Friday, November 30, 2012

The Black Book of Communism

I've known for a while (through understanding economics and some history) that communism lowers a society's standard of living, and thus kills unintentionally. What I did not realize until reading Panné's The Black Book of Communism is how much Communist leaders have killed intentionally!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

High Digital Marks

Digimarc (DMRC) has seen tremendous stock price volatility in recent quarters, which is generally par for the course for most small cap companies. Currently, the stock trades almost 60% below its 1.5 year high, potentially offering value investors an opportunity.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bridgepoint: An Education In Cash Management

The for-profit education sector has taken a huge beating over the last few quarters. But mitigating this opportunity is the fact that many of the business models of these companies will have to change significantly in order to cope with new rules designed to ensure they do not abuse federal loan programs. But there is one company among them in particular that trades at an exceptionally low level despite the uncertain future: Bridgepoint Education (BPI).

Monday, November 19, 2012

Conference Call Transcripts: Now All In One Place

If you're like me, you find the info divulged on company earnings conference calls to be of great value. At the same time, though, you find most of the call to be a complete waste of time. (e.g. A lot of time is wasted practically reading out what has already been issued in a press release.)

Conference call transcripts, on the other hand, let you speed-through the agonizing legal disclaimers, the repeated sections of the press release, and the answers to questions in which you had no interest. Switching to transcripts from the audio calls themselves could increase your productivity by saving you about 45 minutes per call, especially if you've taken my speed-reading tips to heart.

A problem I've found with transcripts, however, is that there is no single location where you can find them all, until now. There are some sites that publish a bunch of transcripts, like Seeking Alpha, Morningstar and Thompson, whereas others have to be googled to be found. Some companies (e.g. Kirkland's, Dorel) even provide their own. Some sources are free, whereas others charge big money. So to find a company's transcript at the price you're looking for, you have to check all of these sites, google around, and check company pages. If you're looking on earnings day itself, you may have to perform the necessary steps multiple times per day if you're waiting for the transcript to become available, which eats into your productivity gains!

So, I decided to create a website that does all the work in scouring the internet for conference call transcripts, and lets its users retrieve these transcripts by company at the click of a button. No more looking for transcripts across several sites, no more googling, no more navigating through awkward investor relations sites. Just go to, enter the company name or ticker, and voilĂ , an updated list of the company's conference call transcripts (if they exist) appears.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dorel: Worth The Wait

Dorel is one of the oldest stocks on this site's Stock Ideas page, but its time to join the Value In Action page has finally come. Having fallen to as low as $16/share in 2009, the stock now trades for almost $40/share, offering investors who buy when sentiment is negative and sell when sentiment is positive an extraordinary return.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Why We Buy By Underhill

I recently had the opportunity to read retail consultant Paco Underhill's Why We Buy and I'm smarter for it. The title is misleading, however; it's not so much about "why we buy" as it is about "how we should sell". Underhill shares a number of in-store methods retailers aren't using (but that he has proven successful for his clients) but should.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Selling In Vancouver

Frequent visitors to this site will recall a series of articles a few months back examining whether Vancouver, Canada is indeed in the midst of a real estate bubble. Those articles weren't just for your benefit; they were primarily for mine! You see, as a Vancouver home owner, I wanted to know if I was sitting on an asset that might soon be worth a lot less than it is currently. My conclusion was that we are in a bubble, and so I took action!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fooling Mr. Market

Yesterday, shares of TSR Corp fell almost 20% as Mr. Market probably believes the company's shares no longer trade with the massive 30% dividend yield the company plans to pay out. But this is no ordinary payout! As we saw three weeks ago, on large payouts the normal relationship between the record date and the ex-dividend date goes out the window! Mr. Market moved that stock in error, in my opinion. If I'm right, investors who sold shares of TSRI yesterday thinking they had the dividend in the bag will be very sorry!