Hottest Links: Gold=Apple, Helps Einhorn; Today vs 1960, Margin Debt

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Hottest links for Sunday September 1st, 2013 (see Friday‘s edition of hottest links here). For all those not on vacation (I took mine two weeks ago), here are some great stories you may have missed. Top stories for the day include; Investors in the 1960s versus today, what has changed in terms of the average holding  time of a stock?;  Its a good thing if your fund manager was off golfing on Friday and is still golfing today, here is why; Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOXA) does a Friday night data dump (and on labor day weekend)!; Phil Falcone has almost as many lives as Nelson Mandela, The Harbinger Group Inc (NYSE:HRG) is IPOing its insurance division; The dean of the Ben Graham Centre (Ivey) has a great article on cognitive biases; NYSE leverage hits an all time high (again); When you buy growth your really just buying more stock of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL); Everyone in a town won the lottery except for one person. That and much more below.

Note: We will hopefully have Monday links, but stay tuned for the schedule for the rest of this week.

Hottest Links: Gold=Apple, Helps Einhorn; Today vs 1960, Margin Debt


Hottest Links: Stories

Wall Street Knows a Bad Trade When it Sees One

Hedge funds are raising a lot of money for Elliot Spitzer in his bid to become mayor of New York city. This might be the hottest trade since long Apple early 2012 and short the Yen early 2013. Here is why. [Josh Brown, The Reformed Broker]

Carlos Slim threatens to walk away from KPN bid

Carlos Slim threatened Friday to walk away from his 7.2 billion euro ($9.5 billion) offer to buy the 70 percent of Dutch telecom Royal KPN he doesn’t already own after a foundation linked to the company mounted a “poison pill” defense. [CNBC]

If Your Fund Manager’s Off Golfing Today

If you compare stock picking fund managers to benchmarks like the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX), not many managers look good. What happens if you throw out funds which trade too much? Value investors know that trading too often is one of the causes of under-performance.  [Brendan Conway, Barron’s]

In ETFs, ‘Growth’ Often Means ‘More Apple’

Brendan Conway was killing it on Friday. We had to exclude some stories from this linkfest so no one would think we are really just a site promoting his columns at Barron’s, but this was another great one so we included it. Barry J. Whyte at Institutional Investor has a good read on one of the quirks of specialty exchange-traded funds. Namely: Why do so many “growth” ETFs have a huge holding of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock? [Brendan Conway, Barron’s]

The Hidden Risk in Gold

Since their introduction a little over a decade ago, gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) such as SPDR Gold Trust (ETF) (NYSE:GLD) have accumulated more than $500 billion in assets. We know why many investors buy gold. Here is the hidden risk that no one talks about much in the ETFs of gold based on some new research. [Robert Huebscher, Advisor Perspectives]

Gold, Apple Boost Greenlight Capital’s August Returns

Speaking of gold and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), David Einhorn had a good month and he can thank both of those assets for his returns. [ValueWalk]

Mad Men or Wise Men? Investors Today versus in the 1960s

How long does the average investor today hold a stock?  The average holding period hit the one year mark around 2000 and has dropped since then. What is happening and why? [Ben Strubel, Beyond Proxy]


European Unemployment Remains At All Time High

Europe may be a union, but when it comes to the distribution of unemployment rates across its 27 member nations (and as of July 1 with the addition of Croatia, 28), it is anything but. [Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge]

A Pre-Labor Day Dump From Fox!

Now that we’re based in LA, we’ve come to realize that there’s a certain level of drama that invades all corners of life, even if you’re not in “the business” as it’s called out here. We thought about that when we spotted this amended 8-K that Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOXA) filed late yesterday (and which as a result, didn’t hit Edgar until this morning). [Footnoted]

Harbinger to Take an Insurance Business Public

The Harbinger Group Inc (NYSE:HRG) moved on Thursday to take one of its insurance businesses public, just over a week after its hedge fund parent agreed to a tougher compromise with the Securities and Exchange Commission over accusations of market manipulation. [Michael J. De La Merced And Alexandra Stevenson, DealBool]

NYSE Margin Debt Is At New Highs

The latest reading on NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) margin debt was just shy of an all-time high.  Borrowing to execute securities trades has not waned much at all in recent months as the July data showed borrowing of $382.1B which was slightly below the all-time record of $384.3B seen in April of this year.  [Cullen Roche, Pragmatic Capitalism]

The eternal online media debate rages: free vs. paid?

The recent Business Insider article “The Truth About Marissa Mayer: An Unauthorized Biography,”about the CEO of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) was over 22,000 words and has received close to one million views; the article was free to read. A good article on free versus paid debate in regards to online content. [Nick Bilton, Bits]

The Human Psychology behind value investing

This is because universities have accepted the notion that markets are efficient and, as a result, teach modern portfolio theory, which cannot be more different than value investing. Value investing is a style developed in the early 1930s by Ben Graham at Columbia University. It involves a three-step process – though most people believe the process is limited to only the first step. [George Athanassakos, FT Adviser]

Lessons on Grand Strategy

Grand Strategy, whereby all aspects of a nation’s strength—military, economic, political, cultural, and organizational—are combined into an overall, long-term program to advance the nation’s major interests, has important lessons for all leaders of investment management organizations. [Charles D. Ellis, CFAPubs]

57 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up How We Think

57 cognitive biases which mess up the way we think. As value investors know this could easily be applied to investing. [Gus Lubin, Business Insider]

Hottest Links: Not the Onion

 Unluckiest Person Ever? Entire Town Wins Lottery, Except for One Man

Everyone in this small town in Spain (consisting of 70 households) won the lottery getting a portion of the $950 million jackpot. Everyone except for this one unlucky person..  [Glen Levy, Time]

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