Friday, September 23, 2011

What We're Reading ~ 9/23/11

The Warren Buffetts next door [Matt Schifrin]

Excerpts from Seth Klarman & Baupost Group's Q2 letter [ValueWalk]

Third Point's presentation on Yahoo! [Dealbreaker]

Ten market crash commandments [Reformed Broker]

The fall of FrontPoint Partners [AR+Alpha]

The rise & fall of Yahoo! (YHOO) [BigPicture]

Third Point raises $500m for reinsurer [FINalternatives]

Hedge funds offering more separate account options [OnWallStreet]

John Paulson loves stocks [WSJ]

Has Paulson lost his touch? [BusinessWeek]

Good take on the Netflix (NFLX) situation [Splatf]

Meet Warren Buffett's new hire [Fortune]

Does the euro have a future? [George Soros]

Gaining by betting against Chinese reverse mergers [WashingtonPost]

Copper leads commodities downward [Barrons]

Activist investors finding more targets [Reuters]

Harvard endowment rises 21% on hedge fund gains [Bloomberg]

Asking the right & wrong questions [Dan Ariely]

Oldie but goodie: Wall St trader tells all [Independent]

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lone Pine Capital Says Euro is Doomed & China's Debt Will Lead to a Crisis

Steve Mandel's hedge fund Lone Pine Capital says there are major concerns for global financial markets going forward.

*Update: excerpt removed per request from representatives of Lone Pine

Their point on China is not the first time we've heard this cautious approach. Grandmaster Capital's Patrick Wolff has called China a debt-fueled investment bubble. Kleinheinz Capital also believes that inflation is the biggest threat to emerging markets. And lastly, hedge fund manager Jonathan Ruffer also put out commentary that he's worried about China.

But at the same time, there are other prominent investment managers that take the other side of the argument. We've covered previously how Maverick Capital is focused on China's importance and how Warren Buffett has said China will be a big driver of growth for the next 10-20 years. At the Delivering Alpha Conference, Xerion fund's Dan Arbess debated against Kynikos Associates' Jim Chanos as to whether China is a bubble or bonanza.

While big names stand on either side of the argument, only time will tell who is ultimately proven correct.

Lone Pine Capital's Current Investment Themes

Today we're covering the current investment themes from Steve Mandel's hedge fund Lone Pine Capital.

*Update: excerpt removed per request by representatives of Lone Pine

In more recent portfolio activity, we've detailed how Lone Pine nearly doubled its SolarWinds (SWI) stake and has been buying the dip in VanceInfo Technologies (VIT).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mark Massey's Hedge Fund AltaRock on Domino's, Mohawk Industries, & Carter's

Today we present an update from Mark Massey's hedge fund AltaRock. Since his inception as portfolio manager, Massey has seen a compound annual growth rate of 11.9%. And through the end of July, AltaRock was up 17.6% net for the year. While that obviously doesn't include the August volatility, it's certainly impressive.

Last year we posted up AltaRock's investing principles and received a ton of positive reader feedback about the piece. Since their letter was theoretical and practical in nature, the one question readers kept asking was: what are they invested in and why? Clearly everyone wanted to see these principles in practice.

Well today we're happy to share AltaRock's mid-year 2011 letter which walks you through their rationale with very in-depth write-ups on the following new additions to their portfolio: Domino's Pizza (DPZ), Mohawk Industries (MHK), and Carter's (CRI).

Massey writes that, "we invest with the mindset of a long-term business owner, and we seek superior businesses with durable competitive advantages."

Embedded below is the update (email readers please click this link to come read it: AltaRock's 2011 letter):

Be sure to also check out AltaRock's investing principles as it truly is an excellent piece.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bridgewater's Ray Dalio on His Principles & Investment Outlook

Bridgewater Associates' founder Ray Dalio was at the Bloomberg Markets 50 Summit recently and gave his thoughts on an array of topics. Bridgewater topped the list of the top 10 biggest hedge funds in 2010 and now manages an estimated $122 billion as the biggest hedge fund in the world.

Through the end of August, Bridgewater was up an astonishing 25.3%. How did they generate such outperformance? Dalio takes a diversified approach to investing, saying that "you're playing the role of the casino rather than the gambler in the casino, that's how you're going to make money I believe"

Bridgewater's August gains were at least somewhat attributed to their long positions in gold, Treasury bonds, and the Swiss franc.

It's clear that Bridgewater has been "long safety" and as the global macro hedge fund examines all asset classes around the globe on a daily basis.

Dalio is pessimistic overall, especially on the Eurozone. However, he does think the US is better positioned than Europe. Dalio also believes the Federal Reserve is the key to any equity rally: "if the markets are going to rally, and things are going to be good, it is going to be the Fed that will come in to save us." QE3 anyone?

Embedded below is Dalio's video interview (email readers click the link to come to the site to watch):

And if you can't listen to audio at work, here's the full transcript of the interview embedded below:

Dalio sparsely appears in the media, so those of you looking for more insight from the zen master himself, head to a rare interview with Dalio from earlier this year.

We'll end with one of our favorite all-time quotes from Ray Dalio: "Alpha is zero sum. In order to earn more than the market return, you have to take money from somebody else."