Friday, September 19, 2014

The Wide Lens

Over time, companies have become more specialized. As a result, fewer products are made completely by one company. Instead, each company is just one cog in a product ecosystem. In The Wide Lens, Ron Adner argues that this increases the risk that an execution failure that occurs *outside* the company will affect the company. This book is about how companies can manage these risks.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Deep Value

I really enjoyed Toby Carlisle's latest, Deep Value. There are a lot of books that offer compelling stories, but to my mind the plural of anecdote is not statistic. On the other hand, books heavy on the stats tend to bore their readers to sleep. For me, Deep Value was the perfect blend of real-life investing stories combined with the stats necessary to make for a convincing argument.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fatal Risk

AIG had been a a responsible risk taker for much of its history. Over several decades, Hank Greenberg oversaw its growth by taking appropriately-priced risk, ensuring no single event could take the firm down. After Greenberg's ousting, some things changed at AIG. One unit in particular grew to a large size and lost its way. In Fatal Risk, Roddy Boyd tells the tale of AIG's rise and dramatic fall during the recent recession.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Value Fail: Premier Exhibitions

I'm able to make purchase decisions relatively easily. The decision to sell, however, is never an easy one for me, whether a stock has risen or fallen. In the case of Premier Exhibitions, I don't think it was the actual purchase that cost me; after all, this was a profitable company when I discussed the stock as a potential value investment! Instead, it was my unwillingness to sell when business conditions changed that ended up hurting the most. I wasn't actually able to sell it until I finally recognized the mental block that was stopping me from giving up.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Your Brain At Work

If you follow this blog, you know I have spent some time thinking about how to minimize external distractions (e.g. the e-mail inbox) while working. But what about the distractions that come from inside your own head? These may be even more detrimental to a focused work day than any e-mail. In Your Brain At Work, David Rock provides some techniques for improving internal focus.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Best Buy Continues To Show Progress

Just over 7 months ago, I discussed Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) as a potentially great opportunity for value investors at its then $24 share price. Today, the shares trade at $31, which represents a 30% increase. I continue to hold it, as I believe the company remains undervalued.Read more...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Invisible Hands

Steven Drobny interviews a number of hedge fund managers who profited through the recent financial crisis in his book, The Invisible Hands.

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