Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dead Companies Walking

Hedge fund manager Scott Fearon discusses what made him successful in his book, Dead Companies Walking. The book is actually about failure. Failure is good for an economy, as it allows new ways of doing things to rise. Fearon's expertise is spotting failures before the market recognizes them, and shorting them all the way down.

I'm not a short-seller, as I don't believe I have the mental make-up for it. But if there is one book that has tempted me to try it, it's this one! Fearon makes it sound so easy. He describes a number of real-life examples where companies followed bad strategies, over-levered, were fraudulent, were over-priced and/or just didn't understand their customers.

But at the same time, it's clearly not as easy as it sounds. Fearon admits that he's only right six out of ten times, so when he describes these examples retroactively where everything seems so clear, it probably isn't.

Nevertheless, this is a good book about business. Fearon's insights into what a company's strengths are, and how certain companies are moving away from their strengths were my favourite parts.


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