NYC on Thursday, Sept. 27 (see information at www.tilsonfunds.com/KasePrograms.pdf).

Pease use “VW10” for a discount!

The lessons we teach grew out of my own experience where, in my first decade, I took my AUM from $1 million to $200 million, thanks to these returns:

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Q2 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc

At the time, I thought I was doing great from a capital raising perspective – I’d guess that fewer than 1% of funds that start so small ever get to such scale.

But I now realize that I could have gotten to $1 billion had I developed, invested in, and executed on an effective fundraising strategy and plan. This mistake cost me tens of millions of dollars personally. Thus, I would gladly pay $1 million right now – seriously – to go back in time and teach myself what we’re teaching in our seminar.

In light of the millions of dollars that most people are trying to raise, what we charge for our seminar is less than a rounding error. In fact, I’m so sure that we can give you some valuable new ideas that I’ll make you the following offer: sign up for our upcoming webinar or seminar and if, after the first session of the webinar or morning of the seminar, you don’t agree that it’s worth exponentially more than what we’re charging for it ($795 for the webinar; $1,595 for the seminar), then I’ll refund your money.

Please let me know if you’re interested and I’ll send you the registration link. I hope to see you soon!

Pease use “VW10” for a discount!

2) Hat tip to Anthony Bozza of Lakewood Capital Management, who nailed OPKO (OPK) with a brilliant short pitch at the Robin Hood Investors Conference a few years ago (he also gave a compelling presentation of another idea at our shorting conference on May 3). The stock was halted after yesterday after the SEC filed stock fraud charges against the company’s chairman and CEO, Phillip Frost, and a group of associates, accusing them of making $27 million in pump-and-dump stock schemes. It’s amazing (and discouraging as a short seller!) how long these scams can go on... SEC Charges Against Phillip Frost Might Just Be the Tip of the Iceberg, www.barrons.com/articles/sec-charges-phillip-frost-1536608366. Excerpt:

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed stock fraud charges late last week against billionaire drug entrepreneur Phillip Frost and a group of associates, accusing them of making $27 million in pump-and-dump stock schemes. The civil suit filed in Manhattan’s federal district court alleges that Frost and nine others manipulated micro-cap stocks over the last five years, aided and abetted by Frost’s investment trust and a Miami-based drug development company where he is board chairman and chief executive, Opko Health.

Since 2012, Barron’s has chronicled Opko's rise to a stock market capitalization that peaked near $9 billion, despite repeated product flops and cumulative losses that surpassed $1 billion this year…

3) Speaking of the SEC, allowing private companies to raise money from mom-and-pop investors is a terrible idea because it will surely open the door to all sorts of scams. The SEC needs to remember that its primary mission is to protect investors, especially average folks, not help companies raise money: SEC Chairman Wants to Let More Main Street Investors In on Private Deals, www.wsj.com/articles/sec-chairman-wants-to-let-more-main-street-investors-in-on-private-deals-1535648208. Excerpt:

The Securities and Exchange Commission wants to make it easier for individuals to invest in private companies, including some of the world’s hottest startups, the agency’s chairman said in an interview.

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, a Trump appointee wrestling with how to boost flagging interest in public markets, said the commission also wants to take steps to give more individual investors a shot at companies that have been out of their reach because they haven’t gone public.

4) Tough times in the hedge fund world: The Incredible Shrinking Hedge Fund, www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-shrinking-hedge-fund. Excerpt:

You’d be forgiven for thinking the hedge fund industry might be starting to rebound. Industry assets are at a record $3.2 trillion this year, and a brand-new firm just brought in an unprecedented $8 billion.

But the reality isn’t so rosy. Inflows into funds, on the whole, are non-existent and the number of startups has slowed to levels not seen for nearly two decades.

5) A fascinating article on How Bill Browder Became Russia’s Most Wanted Man, www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/08/20/how-bill-browder-became-russias-most-wanted-man. Excerpt:

Putin singled out William Browder, an American-born hedge-fund manager who had worked in Moscow in the nineties and early aughts. Putin falsely claimed that Browder’s business associates had earned more than $1.5 billion in Russia and “never paid any taxes,” and that Browder had donated some four hundred million dollars of this money to Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign. (Browder has said that he has “not given Hillary Clinton’s campaign or anybody else’s campaign a single penny ever.”) Browder watched the press conference on his computer: Putin’s “forehead was getting all twisted and furrowed, and you could just tell—he was not playing poker,” he said. “He was pissed.”