There Was Shrinkage

Gold and the precious metal miners have been rising consistently over the past three months (GLD +9%, GDX +17%). This has been a very interesting move, especially considering recent government reports suggest inflation remains in check (most recent core CPI 2.2% and core PCE 1.9%). Furthermore, the dollar has...

The Bottom-Up Economist Q4 2018

In my December post, “Are All Bets Off?”, I wrote, “To what extent has the decline in equity markets influenced economic activity and corporate profits?” To answer this question, I noted I needed more information from the frontlines of business. Fortunately, that’s exactly what we received during Q4’s earnings...

The Quality Conundrum

Last week I spent some more time screening through possible buy ideas. A sector that has been roughed up caught my attention – the asset managers. Given my view on equity valuations, combined with the fact that most asset managers are relative return investors, I believe the industry could...

Goose Eggs – Small Cap Value

When I recommended returning capital in 2016, I felt small cap stocks were broadly overvalued. The cash in the portfolio I was managing was rising to record highs and I was unable to find investments I felt would adequately compensate clients for risk assumed. Hence, I felt the best...

I’ve Been High

I’m not sure what surprises me more. The fact that I’ve been writing a blog for over two years or that I haven’t fit America’s best rock band (according to Rolling Stone) into one of my posts. Of course I’m talking about R.E.M. Q3 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc I...

The Four Gross Margin Horsemen

As Q3 2018 earnings season comes to a close, there are several important themes and trends I’m looking forward to discussing in our upcoming The Bottom-Up Economist (BUE) quarterly report. While there were many similarities between Q3 and Q2 2018, there were some subtle, but important shifts in trends....

Capital Guilt Management

It’s that time of the year again. Of course I’m talking about tax loss selling season. Q3 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc pasja1000 / Pixabay As a fund manager, I attempted to avoid allowing capital gains or losses interfere with my investment decision making process. For example, if I incurred an...

Tick Tock Where Does The 2-Year Stop?

It’s been an interesting two weeks of macro inflation headlines. On September 7, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported average hourly earnings increased 2.9%, or the largest year over year increase since 2009. Meanwhile, the Fed’s Beige Book was released last week, highlighting the difficulty companies are having...

Would You Rather With Warren Buffett

While working as a fund manager, I often watched Bloomberg TV at night to see where the futures were trading and if I missed any news after leaving the office. Out of habit and curiosity, I continue this routine today. On a recent and relatively uneventful evening, a portfolio...

Hurts So Good

Near the later stages of a market cycle, if I don’t feel stupid and my portfolio doesn’t hurt, I’m probably not positioned appropriately. With short-term interest rates rising considerably over the past year, my patient positioning is beginning to feel a little too comfortable. At this stage of the...

Cyclically Non-Adjusted Earnings

Last week I played tennis with a mortgage broker I’ve known for over twenty years. In addition to being a good friend and tennis player, he often provides me with a timely and accurate assessment of the Florida housing market. Since we hadn’t talked in several months, I was...

Growth, Value, And Spite

It’s been two years since I recommended returning capital and interrupted my eighteen year track record. Although it was a difficult decision, in hindsight it appears to have been the right course of action. Since 2016, valuations have become even more expensive, making it challenging to find a sufficient...

Free College $$$ And Rising Average Prices

While driving to the office (Starbucks) last week, I noticed a McDonald’s sign advertising their new tuition assistance program. I thought it was interesting so I took a picture. Q1 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc, Also read Lear Capital: Financial Products You Should Avoid? 3dman_eu / Pixabay Yesterday I noticed the...

Participation Trophies

Whoever said “You throw like a girl!” has obviously never been to a fastpitch softball game. I’ve attended many and have seen ten-year-old girls throw 50 mph fastballs from a close distance. It’s very impressive and very challenging for those at the plate. My daughter is one of the...

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