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On Bitcoin, Gold and Monetary PolicyThis negative article on bitcoin indirectly brought together a few disparate thoughts for me. The article's position/bias is clear - the digital currency, which has grown significantly vs. the dollar  is a speculatively bubble: (source) What is even more interesting, however, is... 1 year 8 months
Gold shortage?Given the new gold backwardation, bulls have returned back in force (1, 2, 3) to explain how this will push gold higher. But does backwardation correlate with flat price? Compared with flat price (front month), there doesn't seem to be an easy correlation. The last breakout for gold... 1 year 10 months
Digging into ING US (VOYA)After taking a position in ING US (NYSE: VOYA) at about the $25/share level, I have been fortunate to participate in the rise to above $30. The original target was around the 40-50$, with stop around $20, the ipo price. The recent rise and earnings report make this a good time to reevaluate the... 1 year 11 months
The next catalyst for GDXI've been pretty negative on gold miners (GDX), both because of the perceived weak hands involved on the long side and the terrible capital allocation policies/rising breakeven costs of the miners. At the risk of falling into confirmation bias, the recent articles about renewed gold hedging could... 1 year 11 months
Are Emerging Markets Diversified?GMO's most recent yearly forecasts seem like what most people think - negative on most bonds and most US equities, but most positive on emerging market equities (but interestingly, not their debt): The traditional rationale for this is that emerging markets (Brazil, Russian India, China... 1 year 11 months
How to pick a fund managerPerhaps it is actually harder to pick a manager than to pick investments. The general statistics against active management are well-known. In 2012, for example, 63% of large cap mutual funds failed to match the market (even worse for hedge funds). As a result, the full choice set for selecting... 2 years 16 min
Lampert's Folly?Edward Lampert's credentials are impeccable - Yale Skull & Bones, Goldman Sachs risk arbitrage under Robert Rubin (Secretary of the Treasury under Clinton), and of course the billion dollar hedge fund ESL Investments that he founded. Billionaire at 41, he even talked his way out of a kidnapping... 2 years 5 days
Conflict of Interest - Unfair but Necessary? Misaligned incentives seem to be a common trait in selling financial products. After issuer-paid credit ratings and stock exchanges which cater to high frequency traders, even data releases are not immune to such practices. Thomson Reuters is now under investigation for releasing a well-known... 2 years 3 weeks
Single Family Rentals - Institutional Herding...I originally got interested in single-family rentals with the spinoffs of Silver Bay Realty (SBY) and Altisource Residential (RESI) in the last half year or so. These companies buy single-family homes with the intention of renting them out. Given that mortgage rates (<5%) are less than rental... 2 years 4 weeks
Shibor - Canary in the Coal Mine?I'm surprised that the recent Shibor spike hasn't (Shibor is the Chinese version of LIBOR) sparked more concern. After staying at less than 4% for the last year, the 3-month rate has surged to above 5%. The overnight rate has spiked even further to 13%. To put things in perspective, 2011's top... 2 years 1 month


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Thanks for the article; I would point out a few...Thanks for the article; I would point out a few things though: For vale, think the assumptions made are far too narrow. Sure, if vale grows operating income 2% in perpetuity we can arrive your valuation. However, iron ore prices as the driver of vale revenues are Far more volatile than +/-20%... 8 months 6 days
Doing alright: focus on track record combined...Doing alright: focus on track record combined with tough fundraising environment means fund grows (slowly) mostly through investment gains. We shall see what happens when the market turns! 11 months 4 weeks
In case anyone was still following, I've covered...In case anyone was still following, I've covered this short as despite it underperforming the S&P 500, opened-ended valuation shorts like this are not strong enough to short now. In essence, I concede from earlier criticisms that that there was not strong enough of a catalyst here. 1 year 5 months
yes, I hope they discuss in q2 letter so we can...yes, I hope they discuss in q2 letter so we can compare theses 2 years 3 days
Yes, looks like that debt exchange coincided with...Yes, looks like that debt exchange coincided with new highs (though w/ mkt frothiness could coincidence). Still wary of parent selling 2 years 3 days
WSOH: what could be some limitations to this...[quote=WSOH]what could be some limitations to this thesis?[/quote] A few are: limited data on the closed book annuity and legacy mortgage book and the fact that ing groep (the original parent) still has many shares to sell. The former could wreak havoc on "book value" if the underlying assets... 2 years 1 month
SirTradesaLot: tt1254: This is all conjecture...[quote=SirTradesaLot] tt1254: This is all conjecture- but what if it were possible to hedge the LTCM/Harbinger/Paulson-like exposure to your portfolio? Many firms have already sold call options linked to the performance of hedge funds. They have been pretty significantly overpriced to date,... 2 years 1 month 2 years 1 month
JCKeenz: tt1254: yjishere: can only talk about...[quote=JCKeenz] tt1254: yjishere: can only talk about junior ppl, but think it was ~10% who were fired/laid-off, but mostly in early years you are safe if you are doing good job (read; your boss/team thinks you are helpful, good to be around etc.). Too cheap to just lay-off en-masse usually.... 2 years 1 month
Nick101: What happens when you do actually take...[quote=Nick101]What happens when you do actually take in to account Shiller's P/E assumptions? What are these assumptions? Is looking at track records like this not a dangerous game anyway. I still don't fully understand the role of these tools in decision making. I was talking to a trader who... 2 years 2 months