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Thu, 22nd June 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “value investing” Tag

Peter Lynch’s Rules

Find your edge and put it to work by adhering to the following rules:

  • With every stock you own, keep track of its story in a logbook. Note any new developments and pay close attention to earnings. Is this a growth play, a cyclical play, or a value play? Stocks do well for a reason and do poorly for a reason. Make sure you know the reasons.
  • Pay attention to facts, not forecasts.
  • Ask yourself: What will I make if I’m right, and what could I lose if I’m wrong? Look for a risk-reward ratio of three to one or better.
  • Before you invest, check the balance sheet to see if the company is financially sound.
  • Don’t buy options, and don’t invest on margin. With options, time works against you, and if you’re on margin, a drop in the market can wipe you out.
  • When several insiders are buying the company’s stock at the same time, it’s a positive.
  • Average investors should be able to monitor five to ten companies at a time, but nobody is forcing you to own any of them. If you like seven, buy seven. If you like three, buy three. If you like zero, buy zero.
  • Be patient. The stocks that have been most rewarding to me have made their greatest gains in the third or fourth year I owned them. A few took ten years.
  • Enter early — but not too early. I often think of investing in growth companies in terms of baseball. Try to join the game in the third inning, because a company has proved itself by then. If you buy before the lineup is announced, you’re taking an unnecessary risk. There’s plenty of time (10 to 15 years in some cases) between the third and the seventh innings, which is where the 10- to 50-baggers are made. If you buy in the late innings, you may be too late.
  • Don’t buy “cheap” stocks just because they’re cheap. Buy them because the fundamentals are improving.
  • Buy small companies after they’ve had a chance to prove they can make a profit.
  • Long shots usually backfire or become “no shots.”
  • If you buy a stock for the dividend, make sure the company can comfortably afford to pay the dividend out of its earnings, even in an economic slump.
  • Investigate ten companies and you’re likely to find one with bright prospects that aren’t reflected in the price. Investigate 50 and you’re likely to find 5.

India : P-NOTE INVTS HIT 4-MONTH HIGH OF RS 1.78L-CR IN MAR

Investments in domestic capital markets via participatory notes (P-notes) have surprisingly surged to 4-month high of Rs 1.78 lakh crore at the end of March despite stringent norms put in place by Sebi to curb inflow of illicit funds. P-notes are issued by registered Foreign Portfolio Investors to overseas investors who wish to be a part of the Indian stock markets without registering themselves directly. They however need to go through a proper due diligence process.

According to Sebi data, total value of P-note investments in Indian markets – equity, debt and derivatives -increased to 1,78,437 crore at March-end, from Rs 1,70,191 crore at the end of February. Prior to that, the total investment value through P-notes stood at Rs 1.75 lakh crore in January-end and Rs 1.57 lakh crore in December-end. In March, investments through the route had touched the highest level since November, when the cumulative value of such investments stood at Rs 1,79,648 crore.    

Amazon Stock $100 Away From Making Jeff Bezos World’s Richest Man

Last Thursday, when AMZN stock – currently trading at some ridiculous four or more digit P/E multiple  – made its latest spurt higher, we reported that as a result of the move, Jeff Bezos was now richer than Warren Buffett and fast approaching Bill Gates.

As a reminder, just last Wednesday Bezos added $1.5 billion to his net worth, the day after the e-commerce giant announced it will buy Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com, and has added over $7 billion since the global equities rally began following the election of Donald Trump. As of last week, Bezos had a net worth of $75.6 billion based on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That’s $700 million more than Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s Buffett and $1.3 billion above Ortega, the founder of Inditex SA and Europe’s richest person.

That said, as of last Thursday, Bezos remained just over $10 billion behind Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, the world’s richest person with $86 billion.

But not for long, because fast forward less than a week later, when following a number of more sellside upgrades, Bezos is nearly there.

The latest catalyst: a “research” report from BMO’s Daniel Salmon who upgraded the company to BMO’s Top Pick, boosting his price target from $900 to $1,200. The alleged catalyst: Amazon is next set to challenge Google on its advertising business, to wit:

Tata Sons, Docomo to settle $1.17 bln legal dispute

India’s Tata Sons Ltd has agreed to pay Japan’s NTT Docomo about $1.17 billion in connection with the termination of a joint venture in the South Asian nation, the Nikkei daily reported, without citing its sources.

The deal could be announced as early as Tuesday, the Nikkei reported. Tata Sons and DoCoMo were not immediately available for comments. Tata Teleservices and DoCoMo have been locked in a long tussle over the Japanese company’s move to exit a partnership formed in 2009.

Under the terms of that deal, in the event of an exit, DoCoMo was guaranteed the higher of either half its original investment, or its fair value.

When DoCoMo decided to get out in 2014, Tata was unable to find a buyer for the Japanese firm’s stake and offered to buy the stake itself for half of DoCoMo’s $2.2 billion investment. India’s central bank blocked Tata’s offer, saying a rule change the previous year prevented foreign investors from selling stakes in Indian firms at a pre-determined price.

 Docomo proceeded to initiate arbitration in a London court, and won it. Tata was asked to pay a penalty of $1.17 billion, which it has deposited with the Delhi High Court.

Index Investing Unmasked: 96% Of Stocks Are Garbage

Warren Buffett released his annual letter over the weekend, in which he praised Jack Bogle as his “hero” for promoting index investing. The irony is that investors would have been better off buying Berkshire shares. Over the last 10 years, Berkshire stock is up 139% while the S&P 500 is up 71%. The real question is why Buffett just doesn’t tout his own stock rather than promote index investing. He tries to explain himself:

 “Charlie and I prefer to see Berkshire shares sell in a fairly narrow range around intrinsic value, neither wishing them to sell at an unwarranted high price – it’s no fun having owners who are disappointed with their purchases – nor one too low.”

Buffett is doing something every skilled salesman does: managing expectations. Buffett’s own performance is compared against the S&P 500, and what better way to win that game than by putting a floor under the Berkshire price with the promise of share buybacks and then putting a ceiling on the stock by promoting index investing? The real secret is Buffett is talking his book by not talking it: Rather than tell investors to buy Berkshire at any price, he tells people to invest passively through an index, which leads to the very market inefficiencies that he profits from.

The great appeal of index investing is its low fees, but like buying a cheap pair of shoes that falls apart after 6 months, investors will find that index investing is the most expensive thing they ever did. Vanguard promotes its rock bottom expense ratios, but what is not published is market impact costs that are incurred when the fund rebalances. Since these rebalances are often announced ahead of time, they are extremely vulnerable to front running. Christophe Bernard, PhD Senior Scientist at Winton Capital Management, estimates that front running costs index investors 0.20% per year. That’s 4 times the official expense ratio of Vanguard’s S&P 500 ETF.

In his latest research, finance professor Hendrik Bessembinder discovered that 58% of stocks don’t even outperform a Treasury bill. This study was based on 26,000 stocks from 1926 to 2015. Just 4% of stocks accounted for all of the $31.8 trillion in gains during this period. That means 96% of stocks were complete garbage. Even worse, shares of unprofitable companies outperform their profitable counterparts, which is why you have a marketplace that is dominated by Twitters and Teslas.

Index investing means buying a box of garbage stocks sprinkled with a few hope and glamour stocks whose price gains are solely a result of underperforming fund managers grasping for quarterly bonuses and retail investors juicing up their portfolios in a doomed attempt to catch up on their retirement targets.

While mom and pop buy a Vanguard index with their $500,000 and get front run all day by proprietary traders, the capitalist televangelist Warren Buffett will continue to actively trade billions while preaching the miracle of buy and hold investing.

When Buffet Breaks His Rules

Reading some headlines, I see that Buffet has “dumped Walmart” and “bought airline stocks” both of which seem to violate his rules: 1. to keep a stock forever and 2. never buy airlines.

It would seem that the math of such a big fund has forced him to change. Buying a small market value stock and riding the exponential growth once it succeeds no longer adds much to his returns. Since he is so diversified with such big companies hanging on forever gives market like returns and one is much more efficient by buying an index. So it would seem he is left with trying to time the market, on big companies and/or sectors, to add value to his shareholders.

My question is has he been successful when he has violated his rules in the past? Or does he like most of us get humbled by the markets when we try something new?

Berkshire Letter Highlights: Buffett Hates Hedge Funds, Likes Immigrants And The US Outlook

In its latest annual letter, released at 8am on Saturday, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway said Q4 profit rose 15% on a rise in gains from investment. Net income rose to $6.29 billion, or $3,823 a share, from $5.48 billion, or $3,333 the previous year, while operating earnings, which exclude some investment results, were $2,665 a share, a slight miss to the $2,717 consensus estimate. In 2016, the 86-year-old billionaire added new companies to his assorted conglomerate portfolio, and completed the purchases of battery giant Duracell and aerospace supplier Precision Castparts,  which helped to boost profit in his company’s manufacturing segment.

Among other notably operational highlights, Berkshire said it had booked a $1.2 billion gain from converting its preferred stake in Dow Chemical to common stock, and that it had sold all of the Dow common it converted by Dec. 31. Berkshire also revealed that its massive holdings of Apple stock, which as of December 31, had risen to 61.2 million shares making Berkshire one of the Top 10 holders of Apple, was acquired last year for $6.747 billion, or an average of roughly $110 per share. The stake was valued at more than $8.3 billion as of Friday’s $136.66 closing price, leading to a $1.6 billion unbooked gain. In addition to apple, Berkshire’s other Top 15 investments are laid out below:

Ironically, even though Berkshire – along with Goldman and JPM – has been among the biggest beneficiaries of the “Trump rally”, with Berkshire Class A shares climibg 15% since Nov. 8, bringing the company’s market capitalization above $400 billion for the first time, beating the S&P’s 11% increase, there were no explicit mentions of Donald Trump’s name anywhere in the letter. There were, however, various veiled references to the new president.

Who Really Beats the Market?

Survivorship bias, or survival bias, is the logical error of concentrating on the people or things that “survived” some process and inadvertently overlooking those that did not because of their lack of visibility. This can lead to false conclusions in several different ways. – Wikipedia

There is survivor bias in looking at trading and investing performance and then there are the traders and investors that have an edge. People with an edge end up with the losses of those that rely on luck for profits.

This article is from an edited transcript of a talk given at Columbia University in 1984 by Warren Buffett.

Investors who seem to beat the market year after year are just lucky. “If prices fully reflect available information, this sort of investment adeptness is ruled out,” writes one of today’s textbook authors.

Well, maybe. But I want to present to you a group of investors who have, year in and year out, beaten the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index. The hypothesis that they do this by pure chance is at least worth examining.

I would like you to imagine a national coin-flipping contest. Let’s assume we get 225 million Americans up tomorrow morning and we ask them all to wager a dollar. They go out in the morning at sunrise, and they all call the flip of a coin. If they call correctly, they win a dollar from those who called wrong. Each day the losers drop out, and on the subsequent day the stakes build as all previous winnings are put on the line. After ten flips on ten mornings, there will be approximately 220,000 people in the United States who have correctly called ten flips in a row. They each will have won a little over $1,000.

Now this group will probably start getting a little puffed up about this, human nature being what it is. They may try to be modest, but at cocktail parties they will occasionally admit to attractive members of the opposite sex what their technique is, and what marvelous insights they bring to the field of flipping.

India : PE deals dry up, investments in India ease to 3-year low

Private equity space turned off-colour in May as PE investments slid to a three-year low due to absence of sizeable amounts, says a report.

According to Grant Thornton, the global advisory, tax and assurance firm, there were 71 PE deals worth of $518 million clinched in May while it was 68 transactions worth $ 1,248 million in the same month last year.

“While the deal momentum is good, there will be some big-ticket transactions, especially in the PE space,” Prashant Mehra, Partner at Grant Thornton India LLP, said.

The PE investment activity increased marginally in volume terms, but investment value fell to the lowest in the last three years. Outlook for this space looks bullish though.

“As India remains a hot favourite for PE investors, the government’s ongoing measures towards easing statutory regulations and ease of doing business will perhaps facilitate those large investments,” Mehra added.

May was dominated by investments in start-ups which contributed 72 per cent to total volumes.
Start-ups in sectors like travel, transport and logistics, education, financial and health technology took pole position.

India -P-note investments fall to a 16-month low amid weak markets

Weakness in the domestic and global equity markets has pushed down the participatory-note (P-note) holdings of foreign portfolio investors (FPIs), the key drivers of Indian markets, to a 16-month low of Rs.2.31 trillion as of the end of January.

According to data from the Securities and Exchange Board of India or Sebi, the total outstanding value of P-notes in Indian capital markets, has been falling since October. P-note holdings in equities were at Rs.1.41 trillion as of January-end, the lowest in the last 18 months. The balance P-note holdings are in the debt and derivative markets.

P-notes, which can be issued by FPIs registered with Sebi, allow overseas investors, hedge funds and other foreign institutions to invest in Indian markets without directly registering with the Indian regulators. This helps investors avoid the time, cost and other procedural issues associated with direct registration.

Typically, P-note investments by FPIs are driven by the market outlook and the government’s policies towards foreign investors. Indian markets have been on a losing streak over the past few months owing primarily to weakness across emerging markets, tepid earnings growth and surging non-performing assets with domestic banks.

On Thursday, the 50-share Nifty fell 0.69% to close at 6,970.6 points—its lowest level since May 2014 . BSE’s 30-share Sensex fell 0.49% to close at 22,976 points. Including Thursday’s losses, the Sensex and Nifty have both lost 20% over the last one year.