Pages

  • Sharebar

Would it be worth $0 immediately and be delisted, or would it stay at the same price and then be delisted.

Looking at some options strategies

The WSO Advantage - Trading

Prop Trading Interview Guide

Video Library - 1 Year ($400 value). Learn More.

S&T Interview Prep Pack

30,000+ sold & REAL questions. Learn More.

Resume Help from Trading Pros.

Land More Trading Interviews. Learn More.

Find Your Trading Mentor Here

Realistic Trading Mock Interviews. Learn More.

Comments (59)

  • mhurricane's picture

    According to Bill Ackman, "Herbalife cannot survive in a middle-ground." Meaning, it is binary. It is either a pyramid scheme (which, as he states, is a zero), or it is a respectable, legitimate multi-level marketing company.

    Hope this helps.

    The difference between successful people and others is largely a habit - a controlled habit of doing every task better, faster and more efficiently.

  • inkybinky's picture

    It doesn't fit the technical definition of a pyramid scheme because it markets real products (a true pyramid scheme is built only on promises and is illegal).

  • notamonkey's picture

    Your question indicates that your general level of knowledge is such that you would be wise to hand over money management to somebody else.

    All I care about in life is accumulating bananas

  • humble_dude's picture

    Their products are selling pretty well in China...

  • In reply to inkybinky
    mhurricane's picture

    inkybinky:
    It doesn't fit the technical definition of a pyramid scheme because it markets real products (a true pyramid scheme is built only on promises and is illegal).

    That is incorrect. Legally, a pyramid scheme is when a multilevel marketing company distributor makes MORE money RECRUITING than SELLING product. To your point about illegality, pyramid schemes are inherently fraudulent and the repercussions are severe.

    Let's just see how it plays out. Will be interesting.

    The difference between successful people and others is largely a habit - a controlled habit of doing every task better, faster and more efficiently.

  • In reply to mhurricane
    Sandhurst's picture

    mhurricane:
    inkybinky:
    It doesn't fit the technical definition of a pyramid scheme because it markets real products (a true pyramid scheme is built only on promises and is illegal).

    That is incorrect. Legally, a pyramid scheme is when a multilevel marketing company distributor makes MORE money RECRUITING than SELLING product. To your point about illegality, pyramid schemes are inherently fraudulent and the repercussions are severe.

    Let's just see how it plays out. Will be interesting.

    Whenever I see someone defend HLF, I wonder if they themselves are a distributor, or even a cog in another MLM.

    "There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."

  • WestCoastEastCoast's picture

    inkybinky is an idiot. I love how some people say wrong things with 100% confidence

  • In reply to notamonkey
    gammaovertheta's picture

    notamonkey:
    Your question indicates that your general level of knowledge is such that you would be wise to hand over money management to somebody else.

    Couldn't have said it better. If he's asking questions like these, he's way ahead of himself flirting with options
  • In reply to gammaovertheta
    mrb87's picture

    gammaovertheta:
    notamonkey:
    Your question indicates that your general level of knowledge is such that you would be wise to hand over money management to somebody else.

    Couldn't have said it better. If he's asking questions like these, he's way ahead of himself flirting with options

    +1,000,000

    Event-driven strategies of any kind tend to work best when the position is initiated BEFORE the whole world starts looking at it...or unless you have inisght supporting a contrarian view that nobody else has. But I'm guessing you don't.

  • snakeplissken's picture

    I just wanna see the CEO freak out on CNBC (i think)

    Remember, once you're inside you're on your own.
    Oh, you mean I can't count on you?
    No.
    Good!

  • In reply to snakeplissken
    Sandhurst's picture

    snakeplissken:
    I just wanna see the CEO freak out on CNBC (i think)

    Get on the analyst call.. 10 Jan I believe.

    "There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."

  • In reply to mrb87
    HarvardOrBust's picture

    mrb87:
    gammaovertheta:
    notamonkey:
    Your question indicates that your general level of knowledge is such that you would be wise to hand over money management to somebody else.

    Couldn't have said it better. If he's asking questions like these, he's way ahead of himself flirting with options

    +1,000,000

    Event-driven strategies of any kind tend to work best when the position is initiated BEFORE the whole world starts looking at it...or unless you have inisght supporting a contrarian view that nobody else has. But I'm guessing you don't.

    I think you guys are being a little harsh. Sure the question is a little naive, but if you listen to the webcast and the explanation, you'll realize that Ackman is gunning for HLF to hit $0. The only way this happens is if the FTC destroys this company. On the other hand, if you look at HLF without any opinion on whether you think HLF is a pyramid scheme, the company seems pretty profitable with strong cash flow relative to current valuation. ~$300mm in balance sheet cash and $500mm in operating cash flow can buy back a ton of shares. The short thesis is great, but I'm not sure everyone will buy it.

  • In reply to HarvardOrBust
    mrb87's picture

    HarvardOrBust:
    mrb87:
    gammaovertheta:
    notamonkey:
    Your question indicates that your general level of knowledge is such that you would be wise to hand over money management to somebody else.

    Couldn't have said it better. If he's asking questions like these, he's way ahead of himself flirting with options

    +1,000,000

    Event-driven strategies of any kind tend to work best when the position is initiated BEFORE the whole world starts looking at it...or unless you have inisght supporting a contrarian view that nobody else has. But I'm guessing you don't.

    I think you guys are being a little harsh. Sure the question is a little naive, but if you listen to the webcast and the explanation, you'll realize that Ackman is gunning for HLF to hit $0. The only way this happens is if the FTC destroys this company. On the other hand, if you look at HLF without any opinion on whether you think HLF is a pyramid scheme, the company seems pretty profitable with strong cash flow relative to current valuation. ~$300mm in balance sheet cash and $500mm in operating cash flow can buy back a ton of shares. The short thesis is great, but I'm not sure everyone will buy it.

    Fair, but everyone in the world is looking at it right now, so not sure how this kid thinks he will get his edge.

The WSO Advantage - Trading

Prop Trading Interview Guide

Video Library - 1 Year ($400 value). Learn More.

S&T Interview Prep Pack

30,000+ sold & REAL questions. Learn More.

Resume Help from Trading Pros.

Land More Trading Interviews. Learn More.

Find Your Trading Mentor Here

Realistic Trading Mock Interviews. Learn More.

  • HarvardOrBust's picture

    Take a directional bet with options.
    1. You determine the probability of the stock hitting $0
    2. You price your options and determine that the price Maybe you don't have an edge but it's fun speculation.

    And I guarantee you that even if people are looking at it, I bet you people are trading HLF without even having seen the webcast.

  • sofib09's picture

    My brother was involved with selling Herbalife for a short while. Two minutes into the conversation, after he described to me how it all worked, I told him it was a pyramid scheme and to GTFO. Fortunately, he listened, but after 6 months into it.

  • UFOinsider's picture

    Ackman is screwing up royally. I worked with a competitor to herbalife 15 years ago and their only weakness is another compay's superior product line. Multilevel marketing is not for everyone (hey, I failed) but it's not a ponzi.

    If his positions go south, and I'm pretty sure they will, he's going to get sued into next century. On top of that, he's going to look like a crook who tried to artificially and fraudulently tried to push shareholder value down to smash and grab on a put position. Credibility killer

    This, like the London whale fiasco, could cause blowback to the entire industry. Let's hope this blows over quietly, for all our sake. I have a bad feeling about this one though, I see Acknam clearly abusing public trust (or being very stupid) and this can't end well.

    Get busy living

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    mrb87's picture

    UFOinsider:
    Ackman is screwing up royally. I worked with a competitor to herbalife 15 years ago and their only weakness is another compay's superior product line. Multilevel marketing is not for everyone (hey, I failed) but it's not a ponzi.

    If his positions go south, and I'm pretty sure they will, he's going to get sued into next century. On top of that, he's going to look like a crook who tried to artificially and fraudulently tried to push shareholder value down to smash and grab on a put position. Credibility killer

    This, like the London whale fiasco, could cause blowback to the entire industry. Let's hope this blows over quietly, for all our sake. I have a bad feeling about this one though, I see Acknam clearly abusing public trust (or being very stupid) and this can't end well.

    Count me in the Ackman-is-overrated camp, but it doesn't sound like you read the presentation or understand his argument.

  • UFOinsider's picture

    And yeah there are spelling errors, I'm drinking on a charter plane to snowboarding. Ficking sue me.

    Get busy living

  • In reply to mrb87
    UFOinsider's picture

    mrb87:
    UFOinsider:
    Ackman is screwing up royally. I worked with a competitor to herbalife 15 years ago and their only weakness is another compay's superior product line. Multilevel marketing is not for everyone (hey, I failed) but it's not a ponzi.

    If his positions go south, and I'm pretty sure they will, he's going to get sued into next century. On top of that, he's going to look like a crook who tried to artificially and fraudulently tried to push shareholder value down to smash and grab on a put position. Credibility killer

    This, like the London whale fiasco, could cause blowback to the entire industry. Let's hope this blows over quietly, for all our sake. I have a bad feeling about this one though, I see Acknam clearly abusing public trust (or being very stupid) and this can't end well.

    Count me in the Ackman-is-overrated camp, but it doesn't sound like you read the presentation or understand his argument.


    On the contrary. He's taking a bet that the company will crash and then putting forth an incorrect ascertation, either deliberately or ignorantly. The fact is, if this goes to a federal inquiry, he's going to look like an asshole, and the crooks in Washington will get yet another excuse to get all in our business.

    So I hope he hedges his bet and shuts his mouth.

    ....and this coming from a guy who stuck up for Jamie Dimon (and still does).

    And if I'm wrong, well, my bad?

    Get busy living

  • SirTradesaLot's picture

    If you think the stock is going down a lot, but don't want to risk too much, then you could try a variation of this.

    The 1 year 30 strike put is about 8. The two year 30 strike put is about 10. You can buy 1.25 one year puts for every 1 two year puts you sell without a cash outlay (you do need collateral though). If the stock goes down a lot, the time value approaches zero for both options and they'll trade for close to intrinsic, so you'll make money (if it's trading at $5/share, the intrinsic will be 25 so you're long 1.25 notional *25/share less 1 notional *25/share that you're short). If the stock goes up, the puts will both lose value...the 1 year will expire worthless the 2 year will still be worth something, so you lose, but it's not a disaster. Worst case scenario, the stock stays flat. If that is true, most likely vols will have come down substantially and the 1 year put in 1 year isn't worth as much as it is today, so you don't lose too badly. Even if you want to just trade the options before expiration, the shorter dated options with 1.25 notional exposure will have higher gamma than the longer dated 1-notional position. If the stock moves a lot, that's good for you. You could do a variation of this with different strikes as well.

    Of course, this all assumes that something significant will resolve itself within one year or the stock moves enough for you to exit the options positions before the first expiration. If this isn't all crystal clear, you may just want to sit this one out.

    adapt or die:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    mrb87's picture

    UFOinsider:
    mrb87:
    UFOinsider:
    Ackman is screwing up royally. I worked with a competitor to herbalife 15 years ago and their only weakness is another compay's superior product line. Multilevel marketing is not for everyone (hey, I failed) but it's not a ponzi.

    If his positions go south, and I'm pretty sure they will, he's going to get sued into next century. On top of that, he's going to look like a crook who tried to artificially and fraudulently tried to push shareholder value down to smash and grab on a put position. Credibility killer

    This, like the London whale fiasco, could cause blowback to the entire industry. Let's hope this blows over quietly, for all our sake. I have a bad feeling about this one though, I see Acknam clearly abusing public trust (or being very stupid) and this can't end well.

    Count me in the Ackman-is-overrated camp, but it doesn't sound like you read the presentation or understand his argument.


    On the contrary. He's taking a bet that the company will crash and then putting forth an incorrect ascertation, either deliberately or ignorantly. The fact is, if this goes to a federal inquiry, he's going to look like an asshole, and the crooks in Washington will get yet another excuse to get all in our business.

    So I hope he hedges his bet and shuts his mouth.

    ....and this coming from a guy who stuck up for Jamie Dimon (and still does).

    And if I'm wrong, well, my bad?

    Nothing you're writing is making any sense -- Why would he have thousands of man-hours spent on what appears to be very diligent work if he *doesn't* believe in his thesis? Why would Pershing Square, which*tends* to take a long-term view in its public positions, suddenly turn into a pump-and-dump operation? Why does the general public care about Bill Ackman's short position on Herbalife (answer: They don't)? Ask 100 people on the street about David Einhorn and Allied Capital; do you think even 8 of them will know what you're talking about? So what "blowback" do you expect? What securities laws is he breaking? Why would he needlessly risk his reputation on a company like Herbalife? What is *your* evidence that his ascertation is incorrect other than 15-year old anecdotal outsider information? You do realize that he is not singling them out for being a multi-level marketing company, but because he believes very few of their end users are real outside consumers? Why do you even post here (much less have 9,000+ posts) when the sum total of your finance experience is 1 year in a back-office (and maybe some other shitty short-term gig, I can't keep track)?

  • In reply to SirTradesaLot
    mrb87's picture

    SirTradesaLot:
    Of course, this all assumes that something significant will resolve itself within one year or the stock moves enough for you to exit the options positions before the first expiration. If this isn't all crystal clear, you may just want to sit this one out.

    This will take at least 2-3 years unless someone gives up the goods or cries uncle.

  • In reply to mrb87
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    mrb87:
    SirTradesaLot:
    Of course, this all assumes that something significant will resolve itself within one year or the stock moves enough for you to exit the options positions before the first expiration. If this isn't all crystal clear, you may just want to sit this one out.

    This will take at least 2-3 years unless someone gives up the goods or cries uncle.


    Maybe so, but the stock could drop 10/share in the interim and you could make money with these options anyway. I'm sure the borrow to short is brutal now.

    adapt or die:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • In reply to SirTradesaLot
    mrb87's picture

    SirTradesaLot:
    mrb87:
    SirTradesaLot:
    Of course, this all assumes that something significant will resolve itself within one year or the stock moves enough for you to exit the options positions before the first expiration. If this isn't all crystal clear, you may just want to sit this one out.

    This will take at least 2-3 years unless someone gives up the goods or cries uncle.


    Maybe so, but the stock could drop 10/share in the interim and you could make money with these options anyway. I'm sure the borrow to short is brutal now.

    Yeah I've heard the borrow might be as high as 25-30%...and there's a lot more downside risk right now in a short position given the binary nature of the trade.
    Binary trade + short squeeze potential = lots of risk...

  • In reply to mrb87
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    mrb87:
    lots of risk...

    no doubt about that.

    adapt or die:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • In reply to SirTradesaLot
    mrb87's picture

    SirTradesaLot:
    mrb87:
    lots of risk...

    no doubt about that.

    Yes, didn't mean to be so inane. But it's probably an unfavorably skewed risk-reward profile at $30 or lower.
  • In reply to mrb87
    notamonkey's picture

    mrb87:
    UFOinsider:
    mrb87:
    UFOinsider:
    Ackman is screwing up royally. I worked with a competitor to herbalife 15 years ago and their only weakness is another compay's superior product line. Multilevel marketing is not for everyone (hey, I failed) but it's not a ponzi.

    If his positions go south, and I'm pretty sure they will, he's going to get sued into next century. On top of that, he's going to look like a crook who tried to artificially and fraudulently tried to push shareholder value down to smash and grab on a put position. Credibility killer

    This, like the London whale fiasco, could cause blowback to the entire industry. Let's hope this blows over quietly, for all our sake. I have a bad feeling about this one though, I see Acknam clearly abusing public trust (or being very stupid) and this can't end well.

    Count me in the Ackman-is-overrated camp, but it doesn't sound like you read the presentation or understand his argument.


    On the contrary. He's taking a bet that the company will crash and then putting forth an incorrect ascertation, either deliberately or ignorantly. The fact is, if this goes to a federal inquiry, he's going to look like an asshole, and the crooks in Washington will get yet another excuse to get all in our business.

    So I hope he hedges his bet and shuts his mouth.

    ....and this coming from a guy who stuck up for Jamie Dimon (and still does).

    And if I'm wrong, well, my bad?

    Nothing you're writing is making any sense -- Why would he have thousands of man-hours spent on what appears to be very diligent work if he *doesn't* believe in his thesis? Why would Pershing Square, which*tends* to take a long-term view in its public positions, suddenly turn into a pump-and-dump operation? Why does the general public care about Bill Ackman's short position on Herbalife (answer: They don't)? Ask 100 people on the street about David Einhorn and Allied Capital; do you think even 8 of them will know what you're talking about? So what "blowback" do you expect? What securities laws is he breaking? Why would he needlessly risk his reputation on a company like Herbalife? What is *your* evidence that his ascertation is incorrect other than 15-year old anecdotal outsider information? You do realize that he is not singling them out for being a multi-level marketing company, but because he believes very few of their end users are real outside consumers? Why do you even post here (much less have 9,000+ posts) when the sum total of your finance experience is 1 year in a back-office (and maybe some other shitty short-term gig, I can't keep track)?

    People don't like to see their companies get trashed, regardless of the argument against them. After shorting Chinese RTOs, I don't think I'll ever again be surprised by the ignorance of investors and their desire to cling to a long position when they could easily make money on the short side. I am willing to fund any researcher who wants to study the psychological makeup of these people.

    All I care about in life is accumulating bananas

  • In reply to mrb87
    UFOinsider's picture

    mrb87:
    Nothing you're writing is making any sense -- Why would he have thousands of man-hours spent on what appears to be very diligent work if he *doesn't* believe in his thesis? Why would Pershing Square, which*tends* to take a long-term view in its public positions, suddenly turn into a pump-and-dump operation? Why does the general public care about Bill Ackman's short position on Herbalife (answer: They don't)? Ask 100 people on the street about David Einhorn and Allied Capital; do you think even 8 of them will know what you're talking about? So what "blowback" do you expect? What securities laws is he breaking? Why would he needlessly risk his reputation on a company like Herbalife? What is *your* evidence that his ascertation is incorrect other than 15-year old anecdotal outsider information? You do realize that he is not singling them out for being a multi-level marketing company, but because he believes very few of their end users are real outside consumers? Why do you even post here (much less have 9,000+ posts) when the sum total of your finance experience is 1 year in a back-office (and maybe some other shitty short-term gig, I can't keep track)?

    Wow, someone can't deal with disagreement. WHAAaaaaaAAAAAA someone disagrees. Get over it.

    1. ER, Corpfin, MktResearch, 9 months BO, 3 years S&T. Plus I came out of two other industries (equity partner in both). So, not sure what your point is.

    2. I have no idea why Ackman is doing this. From my perspective, it's an act of lunacy.

    3. Outsider, perhaps. However, I can call some friends who work there and have them explain the company structure to you. Ackman's report synthesized confusion where there should be none: some customers also buy product to sell to other people, setting themselves up as distributers. Very simple concept. Not sure how that conflates to ponzi scheme. Lousy marketing structure....uh, yeah, it's why I jumped ship on the whole MLM thing after a few months. Some people dig it and have done well. Again though: not sure why Ackman would call it a ponzi scheme.

    4. I expect the same blowback as the bullshit laws passed in reaction to the London whale thing. Do I disagree with it? Yes. Are the politicians taking advantage of one thing to pass a law about something else? Yes. Is it bullshit? Hell yeah. However, taking a high profile stand that is either lunacy or criminal at this point in time is a bad idea: keep a low profile until the public finds another whipping boy and stop feeding the machine.

    Think what happens in the worst case (and very likely) scenario: it turns out that Ackman defames a company for short term gain and this is proven. Can you imagine the new set of rules that the idiots in Washinton will lay on all of us?

    There is a time to speak out, and there's a time to keep quiet. Ackman is standing on that fine line and leaning over the danger zone. Personally, I don't like it. You're free to feel/think what you want.

    My personal opinion is that Herbalife is a 2nd rate company, but it's not a criminal conspiracy, so driving the stock lower by saying so is just a bad idea and opens too many cans of worms. That's all.

    Chill dude, maybe just hear a different set of ideas out

    Get busy living

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    notamonkey's picture

    UFOinsider:
    1. ER, Corpfin, MktResearch, 9 months BO, 3 years S&T. Plus I came out of two other industries (equity partner in both). So, not sure what your point is.

    You don't need to post your CV; the fact that you once worked as a distributor for a multi-level marketing firm destroys your credibility. It's kind of like signing up for one of those 'earn income while working from home' schemes; only idiots who have no chance at succeeding in the real world sign on.

    All I care about in life is accumulating bananas

  • In reply to notamonkey
    UFOinsider's picture

    notamonkey:
    UFOinsider:
    1. ER, Corpfin, MktResearch, 9 months BO, 3 years S&T. Plus I came out of two other industries (equity partner in both). So, not sure what your point is.

    You don't need to post your CV; the fact that you once worked as a distributor for a multi-level marketing firm destroys your credibility. It's kind of like signing up for one of those 'earn income while working from home' schemes; only idiots who have no chance at succeeding in the real world sign on.


    I once was one. Now I run several people like yourself.

    Since we're taking cheap shots, how does that feel?

    Get busy living

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    notamonkey's picture

    UFOinsider:
    Now I run several people like yourself.

    Since we're taking cheap shots, how does that feel?

    These are the kinds of comments I'm talking about. People who do not want to search for the truth spew empty rebuttals to the short-sellers' arguments. You're just shouting words that might be damaging if you had evidence to back them up.

    I'm quite sure you don't manage people like me; nobody manages me. I had the privilege of being spoiled rich growing up and the continuing privilege to do whatever I want. I took an interest in investing early on, so I have something to work on.

    You wanted to get rich, so you signed up for an MLM scheme. That's kind of like saying you want to be an entrepreneur and then starting a lawn mowing business; it's cute, but you're never going to be successful until you wake up to reality. You don't want to discover reality, you just want to be protected against the evil people trying to cut off your welfare check.

    All I care about in life is accumulating bananas

  • In reply to notamonkey
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    notamonkey:
    I had the privilege of being spoiled rich growing up and the continuing privilege to do whatever I want.

    This was one of the best examples I've seen yet to instantly undermine one's own credibility.

    adapt or die:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • In reply to SirTradesaLot
    notamonkey's picture

    SirTradesaLot:
    notamonkey:
    I had the privilege of being spoiled rich growing up and the continuing privilege to do whatever I want.

    This was one of the best examples I've seen yet to instantly undermine one's own credibility.

    I wasn't trying to build my credibility. I don't think one needs pedagogical credibility if his argument is sound. The other guy was trying to build his credibility by listing his work experience. He left off that he was a failed Herbalife distributor.

    Most people who grow up poor are jealous of my childhood. I don't blame them. But too many poor people create a false world in their minds, which is why they'll always be failures.

    All I care about in life is accumulating bananas

  • In reply to notamonkey
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    notamonkey:
    Most people who grow up poor are jealous of my childhood. I don't blame them. But too many poor people create a false world in their minds, which is why they'll always be failures.

    Most people in life aren't particularly successful and the ones that are the least successful usually haven't failed enough times to be succesful. When you work on wall street long enough, you find that there are many who were born on third base who think they have hit a homerun, which is irritating for those who have had to work for success. Personally, I want my children to feel what it takes to have their own successes and failures and not just hand everything to them on a silver platter.

    The point is, you may not realize this, but condescending behavior is particularly distasteful when the condescending person hasn't accomplished much on their own. Most people I have met who were self-made do not display this kind of behavior often.

    adapt or die:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    mrb87's picture

    UFOinsider:
    mrb87:
    Nothing you're writing is making any sense -- Why would he have thousands of man-hours spent on what appears to be very diligent work if he *doesn't* believe in his thesis? Why would Pershing Square, which*tends* to take a long-term view in its public positions, suddenly turn into a pump-and-dump operation? Why does the general public care about Bill Ackman's short position on Herbalife (answer: They don't)? Ask 100 people on the street about David Einhorn and Allied Capital; do you think even 8 of them will know what you're talking about? So what "blowback" do you expect? What securities laws is he breaking? Why would he needlessly risk his reputation on a company like Herbalife? What is *your* evidence that his ascertation is incorrect other than 15-year old anecdotal outsider information? You do realize that he is not singling them out for being a multi-level marketing company, but because he believes very few of their end users are real outside consumers? Why do you even post here (much less have 9,000+ posts) when the sum total of your finance experience is 1 year in a back-office (and maybe some other shitty short-term gig, I can't keep track)?

    Wow, someone can't deal with disagreement. WHAAaaaaaAAAAAA someone disagrees. Get over it.

    1. ER, Corpfin, MktResearch, 9 months BO, 3 years S&T. Plus I came out of two other industries (equity partner in both). So, not sure what your point is.

    2. I have no idea why Ackman is doing this. From my perspective, it's an act of lunacy.

    3. Outsider, perhaps. However, I can call some friends who work there and have them explain the company structure to you. Ackman's report synthesized confusion where there should be none: some customers also buy product to sell to other people, setting themselves up as distributers. Very simple concept. Not sure how that conflates to ponzi scheme. Lousy marketing structure....uh, yeah, it's why I jumped ship on the whole MLM thing after a few months. Some people dig it and have done well. Again though: not sure why Ackman would call it a ponzi scheme.

    4. I expect the same blowback as the bullshit laws passed in reaction to the London whale thing. Do I disagree with it? Yes. Are the politicians taking advantage of one thing to pass a law about something else? Yes. Is it bullshit? Hell yeah. However, taking a high profile stand that is either lunacy or criminal at this point in time is a bad idea: keep a low profile until the public finds another whipping boy and stop feeding the machine.

    Think what happens in the worst case (and very likely) scenario: it turns out that Ackman defames a company for short term gain and this is proven. Can you imagine the new set of rules that the idiots in Washinton will lay on all of us?

    There is a time to speak out, and there's a time to keep quiet. Ackman is standing on that fine line and leaning over the danger zone. Personally, I don't like it. You're free to feel/think what you want.

    My personal opinion is that Herbalife is a 2nd rate company, but it's not a criminal conspiracy, so driving the stock lower by saying so is just a bad idea and opens too many cans of worms. That's all.

    Chill dude, maybe just hear a different set of ideas out

    Your ideas just don't make any sense and it's plainly clear that you haven't bothered to read the presentation as you're not disputing Ackman's specific points but just repeating facts about MLMs in general. The stuff you keep saying -- "some customers also buy product to sell to other people, setting themselves up as distributers [sic]" -- is exactly what Ackman digs into in his presentation: That most people are buying product to sell to their downline and not outside customers, and when that downline dries up, Herbalife collapses. I like healthy debate but I'm just getting dumber listening to you. For example, Robert Chapman's write-up explaining his long position in HLF is very interesting and I found myself nodding my head several times.

    Also, I don't think there really has been any regulatory "blowback" resulting from the London Whale, certainly nothing that wasn't already in the works before. An SEC and OCC investigation was warranted given their jurisdictions and domains.

  • In reply to notamonkey
    Sandhurst's picture

    notamonkey:
    SirTradesaLot:
    notamonkey:
    I had the privilege of being spoiled rich growing up and the continuing privilege to do whatever I want.

    This was one of the best examples I've seen yet to instantly undermine one's own credibility.

    I wasn't trying to build my credibility. I don't think one needs pedagogical credibility if his argument is sound. The other guy was trying to build his credibility by listing his work experience. He left off that he was a failed Herbalife distributor.

    Most people who grow up poor are jealous of my childhood. I don't blame them. But too many poor people create a false world in their minds, which is why they'll always be failures.

    I was going to suggest that, given this guy's a-hole coefficient and his "HF" badge, he clearly works at B-water. But then I saw that he went to UT.

    On another (conspiracy theory) note: what do we think are the odds that (a) HLF is monitoring forums for these discussions, and (b) is seeking out members with high post-counts and bribing them to come to HLF's defense? It's so crazy it might be true.

    "There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."

  • In reply to Sandhurst
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    Sandhurst:
    On another (conspiracy theory) note: what do we think are the odds that (a) HLF is monitoring forums for these discussions, and (b) is seeking out members with high post-counts and bribing them to come to HLF's defense? It's so crazy it might be true.

    Unlikely here. If it was Yahoo! Finance, that would make more sense.

    adapt or die:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • In reply to Sandhurst
    mrb87's picture

    Sandhurst:
    notamonkey:
    SirTradesaLot:
    notamonkey:
    I had the privilege of being spoiled rich growing up and the continuing privilege to do whatever I want.

    This was one of the best examples I've seen yet to instantly undermine one's own credibility.

    I wasn't trying to build my credibility. I don't think one needs pedagogical credibility if his argument is sound. The other guy was trying to build his credibility by listing his work experience. He left off that he was a failed Herbalife distributor.

    Most people who grow up poor are jealous of my childhood. I don't blame them. But too many poor people create a false world in their minds, which is why they'll always be failures.

    I was going to suggest that, given this guy's a-hole coefficient and his "HF" badge, he clearly works at B-water. But then I saw that he went to UT.

    On another (conspiracy theory) note: what do we think are the odds that (a) HLF is monitoring forums for these discussions, and (b) is seeking out members with high post-counts and bribing them to come to HLF's defense? It's so crazy it might be true.

    Post counts =/= credibility. Unless you're CompBanker or Eddie.

  • In reply to mrb87
    Sandhurst's picture

    mrb87:
    Sandhurst:
    On another (conspiracy theory) note: what do we think are the odds that (a) HLF is monitoring forums for these discussions, and (b) is seeking out members with high post-counts and bribing them to come to HLF's defense? It's so crazy it might be true.

    Post counts =/= credibility. Unless you're CompBanker or Eddie.

    I agree with you. But if you're hiring an army of Filipinos on oDesk to do this en masse, they might take some shortcuts.

    "There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."

  • In reply to Sandhurst
    notamonkey's picture

    Sandhurst:
    notamonkey:
    SirTradesaLot:
    notamonkey:
    I had the privilege of being spoiled rich growing up and the continuing privilege to do whatever I want.

    This was one of the best examples I've seen yet to instantly undermine one's own credibility.

    I wasn't trying to build my credibility. I don't think one needs pedagogical credibility if his argument is sound. The other guy was trying to build his credibility by listing his work experience. He left off that he was a failed Herbalife distributor.

    Most people who grow up poor are jealous of my childhood. I don't blame them. But too many poor people create a false world in their minds, which is why they'll always be failures.

    I was going to suggest that, given this guy's a-hole coefficient and his "HF" badge, he clearly works at B-water. But then I saw that he went to UT.

    On another (conspiracy theory) note: what do we think are the odds that (a) HLF is monitoring forums for these discussions, and (b) is seeking out members with high post-counts and bribing them to come to HLF's defense? It's so crazy it might be true.

    I just like to mess around online; I don't actually know any poor people in person.

    Re: conspiracy theory -> I hope that's a joke. It amazes me how many people think message boards move stock prices.

    All I care about in life is accumulating bananas

  • The.RealDeal's picture

    I'm with UFO on this one. My parents have been active with one of HLF's competitors for more than two decades now and though I have not followed in their footsteps, I know the structure inside and out. They have presence in two countries and have NOT continued to build the business in one of them after they moved. People in their group, under them so to speak, have now surpassed them and are earning much more then my parents EVEN THOUGH they were "recruited" below. I haven't seen a single person here yet properly define what a pyramid scheme is in the context of MLM, but that's not surprising given that everyone knows someone who went in with dreams of Bentley's, McMansions and tropical vacation only to realize it does not work that way and then proceeded to call anything that even smells of a MLM business as a pyramid scheme, cult, scam, etc. It's definitely not for everyone though.

    Not sure who did Ackman's presentation, but there are too many false accusations and more importantly, misunderstandings of the business model, for this to drive the stock price near zero, let alone have HLF delisted UNLESS the FTC drastically changes its definitions or something unexpected comes to light. Something tells me Ackman has already, or is in the process of, booked profits.

    The one disclaimer I have to touch on, however, is that MOST of these businesses are fairly sleazy with poor support systems and a lack of structure, not to mention shitty services or products. My experience relates to what I have been exposed to through my parents. The people that work with them would put most people to shame when it comes to networking, communication and interpersonal skills. They exhibit some of the best leadership skills I have seen. Your level of success significantly correlates to who you choose to work with, because those people serve as your mentors. I'm not defending ALL MLM models, because quite frankly majority of them have not been able to replicate the one my parents are with and thus make it exponentially harder for people to succeed in, but HLF has been around for 32 years for a reason and they aren't even near being the oldest or most successful MLM business out there.

    " A recession is when other people lose their job, a depression is when you lose your job. "

  • In reply to The.RealDeal
    mrb87's picture

    The.RealDeal:
    I'm with UFO on this one. My parents have been active with one of HLF's competitors for more than two decades now and though I have not followed in their footsteps, I know the structure inside and out. They have presence in two countries and have NOT continued to build the business in one of them after they moved. People in their group, under them so to speak, have now surpassed them and are earning much more then my parents EVEN THOUGH they were "recruited" below. I haven't seen a single person here yet properly define what a pyramid scheme is in the context of MLM, but that's not surprising given that everyone knows someone who went in with dreams of Bentley's, McMansions and tropical vacation only to realize it does not work that way and then proceeded to call anything that even smells of a MLM business as a pyramid scheme, cult, scam, etc. It's definitely not for everyone though.

    Not sure who did Ackman's presentation, but there are too many false accusations and more importantly, misunderstandings of the business model, for this to drive the stock price near zero, let alone have HLF delisted UNLESS the FTC drastically changes its definitions or something unexpected comes to light. Something tells me Ackman has already, or is in the process of, booked profits.

    The one disclaimer I have to touch on, however, is that MOST of these businesses are fairly sleazy with poor support systems and a lack of structure, not to mention shitty services or products. My experience relates to what I have been exposed to through my parents. The people that work with them would put most people to shame when it comes to networking, communication and interpersonal skills. They exhibit some of the best leadership skills I have seen. Your level of success significantly correlates to who you choose to work with, because those people serve as your mentors. I'm not defending ALL MLM models, because quite frankly majority of them have not been able to replicate the one my parents are with and thus make it exponentially harder for people to succeed in, but HLF has been around for 32 years for a reason and they aren't even near being the oldest or most successful MLM business out there.

    Again, your comments are about MLM in general and not HLF in particular. Ackman was not shorting MLM in general, he had very specific accusations about HLF.

  • In reply to notamonkey
    Sandhurst's picture

    notamonkey:
    Sandhurst:

    I was going to suggest that, given this guy's a-hole coefficient and his "HF" badge, he clearly works at B-water. But then I saw that he went to UT.

    On another (conspiracy theory) note: what do we think are the odds that (a) HLF is monitoring forums for these discussions, and (b) is seeking out members with high post-counts and bribing them to come to HLF's defense? It's so crazy it might be true.

    I just like to mess around online; I don't actually know any poor people in person.

    Re: conspiracy theory -> I hope that's a joke. It amazes me how many people think message boards move stock prices.

    Well yes, it was a joke.

    But if HLF were to actually do this, it wouldn't be about stock price. For the sake of argument, assuming that it is a pyramid scheme, their single most essential priority is to appear credible to their current and (especially) future distributors. Without new people signing up to join the bottom ranks, they go out of business immediately as all of the converging down-streams (i.e., HLF's entire market) dry up.

    As such, they would go out and defend it everywhere, so whenever anyone tries to do their "due diligence" on the "MLM Business Opportunity" by googling "herbalife pyramid scheme," they see a passionate defense of HLF.

    For the same reason, HLF would be intent on deflecting Ackman's comments in any way possible. Assuming that HLF is an illicit pyramid scheme and Ackman has "figured it out," they wouldn't be able to win by going after his argument. Another approach would be to turn the discussion against him personally. By, say, talking about options that are about to expire. Or by insinuating that he himself is the criminal, trying to manipulate markets. Anything to discredit him.

    Not that these are impossible. But, assuming that Ackman is correct, they probably would avoid the substance of his argument. Which is that HLF's growth (and indeed, existence) is untenable, because nobody really wants to buy the product for its own sake, but rather to make a business out of recruiting other people to sell it. Continuing Ackman's logic, when people realize this, they will stop trying to become distributors, and the music will stop.

    "There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."

  • In reply to Sandhurst
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    Sandhurst:

    By, say, talking about options that are about to expire.

    I hope you're not attempting to claim that I'm a defender of Herbalife.

    adapt or die:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • The.RealDeal's picture

    mrb87:
    Again, your comments are about MLM in general and not HLF in particular. Ackman was not shorting MLM in general, he had very specific accusations about HLF.

    I know that, and I think it's safe to say at least some of those accusation are based on Pershing's understanding of the MLM business model, which HLF participates in. If you can agree with that, then one would assume that a misunderstanding of how a pyramid scheme operates would render some of those accusations false. Correct me if I'm wrong,but Ackman is betting on FTC declaring HLF an illegal scheme. HLF has been publicly traded since late 2004 and in business for over 3 decades, but forget about their track record and try to actually understand how their compensation plan works. Ackman raises some good points, but if HLF goes down it will not be due to FTC's current definition. By the way, his understanding of what a pyramid scheme is laughable, me thinks he should have studied past court cases and FTC investigations of other MLM companies, especially in the 70's and 80's (including the landmark FTC vs MLM case in those years) in order to better asses the viability of his thesis.

    Robert Chapman of Chapman Capital brought up an interesting point by saying that Ackman went public with his attack after realizing the FTC will not take any action against HLF and needed the negativity to crater the stock.Either way, this negatively affects ALL MLM companies because unlike in Hollywood,any publicity is not good publicity for this type of business model these days, especially in the short term.

    " A recession is when other people lose their job, a depression is when you lose your job. "

  • In reply to The.RealDeal
    mrb87's picture

    To unlock this content for free, please login / register below.

    Sign In with Facebook Sign In with Google

    Connecting helps us build a vibrant community. We'll never share your info without your permission. Sign up with email or if you are already a member, login here Bonus: Also get 6 free financial modeling lessons for free ($200+ value) when you register!
  • The.RealDeal's picture

    " A recession is when other people lose their job, a depression is when you lose your job. "

  • In reply to SirTradesaLot
    Sandhurst's picture

    "There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."

Pages