Hottest Links: Musk Pains; Robin Hood; Bitcoin Fog; Fannie, Freddie

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Hottest links for Saturday and Sunday November 23rd and 24th, 2013 the weekend edition (see Friday’s edition of hottest links). Get our free daily newsletter (which HAS BEEN RECENTLY UPDATED) and never miss a single linkfest. Also, now if you sign up you will get our new e-book on value investing.

Top stories for today are included below. Lots of good valuation pieces including one on POST, which was pitched at The Robin Hood Conference. Also, guess which are the two best performing Russell 2000 companies this year? Hint has the same chairman, and is among the most hated by shorts. Speaking of which…. Sam Antar looks at the accounting at one of those companies. Finally… yes this is a real headline “Iowa parents defend bullying of autistic teen”, see below for the full story!

Hottest Links: Stories

Value Investing

16,000 vs 7%

Hat tip Joe Taxpayer. [Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker]

nyse work Hottest Links

Asymmetry Revisited

The asymmetry of returns dictates the compounding of returns: Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) CEO and legendary investor Warren Buffett is often quoted as saying, “Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1.” But why are these the most important two (well, one) rules of investing? The answer lies in the inherent asymmetry of returns, which is the basis for how returns compound over time. [Portfolio Management Jar]

West View Savings..A Sleepy Bank Ripe For An Activist

I have a confession to make, when I see a cheap bank I have a hard time not purchasing shares, when the bank is local the shares become irresistible, which is how I ended up owning a position in WVS Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:WVFC), the holding company of West View Savings Bank. Here is a snapshot of the holding company’s statistics from [Nate Tobi, Oddball Stocks]

Hottest Links


Fannie And Freddie Plan Gets Washington Attention

Bob Corker, the Republican senator co-sponsoring a bill to wind down Fannie Mae / Federal National Mortgage Association (OTCBB:FNMA) and Freddie Mac / Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp (OTCBB:FMCC), has become the first senior… [Gina Chon, FT]

Why Hedge Funds Still Manage To Seduce

Hedge fund investor Hugh Culverhouse Jr. says the $2.25 trillion industry was an easier place for wealthy individuals to make money a decade ago. Though he has money with Daniel Loeb’s $13 billion Third Point LLC, Culverhouse said he favors smaller, more nimble hedge funds that have more flexibility to trade and capitalize on different markets. [Katya Wachtel, Reuters]

Bill Ackman Won’t Quit War On Herbalife

Bill Ackman is not backing down on his Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) fight — no matter how bruising the battle gets. “I will go to the ends of the earth to shut this company down,” he said. [Michelle Celarier, New York Post] Related; Bill Ackman just appeared on Bloomberg TV on his short position of Herbalife. Head over here for the full interview. [Hed Gie, All About Hedge Funds] Related; The first Robin Hood Investors Conference kicked off in the morning and will end Friday evening. This is undoubtedly the best lineup of hedge fund managers that we have ever seen, like David Saltzman put it, ”Its the mother of all investors’ conferences.” [Tabinda Hussain, ValueWalk] Related; I know you are tired of hearing this, but Post Holdings Inc (NYSE:POST) is run by an outsider CEO, William Stiritz. What got me to look at this in the past few days was Stiritz making headlines.  He took a big stake in Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) and said he wants to help do something to get Ackman off their back. [KK, The Brooklyn Investor]

Money Managers And The Fog Of Bitcoin

Bitcoin, the decentralized and controversial unregulated digital currency launched in 2009 , has been one of the biggest stories of 2013. In fact, this week bitcoin was the subject of two congressional hearings, which were reportedly more or less positive for a medium of exchange that has been linked to drugs, money laundering, murder for hire and other illegal activities. [Katya Wachtel, Reuters]

When Funds Go Out of Business

I love the strategy, but still think it is ripe for disruption.  Add on the fact that it has been a poor environment for these funds the last few years and HALF of all funds in existence since 2007 are now gone.  Time for the strategy to start outperforming? [Mebane Faber]

Bank Capital Plans and Stress Tests

Under the Capital Plan Rule and CCAR 2014, a Covered BHC’s capital plan is evaluated by the Federal Reserve on both quantitative (that is, whether the Covered BHC can meet applicable numerical regulatory capital minimums and a Tier 1 common ratio of at least five percent) and qualitative grounds. [Noam Noked, The Harvard Law School Forum]

Germany Blocks Caribbean Hedge Funds

German political distaste for the offshore hedge fund industry has caused Europe’s economic powerhouse to block. [Madison Marriage, FT]

Best Performing Stocks in the Russell 1000

The #1 and #2 best performing stocks in the Russell 1000 (INDEXRUSSELL:RUI) have the same chairman, it is Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Elon Musk. I’m pretty sure this has never happened before. [Climateer, Climateer Investing] Related; Musk joins a long tradition of accomplished CEOs who bristle about the “illogical” behavior of the news media. [Jack Flack, The Atlantic]

Hottest Links


Worst Allocation Advice of the Week

I dismissed Paul Merriman’s claim offhand because what he described was not true asset class rebalancing. He was looking within the same asset class — U.S. equities — and subdividing them into four market cap weighted, style-based subgroups. [Barry Ritholtz, The Big Picture]

29 Dumb Things Finance People Say

My job requires reading a lot of financial news. It’s one of my favorite parts. But it gives me a front-row seat to the downside of financial journalism: gibberish, nonsense, garbage, and drivel. And let me tell you, there’s a lot of it. [Morgan Housel, The Motley Fool]

Did Tesla Violate S.E.C. Rules?

Last Thursday, Silicon Beat reported that George Blankenship retired from his position as Vice President, Worldwide Retail at Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). According to Blankenship’s LinkedIn profile, he had already left the company in October 2013. Tesla’s most recent proxy report listed Blankenship as a “named executive officer.” [Sam Antar, White Collar Fraud]

Hottest Links: Not The Onion

Iowa parents defend bullying of autistic teen

A 13-year-old autistic boy has been punched, teased and had his condition mocked in online videos by his peers. But the parents of the accused children say they were justified in bullying the Iowa teen. [Eric Pfeiffer, Yahoo News]

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