How To Value Float, Book Recommendation, And An Update On What I Have Been Doing Including Info About The Potential Investment Firm I Plan To Open

More Float Info and a Book Recommendation

While I was beginning to write my UNAM article I realized that of all the learning I had done about float, I had not learned how to value it.  Below are some more sites that I learned from while I was putting my article together on how to evaluate and value a company’s float.  Some of the information and valuations made it into my UNAM article and a lot of the other stuff made it into my written notes.

Personally I would put these links on about on par with some of the other information on float I have learned about and posted on the blog from the Fundoo Professor and others, and I hope you learn something from them as well.

I cannot recommend The Davis Dynasty highly enough.  I wish I would have known about this book and read it when I had first started learning about investing and would put in on the same level as The Intelligent Investor, Security Analysis, Margin of Safety, and You Can Be a Stock Market Genius as some of my favorite investment books.

The Davis Dynasty is a book about the Davis family starting with the older Shelby Davis who started with $50,000 in investment funds almost at the age of 40 and turned it into approximately $900 million by the time he died.  His son and grandsons are now continuing his investment legacy and have continued to compound portions of that money still to this day, or at least when the book was published.  The book goes over the general family and investment philosophies and how they made so much money.  The older Shelby Davis made his money mostly with insurance stocks.  The younger Shelby Davis made most of his money with a mixture of financial, insurance, and other stocks.  The grandsons have continued the overall philosophy but have expanded out from the so called boring insurance stocks.

Again, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

I have started to read The Farmer From Merna about how State Farm Insurance was started to continue gaining knowledge about the insurance industry.  After I finish this up I plan to look for another company to research.

Some Other Things I Have Been Up To

  • I am still learning Mandarin and at this point I have learned probably somewhere north of 2000 words or close to that.  Still amazing and I think this will definitely help me at some point down the road.
  • Nate (Oddball Stocks) and I were having a conversation a while back about how he read French value investing blogs to help him learn French faster so I decided to try to find some investing blogs that are in Mandarin to help me learn faster.  However, up to this point I have had only minimal luck so I have instead turned my latest article on UNAM into completely Mandarin text and thought I would try this out to see how this works.
  • I got some pretty good news from my lawyer friend about opening up the potential investment firm that I mentioned almost a month ago.  So far no concrete updates and I still have some more calls to make and digging to do, but at this point it looks like nothing should prohibit me from opening up a small investment firm.
  • I have started some work on an investor’s presentation so that when I do figure out things for sure I am ready to start contacting friends, family, and local wealthy people to see if they would like to invest.
  • I have been trying to get myself out there more still in the hopes of getting some kind of job offer, even if it is just someone who wants to pay me for my investment ideas until I open up the investment firm, so I have reapplied to the Value Investors Club.  Last time I applied I had to wait a few weeks to see my rejection letter.  Applied to SumZero and have already gotten an email back from them saying that because I do not have hedge fund/investment firm experience that I cannot join their site.  Started putting my articles on Guru Focus and my Brazil Fast Food article, the first article I have posted to GF, was named an Editor’s Pick.  So far nothing in the way of job offers but people generally say that they like my work a lot and that I do a really good job of laying out my analysis. I have a couple ideas that I may share in the coming weeks about some other ideas I have in this area as well.

Right now I am going to be finishing up The Farmer From Merna, then find another company to research, and keep doing the stuff above.  I will also probably post some more links here shortly.

Two Hour Buffett Interview, Loss Aversion, Ted Weschler, Toll Bridges, And Amit Wadhwaney on Martin Whitman

I am almost done with Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets and would highly recommend it to everyone.  It covers topics from history, politics, and the financial markets and gives you reasons why you should be skeptical of people in power and especially people who say their ideas will help better the world.

I should finish up the book today and then tomorrow it is off to researching companies again.  While I love learning new things and seeing ideas that I haven’t thought about before, I have become kind of a 10-K junkie and even though I have found the book very interesting and entertaining, my mind has been continually wandering thinking about companies I want to research and how to expand my knowledge about companies.  I think I am sick :).

Anyways on to the links.

Warren Buffet Two Hour Interview On CNBC from Valuewalk.

Selling Stock At A Loss and Our Loss Aversion Bias.  Very important lessons for investors.

Ted Weschler Rise From Grace Leads to Role Advising Buffett.  This is from Bloomberg and profiles Mr. Weschler, one of the people who might take over for Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway after Buffett steps down.

I Don’t Want To Be  A Toll Bridge, I Want To Be Its Meaning.  This is a very interesting article from the Fundoo Professor.  This is about Buffet’s metaphor about how he wants to invest in toll bridges, pay special attention to the discussion in the comments section as well.

Amit Wadhwaney on Martin Whitman.  This is an interview of Mr. Wadhwaney about Third Avenue Funds approach to investing.

Walter Schloss, Valuing Berkshire, Leon Cooperman, Thoughts On Valuations, and Gaining an Edge

Some weekend reading links while I am searching for another company to evaluate.

Walter Schloss’ 16 Golden Rules For Making Money In The Stock Market.  Link is from the Business Insider.

Tom Gayner’s Approach To Valuing Berkshire Hathaway.  This article is yet another from Greg Speicher’s blog and the rules that are laid out could be used to value other conglomerates.

Leon Cooperman: These are the Traits That Make The Best Analysts On Wall Street.  This article is from the Business Insider.  See how many of the traits 14 traits you have.

DoubleLine Capital Valuation Hint from the Brooklyn Investor’s blog.  This article, and the corresponding link at the top of the page to his previous discussion on DoubleLine, talks about things to look for when valuing financial companies.

How To Obtain An Edge When Investing, With Brad Hathaway of Far View Capital.  Link is from GreatInvestors.TV

Some Fantastic Links

Before I get back into research and finishing up my checklist I wanted to give you some links that I thought held some kind of insight or knowledge that we all could learn from.

Warren Buffett on his Investment in See’s. See’s is one of his favorite all time investments and I think his reasons for investing should be studied by every investor. Article is from Valuewalk, @Valuewalk on Twitter.

The Secret’s of See’s Candies is an extensive profile of the business, why Buffett bought it, why it is such a good business, its new expansion plans, and how Buffett and Munger almost blew the investment.

Visiting Warren Buffett are notes from someone who visited Berkshire Hathaway on a trip from Columbia Business School in 2006.  These notes are from an interview and speech that was given while on the trip where Buffett gives some very valuable lessons.  The most fascinating thing to me was that Buffett was the following quotes from the article: Emphasis mine.

Question 12: What would you pay for a solid company that is growing earnings at 8-10%/year?

Not many companies will do that. You see a lot of garbage about EBITDA. Depreciation is the worst kind of expense in that it is prepaid. He looks at EBIT/EV. He’ll generally pay 7x for a decent business. For insurance companies, he looks at float and the cost of float.

Looks like that could be a very good starting point for valuations.

Masters of Compounding: Walmart ($WMT) 1968-2012 is an exceptional article from Student of Value on the history of Walmart and what has made it such a fantastic company over time.  I would also recommend following @dgenchev on Twitter if you would like to see his future write ups as they have so far all been fantastic.

How an Average Business Can be a Great Investment by Oddball Stocks has some interesting thoughts about average businesses and their investment potential.  There is some great back and forth in the comments section as well.  I would also recommend reading his two write ups about Hanover Foods that he links to in the article as the analysis he presents is very detailed.

4 Mistakes When Valuing Companies With Large Cash Holdings, and How to Avoid Them is another fantastic write-up by Simple Value Investing.  I would also highly recommend following him on Twitter @SimpleValue as all of his write ups thus far have also been fantastic.  His write ups on Ibersol were very detailed and he laid out a very good investment case for them. Part 1 and Part 2.

I hope you enjoy the links over the next few days as I am now off to finish up my own investment checklist and to research some more companies.