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  • rgarga 2015-02-15 08:54
    Would like to have a conversation re posco if can? Maybe we can learn something from each other. 7066760284 or if yiu guve me your number, I can call you. Thank you.
  • batbeer2 2015-01-28 13:37
    Hi Tim,

    I believe it is possible to generate excess returns with technical analysis. It's just that anyone claiming it is easy is either lying or doesn't understand what it is really about.

    A friend of mine is a good (options) trader. If I had to hazard a guess he has an IQ well in excess of 155. The guy literally solves a 7 x 7 rubics cube blindfolded. He will gaze at it for 20 seconds and them proceed to solve it without looking at it again. That scares me.

    He is a very nice guy and he trades for fun. He usually has a very high success rate.

    And sometimes not.

    The problem is that when he fails he has absolutely no idea why. Not a clue. That is when he calls me. All I can tell him is that he probably overestimated the intelligence of the market.

    Not only do you have to be very smart, you have to predict how lesser mortals behave. And then there's the additional problem that as time goes by, different groups of investors with varying degrees of intelligence and/or investment horizons will determine what happens next.

    The good news is that to him this is an interesting puzzle. One he's been trying to solve for 20 years. The other good news is that I'm acutely aware what I'm up against if I start dabbling with options.

    I can only aspire to be a decent value investor (something that my friend is unable to do for lack of "challenge"). He admires the fact that I do all the boring grunt work and then can wait for years. He really does admire this and he knows it is effective but he just can't do it.

    Like Buffett said, you can beat Bobby Fisher at a lot of things, just not chess.

    Yes, it is possible to beat Bobby Fisher at chess (nowadays he's called Magnussen) but anyone who claims it's easy is not smart enough to do it.
  • trdoyle 2015-01-28 11:54
    Nice exchange with Dr. Price.  I fail to see how his data mining tactics can be applied with any reasonable amount of success going forward.

    Tim
  • coryashpt 2015-01-22 13:23
    Hi Batbeer2,
    I was disappointed in IBM's inability to right the ship and grow revenue.  I am encouraged by the growing margins and growth in strategic areas, although still a small part of the company.  I was also disappointed they didn't buy back more shares at such a low level.  Any thoughts?

    Best,

    Cory
  • coryashpt 2015-01-12 22:36
    batbeer2: Hi Cory,

    Never heard of the company until now. I see that they have an office in Rotterdam which is my city. Shame on me. Often you'll see a company
    I think you will be pleasantly delighted by reading their shareholder reports and 10-ks.  They just increased the dividend today.  A very shareholder friendly company.  Now on sale of course but I am still trying to understand the moat they have enjoyed over the past 22 years or so.  Let's keep in touch on this.


    Best regards,

    Cory
  • coryashpt 2015-01-12 13:26
    Hi Batbeer,

    With the demise of oil some stocks have come up on my radar.  One of which is CoreLabs.  I believe they are based in the Netherlands...and don't you live there?  Just wondering if you follow the company and if you have any insight as to what their competitive advantage is?  Their annual reports are interesting but I don't understand why a major oil company can't do what they do just as well.  As always your thoughts are appreciated.
  • batbeer2 2014-12-23 13:20
    Hi w1omega

    Maybe you can send me a link to the specific chart you mean.

    Do I think the S&P 500 is in a bubble?

    No.

    Frothy, yes but not in a bubble (yet).

    For me a bubble is when people borrow at a given rate (say 5%) to buy assets that yield less (say p/e of 30).

    The only reason people do that is because they "know" they can sell the asset later at a higher price. That's a bubble.

    That is also what happened with housing prices. The rental income that a home could fetch would be significantly less than the interest people were willing to pay on the mortgage.

    For many years people "knew" they could always sell that house at a gain later.

    With te S&P 500 at P/E of 16 (6%) or so and long-term bond rates at less than 4% I think we are still in reasonable teritory. No longer comfortable though.

    best,
    F
  • w1omega 2014-12-23 08:43
    I read what you wrote about irrationality and I think we think similarly.  I think you also broke up a verbal fight online between me and some dude who is a fan of Bruce Greenwald.  Anyway, I thought I would ask what's been on my mind awhile now.  If you go to google finance and look up S&P 500 numbers for all the available dates, you see 3 distinct bumps on the right side.  

    I actually know a lot more about bubbles, not just the charts.  But I won't get into that here.  Does the chart look like a bubble?  Do you think we're in a bubble?
  • batbeer2 2014-12-20 02:44
    Hi cor7997,

    I continue to track GPG and indeed there is no news. I read the report that is published by their pension fund and if anything things are getting better.

    It is taking too long to reach an agreement with the regulators though.

    best,
    Batbeer
  • cor7997 2014-12-20 02:36
    Hi Batb., any updates about GUINNESS PEAT GROUP whose stock is tumbling with no news?
  • coryashpt 2014-10-26 23:03
    What are the probabilities of you writing another B-M newsletter on CarboCeramics given their recent huge price decline?

    Any comments on IBM after their most recent quarterly report?  I took the plunge at $186 two weeks before earnings were released.  :)  I personally like the CEO and what she had to say.  The direction is correct, the speed of execution needs to improve.
  • coryashpt 2014-09-24 13:53
  • coryashpt 2014-09-22 13:42
    batbeer2: Geoff has his own newsletter now. I believe he writes that together with Anh Hoang. If memory serves you can get a free copy if you mail them. I think
    I agree.

    BTW, I wanted to tell you your last write up on COST was your best IMHO.

    I see SIAL got bought at a nice premium today.  Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda.

    Best regards,

    Cory
  • coryashpt 2014-09-22 12:48
    With Carbo I think it has a lot to do with E&P operators sacrificing long term gains for short term production results and improved margins.  Demand for sand will increase sand prices which will somewhat negate the cost savings of using sand over ceramic proppant.  The truth now though is that Carbo produces a commodity and up until now they have been a premium priced supplier.  Their model may have to change to being the lowest cost producer.  My mistake when I bought them 2.5 years ago was I thought based on past performance that their margins were stable.  Fierce competition from cheap chinese ceramics and sand have eroded their margins.  Hail the destructive power of capitalism.  I do firmly believe they make the best proppant that will deliver best long term results out of shale wells.  However, they need to sell that long term thinking to the operators.  If you want to investigate carbo further you may want to visit their investor relations page and view their September investor presentation.

    Does Geoff still write for Guru Focus?

    best regards,

    Cory
  • coryashpt 2014-09-22 08:54
    Hi Francis,
    CarboCeramics is a former BuffettMunger newsletter company.  Their shares have fallen under significant pressure lately.  They are down over 50% from their 52 wk high and the dividend yield is as high as it has been in many years.  Do you follow the company?  Just wondering if you have any thoughts.
  • batbeer2 2014-09-04 11:15
    Hi Sbb,

    I buy when I have cash to spare. I buy whichever stock I like best at that point. In the mean time all I can do is keep looking for interesting ideas and track the price of interesting companies I found previously (like CONN).

    Of course excess cash tends to come in lumps so my portfolio is very unbalanced. Case in point: DJCO is about 50% of my portfolio. I happened to have a lot of cash coming in when I was writing about that one; that was luck.

    Some stocks I sell after they run up (Bristow) because my thesis in those cases is essentially an asset play. I have some idea of a price I would be willing to sell those assets for. Nam Tai is in that category.

    Then there is another category of stocks that I like to keep longer because they are "business plays". DJCO, Tesco and CRMT are in that category. I think they can compound at a satisfactory rate for a long time. I would only sell if a bad/dumb manager comes in and/or my thesis is proven to be flawed (COCO).

    Maybe I could sell them if they become grossly overvalued but I have never experienced that so I'll only know it when I get to that point.

    In general I don't roll over one stock into another. My best idea is always on the table but I force myself to save up if I feel a an urge to buy.

    Why?
    This way 100% of my energy is focussed on
    1) Finding non-necessary expenses (spending less than I earn) and
    2) Analysis.

    As far as I'm concerned all other aspects of portfolio management/sizing are less relevant for me as a private investor. Like everyone I have an irresistible urge to buy whatever I like best today but I have trained myself to channel that energy into cutting back on expenses (not buying that shiny new laptop). So instead of becoming a fanatical trader I become a fanatical cash saver.

    That's my MO now but it may change.

    Hope any of this makes sense to you.

    kind regards,
    F

    P.S.
    If I stick to this strategy (and I also succeed in avoiding lots of mistakes) then my portfolio will have more stocks as the years go by. Let's say 12 stocks by 2020 or so.
  • snowballbuilder 2014-09-04 01:42
    Hi batbeer i always found your article interesting, i ve just check ed your portfolio (conservative investor xii) ... You own just 6 holding ... Me too.
    Just some question on your investment proces ,,, when you buy a new position have you got an exit price or if the company continue to do weel you hold "forever" a la philip fisher ?
    You tend to add and trim a position or you buy a big chunck and sit on your assett ?
    Thanks and keep investing and writing . Snowballbuilder
  • toiman 2014-08-23 05:41
    batbeer2: Hi toiman,

    - There's less to write about these days. PostNL got quite cheap a couple of weeks ago but it ran away before I got round to writing about
    Am proud owner, thanks to you, of PostNL.  Can you provide link to your BM newsletter.  Also, will follow up on your email. Most important, sounds like you are well.

    Regards,
    Tom
  • toiman 2014-08-23 03:54
    Batbeer2,

    As a Dutchman, always enjoy your incisive stock research.  Miss you lately. Perhaps you won that trip to China or HK?

    Welcome your response.

    Thankyou,
    toiman
  • coryashpt 2014-08-22 15:29
    Hi Francis,

    I was very pleased with CRMT's earnings report and the tone of the conference call.  I like how management focuses on the success of the customer.  Managements efforts to slow churn of regional managers seems to be paying off.  It actually looks undervalued at $41/shr.  Any thoughts?
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