Great articles on value investing, from the best of Aleph Blog
These articles appeared between May 2012 and July 2012:
Historically, the Chinese market has been relatively isolated from international investors, but much is changing there now, making China virtually impossible for the diversified investor to ignore. Earlier this year, CNBC pointed to signs that Chinese regulators may start easing up on their scrutiny of companies after months of clamping down on tech firms. That Read More
On Distribution Formulas
Most formulas for distributing income from an endowment or a a savings/investment fund are too liberal. If you want the purchasing power to last, distribute less.
Correlating Risky Assets
How do correlations come into existence with risky assets. This piece explains.
Simple Stock Valuation
An exploration of Eddy Elfenbein’s simple stock valuation model.
Don’t Become the Market
When any firm becomes the dominant provider of a good or service, it should ask whether it has mispriced. A veiled critique of JPM’s whale trade in the credit markets.
In Defense of Nothing
Manufacturing is overrated. We’ve got enough things, now we need services to make our lives richer.
Little Things are Important
When leverage is high, little things failing can lead to large and bad results.
Labor is not scarce, so profit margins are high. Will that last forever? No, but it might be a while.
A pair of pieces suggesting that the markets could be better off if we held auctions once a second, or once a minute.
The Rules, Part XXXII
Dynamic hedging only has the potential of working on deep markets.
Arbitrage pricing can reveal proper prices in smaller less liquid markets if there are larger, more liquid markets to compare against. The process cannot work in reverse, except by accident
The Rules, Part XXXIII
When politicians don’t have answers, they blame speculators, financiers (Wall Street), or foreigners. They do anything to take the spotlight off their culpability or ineptitude.
Aim for the Middle
Very basic advice that tells you that the best returns come from taking moderate risk.
Works if Small, Fails if Large
Another bogus theory of asset allocation that works today, because markets favor it, and not enough people are using it.
On the value of long-term investors holding stocks that you hold.
If there are a lot of links in a chain of reasoning, it is likely to be wrong.
I suggest a number of reforms that would be more effective than reinstating Glass-Steagall.
Don’t Blame Money Market Funds
On the hypocrisy of the SEC and the banking regulators
Do Insurance Stocks Do Better than Average Over the Long-Run?
The answer is probably, but not certainly. Really, it is a mess.
On Life Insurance and Life Reinsurance
Explains why I like the life reinsurance oligopoly
On Bond Ladders
The most robust strategy for interest rates; always second-best, and never the worst.
On Internal Indexes, like LIBOR
An Analysis of Three-Month LIBOR 2005-2008
On Floating Rates
In most scandals, not enough attention is paid to those who should have been questioning the situation and did not. There were parties angling for higher LIBOR and lower LIBOR. Anytime you borrow or lend using an index, you assent to the method of the index. What, you didn’t analyze it?
The Failure of Government-Provided Prosperity
The government has almost no control over prosperity, and yet it tries to take credit for it, and ends up ruining prosperity through deficits and loose monetary policy.
Grow Embedded Value
The main idea in investing is finding investments that will compound your money at an above average rate, with a margin of safety.
The Education of a Mortgage Bond Manager, Part I
The Education of a Mortgage Bond Manager, Part II
The beginning of my eight-part series on mortgage bonds. I did it well for three years.
A tale of my younger investing days, when I would mail companies for data.
Missing Earnings Estimates
Why occasional earnings misses are desirable.
Forget Your Cost Basis
All good investment decision-making is forward looking. Whether you are buying or selling, it doesn’t matter where prices have been in the past.
This piece generated a lot of heat, but I still stand behind it. The concentrated interest of a profit motive is a good thing, and all of the government services do not affect what you have done at all. The entrepreneur is a hero, whether in business, government, or elsewhere.
By David Merkel, CFA of Aleph Blog