Friday, August 8, 2008

Potash (POT) Sitting on Long Term Trendline

I've been seeing a lot of people concerned about the action in the agriculture sector, namely fertilizer stocks. Just wanted to post up that while yes there is some concerning action in those stocks, the long term trendline is still in tact. And, that's all I'm concerned about. We all know these companies are still firing on all cylinders, as evidenced by the blowout quarters they just reported. The market, though, likes to sell off anything remotely commodity related; that's just how it is. As Lawrence so effectively points out: until the long term uptrend is broken, these stocks are still manageable.

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We are currently right around the long term trendline. You can buy around $168/169 and then stop out around $165 if you want a tight stop or $159 if you want a less conservative stop. These fertilizer names are on the verge of a major technical breakdown. And, although we love their story fundamentally.... you've got to adhere to the price action we're seeing.

Quotes From Hedge Fund Manager Paul Tudor Jones

Paul Tudor Jones is one of the most successful global macro fund managers out there. He manages in excess of $17 billion at his hedge fund, Tudor Investment Corp. Although these quotes are older (taken from around 2000), they are very generalized and still serve as great advice for any investor/trader.

"I'd say that my investment philosophy is that I don't take a lot of risk, I look for opportunities with tremendously skewed reward-risk opportunities. Don't ever let them get into your pocket - that means there's no reason to leverage substantially. There's no reason to take substantial amounts of financial risk ever, because you should always be able to find something where you can skew the reward risk relationship so greatly in your favor that you can take a variety of small investments with great reward risk opportunities that should give you minimum draw down pain and maximum upside opportunities."


"And then at the end of the day, the most important thing is how good are you at risk control. Ninety-percent of any great trader is going to be the risk control."


Q: Let's play a word association game. I'll say a word and you say whatever comes to mind.

Q: Technical analysis

Paul Tudor Jones: Made well over half the money that I've made in my lifetime.

Q: Fundamental Analysis

Paul Tudor Jones: Made the rest.



Thursday, August 7, 2008

Rough July for Macro Funds

Oh, how the fruits of success can come back and force-feed you some humble pie. Many macro strategy hedge funds savored their gains during the first half of the year as their large bets on long energy, short financials paid them off handsomely. July, on the other hand, was a different story. As oil retreated and numerous financials rallied, macro funds took it on the chin.

Peter Thiel's Clarium Capital was -6.8% for the month of July (hat tip JimPunkRockford). But, fanboys will be quick to point out that his fund is still up over 45% year to date.

Philip Falcone's Harbinger Capital was -16% for July (via BusinessWeek) as their large concentrated bets on energy and commodities (specifically Cleveland Cliffs - CLF) blew up in their face. But, once again, fanboys will be quick to point out that they are still up over 23% year to date.

This all when the S&P500 is roughly -14% over the exact same time frame. But, its all relative, right?

A Tale of Two Tiger Cubs

And this is exactly why I love tracking 'offspring' of investing legends like Julian Robertson. Although both Andreas Halvorsen of Viking Global and Stephen Mandel Jr. of Lone Pine Capital both learned the tricks of the trade under Robertson in their time at Tiger Management, both have taken what they've learned and added their own spice to the value oriented, yet growth at a reasonable price (G.A.R.P.) tolerable investment style.

Although Viking Global and Lone Pine come from the same school of thought, their returns are polar opposite year to date. So far, Viking's Global Equities III Fund is up 8.45% year to date. While, on the other hand, Lone Pine's Lone Cedar Fund is -5.38% year to date. Oh how the slightest tweaks in philosophy make a difference. While both are still outperforming the S&P on a relative basis, Lone Pine being down for the year is slightly surprising given the amazing run they had last year, netting 44% in 2007. Has Mandel's momentum run out? Its still much too early to tell.

Many 'Tiger Cub' funds often have similar positions in their portfolio, which is understandable given their similar general investment philosophies. What sets them apart from each other though, are the positions they take that are dissimilar from their former Tiger Management peers. And, in a few weeks when the next round of SEC 13F filings are released, we'll be able to see just where Viking differed from Lone Pine in their approach.


Courtesy of the NY Post, we see just how some big hedge funds are faring year to date. As mentioned in previous posts, Harbinger Capital is tearing it up, as is John Paulson again (he tore it up last year as well due to his bets against the subprime mess). Some notable surprises on the list are Jeffrey Gendell's Tontine Associates poor performance, -17% year to date. It should be noted though, that he is more or less a value player, and we all know value is dead in 2008 (ha!). Also notable is Bret Barakett's Tremblant Capital -8.96% year to date. Bret is the brother of Timothy Barakett (manager of Atticus Capital), whom I track on the blog. I'll take a closer look at both of their 13f's this next go-round to see how similar/dissimilar the brothers are in their investment philosophies.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Macro Takeaways

Courtesy of Commodity News and Mining Stocks, Salida Capital (a multistrat hedge fund that has seen compounded annual returns in excess of 50%) is out with some very simple macro bullet points that effectively summarize what we're witnessing.

1. The housing crisis in the US is deflationary
2. It will be met with unparalleled monetary and fiscal stimulus

3. The end result will be another round of reflation
4. This will eventually lead to an even more inflationary environment

5. Supply constraints on most commodities will keep long-term prices higher than consensus estimates
6. Hard assets will eventually get a re-rating as their earnings power relative to the overall market is recognized and as investors buy them as an inflation hedge.
- Courtesy Salida Capital Commentary For July 2008

Crude Oil

Contrahour has a very simple chart up showing the technical weakness crude is exhibiting. The chart implies that a re-test of the $100 is imminent. Notice how on the most recent test of $120 that oil is not springing off support as it should. Instead, it is lingering about, suggesting it wants to trade even lower. In early June, when hitting the same support level, buyers rushed in and crude soared right back up where it came from. That is not the case this time around. This should theoretically be bullish for the market as a whole. But, we all know how the market loves to surprise us.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I.O.U.S.A. Movie Trailer

Hat tip to Howard Lindzon who twittered this movie trailer about the U.S. deficit. I love the Ron Paul cameo in there as well, that guy speaks the truth.

Interesting timing though as it releases in a few weeks.

Harbinger Capital At It Again

Well, looks like Falcone and his Harbinger Capital is at it again. While this technically occurred last week while I was gone, I still want to highlight it. Harbinger has been building up a 6.6% stake in Sunoco (SUN). They make mixed petroleum products and petrochemicals so I have to wager this is a play on oil prices coming down. They filed this as a 13G which was curious, because it means this was a 'passive' stake rather than their normal 13D 'activist' stake. I can only imagine they will eventually flip the activist switch on and turn to their normal rabblerousing days. In their last 13F filing (last quarter) they did not show a position in SUN at all, so this is fairly recent. Just wanted to point this out for all who might be interested because after all, Harbinger is killing it this year, up more than 40% YTD.


Monday, August 4, 2008

The Perfect Storm

Taken from Epoch, I just wanted to highlight this great slideshow about the perfect US Economic storm we are seeing currently. This is the largest I could get the text, so on some slides you will want to right click on the slideshow and select 'zoom in' to be able to read everything. Enjoy.