The VIJ Financial Literacy Program For Teens Is Seeking Your Help

The VIJ Financial Literacy Program For Teens Is Seeking Your Help


Out of 13 years of formal schooling – I wasn’t able to go to college due to severe health issues – I learned about investing and basic financial literacy for only 3 or 4 months of that time.

And even then, it was the very basics of everything.

This is a disgrace.

And I’ve always thought this made zero sense.

Lack of financial literacy is a huge reason people get into massive debt, make unwise financial and life decisions, and just get by on a month to month basis.

After more than a decade of being in the financial realm I have many thoughts on why financial literacy isn’t taught in schools. But this is a different post…

Plus, I don’t believe in making excuses when you can make a difference.

Today I’m announcing that my team and I are putting together a new program to do our part in educating people about basic financial literacy.

This new program focuses on teaching disadvantaged teens in my local, Tampa, Florida area, financial literacy and is called our VIJ Financial Literacy Program For Teens.

We’re teaching these kids not only basic financial literacy skills to help them now, but also to help them over their entire lives get out of and stay out of poverty.

I’ve partnered with my local library to put this program on to teach these at-risk kids about the following things…

  • Credit Cards
  • Debit Cards
  • Good and bad debt
  • How to budget
  • Should they go to college?
  • If not, what other options are there?
  • How to make money
  • How to save money
  • How to multiply money and how to get work towards getting rich
  • The power of self-belief and how to get more self-confidence
  • Entrepreneurship
  • And much more…

But I need your help…

These Kids Need Your Help

With 11+ years of experience in finance and investing, I know a lot about this area. And I think we’re putting together a fantastic program that will help these kids.

But, this is my first time putting together a program for and teaching teens so I’m sure I’m missing some important lessons that you know.

I talk about this more in the 6-minute video below…

I’m looking for your recommendations for lessons to teach these kids so we can help change their lives and help them get out of and stay out of poverty.

So I’ve got two questions for you that will help me shape this program for the better…

  • If you have teens what would you like your kids to learn about in a financial literacy program like this?
  • What would you have liked to learn in your teens about these kinds of topics that you now know?

Please let me know in the comments below so we can change these kids lives for the better.

I’ll keep you updated on this program as it nears in late April.

P.S. If you’d like to become a sponsor and / or partner in this kind of program please email me directly at jasonrivera@valueinvestingjourney.com, with the subject VIJ Financial Literacy Program.

P.P.S. If you want to learn more info like this to become a great value investor fast and at a fraction of the cost of a normal university, check out our new Value Investing 6 Week MasterclassThe entire first week of the course is all about developing the proper value investing mindset.

Throwback Thursday – Dole Investment Analysis Case Study Part 5 Dole Shareholders Win – Sort Of

Throwback Thursday – Dole Investment Analysis Case Study Part 5 Dole Shareholders Win – Sort of

***

This is the tenth post in our new Throwback Thursday’s Series, where we share with you posts from the past blogs to bring you as much value as possible.

Today, we’re continuing the case study on Dole from articles in 2012 and 2013.

In Part 1, I valued Dole and compared it to its competition.

In Part 2, I shared with you the results I had in only 104 days after my initial analysis of Dole led to great things.

In Part 3, you learned about some valuable hidden assets Dole owned including the value of its land and ships.

In Part 4, we talked about the rough part of this situation. The Dole Chairman was apparently working to manipulate Dole’s share price to bring the company private at an extremely low price.

Today, we are learning the final ruling on this case and how Dole shareholders, its Chairman and majority shareholder, David Murdock, offered to take Dole private at a ridiculously low ball price and screws shareholders.

We are now to the far more important learning aspects of these articles.

I researched and wrote extensively about Dole when I began doing ‘real’ investment research in 2012.

I’m going to be reposting a series of my past research and investment articles on Dole beginning today.

They are a great case study in doing deep work. Here are some of the things we’ll be looking at in this series…

  • HOW to find the value of potentially hundreds of millions or billions of dollars worth of hidden assets
  • The signs of a company potentially having hidden value
  • Doing deep work to find the value of these and other things people won’t look for
  • Valuations and how and why I’ve done these valuations
  • And more…

I hope you enjoy this series and know we can all learn a lot from doing this.

Oh and please excuse the poor writing style and huge paragraphs. I wrote this in 2012 before I learned how to write.

As always, nothing is changed below from the past article in 2012.

Jason

***

Yes I said I was taking some time off, and I am. But this is too good not to talk about.Dole shareholders fighting back and winning $148 million.

One of the first companies I analyzed in a real way was Dole Food Inc. (DOLE), which is now a private company.

In 2012I found the company undervalued by a substantial margin. It had up to $585 million dollars worth of land and property it could sell to pay off debt, and that it should undergo a special situation to unlock some of the value within the company.

I’d even done my first comparison analysis where I put Dole up against its public competition Chiquita and Fresh Del Monte.

After seeing this; comparing the companies and deciding I had enough margin of safety, I bought the company for myself and the portfolios I manage.

I only held a full position in Dole for 104 days, before selling with a 70% gain, after Dole announced it was selling its worldwide operations to Japanese company Itochu for $1.2 billion.

I continued to hold a half position in Dole because even after a 70% rise, Dole was still undervalued. But by selling out, I was protecting my gains and only risking some of the money I’d already earned.

About a year after this, I sold the rest of my Dole position in all the portfolios I manage because the company announced it was taking the company private at a low ball price, and then started making some crazy decisions.

Below is an unedited excerpt from my book talking about these things.

“As I have been writing, editing, and revising this book, Dole’s Chairman Mr. Murdock has put in an offer to take the company private once again like I thought that he may do, so I wanted to write my thoughts on the ridiculous offer being given to Dole shareholders. I did think that Mr. Murdock may have wanted to take the company private again but what I didn’t expect was the manipulation of the company’s stock price, in my opinion, before that happened.  Shortly after Dole sold its worldwide operations to Itochu, Dole management began to do some very strange things. The value of its land holdings, that Dole management themselves estimated to be worth around $500 million, when they were getting ready to sell their worldwide operations to Itochu, suddenly stated that they thought their land now was worth only around $250 million only a few months later.

This was shocking to me and led me to sell the stock I owned in Dole in my personal portfolio and the portfolios that I manage, because I figured that Dole was doing something untoward to try to get the value of its shares down, so the company could be taken private again at a cheaper valuation. One of my followers on Seeking Alpha and I actually talked about this and both came to the same conclusion that something fishy was going on.

After selling my shares in Dole due to the above situation, I stopped paying attention to the company all together to concentrate on the research of other companies, until it came out that Dole was planning to do a massive buyback of its shares. I thought this was a very good thing for them to do since I found the company to be very undervalued when writing my second article on them, so I started to look into them a little bit again. Before I could do even minimal research into the new situation at Dole, though its management made another very strange decision.  A few days after Dole announced that it was going to buy back $200 million worth of its shares, it changed its mind and all of the sudden decided to update its fleet of container ships instead and canceled the proposed share buyback program.

Of course this sent the share price falling and again led me to believe that its management was trying to manipulate the share price lower so that it could be taken private at an unreasonably low valuation.

Unfortunately, it turns out that I appear to have been right because a month or two after Dole decided to cancel its proposed share buyback program to instead buy new container ships, which of course sent the share price lower, Mr. Murdock announced that he was putting in an offer to take Dole private at $12 a share.

Mr. Murdock brought Dole public in 2009 at $12.50 a share so this in and of itself is ridiculous since the company is much more financially stable now than it was then due to getting rid of its giant debt load. In my opinion this entire situation from the changing of the estimated value of its land by 50%, shortly after announcing that they thought it was worth $500 million, announcing the proposed $200 million share buyback and then a few days later canceling it, and then Mr. Murdock attempting to take the company private again at an incredibly low valuation, should be investigated. If Dole is allowed to be taken private at $12 a share, which it probably will, because Mr. Murdock, at my last check, still owned 40% of the company, then the company should be investigated for manipulating its stock price. If the company is taken private for a paltry $12 per share, then its remaining shareholders are getting screwed.

If a situation like this happens to a company you own, be very careful, trust your research, trust your instincts, and get out of owning the company, if you think you need to. There are a lot of other companies you can spend your time researching and owning rather than spending your precious time and capital having to worry about whether a company’s management is going to screw over shareholders.  Dole’s current shareholders are fighting back by suing the company and I wish them good luck because the proposed buyout offer is ridiculously low.”

Most of the time this would have ended things and shareholders would have no recourse.

But not in this case…

Not only did litigation continue,  but shareholders won a $148 million decision. Below is quoted from the linked article above.

The billionaire chief executive of Dole Food Co., and his top lieutenant must pay $148.2 million of damages to shareholders they shortchanged when the produce company went private in 2013, a Delaware judge ruled on Thursday.

In a decision that may cast a pall on management-led buyouts, Vice Chancellor Travis Laster said, Dole Chief Executive David Murdock, 92, and former Chief Operating Officer C. Michael Carter, were liable for depressing the stock so that Murdock, who owned 40 percent of Dole, could buy the rest at a lowball price.

The judge said the $1.2 billion buyout undervalued Dole by 17 percent, letting Murdock pay $13.50 per share rather than the $16.24 that Dole was worth.

And further down…

JUDGE FINDS FRAUD

Shareholders accused Murdock and Carter of driving down Dole’s share price by downplaying the Westlake Village, California-based company’s ability to boost profit by cutting costs and buying farms, and canceling a stock buyback.

In his 106-page decision, Laster saw Carter as the main engineer of the scheme, calling him Murdock’s “right-hand man’ and saying Carter “actually engaged” in fraud.

Still further down…

But shareholders called the move a power play. Laster appeared to agree, calling Murdock ‘an old-school’, ‘my-way-or-the-highway controller’, fixated on his authority and the power and privileges that came with it.

The judge said, Murdock hurt himself during trial testimony, where defense counsel portrayed him as both a “confused old man” and a disengaged CEO.

“By dint of his prodigious wealth and power, he has grown accustomed to deference and fallen into the habit of characterizing events however he wants,” Laster wrote.

“That habit serves a witness poorly when he faces a skilled cross-examiner who has contrary documents and testimony,” he added.

This is great for Dole’s former shareholders, and should send a message to companies doing terrible things to depress their own stock price.

But all is still not well here…

While the $148 million paid to shareholders is great, it still undervalues the company by a huge margin.

By my conservative estimates, the company was worth somewhere north of $20 a share when taken private. But the judge in Delaware deemed the company to be worth only $16.24 per share, or at least a 19% discount to what I thought Dole was worth.

So while shareholders are getting paid some of this value, I stand by what I said in my book in 2013.

“If a situation like this happens to a company you own be very careful, trust your research, trust your instincts, and get out of owning the company, if you think you need to. There are a lot of other companies you can spend your time researching and owning rather than spending your precious time and capital having to worry about whether a company’s management is going to screw over shareholders.  Dole’s current shareholders are fighting back by suing the company and I wish them good luck because the proposed buyout offer is ridiculously low.”

***

In the end, Dole shareholders won a major victory over Dole and the manipulation of its share price before going private and gained back a significant amount of capital in the form of damages.

However, Dole shareholders still didn’t get the full value of the company as Mr. Murdock was still allowed to take the company private at a 19% discount to the MINIMUM I thought Dole was then worth.

I still stand by what I said then as well. So If you come across a similar situation, you need to be careful.

“If a situation like this happens to a company you own be very careful, trust your research, trust your instincts, and get out of owning the company if you think you need to.  There are a lot of other companies you can spend your time researching and owning rather than spending your precious time and capital having to worry about whether a company’s management is going to screw over shareholders.  Dole’s current shareholders are fighting back by suing the company and I wish them good luck because the proposed buyout offer is ridiculously low.”

P.S. We just launched the new Value Investing Journey Masterclass. If you want to learn how to do the above things yourself, check out the course at the link above.

P.P.S Make sure to check out the brand new Value Investing Journey Training Vault here, to gain access to $10,000 training sessions for as little as $97 a month.

What To Do When The Market – Or Your Stock – Crashes?

What To Do When The Market – Or Your Stock – Crashes?

Sooooo…

Not sure if you noticed but the stock market dropped by more than 1,000 points twice last week – two of the market’s single day point drops ever – and a lot of people are freaking out.

Should you be?

No.

If you have disciplined investment processes you stick to, If you know what you’re doing, and if you own mostly good to great businesses, no you shouldn’t panic.

Or in many cases even do anything.

I answer the original question above in multiple different ways in the 13-minute video below. And I elaborate on these thoughts below the video.

In the video above, you learned why you should almost never panic in these kinds of situations.

Markets rise, markets fall, and in general, the market will continue to rise over time, barring a worldwide economic collapse. And if this happens, we will all have a lot more to worry about than our portfolios.

If you can ignore the market and continue doing disciplined research and you follow your processes for what worked for you in the past, you’ll do fine no matter what the market is doing.

That is, if you can keep your emotions in check.

This is the major potential problem every investor faces when a crash of any kind happens.

Why?

Because if you can’t keep your emotions in check, it doesn’t matter how much knowledge or skill you have as a value investor… If you can’t keep your emotions in check you will fail.

So what can you do about this?

Ignore the news, ignore the panic, stick to your processes, and learn how to control your emotions.

And keep in mind…

Even though most of the headlines said something like “Biggest One Day Crash In The Market’s History”, on a percentage basis these falls aren’t even in the top 20 biggest daily percentage losses. But the media doesn’t say that because it’s not as juicy of a headline.

Largest Percentage Daily Declines In US Stock Market History – The two ~4% Drops From Last Week Aren’t Even In The Top 20 Above

Am I saying you don’t need to be careful and reassess your portfolio to see if you should sell something or possibly to get more into cash? No.

I’ve said the market is overvalued for the last 5 years and it’s continued to go straight up. And it could continue to go straight up.

Or it could continue to crash…

No one knows when the next crash is going to happen.

If someone tries to tell you they know when the market or stock is going to crash, they’re full of shit and you need to run from them.

All I can tell you is the above…

If you continue to follow your disciplined processes and keep your emotions in check, long-term you’ll be fine.

In the short-term, your portfolio may get hammered in a crash, but if you’re concentrated on the long-term and are in mostly good to great businesses or cash you’ll be fine.

Get ready, learn as much as possible, continue to improve every day, and go with the flow like I talk about in the video above.

These are the best things you can do in these kinds of situations.

The WORST thing you can do is panic like the media, make emotional decisions, and watch the news on a minute by minute basis which will make your emotions go even crazier.

In the video above I mentioned many things I’ve done to get my mind out of the market. Things like learning and improving myself, my businesses, and my team.

What are some things you do to get rid of your emotions when the stock market or a stock you own crashes?

I’d love to hear some of them in the comments below.

P.S. If you’d like all future posts like this, make sure to sign up to our mailing list for FREE here. You’ll also gain access to free gifts that will help you become a better value investor as well just for signing up.

P.P.S. If you want to learn more info like this to become a great value investor fast and at a fraction of the cost of a normal university, check out our new Value Investing 6 Week MasterclassThe entire first week of the course is all about developing the proper value investing mindset.

Value Investing In Your Car Episode 7 – Mini Book Review Of Total Recall

Value Investing In Your Car Episode 7 – Mini Book Review Of Total Recall

In Episode 1 of Value Investing In Your Car, I answered the question Does Value Investing Work Anywhere In The World?

In Episode 2I answered the question When Does Value Investing Work Best?

In Episode 3, I told you about the best book I read in 2017, and recommended some other great books that I read in the same year.

In Episode 4, I talked about how my family inspires me to become great and how having someone or something inspire you can change your entire life.

In Episode 5, I talked about how I may have found a new investment for the first time in almost 3 years.

In Episode 6, we talked about Anchoring Bias, its immense power, and how this relates to value investing.

And today in Episode 7, I’m doing a mini book review of Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story – Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography.

Let’s get to it…

Mini Book Review of Total Recall

Probably The Best Autobiography I’ve Ever Read

This is a value investing blog so why the hell are you seeing a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger above?

To almost anyone on Earth, Arnold Schwarzenegger is likely thought of as a movie star, icon, bodybuilder, Governor of California or some combination of those four things.

But did you know he was wealthy before he became a worldwide movie star?

If you didn’t, you’re not alone…

This biography had been on my radar for years but I didn’t actually buy it until I heard Tim Ferriss interview Arnold about the book and get into how he’s a successful business person and entrepreneur.

I mostly read finance and finance – related information so why would this biography even be on my radar to read at all?

Because for people of my age – I’m 31 – Arnold Schwarzenegger is a bit of an icon.

I grew up with his movies, his fitness programs where in my schools all the way up to middle school, I won several of his Presidential Physical Fitness Awards in elementary and middle school, and after listening to this fantastic book, I learned he was an even bigger influence than I first knew for people of my generation.

For example, I didn’t know he was a huge force in bringing back the Presidential Physical Fitness Awards mentioned above until listening to this book. And I didn’t know he was a huge partner in building the restaurant chain Planet Hollywood that was big in the 90’s.

In short, if you are in my generation in the US, Arnold Schwarzenegger was a force and he had a massive influence on society.

But again, even with this, I didn’t buy the book until he and Tim Ferriss talked about his entrepreneurship and various business ventures. This is what hooked the business nerd in me to finally buy it.

And I’m glad I did…

It’s one of the best autobiographies I’ve ever read. And it’s going into the Recommended Reading and Viewing Page as a MUST READ!!!

Here is a brief video talking about why I loved this book so much.

Some of the stuff you’ll learn in this fantastic book are…

  • How he came from nothing in Austria to become a worldwide icon
  • ALL the business ventures that led him to become wealthy well before he even stepped on a movie set
  • How fantastic his work ethic is
  • How optimistic he is about almost everything
  • How varied his interests outside of movies, bodybuilding, fitness, etc. are
  • How he helped build organizations like the ones above and the Special Olympics
  • How and why he got into politics
  • How he built not only several business empires but also a real estate investing empire
  • And much much more…

After I finished the book, I did some research and found a couple of articles that estimated JUST his real estate investments to be worth north of $300 million.

And this doesn’t include any value from his movies or other business ventures.

So not only is Arnold Schwarzenegger a cultural icon to so many in my generation but he’s also become one of my business icons after listening to this fantastic audiobook.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Total Recall in the comments below if you’ve read it.

Before you go, here is another great article about Arnold’s real estate empire and the mindset that led him to reach this status.

P.S. If you’d like all future posts like this, make sure to sign up to our mailing list for FREE here. You’ll also gain access to free gifts that will help you become a better value investor as well just for signing up.

P.P.S. If you want to become a great value investor fast and at a fraction of the cost of a normal university check out our new Value Investing 6 Week Masterclass.

Redesign of Entire Site

Redesign of Entire Site

If you’ve come to the Value Investing Journey site over the last week or so, you’ve likely noticed some changes or been locked out entirely, getting one of various errors.

Last year, we redesigned the site in a minor way by switching up the theme, logos, and some of the plugins to make everything easier.

We’re upgrading the site again, but this time on a much bigger scale, since we’ve now got many more products, services, and contents that we are offering.

Unfortunately, the most efficient way to redesign a site on Wordpress without taking the entire site down, is to work on things while leaving the site up.

This means every once and a while that we are working on this, there will be errors, missing info, etc., as what happened to the large portion of the site this past week.

Everything is still on the back end of the site…

We didn’t lose any data, posts or pages. You can still access every page or post of this blog with the exception of the Coaching Program page and Complete Business Analysis pages, which we’ve taken down to redesign as well.

But…

For the time being, things may be in different places or under different headings / titles until we get everything working with the new design.

While we’re working on this, we’ve slightly delayed new posts and content, that we will also release as soon as possible.

Thanks for your patience with all of this.

To learn more about this, watch the short 1 minute and 45 second video below.