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What do you guys think of Jim Chuong?


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I initially ran across Jim Chuong's site when searching for Buffet's partnership letters. In case you aren't aware of who Jim is, he is a pharmaceutical sales rep for Novartis, who also happens to run an investment partnership that generates very strong market-beating returns.

 

Even more unusually, Jim has done this while specializing in only a few particular stocks: K-Swiss (shoes), Fossil (watches), and Oakley (sunglasses) in the early years; and in recent years, the addition of The Buckle (apparel retailer), American Eagle (apparel retailer), and Columbia Sportswear. He also holds a stake in Berkshire that he considers to be equivalent to cash.

 

Jim is a proponent of Buffet-style value investing, and all I can say is that he has been very successful. He also has adopted Buffet's writing in his annual letter to his partners.

 

As to his performance though, I will let his numbers do the talking.

 

http://i54.tinypic.com/zssfiv.jpg

 

What do you all know of this guy?

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He's been featured in Canadian Business or Moneysense magazine for a few years running in a series of articles on successful individual investors.

I hadn't given him much though because I just shooed away the idea of Kswiss or Fossil being good value investments........he's obviously much smarter than I am.  :)

But I guess sometimes those are the companies that perform well since most just ignore them.

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He's been featured in Canadian Business or Moneysense magazine for a few years running in a series of articles on successful individual investors.

I hadn't given him much though because I just shooed away the idea of Kswiss or Fossil being good value investments........he's obviously much smarter than I am.  :)

But I guess sometimes those are the companies that perform well since most just ignore them.

 

We did a study a few years ago of the performance of MFI type stocks over several years by sector and subsector.  Subsector returns often had too small sample sizes and too much noise to draw firm conclusions, but sector returns were more interesting.  Retailers and branded consumer goods companies seemed to be the best performing MFI sectors as we defined them.  We bought Deckers Outdoors initially at about $19/SH after it showed up on the MFI screen.  :)

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A little bit of Critical thinking is in order:

 

- What is his CAGR?  Dozens on this board have beaten it

 

- His day job is a salesperson

 

- Is he running a partnership?  Where are the partners?

 

- Results audited or tracked on Marketocracy?

 

- Holding Royal Bank Can. over the same time period would yield the same results.

 

- Are results after tax?  If so, how does he determine his taxes.  I attach my capital gains to my net income (full time job) which gives me a rate lower than a LLP rate.  Does he do the same?  This is a complex issue.  If he is doing what I do then how did he get his 2010 results so fast that he can post them.  Or does he pay the rate for a Limited Partnership?  Doesn't say on his board. 

 

- Augustabound - maybe you make better choices

 

 

At least a dozen members on this board that I know of, could post BETTER results than him on a blog.  BTW - I am not implying that MR. Choung is a fraud or that his results are not legitimate or good.

 

 

 

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First time I think I've heard of him. If he's a private investor, how do you actually know his returns are legit? According to his site, he doesn't include dividend returns for the s&p 500, but it looks like he includes them for his returns. That seems kinda strange to me.

 

How do we know his calculations don't include his money saved? People thought the Beardstown Ladies were market geniuses until someone actually audited their numbers. 

 

http://www.ticonline.com/

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If you read the MoneySense articles linked below you will see that they looked at his brokerage statements.

 

Thanks for that.

 

 

Now, on the more cricital side, according to the 2007 Moneysense, he was considering buying real estate in Oct 2007 and has purchased properties before that. Also, at 35, his net worth was only $1.1 million. I mean, that's good and all, but not all that great considering he's consider a great small investor. I'm guessing if he's in his 30s and if pharmacutical sales he's probably making somewhere north of $100,000 a year.

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Guest broxburnboy

Looks to me like his long time average is about 20% over 12 years... very respectable. According to the last poll on this board, that would put him in the middle of the pack here. Keep in mind that the small investor has an advantage over those with more funds.. portfolio concentration, risk appetite etc. The kind of volatility shown in his results could very well reflect a level of risk taking which would be unacceptable for a "pro".

Can't see why he should be held up as a superstar.

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I'm new to this board so I'll have to give you the benefit of the doubt on your statement that on this board he would just fall into the middle of the pack. All I know is that there is a big difference sustaining 20% average performance over 10+ years, and that I could die a happy man if I were able to achieve that. I think you are being unfair to him though. 20% over a long period of time is, objectively, great performance. Also, I wouldn't exactly call his results volatile if you're comparing them to the S&P, e.g., he clearly isn't achieving his performance just by increasing his beta.

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The results are good...  but break them down a bit.  Take out Year 1 for example, or just calculate from 2004 to now and the results are substantially weaker as he was getting more money.  I know this is sort of unfair but he started posting his results effective 1998 during a period when only holding Berkshire or FFh was detrimental.  If I am going to include that first year of 68% returns I want to know what he bought before that and how he did.  Since he wrote his letters starting 2004 that is a reasonable starting point.  Then his returns are closer to 15% which is not bad but no where near 20%. 

 

I am still wondering how much money was put in along the way. 

 

I am still wondering about Capital gains and dividend taxes for all the years and 2010 in particular (I wouldn't post my 2010 results yet since I dont know exactly how I am being taxed) - so how does he know?  Reading his brokerage statements is not going to tell you about taxes.  Does he pay them out of his pay check?  If so then his results are severely skewed - up to 5% on the high side.  That brings them down to 12%.

 

Also, to those who run partnerships here with investors there are certain drag fees - am I correct.  So. does he have a legal partnership.  This brings his results down to 9%.

 

Finally, it is extremely easy to get written up by many magazines if you have some sort of story to tell. 

 

Be a little skeptical.     

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35 with networth of 1.1M isn't bad at all.

 

I wouldnt be complaining. Well maybe double that by then, but 1.1 aint bad at all

 

Compare to some board members here, 1.1M@35 is probably mediocre and somehow low. Investing is a tough business; we can easily feel we are better than what we are.

 

It took me 5 years to get back the $$$$ I lost in 06.due to being overly confidence. Don't count your chips until you leave the table.

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Finally, it is extremely easy to get written up by many magazines if you have some sort of story to tell. 

 

Be a little skeptical.     

 

Yes, those of us north of the border here may all know the name Derrick Foster.  Retired at 34 with $450 000, while only having put $200 away per month for 10 years with a 2 year hiatus to travel Europe in between.  ::)

And then write 5 books (including the one released this past October) and reap the rewards of retirement.

He was also written up a few times with Jim in Moneysense.

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35 with networth of 1.1M isn't bad at all.

 

I wouldnt be complaining. Well maybe double that by then, but 1.1 aint bad at all

 

Compare to some board members here, 1.1M@35 is probably mediocre and somehow low. Investing is a tough business; we can easily feel we are better than what we are.

 

It took me 5 years to get back the $$$$ I lost in 06.due to being overly confidence. Don't count your chips until you leave the table.

 

I would be very happy with those mediocre returns. Very happy.

 

Humm what happened in 2006. Was it all in on one play or a series of bad hands? If you dont mind me asking.

 

Its tough to stay centered. I try to keep that Munger duck quote in mind. I know some bad days or due, 2011 has been a bit too good in terms of personal and investments. Right when I start to feel pretty smart something usually comes along to bring me back to earth. A few months ago it was KSP. I am sure something will creep up.

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3 major blows to 3 largest holdings with couple months - one mining, one biotech, one O&G.

And decided to roll the remains to average down on the biotech - which become a penny stock now. LOL.

 

Had I decided to roll the the remains to the mining or to the O&G instead - I would be closer to retirement now. :)

 

 

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Compare him to Seth Klarman.. wow.. that's over the board.

 

 

I'm merely pointing out that there seems to be a large amount of distaste for this guy because he "hasn't done all that well."  However, over a 12 year period, a 16% year-over-year return is pretty decent.  He seems to have a good head on his shoulders and does decently well at compounding his money.

 

There aren't very many people in the world that can compound at rates over 20% for long periods of time.  It seems like the board believes otherwise.

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I think the board makes a distinction between pros who run billions and have to invest in large caps and us small guys who can buy leaps on cheap small / medium caps and dont have investors calling us every 20 minutes complaining about volatility.

 

I think its a far distinction. A coworker wants me to invest some of his funds and asked me what amount I could promise him. That scared the hell out of me and the thought of me being nagged every day during the next crisis was enough for me to point him to Bruce B.

 

 

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I agree that it's completely fair to make a distinction between pros that run billions and deal with a smaller universe of stocks and small guys who deal with a bigger universe of stocks -- however, the underlying assumption here is that a small guy would be able to generate something like 30% returns over a decade.

 

I think that's harder than many on the board seem to think, but it's possible that I'm wrong.

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Myth, I have refused a few people as well.  Friends and relatives.  Generally I will refer them to Chou Associates.  Amounts are too small for General Partnerships.  

 

To be very clear... I am questioning the accuracy of Jim Chuong's results, and what exactly he is reporting, (pre-tax/after tax/partnership results)not the fact he had 1 million at 35.  I dont know what his starting point was or how much he put in on the way.  Further to my comments about getting publlished.  When a writer at a paper or magazine has an article to write about a topic such as personal investing success they check the magazines or papers database for reference materials.  Once you are in their database you are there forever and will get constantly requoted.  And dont you know that once in print or on a website it must be true.  

 

There is a reason why Sanjeev has his partnership results audited.  It tends to avoid folks like me legitimately questioning his results.  

 

For someone who is allegedly retired Derrick Foster sure works alot.  He self published the first book with his gimmick tag line, and now sells enough books to support his meager lifestyle.  Each book is written to the formula of writing the same thing every 18 months as per David Bach, Suze Orman, Robert K. etc.  The Chicken Soup for the soul of personal finance.

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