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March 2013



1,143% Outperformance, Tons of Stock Ideas and the Charity Challenge Update...Q1 Wrap-up

March 31, 2013 – Comments (11) | RELATED TICKERS: DANOY , RIG , SD.DL

CAPS calculates points totals for players by looking at "the total percentage return of all his picks subtracting out the S&P."  At the beginning of the first quarter of 2013 I decided to begin tracking my quarterly performance here in CAPS and to donate a quarter to charity for every percentage point that I outperform the S&P 500 by.  On January 4th, my CAPS points total stood at 5,200.  At the close of the quarter on Thursday I had 6,343 points.  According to my complex calculations, that means that my CAPS portfolio outperformed the S&P by 1,143 percentage points during Q1.  Let's say that I maintained an average of 195 or so active picks during the quarter, this means that on average each stock I went long (I don't short) beat the S&P over the past three months by an average of 5.86%.  Not too shabby, considering I did this with none of the usual CAPS tricks and trinkets like shorting ultra-leveraged ETFs or scams.  [more]



You know that you're a value investor at heart when...

March 30, 2013 – Comments (7)

You know that you're a value and special situation investor at heart take your kids to an arcade on your day off and you spend the entire time looking for ways to beat the system and get as many tickets as possible for as few tokens as possible. Who cares if the game is fun :) we can get ten times the tickets that we can on other games. 

I had my two young sons walking around that coin pushing game that you find on the boardwalk at the shore looking for machines that were only one more good shot away (instead of 5 or 6) from starting the bonus wheel that let's you spin for a chance to win up to 500 tickets. 

We found another game where you had to shoot harpoons at virtual fish. The more pounds of virtual fish you shoot the more tickets you get. My oldest son and I found that we could team up to shoot the massive sharks that were surrounded by guards to get the most possible tickets. I took out the screening fish and he would have a clean shot at the shark. They definitely didn't expect people to team up on this one. For four tokens we could consistently get 5 sharks every round for a cool 300 tickets versus the 10 or so that one would get on a normal turn.

Then of course there's one of my favorites, "Deal or No Deal". Where we were calculating the odds that we would beat the bankers' offer.  The easiest one to calculate came when we only had two cases left.  One that contained 500 tickets and the other that contained 3.  Now if you round that off the ideal offer from the banker is 252 tickets, but I told my sons going into it that we're taking anything over 250.  That must be my slightly conservative nature kicking in.  Well, the banker offered 251.  That's a much better offer than some of the lowball ones that the mathine tried earlier.  We took it and our case contained...3.  Yes! We made the right move.  [more]



The Answer to the Question that Everyone has About Sandstorm Metals & Energy

March 29, 2013 – Comments (6) | RELATED TICKERS: STTYF.DL

The million dollar question when it comes to Sandstorm Metals & Energy (STTYF) is when will the company start receiving revenue from the various investments it has made in mining and drilling projects. I have seen a number of what I believe are overly optimistic estimates on this subject over the past several months.   [more]



Two Interesting New Ideas from an Excellent Blogger

March 28, 2013 – Comments (3) | RELATED TICKERS: RDI , COSH.DL

I don't know if I've mentioned this blog here before, but I always keep an eye on Whopper Investments for cool investment ideas. He posted two particularly interesting ones this week that are very special situation-oriented.  [more]



Another sign that the economy is improving - Car sales on a roll in March

March 28, 2013 – Comments (5) | RELATED TICKERS: LEA

MSN - Car sales on a roll in March

"March sales could well be "significantly stronger than February's," said Jason Knapp, who tracks incentives at Autodata Corp., another big market research firm. The company's guess: Sales will be "up between 5% and 10% year-over-year, leaning towards the higher end of that range," Knapp said in an email."

That's me ;). There has been some significant changes at my day job lately. I've been given some additional responsibility, some of which make it more likely that I will interact with the media again after taking a break for nearly a decade. I thought that some of you might find this interesting.   [more]



Sandstorm Metals and Energy, a Key Catalyst Approaches

March 27, 2013 – Comments (8) | RELATED TICKERS: STTYF.DL

Earlier this month I blogged about jockey investments.  In the post I specifically talked about Nolan Watson and Sandstorm Metals & Energy (STTYF).  As a brief refresher, Sandstorm is attempting to make money by loaning money to smaller energy and metals exploration companies in exchange for the ability to purchase a share of their future production at extremely low prices.  [more]



Today's Random Thoughts

March 24, 2013 – Comments (8) | RELATED TICKERS: VOD , MDLZ , NESC

How's that for a title that will generate clicks and recs.  On a Sunday during March Madness too.  You can tell that I'm not doing this for the glory ;).  [more]



Where to find an 8% yield in today's low rate environment

March 18, 2013 – Comments (10) | RELATED TICKERS: BEE.DL

One of my favorite yield-plays recently went away when AIG called its exchange traded debt sporting a 7%+ yield.  So, where is one to go to find that sort of yield instead.  Well, the opportunities out there are getting scarce, but one company that I currently own preferred shares of makes a nice replacement candidate, Strategic Hotels & Resorts (BEE).  [more]



An overview of Jockey Investing, what it is and how to profit from it

March 14, 2013 – Comments (9) | RELATED TICKERS: AL , STTYF.DL , BRK-A

I've been meaning to write a blog post on Jockey Investing for a while now.  Whether you know this specific term or not, probably everyone who invests for themselves knows what it is.  The ultimate example of "Jockey Investing" would be the purchase of stock in Berkshire Hathaway in the 1960s and rising Warren Buffett's amazing compounding machine for the next several decades.  In short, jockey investing is attempting to find a smart allocator of shareholder capital that can create exceptional returns in a stock for investors, ideally early in the game.  [more]



PSX Continues to Make Shareholder Friendly Moves

March 10, 2013 – Comments (2) | RELATED TICKERS: PSX

My position in Philips 66 fondly reminds me of a Gramercy Capital moment in my own investing life, making a complete 180 on a company that I initially didn't like but that ultimately turned out to be a very successful investment.  When I originally bought stock in ConocoPhillips (COP) I did so because I thought that the parent company would be better off after it shed its refining assets. However after researching PSX I slowly began to realize that it was actually the more attractive part of the company and not the E&P assets as I had originally had thought.   [more]



Sum Zero Likes Dean Foods, but I'm Passing

March 08, 2013 – Comments (8) | RELATED TICKERS: DF , CBB , CONE

Let be begin by saying that I really like Sum Zero.  No, I'm not a full fledged member.  I suppose that's partly because I'm not a career hedge fund manager, but probably also partly because I'm too busy to every do a huge fancy write-up on any of my investment ideas.  Regardless, I get Sum Zero's weekly market dispatch for the common folk and I enjoy it.  [more]



The Big Macro, Gambling and February's New Stock Picks

March 03, 2013 – Comments (4) | RELATED TICKERS: QEP , ENLC , AL

Well, another month is in the books.  My CAPS portfolio finally cooled off a little bit.  It was bound to happen, I had been consistently, significantly outperforming the S&P 500 month after month for as long as the chart on our CAPS pages shows, September or so.  Treading water versus the S&P for a period of time is nothing to be ashamed of and I still feel great about how my CAPS and real-money portfolios are positioned.  [more]

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