Over the weekend, I got the chance to watch “The China Hustle”, a financial documentary by Jed Rothstein. The documentary explores the sinister nature of Chinese companies reverse takeover into US stock exchanges.
The “Hustle” part of the title refers to the fraudulent nature of many of the listings. It explored patterns of faked numbers, technologies and facilities. The documentary shows the journey of sceptical short sellers to uncovering the misconduct and profit from them.
Howard Marks’ latest memo came out yesterday. It was insightful and objective.
The usual stuff.
In the memo, he mentioned that he was writing a book about cycles. I am eagerly waiting for that book to come out.
There was another Howard Marks’ memo that I re-read from time to time, which was also about cycles. It is titled “You Can’t Predict. You Can Prepare.” It was written in Nov 2001, when the US experienced its first recession since 1991.
In this post I will liberally take excerpts from the 2001 memo.
It’s mostly a reminder for myself the inevitability of cycles amidst the current environment. Continue reading
I recently read Buffett’s early partnership letters from 1957-1970. It’s an amazing collection of letters that dispense wisdom in his typical folksy charm. His investment record was leaps and bounds better than the Dow Jones Index by the time he liquidated the partnership. When he started in 1957, his partnership began with capital of $105,100 (adjusted for inflation, it would amount to ~$900k). In 1969, the partnership had a net asset of ~$100m (~$700m in today’s dollar).
To show you how special he was even at this young phase:
- Compounded results of 25.3% after management fees for 12 years
- Operated predominantly by himself with no other investment team
- He has said that in the early years, he had investment ideas “anywhere from 110% to 1000%” of the partnership’s capital.
I don’t think there will be another one like him.
However, we can all still learn something from him. Continue reading
Bulletproof (ASX: BPF) is a cloud services provider in Australia and New Zealand. It has 3 main businesses: private cloud, public cloud and professional services. In a nutshell, the company has previously been growing revenue and Earnings before Interest Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) significantly through organic and inorganic growth. However, things have taken a turn for the worse.