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make up of investors on the board


racemize
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Hey guys, I'm fairly new here, and was wondering what kind of investors are on this board.  Is it mostly individuals?  Some of the posts use the "We are..." type language, so it seems like there might be some fund/partnership investors as well.

 

Also, if you guys don't mind, I'd love to hear what kind of long term returns you're getting (I'm only a year or so in for mine).  I've only read about how good the greats are, so I'm curious as to how it's working out for some of the smaller guys (assuming that you are, in fact, smaller).

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Welcome to the board. 

 

It's a good group, thanks to Sanjeev, our referee.  The predecessor board had a few Bozos who were sometimes tangential or even contrary to value investing.  Lurkers, I suspect, include a number of large, well known value investors.  Most of these, including some who may be members, rarely or never post if I'm not mistaken.  Only Sanjeev knows for sure, and he maintains confidentiality.

 

From past surveys, most members post as private individuals, although a number are employeed in or associated with the funds industry.  Managers of modestly sized funds are a smaller group, and managers of large funds who actively post are rare.

 

Sanjeev, correct me if I'm wrong about my conjectures.  :)

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Hi Racemize,

I’ll answer your question.  I’ve been on this board about 4 years now, mostly as a lurker, but I post occasionally.  I’m just an individual investor that manages my own personal money. I’m an IC design engineer by trade.    Sanjeev Parsad, who started the board, is from:http://www.cornermarketcapital.com/, and many of the other frequent posters on this board do manage other people’s money and do it for a living. Although there are a ton of individual investors as well.  All in all an extremely knowledgeable group of people here.  I don’t mind sharing my returns as far as I know them, I just logged into Fidelity and they let you report your personal rate of return over any period up to the past 24 months. Mine is:

Year to Date: 5.8%

12 Months:  6.2%

24 Months: 48.9%

 

Of course I had a bad year in 2008, so that 48.9% was just bringing me back to where I was in 2007.

 

I’ve learned a ton since joining this board, not just ideas, which I have found a few, but simply the knowledge I’ve gained by reading the discussions and even a few books that I never would have heard of otherwise.  I was already looking into value investing when I found the board, that’s how I found it.  I was looking for info on Sadar Biglari (a long story there, I made good money but no longer trust him).  This board has been the best all-around resource I’ve found for info on everything value investing.  If you can’t find what you’re looking for by searching the archives, just post and someone will help you. 

 

--Eric

 

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Thanks everyone, as I mentioned in another thread, this board has been a great breath of fresh air and I've been reading everything in sight.  I'm in a small group of value investors locally, but all of us are relatively new to it, so it's nice to be around people with more experience/knowledge in it.

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I'm just a dude (with a 90% or so savings rate  :P ) tryin' to stay alive in this crazy world.

 

+1

 

 

And also, you haven't lived until you read the LVLT thread. That is a FACT!!

 

I keep hearing about that thread, but 117 pages (or whatever it is), is a bit intimidating...

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I can tell you one thing.  Blue Horseshoe loves LVLT.

 

That's quite funny Kraven! 

 

Twacowfca, you are correct.  You'd be surprised by who reads this board, thus I would suggest everyone be careful how hard you come down on professionals you might read about in the media. 

 

Racemize, enjoy the board!  There are alot of terrific people on here, who are very knowledgeable about investing and life.  Cheers!

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I'm just a dude (with a 90% or so savings rate  :P ) tryin' to stay alive in this crazy world.

 

+1

 

 

And also, you haven't lived until you read the LVLT thread. That is a FACT!!

 

I keep hearing about that thread, but 117 pages (or whatever it is), is a bit intimidating...

 

Sorry, that thread is off limits except for those who gravitate toward OCD.  :)

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Racemize,

 

I think you found a good board to learn from.  As for me I'm living proof that value investing in the school of Buffett and others can be life changing.  I started investing in 1994 as a hobby/sideline to my career at the time.  I did have an MBA but found that other than basic accounting and finance, maybe three or four classes, most of the formal education was unnecessary or even wrong (I remember to this day the first lecture on the efficient market theory and I remember thinking this can't be right, surely someone with better judgement than average can do better than average in the market).  I stumbled on Buffett soon after the MBA and the concept of value investing just clicked and I became super excited and started reading like crazy.

 

I started with fairly modest funds to invest with in my early thirties.  Through a combination of reading and learning, passion, and some luck I was able to retire early and invest full-time.

 

The best things you can do in my opinion are:

 

A) Work hard to maximize your income and save, save, save

 

B) Read, read, read

Read Graham's Intelligent Investor (especially chapter's 8 and 20)

Read Buffett's writings and the earlier books on Buffett

Read Klarman

Read Greenblatt's first book

Read Peter Lynch's 2 books

Read other value investors discuss the businesses they own and why (Tilson's Value Investor Insight is pretty good, $350 or so a year, but you have to layer your own judgement and consider if you agree with their philosophy and consider their motives)

Read and think about moats - what makes a moat? what businesses have moats? who had them and lost them over time and why?

 

C) Get comfortable with a method that works for you.  For me it's finding a business that a) I would be comfortable holding for 10-15 years b) I understand it's moat c) is cheap and I understand why it's cheap (and disagree of course).  The best ideas seem to come from forced selling, selling for a temporary reason (bad qtr or two), or selling for a reason I understand and disagree with.  Having all these stars line up is rare and when they do I put at least 10% of assets into the idea.  Or more if you are really confident in the business.  Don't be afraid to sell if it runs up a lot even if you don't have other good ideas ready and waiting.

 

C) Dig, dig, dig for ideas

May favorite source by far is Valueline - read it cover to cover every week, go through the low P/E list, go through the highest 3-5 year appreciation list, go through the highest growth stock list, thumb through the volumes to get a sense for what businesses are cheap and what are expensive, and think and read about why.

 

D) Read the company filings, concentrate on cash flow, beware of shareholder unfriendly management - what is management doing with cash flow?, shrinking share count over time is wonderful

 

My biggest successes were loading up on things that I really had conviction on and understood and disagreed with the bear case.  I was able to entirely miss the 2000-03 meltdown by focusing on value - there were some real values in small stocks even as the S&P was way overvalued.  I was lucky to recognize the coming oil shortage 2005-07 (my background is oil and gas but I normally don't invest much in energy companies).  I was lucky to be very conservative going into the 2008 meltdown (I was worried about oil prices not houses).  My biggest mistakes were buying things that I was not truly comfortable with and then selling in a wave of uncertainty/panic.  Looking back what drove me to do that was putting pressure on myself to beat the market every year - I just have to accept that some years will under-perform and not force it.

 

FWIW I am more cautious now than I have ever been in 17 years.  It may be a mistake but I would rather let some values go by right now than be heavily invested given a 25%(??) chance of a very bad outcome spreading from Europe.  This is just the second time in 17 years I have let the macro influence my investing in a big way.  I think some time in the next 3-8 years will be a great time for stocks again but not now.  It will be no fun to under-perform if the market goes up a lot but that's the advantage of managing your own money, you only have to answer to yourself.

 

I've never been successful at picking shorts because I can never get a level of conviction that keeps me in when it goes the wrong way.  This may be a fatal flaw for me but I'm going to give it one more try before I give up on the idea given my views on the next few years.  Still learning - I hope.

 

Good luck

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Thanks mountboney, I think I'm on a similar path as you, but behind by a number of years.  I'm definitely in the process of everything you mention (particularly on the valueline front, I find it invaluable). 

 

Out of curiosity, given your uncertainty due to macro concerns, what level are you invested right now?  I'm full in right now, but am about to increase my portfolio size by about 40% in a couple of weeks and am considering what to do with the influx.

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folks few of you mention valueline, which product/service/subscription are you guys refering to?

 

hy

 

I'd also love to have more details on it. Do you subscribe to the paper or electronic version? How's the paper version? Do you get a small phonebook every week, or just a few pages of highlights?

 

Also, is VL just for US stocks or do they also cover Canadian companies?

 

Is anyone a subscriber to Gurufocus? They seem to also have lots of info and screens and such. I'm only a free user, but I'm wonder if maybe they cover a lot of the same data as VL, maybe at a cheaper price. (no paper version, though)

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folks few of you mention valueline, which product/service/subscription are you guys refering to?

 

hy

 

I have access to the electronic version via my local public library.  It is phenomenal and gives a lot of fundamental data going back 10-15 years.  Here is a sample one they have posted for KO:

 

http://www3.valueline.com/dow30/f2084.pdf

 

This is also something that Buffett uses, fyi.  As to what they cover, for the detailed reports, they mostly focus on the bigger/common names, but they have shorter reports for some small caps.  I don't think they cover anything outside of the US exchanges though.

 

Ycharts provides similar historical data in graph form, but isn't as reliable and doesn't provide the analysis.  It is also pretty annoying re upgrading to pro data.

 

And finally, re gurufocus, I thought it was a pretty different service than ValueLine, but I haven't accessed it, so I don't know.

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racemize

 

yeah i hear ya, i guess i was looking for more specific on which subscription which they offer are people using

 

http://valueline.com/Products/

 

i am looking at:

 

The Value Line Investment Survey

The Value Line Investment Survey - Small and Mid-Cap

The Value Line Research Center

 

It seems like The Value Line Research Center has all the other subscriptions data just not in a nice to read report format?

 

not sure if anyone has experience with the above 3 subscriptions?

 

hy

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racemize

 

yeah i hear ya, i guess i was looking for more specific on which subscription which they offer are people using

 

http://valueline.com/Products/

 

i am looking at:

 

The Value Line Investment Survey

The Value Line Investment Survey - Small and Mid-Cap

The Value Line Research Center

 

It seems like The Value Line Research Center has all the other subscriptions data just not in a nice to read report format?

 

not sure if anyone has experience with the above 3 subscriptions?

 

hy

 

It appears that I have the ValueLine Investment Survey Plus edition which covers at least the surveys.  I generally have been avoiding the small and mid-cap companies thus far though, so I don't have much of an opinion.  It has the same info as the regular reports, but without analysis or predictions.

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I get the Value Line Investment Survey - hard copy as I use multiple pages at once for comparison.  Morningstar also has an afforable premium subscription that I have found worthwile.  I scan the VL sheets to keep up to date on current sector valuations and potential new sectors to look into.

 

Packer

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