Friday, October 16, 2015

Hedge Fund Links ~ 10/16/15

Thoughts on hedge funds [A Wealth of Common Sense]

A profile of Al Gore's Generation Investment Management [The Atlantic]

Inside Steve Cohen's Point 72 academy program [Business Insider]

Why people invest in hedge funds [A Wealth of Common Sense]

Big name hedge funds hit by performance woes [Bloomberg]

A September to forget for many managers [ii alpha]

Fortress plans to close flagship macro fund [WSJ]

Renaissance Technologies to shut down small fund [Reuters]

The Stanford endowment experiment [ai cio]

Hedge funds hit by fall in management fees [EuroMoney]

Six funds fined by SEC on short selling rule violations [ii alpha]

Stockpickers fail to shine in downturn [FT]

Cargill to wind down hedge fund arm [FT]

CFA, MBA, CAIA, PhD or Masters: what do hedge funds want? [eFinancial Careers]

Thursday, October 15, 2015

ION's Short Altice Presentation From Sohn Conference Tel Aviv

The Sohn Conference in Tel Aviv just took place and at it Stephen Levey and Jonathan Half's ION Asset Management laid out their case for shorting Altice.

We thought it'd be relevant to highlight given that numerous hedge funds had been involved on the long side in either Numericable/Altice or both over the past year in varying capacities.

The crux of ION's thesis is that Altice has overpaid for assets and its margin targets are skeptical.  Patrick Drahi's company recently announced the acquisition of Cablevision (CVC) in the US.

Embedded below is ION's short Altice presentation from the Tel Aviv Sohn Conference:

For more on hedge fund short positions, we've posted up recent short selling activity by hedge funds as well as a recent interview with Jim Chanos.

Meritage Group Increases Axalta Coating Systems Stake

Jim Simons, founder of quant Renaissance Technologies, also has a family investment vehicle called Meritage Group managed by his son Nathaniel.  Meritage has filed a 13G with the SEC regarding its position in Axalta Coating Systems (AXTA).  Per the filing, Meritage now owns 5% of AXTA with over 12 million shares.

This is an increase of over 3.22 million shares in their position size since the end of the second quarter when they owned 8.78 million shares.  The filing was made due to activity on October 2nd.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is also involved in AXTA and bought around $28, slightly below where the stock is trading now.  Our most recent Hedge Fund Wisdom newsletter highlighted the thesis on AXTA if you want to catch up quickly on the name.

Carlson Capital Ups Vitamin Shoppe Position

Clint Carlson's hedge fund firm Carlson Capital has filed an amended 13D with the SEC regarding its position in Vitamin Shoppe (VSI).  Per the filing, Carlson now owns 6.94% of the company with over 2 million shares.

This is an increase from the 1.86 million shares they owned at the end of the second quarter.  The filing shows they were out buying in late July, sporadically throughout August and September, and most recently on the first two days in October at $31.70-$32.48.

Their 13D also notes they intend to continue to have discussions with management and the board about reducing the company's expenses, altering the company's capital allocation and buyback policies and the composition of the board.

Per Google Finance, Vitamin Shoppe is "a multi-channel specialty retailer and contract manufacturer of vitamins, minerals, herbs, specialty supplements, sports nutrition and other health and wellness products (VMS). The Company operates through three segments: retail, which includes Vitamin Shoppe, Super Supplements and Vitapath retail store formats; direct, which consists of its e-commerce and catalog formats, and manufacturing, which consists of the Nutri-Force manufacturing operations. The Company operates through its wholly owned subsidiary, Vitamin Shoppe Industries Inc. and Vitamin Shoppe Industries Inc.s' wholly owned subsidiaries, VS Direct Inc., Vitamin Shoppe Mariner, Inc. (VSM), VS Hercules LLC (VSH), Vitamin Shoppe Global, Inc. (VSG) and Vitapath Canada Limited (VCL)."

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What We're Reading ~ 10/14/15

The psychology of risk and reward [Farnam Street]

The (non) velocity of money [Reformed Broker]

The CFA vs MBA decision [A Wealth of Common Sense]

Latest market commentary from Byron Wien [Blackstone]

The king of online gambling [Forbes]

Thoughts on Fastenal (FAST) [Base Hit Investing]

A look at Air Products & Chemicals (APD) [Bear of Burrard Street]

Stock picks from Marty Whitman's successor [Barrons]

Why interest rates could stay lower for longer than previously thought [Market Anthropology]

The social network illusion that tricks your mind [Technology Review]

Venture capital and the internet's impact [Stratechery]

Move over Louis Vuitton, here's LFX [Bloomberg]

Secrets to building a mighty network [Backchannel]

The Collected Wisdom of Seth Klarman ~ Compilation By Santangel's Review

Santangel's Review has recently compiled an excellent resource on Baupost Group's Seth Klarman.  They've gone through and compiled quotes from letters, articles, interviews, transcripts and more to highlight Klarman's views on various investing topics.

Given that Klarman is considered one of the best investors of our time, this is certainly well worth your time.

Embedded below is The Collected Wisdom of Seth Klarman:

You can download a copy here.

Thanks to Santangel's Review for compiling such an excellent resource.

New Graham & Doddsville Issue: Interviews With Alex Sacerdote & Ed Bosek

Columbia Business School's investment newsletter Graham & Doddsville is out with its latest edition.  It features interviews with Whale Rock Capital's Alex Sacerdote, BeaconLight Capital's Ed Bosek, Jane Siebels of Siebels Asset Management, as well as the gentlemen from Global Endowment Management.

Sacerdote talks about his focus on the technology sector and the 'S curve' of inflection points that is so critical to his process of finding successful tech investments.  He also lays out his thesis on Amazon (AMZN) and NetEase (NTES),

Bosek previously worked at Atticus Capital, a fund we highlighted on the site numerous times before it eventually closed. He talked about how deregulation and demutualization are big drivers of his idea generation and pitched China Resource Enterprises (SEHK:291) and Daqin Railway (SHSE:601006).

The issue also features two student pitches: a long of Tenneco (TEN) and a merger arbitrage/special situation pair of long RNF / short UAN.

Embedded below is the latest issue of Graham & Doddsville:

Be sure to also check out the previous issue of Graham & Doddsville.

Viking Global Starts Laboratory Corp Stake

Andreas Halvorsen's hedge fund firm Viking Global has filed a 13G with the SEC regarding shares of Laboratory Corp (LH).  Per the filing, Viking now owns 5.3% of LabCorp with over 5.39 million shares.

This is a newly disclosed stake for the firm and the filing was made due to activity on October 1st.

We also posted up other recent portfolio activity from Viking Global here.

Per Google Finance, LabCorp is "an independent clinical laboratory company in the United States. Through a national network of laboratories, the Company offers a range of clinical laboratory tests that are used by the medical profession in core testing, patient diagnosis, and in the monitoring and treatment of disease. The Company manages its operations through two segments: the Clinical diagnostics laboratory segment, which includes core testing, as well as genomic and esoteric testing; and the Other segment, which consists of the Company's non-United States clinical diagnostic laboratory operations in Ontario, Canada. It also provides specialty testing services in the areas of allergy, clinical trials, diagnostic genetics, women's health, cardiovascular disease, identity, forensics, infectious disease, endocrinology, oncology, coagulation, occupational testing and pain management."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Robin Hood Investors Conference 2015: Discount For Our Readers

Robin Hood invites you to the Third Annual Investors Conference.

Join us in New York City on November 16-17 for the 3rd Annual Robin Hood Investors Conference presented by J.P. Morgan and hosted by Hyatt.

Over the past two years, the Robin Hood Investors Conference has brought together the most influential policy experts, hedge fund managers, financial leaders, tech innovators, and real estate investors to share market insights and provide actionable, money-making ideas.  Their stock picks have collectively outpaced the S&P 2:1.

2015 Robin Hood Speakers List

Paul Tudor Jones, Tudor Investment Corp
John Griffin, Blue Ridge Capital
Dan Loeb, Third Point
Philippe Laffont, Coatue Management
Bill Ackman, Pershing Square
David Einhorn, Greenlight Capital
T. Boone Pickens, BP Capital
Larry Robbins, Glenview Capital
Anthony Bozza, Lakewood Capital
Jamie Dimon, J.P. Morgan
Mike Cagney, SoFi
Mary Erdoes, J.P. Morgan Asset Management
Barry Sternlicht, Starwood Capital Group
Whitney Tilson, Kase Capital
Tim Ferriss, Angel Investor/Author
Roland Fryer, Harvard University
Dave Giroud, UpStart
Sam Hodges, Funding Circle

Discount For Our Readers

As in years' past, the conference will sell out so we urge you to click here to purchase tickets now as seats are limited.

Discount: Use code "market folly 15" to get 10% off your total ticket price.

As with all things Robin Hood, 100% of ticket sales go to helping our New York City neighbors living in poverty build better lives for themselves and their families.  We hope you will join us for this exciting event.

For more information and to register, head to Robin Hood's website.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sohn Conference San Francisco: Excellence In Investing For Children's Causes

The 6th annual Sohn Conference San Francisco is coming up in two weeks.  It brings together some of the world's top investors to share their ideas in order to benefit the Excellence in Investing for Children's Causes Foundation.

Conference Details

When: Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 (Registration at 10 a.m.)
Where: Hyatt Regency San Francisco

Sohn San Francisco Speakers List

Jeffrey Ubben, ValueAct Capital
Mick McGuire, Marcato
J. Kyle Bass, Hayman Capital
Kurt Billick, Bocage Capital
Gil Simon, Apex Capital
William Duhamel, Route One Investment Company
Mike Wilkins, Kingsford Capital
Malcolm Fairbairn, Ascend Capital
Carl Kawaja, Capital World Investors
Marc Schneidman, Aquilo Capital
Christopher Chabris, author of The Invisible Gorilla

Next Wave Sohn Speakers 

New this year, the event also features a 'Next Wave Sohn' event, held at 10:30 a.m. before the main conference.  It features emerging managers sharing their best ideas.  Speakers include:

David Brown, Hawk Ridge Management
Jonathan Goldberg, BBL Commodities
Steven Landry, Eastbay Asset Management
Richard Merage, MIG Capital
Moderator: George Fox, Titan Advisors

Event Flyer & Registration

You can register for the event by clicking here or you can call 415-728-4455

It should be a fantastic day full of investment ideas and also includes a buffet lunch and cocktail reception afterwards.

Remember, conference proceeds support Bay Area organizations focused on improving educational opportunities and life outcomes for underserved youth.  A portion of the proceeds also benefit their partner, The Sohn Conference Foundation to treat and cure pediatric cancer and childhood diseases.

For more information, head to


Jim Chanos Interview: Glencore, Tesla, Volkswagen & More

Short seller Jim Chanos of Kynikos Associates appeared on Bloomberg TV and talked about some of his latest short positions.  Here are some of the highlights:

On Glencore:  "We're not going to comment on our position on Glencore. But I will say is we know the company pretty well.  Let's just say I'm a potential purchaser ... to close out a short you have to buy stock."

On Volkswagen:  "No, we don't want to be short.  If anything I think we'd be looking at Volkswagen on the long side. But we have not invested in Volkswagen.  I think they'll survive"

On Tesla:  "We haven't disclosed our position officially in Tesla. Let's just say I'm not very positive on the company and we'll leave it at that."

He also ended by saying his favorite short right now is US E&P companies.

Embedded below are the videos of Chanos' appearance on Bloomberg TV:

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Video 4

Video 5

We've also posted up Chanos' thoughts on some of his other shorts as well.

Baupost Group Discloses Orexigen Therapeutics Stake

Seth Klarman's investment firm Baupost Group has filed a 13G with the SEC regarding shares of Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX).  Per the filing, Baupost now owns 17.17% of the company with over 25.82 million shares.

This is a newly disclosed equity stake for the firm as they did not show one at the end of the second quarter.  The filing was made due to activity on September 30th.

Shares of OREX are down over 69% over the past six months, so this certainly fits Baupost's preference to buy beaten down names.

You can view other portfolio activity from Baupost Group here.

Per Google Finance, Orexigen Therapeutics is "a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on the development of pharmaceutical product candidates for the treatment of obesity. The Company's product is Contrave, a fixed dose combination of bupropion hydrochloride (HCl) extended release (ER) and naltrexone HCl ER. The Company's product Contrave, is approved in the United States by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults with an initial body mass index (BMI), of around 30 kilograms per square meter (kg/m2) or greater (obese), or around 27 kilograms per square meter or greater (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbid condition. The Company also submitted an application for marketing authorization with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for Contrave under the name Mysimba.."