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Operating vs Financial Cash Flows

April 27, 2017 Comments (0)

Photo Credit: Daniel Broche || To the victor goes the spoils, or, does a victory get spoiled?====================================I was at a CFA Baltimore board meeting, and we were talking before the meeting.  Most of us work for value investors, or, growth-at-a-reasonable-price investors.  One fellow who has a business model somewhat like mine, commented that all the money was flowing into ETFs which were buying things like Facebook, Amazon and Google, which was distorting the market.  I made...

The Best of the Aleph Blog, Part 30

April 20, 2017 Comments (0)

Photo Credit: Philipp Messner || Every culture should learn their alphabet =========================================In my view, these were my best posts written between May and July 2014:Look to the Liabilities to Understand the AssetsWhy do new asset classes work very well for a time and then fail?I Have My DoubtsLearning to live with uncertainty and thrive amid it.Asset Value IllusionPeople don’t need assets as much as they need streams of income derived from the assets (dividends,...

Arconic Arguments

April 4, 2017 Comments (0)

There’s a lot of bits and bytes spilled in the war between Elliott Associates (and those that favor their position) and the current board of Arconic.  I want to point out a few things, having held Alcoa since prior to the breakup, and added to my positions in both new Alcoa and Arconic post-breakup.Profitability will likely improve more if Elliott’s nominees are elected to the board, and Larry Lawson is CEO.The existing management team does not deserve credit for the recent rise in...

The Best of the Aleph Blog, Part 29

April 4, 2017 Comments (0)

Photo Credit: Hanan Cohen || Anyone need a copy?===============================In my view, these were my best posts written between February and April 2014:On the Structure of Berkshire HathawayOn the Structure of Berkshire Hathaway, Part 2, the Harney Investment TrustThis set of posts is unique in going through how the insurance entities of Berkshire Hathaway allow Buffett to hold as much as he does of his stocks/businesses through his insurance companies.  It also explains as much as can be...

The Best of the Aleph Blog, Part 28

April 2, 2017 Comments (0)

Photo Credit: sevoo===============================In my view, these were my best posts written between November 2013 and January 2014:Advice For Would-be BloggersBe regular (I need that advice myself), write on what you care about, start small.  Not that much different than this recent interview of me regarding blogging.What Life Insurance to Buy?Depends on whether you need it for protection or as part of a tax shelter or estate plan.Protect Your Older Family & FriendsRemember that older...

Four Simple Investment Strategies That Work

March 30, 2017 Comments (0)

Photo Credit: Lenore Edman============================================================This will be a short post, though I want to toss this question out to readers: what investment strategies do you know of that are simple, and work on average over the long-term?Here are four (together with posts of mine on the topic):1) IndexingIndex Investing is not Inherently SocialisticWhy Indexes are Capitalization-WeightedWhy do Value Investors Like to Index?On Bond Investing, ETFs, Indexes, and the...

The Best of the Aleph Blog, Part 27

March 30, 2017 Comments (0)

In my view, these were my best posts written between August and October 2013:I completed the last of my “Manager” series, on being an investment risk manager:The Education of an Investment Risk Manager, Part VIThis is the bizarre story of how I pulled a win out of an impossible situation against my own management, and a major life insurer.The Education of an Investment Risk Manager, Part VIIOn the time that I correctly modeled a complex structured security, and the client...

Round Up

March 29, 2017 Comments (0)

Photo Credit: MICHAEL BROWN====================================This is a small thing, and so this will be a small post.Learn to set your expectations right.When you buying something and see a price like $19, $19.95, or $19.99, think $20.When you are buying a car, and see prices like $19,000, $19,900, $19,990, or $19,999, think $20,000.  The same thing applies to homes, and be sure you have a strong estimate of all of the extra taxes and fees that will get thrown into the price.People tend to...

The Best of the Aleph Blog, Part 26

March 29, 2017 Comments (0)

Photo Credit: richard winchell  || No, don’t study the Kabbalah…To my readers, for a little while, I am going to be doing some “best of” posts along with some smaller articles.  You should see eleven “best of” articles before this is done.  If this bugs you, just turn me off for a little while.  These articles are important, because there are some re-publishers that mine these pieces for content, and sometimes translate highlighted articles into languages...

The Permanent Portfolio

March 19, 2017 Comments (0)

==========================================I will admit, when I first read about the Permanent Portfolio in the late-80s, I was somewhat skeptical, but not totally dismissive.  Here is the classic Permanent Portfolio, equal proportions of:S&P 500 stocksThe longest Treasury BondsSpot GoldMoney market fundsThink about Inflation, how do these assets do?S&P 500 stocks – mediocre to pretty goodThe longest Treasury Bonds – cratersSpot Gold – soarsMoney market funds – keeps value, earns...