I’VE BEEN HIRED!!!

I’VE BEEN HIRED!!!

As you may have noticed, and it looks like a lot of you have since blog traffic has dropped significantly, I have been completely silent for the past month or so.  If you follow me on Twitter you know why, but for those of you who don’t let’s go backwards a bit.

About a month ago I was contacted by someone through my email that wanted to talk to me about a potential job opportunity.  Of course I said sure but I was skeptical since I have talked to many people over the last several years who have either wanted to hire me full-time, to work freelance, whatever.  A couple of days after the email he called me told me what his name was, what he did, about his company and we started talking about some general things like if I was interested in being hired, what kinds of companies I generally like to research etc.

About a week later we talked again and he said he wanted to fly the wife and I down to Florida to talk with them, look around the area, and potentially talk about being hired by them.  At this point I was getting super excited but had to temper that since I didn’t want to get my hopes up and then not get the job.  Again, of course I said yes and we worked to plan the trip.

After rescheduling a couple of times due to time conflicts, my wife and I flew down to South Florida this past week.  We had a great time, met some great people, enjoyed what we heard, thought I impressed them, of course loved South Florida, and flew back hoping to hear from the company soon about potentially getting the job.

Well I heard from them today and got offered the job!

Who Did I get Hired By and What Will I Be Doing?

The company who sought me out, offered to fly the wife and I down there, and is hiring me is the Palm Beach Letter.  An investment/wealth creation/entrepreneurial newsletter that is based in Delray Beach Florida.  It’s a subsidiary company of Agora Publishing and is a very fast growing company.

I will be doing exactly what I do now, researching and trying to find great companies that are undervalued in the small, micro, nano cap, OTC, and ADR markets, and other generally shunned companies that most investors will not or cannot look into and research and write about them for the newsletter.

How Did They Find Me and Advice For Others

You would think that this company is one of the probably 100’s that I sent my blog and book information to in the hopes of getting hired, or that they saw my book and wanted to talk with me.  Nope.

The company was in the process of recommending Unico American Corporation (UNAM) for their Tom’s Confidential newsletter (the newsletter I will be working on now) that I wrote an article about nearly two years ago now and while doing research into UNAM they came across my article, liked it a lot apparently, looked at the rest of my blog, saw my book, and shortly after that contacted me.

UNAM is one of the 30 or so companies I have done full research on and/or have written articles about and one of only literally thousands of companies I have looked into on at least a minor basis.  So even though I think I put out great work, have sent my information to 100’s of people and companies in the hopes of getting hired, it still came down to great luck that they were recommending and researching a company I had chanced upon finding and wrote about.

When other value bloggers have gotten hired I have always asked their advice so I will share mine for possibly getting hired.  Or at least things that should help to increase your chances of getting found.

  1. Research, analyze, and write about as many company as possible.
  2. Only write articles that are great quality.
  3. Get extremely lucky.

As the investment saying goes “The more rocks you turn over the better chances you have of finding a good investment.”  Apparently that is the case for getting found as well.

What Does This Mean For This Blog?

Obviously the blog will be put on the back burner for a while until I get into a routine.  I hope to eventually continue to post educational value investing based content including an entire value investing course based off my book that I was working on before they contacted me, but I do not know when that might happen since this job will take up a lot of my time obviously.  The blog will not go dark as the website and domain name will be kept alive though.

There are pros and cons that come with this readers here:

Pros

  • I will be back to writing and researching companies that I have put off because of the amount of work that goes into researching, analyzing, and writing about the companies I research.
  • If you are a fan of my work you will be able to still purchase the content that I am writing.
  • I will be writing and researching on A FULL TIME BASIS again so once the market drops I should be recommending and writing about quite a few companies.

Cons

  • You will have to pay for this content obviously.
  • I will not be posting the content on the blog.

I am sure there are more cons but right now I am too excited to think too critically about this opportunity.

If you want to keep track of me more than the very sparse posts I am likely to put on here for the near future, please follow me on Twitter @JMRiv1986 where I am pretty active, and where I will continue to post on a consistent basis what I am doing research and writing wise and what I am learning from.

If you are interested in continuing to see my work on hard to find smaller companies and/or the other work in the Palm Beach Letter please contact me at jmriv1986@gmail.com and I will put you in touch with them to possibly become a subscriber.

Thanks

Thanks so much to everyone who has read this blog, bought my book, and to everyone who has helped me over the years become a much better investor and thinker.

I would like to send shout outs to a few of the other value bloggers who have helped me greatly along the way: John from CS Investing, Jae from Old School Value, Daniel from ValueFolio who now writes for The Motley Fool, Red from the Red Corner Blog, Wexboy, Taylor from Valueprax, Whopper Investments, Jeff from Ragnar is a Pirate, Neil who is Crowdturtle on Twitter, Nate from Oddball Stocks and so many others.  I know I am forgetting some others but I am having a bit of trouble thinking right now due to my excitement so for those of you who I forgot to mention who I have talked with or been helped by over the years I am sorry, and thank you because if it wasn’t for everyone listed directly above, and the others I my have forgotten to mention by name, this wouldn’t have happened without you.  Thank you all so much.

South Florida

If you live in South Florida and would like to meet, let me know as I should be down there full time within a few weeks, hopefully sooner, and would love to meet up with any of you when I get down there.

Why I Do What I Do

Last but not least thanks to my wife, kids (pic below), parents, brother and sister-in-law for everything over the years. You are the reason I have worked so hard the past several years in the hopes of getting an opportunity like this.  Thanks and love you all.

Family Pic

Absolutely Amazing Testimonial For My Book and Weekend Reading Links

I just wanted to share an absolutely amazing testimonial that a reader emailed me recently about my book that literally brought tears to my eyes.  Thank you so much to this reader and to everyone else who has bought or read my book, left a testimonial or review, or read this blog.

“I knew all the terms and read all the books but when it came to actually reading an annual report and getting something out of it I was lost. What your book did for me was offer concrete examples of how to find the information in an annual report that will allow an investor to make a conservative estimation of the true value of a company. Not only did it explain value matrices and why they are important and how they should be applied; but how an investor can find the inputs for these calculations in the annual report. For me that was a real eye opener. I would not change your book. I think it is the perfect starting point for someone who wants to start digging deeper into valuing businesses. It is a simple read and the cases and techniques used in each case are well explained. It does not overload the reader with either high theory or esoteric math. I think it does just enough to explain mind set when value investing and how to “discover” the value of a business.  So I would not change your book; it provides a great starting point for someone interested in valuing businesses.” Testimonial that a reader sent to my email.

Weekend Reading Links

Time.com – Researchers Clone Cells From Two Adult Men.

Nature.com – Young Blood Reverses Age Related Impairments In Cognitive Function and Synaptic Plasticity in Mice.

Gizmodo – Scientists Have Created “Alien” DNA.

Mindhacks – The Poly Themes Of Psychosis.

Medium.com – 7 Things You Need To Stop Doing To Be More Productive, Backed By Science.

Beyond Proxy – The Way To Scale Up A Compounder.

SoonIwillbe.com – Creativity Requires Courage.

Four Hour Work Week Blog – The Top 5 Reasons To Be A Jack of All Trades.

Reddit AMA with Alice Schroeder, Author of The Snowball.

Pick The Brain – 15 Tactics That Will Double Your Productivity In No Time.

How To Value Invest Kindle Version Now Free For 5 Days

How to value invest cover for Amazon (2)

The Kindle version of How To Value Invest is now FREE through Amazon for the next 5 days.  If you have wanted a copy of the book to learn how to practically learn how to value and evaluate companies for potential investment but could not afford it or were not sure about paying for it you will now have 5 days to get the book completely for FREE through Amazon.  A description of some of what can be found in the book and testimonials/reviews can be viewed below.

Testimonials

I have separated the reviews/testimonials by bold and unbold fonts below.

“Mr. Rivera’s tome is a useful and honest reflection of his journey into value investing. As such, it would be of immense benefit to fellow travellers who are practicing the art and science of value investing. My sincerest thanks to Mr. Rivera for sharing his experiences with us. I have learnt much from him.”  This high school teacher wished to remain anonymous and sent me this testimonial through email

“Jason commented the book is geared towards beginner and intermediate level value investors, I don’t agree. I’ve read countless value investing books and if you take reading it seriously this book is for all investors even those with years of experience and a formal investment finance education.

I do agree with Jason’s comment you don’t need to an Ivy League school education to be a great investor. If only this kind of book was available when I majored in Investment Finance and Accounting from a “top ranked” NYC Business school. My investment skills would have been far better served reading, studying and understanding all the concepts presented in this book”  Portion of Shadowstock’s review from Amazon.

“Jason hit a home run with this book by filling a void in investing literature that needed to be filled. If this book was on the shelves when I first started learning investing it would have saved me hours of work. Not only does the book teach you everything you need to know to be a great investor, but Jason’s personal story and experience helps show you HOW to learn — even more it shows you how to learn without spending money or going to college. When it’s all said and done, the book keeps its promise: It will teach you to be a value investor while saving you both time and money. $40 beats the costs of a university any day.” Daniel Sparks (Valuefolios) Review From Amazon

“This book gives you a great perspective of how you should evaluate a company from a value investment side.” A portion of a Verified Amazon Purchaser review from Amazon

“Jason Rivera’s first book is a culmination of 5 years of work, and it shows. To the beginner investor: if you ever wanted to learn how to really value companies–not just grab P/E ratios from Morningstar or Yahoo! Finance–this book should be the foundation of how you begin your education.

Mr. Rivera has curated the web’s best investment resources into a streamlined, easy-to-read walkthrough. What sets this book apart is its ability to discuss higher level concepts in the language that introductory investors would understand.

This is a vast genre, but I implore you to invest in Mr. Rivera’s firsthand experience into the subject of financial enlightenment. It’s really that simple.”  Jake’s Review from Amazon

There is plenty to be inspired by in this book, The author is a private investor who has taught himself how to be a value investor through perseverance, focus and many, many hours of reading, either books, articles or just surfing the internet. The message is clear, if you want to be a good value investor you don’t need an MBA but do need to put in the time and practice; this book though can help you on your journey.

What I liked most are the 11 chapters each dedicated to a case study where a companies stock is valued using different mixes of valuation techniques. These range, for example, from ‘asset reproduction value’, ‘sum of the parts’ and ‘relative valuations’. There is plenty to learn in how to value a company and what metrics/ratios can be used. The author looks for value but also the Buffett styled ‘moat’ to ensure competitive advantage of the company.

What I also enjoyed very much is the authors analysis of his original case studies and how the investment played put. This was done with great honesty even when it didn’t go exactly to plan and mistakes were made in hindsight. This is not only refreshing for the reader but also critical for investors to improve their skills. In addition there are plenty of suggestions of books to read and websites to visit to help you further expand your knowledge.  A portion of Valuefactors review on Amazon UK.

The premise of this book is very simple: You no longer need to go to an expensive Ivy League level school to learn how to become an excellent value investor, and I am going to show you the steps I took to teach myself about investing and how you too can become an excellent value investor without going to college.

If you want to become an excellent value investor faster, while also saving yourself a lot of money in the process, then continue on and learn from my value investing journey.  The book is geared towards beginner and intermediate level value investors to help reduce the main problem and frustration I had when I started to teach myself; wasted time.   A small portion of what will be taught in the book is below:

  1. How to use the valuation techniques that I use, how to adjust them, and what they mean for the overall investment thesis.
  2. How to properly evaluate a company’s financial reports, profitability ratios, and debt ratios to help decide if the company is a potentially good investment.
  3. I will tell you how I make sell decisions now and how I used to make them.  This includes me sharing how I missed out on a nearly 70% gain because I didn’t have the proper sell decision processes in place when fully invested and how you can avoid the same mistakes.
  4. I will share with you how I do research now and how I used to do research by showing you how to discard bad companies a lot faster which will save you a lot of time and leads to finding better companies quicker.

If you learn and put into practice what is shown in the book, work hard, continue to learn, and develop your own proper thought, investment processes, and mind-set than I guarantee that you will be a better at evaluating companies for investment than most MBA’s and professional level investors all for less than 1/3 of the price of ONE college textbook, for a fraction of the cost of going to a university, and you will also be saving yourself YEARS of time from having to find all of this information by yourself like I had to.

The links for foreign Amazon sites can be found on this page.

Also, if you could please take 30 seconds of your time to review the book on Amazon and send me testimonials of the book that I could post on the blog I would greatly appreciate it. Please pass this along to your colleagues and friends who are interested in investing as well.

 

FREE Kindle Version of How To Value Invest and New Paperback Price

As I mentioned in yesterdays video here, I am putting How To Value Invest the Kindle version, on sale for 5 days starting tomorrow morning 6 AM PST, completely for FREE.  I want to get the book into as many hands as possible and have received some emails from people in various countries that they would like to read but could not afford the book.  If you have ever wanted to buy the book but were worried about the price, you now have no excuses to pick it up because for 5 days starting tomorrow at 6 am PST you can get it for FREE through Amazon.

Starting NOW I have also PERMANENTLY dropped the price of the paperback version of How To Value Invest to $12.99 to bring it into line with the pricing of most paperback versions of other investing books, again to get the book into as many hands as possible.

Starting tomorrow you can get the Kindle version either directly from Amazon or linked through my site on this page, where you can also view reader testimonials, reviews, and download some excerpts from the book and preview the first several chapters of it as well.  As of the time of this writing the paperback version of How To Value Invest is supposed to be selling for $12.99 if you want to pick it up at its new price, but is still showing the old price so please make sure that if you are buying the paperback version of the book that you are paying $12.99 through Amazon BEFORE BUYING it as it takes some time for Amazon to update prices.

Weekend Reading Links: Psychology, Competitive Advantages, Niches, Curiosity, Breaching Moats, Studying Complexity, and More.

IO9.com – The Most Important Moment In The Evolution of Life.

Destructoid – How Paradox Interactive Found Success In A Niche Market.

Big Questions Online – How Can The Study Of Complexity Transform Our Understanding of the World?

New York Times – How Inactivity Changes the Brain.

New York Times – A Start-Up Run By Friends Takes On Shaving Giants.

Four Hour Work Week – Preventing Burn Out: A Cautionary Tale.

Pick The Brain – Boring is a State of Mind: How Curiosity Diminishes Monotony.

Farnam Street – The Man That Never Quit.

Cosmos Magazine – Psychology of How We Perceive Fear.

NY Mag – Why Abercrombie Is Losing Its Shirt.

Value Investing Case Study #1 Video Answer 4:03 Long

This is the video answer and valuation for last weeks video valuation case study.  Please let me know what I could do better in the comments below and please send me any suggestions for future content and/or case studies.  Have a great World Cup and Father’s Day weekend everyone.

Portfolio Update and Weekend Reading Links

Portfolio Update – Portfolios Now In 69% Cash.

I made a transaction for the first time in more than a year in the portfolios that I manage and wanted to update where those stand as of today.  I sold out of Vivendi today up 50% in the nearly 2 years that I held the company.  My reasons for selling were simple: 1) Vivendi was one of the first companies I bought into after I started doing actual company analysis and the thesis played out exactly as I had hoped it would.  They sold assets, paid down debt, and are in a much healthier position now going forward.  2) Going forward there is now too much uncertainty for me on what their plans are with their massive amount of cash they will soon be getting and I do not want to see a repeat of the early 2000’s acquisition spree that went horribly wrong.  3)  MOST IMPORTANT POINT.  I am now much more confident in my abilities to analyze companies for potential investment then I was two plus years ago when I bought Vivendi and think that I can do much better buying microcaps and/or special situations companies and want to be ready for any kind of market crash with a lot of cash in the portfolios.

The percentages below are the percentages (rounded) that make up the current portfolios.  Also, until the market drops significantly the make up of the portfolio below will likely remain intact until more companies become undervalued again and I can start buying again.

Cash – 69%

BOBS – 13%

PARF – 12%

CMT – 6%

Weekend Reading Links

The New York Times – Cocaine Incorporated.

A Wealth of Common Sense – Buffett’s Fourth Law of Motion; Your Behavior.

The Daily Galaxy - An absolutely amazing site if you love science, astronomy, exoplanets, and anything else having to do with space.

Financial Times – Rafael Nadal’s Key To Winning.

The Sova Group – Xoom Company Analysis.

East Asia Student - 10 Best Mandarin Learning Resources.

Walrus Value – Investment Booklist and Borrowing Hard To Find Books for Free.

Valuewalk – The Classic Shelby Davis Double Play.

JLCollinsnh – The Worst Possible Investment you Can Construct (Practicing Inversion).

MIT Technology Review – Scientific Thinking In Business.

 

Blind Value Investment Case Study Video 1:43 Long

Hey everybody I have wanted to make some video content for the blog for a while now but have not had anything interesting to do a video about until I found this company I came across recently.  The video is below, is only 1 minute and 43 seconds long, and contains all the major information needed to value the business so please leave your comments below on how you would value the business, if you would buy the business, what other topics you would like me to talk about in the future, and what I could do better with future videos since this is the first time I have done a video.

PS – I forgot to talk about a couple of pieces of information in the video that may help you value the business.  Sorry about this and please bear with me as this is the first time I have done a video.  I plan to make the future videos better.

1) This company has an inventory sell through rate of approximately 15-20% per month.

2) This company does ALL of its business online at this point and DOES NOT have a retail space so overhead is minimal.

3) For every $1 this company spends to buy inventory for resale, it has gained about $5 of EBIT, because of the higher price upon selling the items, after the original costs of buying the items, fees, shipping, etc, but before taxes.

4) It has had sales of just over $4 million in 3.5 years.

5) It has an approximate 50% EBIT margin.

I will post my video reply and tell you what the company is next week and I hope you enjoy!

Value Investment Case Study #1

Below are the links to download the most recent quarterly and annual reports for the first blind value investment case study on this blog.  As I stated in one of my previous posts about this I redacted all identifying information about this company so all you will have to rely on is what is found in the financials.

The only information I am going to give you that is not in the financials is that as of this past Friday the company has a current market cap of $4.7 million.

I will not post my analysis until at least a few of your analysis write ups posted in the comments section of this post and I am not looking for a full 7-20 page write-up.  The main things I am going to post about when I write my analysis is valuations, pros and cons, and if I would invest in the company.  If I would at what price do I estimate its intrinsic value to be and at what price would I buy into them.  If I wouldn’t buy into them why not.

I hope that we will all learn a lot from this by seeing each others analysis and helping each other out to see where we could improve.  I also hope that these kinds of exercises will help keep all of our skills fresh while we wait for a market drop.

I hope to see a lot of write ups and hope this is a good exercise for us all.  If you are able to figure out which company this report is (or in case I missed some kind of identifying information to redact) please do not post about it until after the company is revealed.  Also, if you have any suggestions for the next case study please let me know what you think could improve this process for us all.  The financials are directly below.

Case Study #1 3Q 2013 10Q

Case Study #1 2013 10K