Corner of Berkshire & Fairfax Message Board

General Category => Strategies => Topic started by: Okonomen on August 31, 2019, 10:16:25 AM

Title: Sources of inspiration
Post by: Okonomen on August 31, 2019, 10:16:25 AM
Hi

Just curious about how people generate/find ideas. What websites do you use?

I got a few:
Dataroma.com
Seekingalpha
Valueinvestorsclub
This forum of course
Title: Re: Sources of inspiration
Post by: DooDiligence on August 31, 2019, 01:25:31 PM
Hi

Just curious about how people generate/find ideas. What websites do you use?

I got a few:
Dataroma.com
Seekingalpha
Valueinvestorsclub
This forum of course

Same + a well curated (and filtered) Twitter feed.
Title: Re: Sources of inspiration
Post by: Gregmal on August 31, 2019, 02:07:09 PM
I'd add microcap club to the above list but also mentioned that meetings plus investor conferences plus regular contact with other investors sprouts more ideas than anything else.

Another very valuable strategy Ive found is peer groups. Say you are a guy with a fancy for real estate companies. Go to the 10K and find the companies peer group. Then go to each of those companies 10K's find the peer group. This can take you to some pretty interesting and unknown places. Some times I'll go back to annual reports from 5-10 years prior and do the same.
Title: Re: Sources of inspiration
Post by: DW on August 31, 2019, 02:43:19 PM

Same + a well curated (and filtered) Twitter feed.

Iíve never really thought of Twitter as a source of information. Are you following news sources (i.e. WSJ, FT, CNBC, Bloomberg) or something else?

David
Title: Re: Sources of inspiration
Post by: Gregmal on August 31, 2019, 02:51:23 PM

Same + a well curated (and filtered) Twitter feed.

Iíve never really thought of Twitter as a source of information. Are you following news sources (i.e. WSJ, FT, CNBC, Bloomberg) or something else?

David

If you're looking at smaller or less followed companies, simply searching various forms of that companies name/tickers/info on Twitter is actually extremely useful. A more streamlined Google search IMO.
Title: Re: Sources of inspiration
Post by: Spekulatius on August 31, 2019, 04:00:41 PM
Reddit has a collection of hedge fund letters that are posted there. I have found it to be an excellent source of ideas and co comets.

I agree with Gregmals peer analysis. If you find an idea, look at the peer companies in the same business.I often find some I like better. Also a trick I have found is in google charts there is a list “People Leo watch”, which can be illuminating..

Twitter is great - you start to follow some folks and then find out who they follow. a lot of investors are 90% there for fintwit.

Then there are blogs. The Long term value blog is sort of inactive, but his blog roll is one of the best:
https://longtermvalue.wordpress.com/
Title: Re: Sources of inspiration
Post by: DooDiligence on August 31, 2019, 04:06:18 PM

Same + a well curated (and filtered) Twitter feed.

Iíve never really thought of Twitter as a source of information. Are you following news sources (i.e. WSJ, FT, CNBC, Bloomberg) or something else?

David

If you're looking at smaller or less followed companies, simply searching various forms of that companies name/tickers/info on Twitter is actually extremely useful. A more streamlined Google search IMO.

^^^^^^
   This

When you search tickers, you'll find a lot of robo-posters but you'll also find finance pro's who are discussing.

You can also start with some reputable accounts & dig in to who they follow:

@LibertyRPF
@SuperMugatu
@SconnieTrader
@trengriffin
@mr_skilling
@greenbackd
@MineSafetyBot
@wabuffo
@Hipster_Trader
@AustinValue
@JerryCap
@John_Hjorth
@giovfranchi
@Clownbuck
@AlexBossert
@ROIChristie

These aren't in any particular order & I could go on, and on, and on, but this is enough to get you started.

I avoid following news services.

I do heinously un-due-dilligence & fortunately there are a ton of people who are gracious enough to share.

One day I hope to pay some of them back (in small part) with a bit of musical entertainment.
Title: Re: Sources of inspiration
Post by: DW on August 31, 2019, 04:23:30 PM

Same + a well curated (and filtered) Twitter feed.

Iíve never really thought of Twitter as a source of information. Are you following news sources (i.e. WSJ, FT, CNBC, Bloomberg) or something else?

David

If you're looking at smaller or less followed companies, simply searching various forms of that companies name/tickers/info on Twitter is actually extremely useful. A more streamlined Google search IMO.

^^^^^^
   This

When you search tickers, you'll find a lot of robo-posters but you'll also find finance pro's who are discussing.

You can also start with some reputable accounts & dig in to who they follow:

@LibertyRPF
@SuperMugatu
@SconnieTrader
@trengriffin
@mr_skilling
@greenbackd
@MineSafetyBot
@wabuffo
@Hipster_Trader
@AustinValue
@JerryCap
@John_Hjorth
@giovfranchi
@Clownbuck
@AlexBossert
@ROIChristie

These aren't in any particular order & I could go on, and on, and on, but this is enough to get you started.

I avoid following news services.

I do heinously un-due-dilligence & fortunately there are a ton of people who are gracious enough to share.

One day I hope to pay some of them back (in small part) with a bit of musical entertainment.


Awesome. Thanks. Iíll check it out.
Title: Re: Sources of inspiration
Post by: writser on September 01, 2019, 01:46:26 AM
Twitter is useful but tends to drift towards the ďhype of the dayĒ: Burford, GE, WeWork, etc. Interesting and fun but usually not investable ideas (for me). Twitter can be useful to search for a ticker to find some recent discussion. Only works with illiquid stocks though: search for $AAPL and you will find piles and piles of trash. Also, maybe this is a pet peeve of mine but there are a lot of people peddling pseudo-intellectual nonsense on Twitter about mental models, self-improvement, moats, and quotes from Seneca, the wonders of compounding or whatever. Farnam street is the worst exponent of that nonsense. Prune your feed aggressively. Focus on the very small group that discusses actual valuations of stocks

I think following some blogs in a feed aggregator is more productive. Most of my favorite blogs are listed in this thread: http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/general-discussion/news-kids-on-the-blog/ .

I also follow a lot of filings and have huge watchlists at yahoo and seekingalpha to stay up to date with stocks I have looked at in the past. VIC, CoBF are also decent and I frequent a few private forums.

As with Twitter, the watchlist thing only works with illiquid microcaps: if you add, for example, AAPL or BRK your news- and article feeds will get swamped by non-news and computer-generated clickbait.
Title: Re: Sources of inspiration
Post by: SharperDingaan on September 01, 2019, 08:15:50 AM
Just pick a wide variety of global business related press.
And once/quarter filter on your indices of choice, for the best and worst industries/companies.

Select a variety of press to minimize the propaganda. Al Jazeerah is a great innoculant!
Go your own way, and don't just follow others.

SD
Title: Re: Sources of inspiration
Post by: NeverLoseMoney on September 01, 2019, 10:26:56 AM
I follow lots of blogs, a bunch of people on Twitter and read letters from small hedge funds. I'm mostly interested in investors who are in a similar situation as me and who use a similar investment approach, which mostly means they are not managing a lot of money, they invest in micro-caps and they are not part of what I call "the compounder crowd".

In general, I think you should not focus on people who write a lot. They are mostly in the writing business or are just looking to entertain themselves and others. Nothing wrong with that, but it's just not valuable to me. Those writers do usually get the most attention. So I don't tend to follow people who regularly write multiple blog posts a week, dozens of tweets a day, or a 25+ page quarterly hedge fund letter.

I think it's also important to generate ideas of your own. There is some adverse selection in those ideas presented on blogs, because very attractive but illiquid ideas tend to be held back for obvious reasons. You could do the work to try to find them yourself. I do this by running screens, browsing through lists of press releases / filings and doing an A-Z review of all listed companies on a stock exchange (like Greece in 2014 or so). This last approach works best for countries that are going through a crisis.

Then if you find a good investment idea and ultimately invest in it, always check and see who else owns the company. Check the large shareholders list in an annual report or find them on a site like MarketScreener.com. Sometimes you'll be able to find the names of small hedge funds that own the stock and often you'll be able to subscribe to their letters. Sometimes you'll find smart individual investors whose names also show up in other ownership filings when you do a creative Google search. All this can turn into a goldmine for you, because you probably have a similar investment approach to these investors and you'll be more likely to understand their thinking when they present, or are forced to disclose, other holdings.

You can also use this approach for companies that you didn't invest in, but that ended up working out really well. So who owned that company that you passed on last year and only added to your watchlist, but that is now being taken over at a 150% premium? You were at least looking at the company, so you were fishing in the right pond. But who got it right? What else do they own?

Similarly, always Google the company name and see if there are any write-ups by bloggers for any obscure company you're invested in. Try something like "company name +stock +value" and quickly browse through the first 5-10 pages on Google. I've found multiple bloggers writing about small, foreign companies this way, and again, you're more likely to find their ideas valuable because you already share an interest in that company you both own.

When reading blog posts, ask yourself how did the blogger find the idea? The author often won't disclose this, but you can often figure it out yourself by thinking about it a bit. For special situations for example: what search terms might they have tracked in SEC filings to come up with that idea? And if you know they got an investment idea from another blogger or someone on Twitter you can probably figure it out by doing some Googling, or by checking out who they follow on Twitter. That other blogger or person on Twitter can be a source of future investment ideas for you.

This sounds obvious, but it is easy to forget doing stuff like this or to just be lazy. You will generate investment ideas of your own and a list of small funds, bloggers and other investors if you consistently do stuff like this. All this takes time though and most people won't do it.
Title: Re: Sources of inspiration
Post by: DooDiligence on September 03, 2019, 05:46:47 AM
I forgot to add this guy as a must follow.
Art, humor & finance woven together.

@JeffMacke
Title: Re: Sources of inspiration
Post by: thowed on September 04, 2019, 02:36:17 AM
I'd recommend the substantial resources of:

www.lindselltrain.com
www.fundsmith.co.uk

The former for their Insight features, the latter for their annual letters.

Both are into later Buffett/Phil Fisher, quality franchise type stuff, but they both have their own, fascinating styles.


Title: Re: Sources of inspiration
Post by: Gamecock-YT on September 04, 2019, 07:43:44 PM
Ralphs
Title: Re: Sources of inspiration
Post by: writser on September 11, 2019, 12:13:48 AM
[long post]

Good post. One last important thing: you have to put in the time and effort. Follow all blogs, CoBF topics, study all SEC filings, follow up on all interesting tweets, model all interesting companies, etc. The more work you put in the more ideas you will find.
Title: Re: Sources of inspiration
Post by: Gregmal on September 11, 2019, 06:03:50 AM
Surprised I haven't seen it yet, maybe cuz it isn't a free service, and is more a portal to access information rather than prefab pitches on value stocks, but theflyonthewall is a great resource and modestly priced IMO.