Friday, December 6, 2013

Kyle Bass Long General Motors, Exits J.C. Penney Equity: Interview

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Hayman Capital's Kyle Bass reveals that he's long General Motors (GM) and has exited his equity stake in J.C. Penney (JCP) but retains his debt position. 

The hedge fund manager also talked about Herbalife (HLF), noting that it generates significant cashflows and no debt.

He originally thought JCP could move higher with a turnaround from new management, but what he got wrong, he said, was the vendors and perception changing so quickly.  He's still long credit but doesn't own equity in the company.

Bass thinks GM can trade 40% higher in the next 18 months.  He says it's a catalytic time to be investing as the Treasury finally exits its stake and the company can initiate shareholder friendly actions.

The Hayman founder also said he didn't see anything interesting in US banks, but he would be betting against European banks, especially as a hedge against other European bets.  Bass mentioned he likes Vodafone (VOD).

Embedded below is Bass' interview with Bloomberg:

For more from this hedgie, head to Kyle Bass' macro debate with John Burbank.

What We're Reading ~ Hedge Fund Links 12/6/13

Hedge fund ideas from the InvestPitch competition [Institutional Investor]

Baupost Group to return $4 billion to investors [II Alpha]

Biggest trends that hedge funds encountered this year? [ValueWalk]

Jim Chanos betting against CGI Group [Newsweek]

Chanos also shorting US coal sector [Reuters]

Passport Capital gains with Asian internet stocks [HedgeWorld]

Study shows women beat men as hedge fund managers [FINalternatives]

Investors pull back from Lampert's fund [Dealbook]

Tepper's Appaloosa to return some investor money [II Alpha]

Hugh Hendry capitulates, turns bullish [Zerohedge]

Short sellers see once in a lifetime opportunity [CNBC]

Short sellers have had a miserable year [WSJ]

Tiger Global invests in Glassdoor [HedgeWorld]

White House rejects Fairholme's Fannie/Freddie plan [FINalternatives]

Hedge funds get 'too cosy' with prime brokers [FT]

Taconic's co-founder to retire [CNBC]

From hedge fund to family office [Forbes]

A second act for a top Wall Street strategist [Dealbook]

Peter Lynch's Interview With Charlie Rose

Legendary investor Peter Lynch (formerly of Fidelity's Magellan Fund) sat down for a rare interview with Charlie Rose.  In it, he talks about philanthropy, what makes good management, and more.

Lynch notes that he's now working with some young analysts but the only investing he's doing now is for himself and for charity. 

He joked that he was a "bottom down" investor.  He likes to invest in the second or third inning of a story, noting that you could have bought Walmart (WMT) ten years after it went public and still done extremely well on that investment.

He identified the three C's in investing: complacency, concern, and capitulation.  He said complacency is the worst one.

On knowing what you're investing in: "If you don't understand it, you're probably gonna do the wrong thing."

On what's different in investing between then and now:  He said there's a lot of computer driven trading, which he says is a waste of time.  But the other main difference is the freedom of information.  He says, "Investing now is much clearer, they (retail investors) know the same things I do."

On advice he'd give to young investors: Invest in a retirement fund and watch the money compound tax free.  For individual stock investing: run a paper portfolio, check back with it and see how it performed and why.

On today's market: "I think the market's fairly priced in what's happening right now ... The stock market's the best place to be for the next 10, 20 years ... the next two years, who knows."

Embedded below is the video of Charlie Rose's interview with Peter Lynch:

For more wisdom from this great investor, be sure to read Peter Lynch's book: One Up On Wall Street as well as our past post on Lynch's principles and golden rules of investing.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What We're Reading ~ Analytical Links 12/4/13

On investment idea velocity [Dasan]

Mapping investor behavior [All About Alpha]

Should AT&T (T) buy Vodafone (VOD)? [FT]

Bullish thesis on Sears (SHLD) starting to show cracks? [Peridot Capitalist]

A write-up on Colfax Corp (CFX) [Brooklyn Investor]

Once cable's king, Malone aims to regain his crown [Dealbook]

Deflation fears stalk eurozone [The Guardian]

Stock funds lure most cash in 13 years as investors chase rally [Investment News]

Short seller: best opportunity in two decades [CNBC]

Treasury seeks an exit from General Motors (GM) by year-end [Dealbook]

Paper on the valuable asset of spectrum [SSRN]

Advice on careers, finance and life from Harvard Business School class of 1963 [HBS1963]

Clear Channel's Bob Pittman on the value of dissent [NYTimes]

Howard Marks' Latest Memo: The Race Is On

Oaktree Capital's Chairman Howard Marks has released his latest memo entitled "The Race Is On."

Marks' latest conclusion is that:

"Over the last 2-3 years, my motto for Oaktree has been consistent: “move forward, but with caution.” If feel the outlook is not so bad, and asset prices are not so high, that it’s time to apply maximum caution (or, as they said in The Godfather, “go to the mattresses”). But by the same token, the outlook is not so good, and asset prices are not so low, that we should be aggressive. That’s the reason for my middling stance.  

Having said that, however, there’s no doubt in my mind that the trend is in the direction of increased risk, and I see no reason to think that trend will be arrested anytime soon. Risk is likely to reach extreme levels someday – it always does – and great caution will be called for. Just not yet.

Here's my conclusion from The Race to the Bottom [Feb. 2007].  I'll let it stand - another case of "ditto."

... there's a race to the bottom going on, reflecting widespread reduction in the level of prudence on the part of investors and capital providers.  No one can prove at this point that those who participate will be punished, or that their long-run performance won't exceed that of the naysayers.  But that is the usual pattern."

Embedded below is Howard Marks' latest memo: "The Race Is On":

You can download a .pdf copy here.

For more from this hedge fund, we've highlighted some of Oaktree's recent portfolio activity.

Odey Disclose Arrow Global Stake

Crispin Odey’s Odey Asset Management has disclosed a new position in London listed Arrow Global (LON: ARW). Arrow made its stock market debut in October, raising £139m.

It looks as if Odey picked up most of their shares in the secondary market due to trading on and before November 26th. Odey hold the equivalent of 4.94% of Arrow’s voting rights. About 35% of the position in nominal terms (not delta) is held via derivatives. The Odey Absolute Return fund managed by James Hanbury is the main holder. 

Per Google Finance – “Arrow Global Limited is a provider of debt purchases and receivables   management solutions. The Company’s portfolio consists of a range of consumer and commercial   credit, including credit card, personal loans, utilities, retail, second liens and telecommunications.   The Company includes the development of its Collections Bureau, which is available for use industry- wide.”

We've covered other recent Odey portfolio activity here.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Family Office Training

The Family Offices Group is the largest family office association, and they are offering a few family office training programs that may be of interest.  These programs can help single and multi-family offices professionalize their business, and they can be instructive to those looking to raise capital from family offices, or work with them on a co-investment or club deal investing basis.

Two Family Office Training Programs:

Self-Paced Family Office Training: The Qualified Family Office Professional (QFOP) is an industry-leading family office training and certification program that the Family Offices Group offers, to date over 500 professionals have joined.  To learn more about this program please see

Family Office Workshops: The Family Offices Group offers live training workshops where you can network with single and multi-family offices, build your relationships in the industry, and learn about family office trends, and investment mistakes to avoid.  If you would like to learn more about family office risk management, co-investments, and meet face-to-face with family offices you can register for our next workshop here:

If you want to do more research on the Family Offices Group, and haven't downloaded their free report yet you can join over 30,000 others by downloading this now here: