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Guru Gyan


I am going to put some extract from famous books of value investing in this section.


Extract from book MARGIN OF SAFETY by Seth A. Klarman

Look for investments with catalysts  that may assist directly in the realization of underlying value. Give preference to companies having good managements with a personal financial stake in the business. Finally, diversify your holdings and hedge when it is financially attractive to do so.

Value investing is simple to understand but difficult to implement. Value investors are not supersophisticated analytical wizards who create and apply intricate computer models to find attractive opportunities or assess underlying value. The hard part is discipline, patience, and judgment. Investors need discipline to avoid the many unattractive pitches that are thrown, patience to wait for the right pitch, and judgment to know when it is time to swing.

While a top-down investor must make several accurate predictions in a row, a bottom-up investor is not in the forecasting business at all. The entire strategy can be concisely described as "buy a bargain and wait." Bottom-up investors can easily determine when the original reason for making an investment ceases to be valid. When the underlying value changes, when management reveals itself to be incompetent or corrupt, or when the price appreciates to more fully reflect underlying business value, a disciplined investor can reevaluate the situation and, if appropriate, sell the investment. Huge sums have been lost by investors who have held on to securities after the reason for owning them is no longer valid. In investing it is never wrong to change your mind. It is only wrong to change your mind and do nothing about it.

The trick of successful investors is to sell when they want to, not when they have to.

Corporate managements are generally aware that many investors focus on growth in reported earnings, and a number of them gently massage reported earnings to create a consistent upward trend. A few particularly unscrupulous managements play accounting games to turn deteriorating results into improving ones, losses into profits, and small profits into large ones. An analysis of cash flow would better capture the true economics of a business. Most important, whether investors use earnings or cash flow in their valuation analysis, it is important to remember that the numbers are not an end in themselves. Rather they are a means to understanding what is really happening in a company.

It is incumbent on investors to try to find out why the bargain has become available. A bargain should be inspected and reinspected for possible flaws. Irrational or indifferent selling alone may have made it cheap, but there may be more fundamental reasons for the depressed price. Perhaps there are contingent liabilities or pending litigation that you are unaware of. Maybe a competitor is preparing to introduce a superior product. When the reason for the undervaluation can be clearly identified, it becomes an even better investment because the outcome is more predictable. Many attractive investment opportunities result from market inefficiencies, that is, areas of the security markets in which information is not fully disseminated or in which supply and demand are temporarily out of balance.

Value investing by its very nature is contrarian. Out-of-favour securities may be undervalued; popular securities almost never are.

No one understands a business and its prospects better than the management. Therefore investors should be encouraged when corporate insiders invest their own money alongside that of shareholders by purchasing stock in the open market. It is often said on Wall Street that there are many reasons why an insider might sell a stock (need for cash to pay taxes, expenses, etc.), but there is only one reason for buying.

Value investors are always on the lookout for catalysts. While buying assets at a discount from underlying value is the defining characteristic of value investing, the partial or total realization of underlying value through a catalyst is an important means of generating profits. In the absence of a catalyst, however, underlying value could erode; conversely, the gap between price and value could widen with the vagaries of the market. Owning securities with catalysts for value realization is therefore an important way for investors to reduce the risk within their portfolios, augmenting the margin of safety achieved by investing at a discount from underlying value.

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I am not an Investment advisor and do not provide this service via this Blog. The Blog is a personal diary and the stocks discussed on the blog represent my personal views and analysis. They are not recommendations to buy or sell stocks. I do not intend to recommend any stocks for financial or non-financial gains and may or may not be holding the stocks discussed on my blog.

In a nutshell - i am not responsible for the losses or gains made based on the information published on this Blog