Greatness According To Nick Saban

Greatness According To Nick Saban

If you're a sports fan you know with the dawn of free agency and rise of player movement in the last two decades it's become almost impossible to win championships on a consistent basis.

Before the 1980's in the US sports dynasties were normal.  They could do this because player movement was restricted.

This kept player salaries down and meant that the best teams had huge competitive advantages over poor teams.  If you're all getting paid about the same doesn't it make sense to stay with a great team instead of going to a bad one?

This changed in the US in the 1980's though...

Free agency, drafts, and salary caps became the norm.  Poor teams could now pay huge amounts to star players to lure them away from championship teams.  Drafting players became more important as they're generally cheaper than star players.  And salary caps in professional football and basketball meant talent was spread around the league instead of concentrated on a handful of teams.

This all led to higher salaries for great - and sometimes even average - players.  More player movement.  And fewer super teams and dynasties forming as talent spread around.

Now most teams in all sports around the world go through periods of relative success followed by failure until the cycle repeats and the team goes on an up - or down - swing again.

Few teams win championships.  And even fewer win them on a consistent basis.  The ones that do should be studied.

Unlike most people in America who root for the underdogs in big games and playoffs, if my favorite team isn't involved I always root for greatness to beat the underdog.

I want to watch the best of the best play for and win championships.  I don't like watching inferior teams beat better ones with a "lucky bounce" or fortunate call by referees.

I love when skill, hard work, perseverance, drive, and passion trumps luck.  So when I see greatness I try to study it.  And I thought this would be a great topic to post about since all of us here are trying to reach greatness.

This post is the first in a planned three post arc focusing on great teams from the world of sports.  In these posts I'll focus on the head coaches, star players, and team structures over the long-term.  The hope is we all can learn something about what it takes to become - and stay - great at what we do.

If these posts are popular I'll turn it into a regular series.

Today's Part 1 is about head coach five time football champion head coach Nick Saban now of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide.

Saban's led the Crimson Tide to championships in four out of the last seven years.  Only the second team since 1936 to do this.  Saban's other title was when he coached at LSU.

Below is a profile of this championship coach with linked articles detailing his processes.

Nick Saban

Excerpts below are from linked articles.  Bolded emphasis is mine.  My notes are the non quoted lines.

The following is from: The Lesson From Nick Saban's Championship Reign is to stop trying to copy Nick Saban.

Success breeds imitation in every industry. In football, when a coach figures out something, hoards of administrators notice.  Offenses come up with something new, defenses adjust, offenses adjust to the adjustment, etc.

With Saban, however, teams have attempted to copy without figuring out what they should be copying. They hire his assistants, hoping his influence rubs off. Sometimes it does. Former Alabama DBs coach Jeremy Pruitt became Florida State's defensive coordinator in 2013 and helped to boost the Seminoles to the national title under head coach and fellow former Saban assistant Jimbo Fisher. Often, it doesn't. Former defensive coordinator Will Muschamp took the Florida head coaching job three years after a Gator national title and won more than seven games just once.

To imitators, Saban's Process™ seems to consist of strong defense and occasional offense. Because he is a former defensive coordinator himself, that is the product. But that isn't the Process. The Process is the path, not the style.

Love this saying.

To truly imitate Saban, you look first for someone who runs the most organized, effective recruiting operation on the planet...

The following list is from the article talking about how Saban approaches everything.

You must develop.

Saban pushes a lot of kids out the door. If you do not fill a depth chart spot or fill a niche, odds are pretty good that you will be transferring. But many are willing to wait a couple of years for serious playing time because they know they'll develop.

What is your niche?  What is your competitive advantage?  Are you willing to put in the time to improve?

You must deploy your talented, well-developed players appropriately.

You don't have to take many strategic risks when you've got a talent advantage in every game, but you need to make sure that these players belong to a system is built to defeat the opponents you will play on a yearly basis. And if your offense or defense gets a little staid, you must be willing to make changes.

If you're in a leadership position are you putting your "players" into the proper positions to succeed?  If so are they the right people for your system?

You must be impossibly organized.

A place for everything, everything in its place.

Love this saying as well.

If, despite all that, you find yourself in a dogfight for the national title, you must have the guts to call for a surprise onside kick by Griffith with 10 minutes left in a tied game.

If you read the article you'll know this play wasn't a fluke.  Saban and the coaching staff knew from watching film to look for this tendency during the game.  And since they saw Clemson doing the same thing over and over on kick returns they knew this onside kick would work if executed properly.

The teams that find a way past Alabama do it by following a path that isn't Alabama's.

Strive for greatness but don't emulate something that doesn't adhere to your philosophy and principles.  Create your own path for greatness.

This sport requires you to learn the right lessons when you fail, lest you be doomed to fail even more. Those who attempt to imitate Saban have already failed. There is only one Nick Saban.

There's also only one Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Seth Klarman, etc in our business.  Strive for greatness by taking knowledge from the greats.  But don't try to emulate them exactly.  Create your own path for greatness.

The following is from Nick Saban: Sympathy For The Devil.  This is an older article... He's now won five total national titles.  And four of the last seven.

Saban's pathological drive helps explain why he's both one of the most successful coaches in American sports and, simultaneously, one of the most polarizing. He has now won four national championships—one at LSU and three over the past four years at Alabama, a coaching run unmatched in college football in more than half a century—

"The thing that amazes me about him is that he doesn't let up," says retired Florida State coach Bobby Bowden. "People start winning, they slack off. But he just keeps jumping on 'complacency, complacency, complacency.' Most coaches don't think like that."

Are you grounded enough to continue to work towards greatness after success?

Most big-time head coaches leave camp duty to assistants—the daylong photo session with every last camper is considered enough—but in Saban's mind that wouldn't be right. He has a saying: Right is never wrong. It means, in essence, there is only one way to do things: the correct way. A Nick Saban Football Camp without a great deal of Nick Saban would be something short of entirely right and is therefore, to Saban, unthinkable.

Love this saying and mindset.

Saban's guiding vision is something he calls "the process," a philosophy that emphasizes preparation and hard work over consideration of outcomes or results. Barrett Jones, an offensive lineman on all three of Saban's national championship teams at Alabama and now a rookie with the St. Louis Rams, explains the process this way: "It's not what you do, it's how you do it."

Taken to an extreme—which is where Saban takes it—the process has evolved into an exhausting quest to improve, to attain the ideal of "right is never wrong." At Alabama, Saban obsesses over every aspect of preparation, from how the players dress at practice—no hats, earrings, or tank tops are allowed in the football facility—to how they hold their upper bodies when they run sprints. "When you're running and you're exhausted you really want to bend over," Jones says. "They won't let you. 'You must resist the human need to bend over!'"

"He pretty much tells everybody what our philosophy is, but not everyone has the discipline to actually live out that philosophy," Jones says. "The secret of Nick Saban is, there is no secret."

What is your philosophy?  What are your processes? And do you have the discipline to live by them?  Every day?

If you poke around Alabama for a few weeks, you'll run into a lot of people who've had similarly awkward interactions with Saban—on the golf course, perhaps, or at booster banquets, where Saban often looks like a man held captive. Those close to him make excuses for the behavior. His wife, Terry, says he's shy and introverted. His golf buddy Rumsey says Saban has a kind of tunnel vision that short-circuits social niceties.

"He'll walk by people and they'll think he's rude," Rumsey says. "He's not an asshole—he never saw 'em!"

Reminds me of stories I've read of Munger in places like the book Damn Right.

Even among his adversaries, Saban is regarded as a master of X's and O's.

"I don't want people to think I'm not happy when we win—I am," Saban says. "But there's a difference between being happy for the feeling of accomplishing something and being overjoyed and feeling 'This is it—we conquered the world.' We didn't. We just won a game."

The following is from: Do You Really Want To Know What It Takes To Beat Alabama?

If you want to know how to beat Alabama, the answer is simple. You need five turnovers and need to make none yourself. You need a lottery ticket, a lightning strike, or both. You need a whole bureaucratic apparatus devoted to reducing any possible loss to a gross accumulation of statistical anomalies.

Even then, you don't get the two things that make this all work.

The first is Saban. He is not a renewable resource, as far as I know, but his transformation of Alabama into a ratings-killing certainty so oppressive it might have blacked out the sun for an entire generation of rickets-stricken coaches and players is complete. There is no adjustment against him. He will outwork you or hire people to outwork you and the people you hire. No one is more committed to building Football Walmart and bankrupting your mom-and-pop programs. No one.

How committed are you?

Give up on this idea of doing his thing better. Hire a bandito with a spread passing attack and zero fear of death. Hope for five turnovers or the NFL to poach him away*. Life is about being brave in the face of inevitable doom. Until someone does, Saban will charge you all unfair rates for sunlight.

The following is from Nick Saban Is Ready For Everything.

"He understands every element of human performance," Moawad wrote in the email. "And there is no contingency that he doesn't prepare for."

Are you prepared enough?

It's true. There are no accidents. There are onside kicks that will almost certainly work. There is an army of assistants and former assistants versed in the Process and ready to serve at a moment's notice. And there is a head coach who has no idea when he'll finally be ready to stop kicking everyone else's butt.

So... Are you really ready to strive for greatness?  Are you willing to outwork the titans of the investment and business worlds to achieve that greatness?  Let me know in the comments below.

Also let me know in the comments below how I can improve this series going forward as I already have two other articles planned.

***

Remember if you want access to my exclusive notes and preliminary analysis you need to subscribe for free to Value Investing Journey.  And this isn't all you'll get when you subscribe either.

You also gain access to three gifts.  And a 50% discount on a year-long Press On Research subscription.  Where my exclusive stock picks are evaluated and have crushed the market over the last four years.

Charlie Munger On Deferred Tax Liabilities And Intrinsic Value – On Float Part 1

Charlie Munger On Deferred Tax Liabilities And Intrinsic Value

On Float Part 1

The goal of this blog is to help us all improve as investors and thinkers so we're a little wiser every day.  The hope being that our knowledge will continue to compound over time so we'll have huge advantages over other investors in the future.

The aim of today's post is to continue this process by talking about a topic few investors know about.  And even fewer understand.

Below is an unedited thread from the value investment forum Corner of Berkshire and Fairfax discussing Charlie Munger's thoughts on deferred tax liabilities and intrinsic value.

Bolded emphasis is mine below.

So, I've been reading Munger's Wesco letters (they are quite repetitive).  However, while reading, I found the following section pretty interesting:

Consolidated Balance Sheet and Related Discussion

As indicated in the accompanying financial statements, Wesco's net worth increased, as accountants compute it under their conventions, to $2.22 billion ($312 per Wesco share) at yearend 1998 from $1.76 billion ($248 per Wesco share) at yearend 1997.

The $459.5 million increase in reported net worth in 1998 was the result of three factors: (1) $395.8 million resulting from continued net appreciation of investments after provision for future taxes on capital gains; plus (2) $71.8 million from 1998 net income; less (3) $8.1 million in dividends paid.

The foregoing $312-per-share book value approximates liquidation value assuming that all Wesco's non-security assets would liquidate, after taxes, at book value.  Probably, this assumption is too conservative.  But our computation of liquidation value is unlikely to be too low by more than two or three dollars per Wesco share, because (1) the liquidation value of Wesco's consolidated real estate holdings (where interesting potential now lies almost entirely in Wesco's equity in its office property in Pasadena) containing only 125,000 net rentable square feet, and (2) unrealized appreciation in other assets (primarily Precision Steel) cannot be large enough, in relation to Wesco's overall size, to change very much the overall computation of after-tax liquidation value.

Of course, so long as Wesco does not liquidate, and does not sell any appreciated assets, it has, in effect, an interest-free "loan" from the government equal to its deferred income taxes on the unrealized gains, subtracted in determining its net worth.

This interest free "loan" from the government is at this moment working for Wesco shareholders and amounted to about $127 per share at yearend 1998.

However, some day, perhaps soon, major parts of the interest-free "loan" must be paid as assets are sold.  Therefore, Wesco's shareholders have no perpetual advantage creating value for them of $127 per Wesco share.  Instead, the present value of Wesco's shareholders' advantage must logically be much lower than $127 per Wesco share.  In the writer's judgment, the value of Wesco's advantage from its temporary, interest-free "loan" was probably about $30 per Wesco share at yearend 1998.

After the value of the advantage inhering in the interest-free "loan" is estimated, a reasonable approximation can be made of Wesco's intrinsic value per share.  This approximation is made by simply adding (1) the value of the advantage from the interest-free "loan" per Wesco share and (2) liquidating value per Wesco share.  Others may think differently, but the foregoing approach seems reasonable to the writer as a way of estimating intrinsic value per Wesco share.

BREAK HERE.  BELOW THIS IS THE WRITERS - NOT MUNGER'S COMMENTS.

It immediately struck me that such an evaluation could easily be applied to Berkshire, although Berkshire at this point is much more complex than Wesco was then.  Turns out, someone had already done the analysis for 2011 and 2012:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/282116-berkshire-hathaway-worth-its-salt
http://seekingalpha.com/article/740931-berkshire-hathaway-worth-its-salt-2012-update

(As a side note, I had trouble following Dan Braham's line of thinking on this evaluation in the comments of the first article)

This evaluation contrasts from the "investments per share" and "earnings from owned companies" approach, which I believe was advocated by Buffett more recently.

BREAK... BELOW HERE ARE MY COMMENTS.

The Importance of Float

‘Float is money that doesn’t belong to us, but that we temporarily hold.”  Warren Buffett

Why does Munger think the above is a good approximation of Wesco's intrinsic valuation then?  Because while the company "owns" these liabilities on their balance sheet the company can use them to grow the business.

This is an example of float and the power it can have on a company.

Munger only used an estimated 1/5th of the value of Wesco's float in his valuation.  Why?  Because when these "assets" are sold it comes off Wesco's balance sheet.

I agree with Munger that this is a necessary and conservative way to look at valuing float within a company.

And most people overlook float when evaluating companies because they either don't know what it is.  Don't know the power it can have within a business.  Or don't know how to evaluate it.

This won't be an issue here.

Press On Research subscribers already know this as I talk a lot about float in many issues I've written.  But I want to begin talking about it more here for a simple reason.  Float is one of the most powerful - and least understood - concepts when evaluating businesses.

We can gain a gigantic advantage over other investors by knowing what float is.  How to evaluate it.  And and how to value it.

Also, contrary to common belief float can be found in any business.  Not just insurance companies.

But we'll get to this in a later post... In the next post I'm going to explain what float is in more detail.

Remember if you want access to my exclusive notes and preliminary analysis you need to subscribe for free to Value Investing Journey.  And this isn't all you'll get when you subscribe either.

You also gain access to three gifts.  And a 50% discount on a year-long Press On Research subscription.  Where my exclusive stock picks are evaluated and have crushed the market over the last four years.

Let me know your thoughts on deferred tax liabilities and other float in the comments below.

2014 And 2015 Portfolio Reviews – Still Kicking Mr. Market’s Ass

2014 and 2015 Portfolio Reviews

Still Kicking Mr. Markets Ass

The above quote from Benjamin Graham is one of my favorites.

It means in the short-term the market is driven by emotion and psychology more than anything.  But in the long-term the market - and individual stocks - get judged on how well they've operated and grown over time.

This is great news for us long-term oriented value investors.

If we can find a few great companies at cheap to fair prices and hold them for the long-term, we'll have great returns over time.  Why?  Because...

"Time is the friend of the wonderful company, the enemy of the mediocre."  Warren Buffett

With this as a backdrop, below are the 2014 and 2015 portfolio reviews for all companies I've recommended.

For links to 20122013, and 2013 updated numbers portfolio reviews go to previous links...  Cumulative gains below combine 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 results together.

2014

I realized when doing my 2015 portfolio review that I didn't do a review of 2014.  So I've included both 2014 and 2015 portfolio reviews in this post.

I didn't do much in 2014 because I started a business at the beginning of the year.  Didn't buy or sell anything for almost a full year.  And got hired by the investment newsletter in September 2014.

These are why I didn't write a portfolio review for 2014 here.

Below are 2014 portfolio results.

  • CMT gained 2% in 2014.
  • VIVHY gained 3% in 2014 before I sold my position on June 4th 2014 for a total gain of 50% in less than two years.
  • BOBS lost 15.4% during 2014 before getting bought on May 2015 for a total 129% gain.  I'll get back to this in the 2015 section.
  • PARF lost 21.7% in 2014.
  • Cash earned 0% in 2014.  And this was my biggest position after selling and getting bought out in several positions.

Average gain in 2014 was 3% after including 50% realized gain from sold Vivendi position.

For context on the following numbers please read the 2012 and 2013 portfolio reviews linked above.

Cumulative average gain for my stock picks at the end of three years is 101.1%.  Or an average gain of 33.7% each year. (Not a compounded gain).

Cumulative average three-year portfolio gain equals 64.9%.  Or 22.6% each year over the last three years after accounting for cash position.  Cash made up more than 50% of portfolio for most of 2013 and 2014 after selling several positions.

Not a great year by earlier years standards but I expected a drop in results after huge years in 2012 and 2013.  I'll explain why at the end of this post.

For now let's got to 2015.

2015

I included two picks I made while working at the investment newsletter in 2015's results.  The spreadsheet is below.

2015-VIJ-and-POR-Performance-Review

I've blocked out the names of the picks above for non Press On Research subscribers.  If you're a Press On Research subscriber I'm sending an unedited version of the spreadsheet your way.

If you'd like to know what the companies are you need to subscribe to Press On Research.  And remember Value Investing Journey free subscribers get a 50% discount on a Press On Research subscription.

Press On Research picks gained on average 5% as of the end of 2015.

Like in 2014, 2015 wasn't a great year for my picks either.  Even with this down year we still beat most investors.   Almost 70% of investors lost money in 2015.  And unlike the investors who lost money we continued to grow our money.

As noted above I sold out of BOBS after it got bought out in May 2015 for a total gain of 129%.

Cumulative average stock gains for my stock picks at the end of four years are 168.1%.  (Not a compounded gain)  Or an average gain every year for four years of 42%.

Cumulative average four-year portfolio gain equals 109.6% after accounting for cash position.  Or an average gain every year for four years of 27.4%.  (Not a compounded gain)

Cash made up more than 50% of portfolios for most of 2013, 2014, and 2015 after multiple sales of companies.

What does this mean?  That we've kicked Mr. Market's ass over the last four years.

What's Mr. Market Done Since 2012?

From the beginning of 2012 to the end of 2015 the Russell 3000 index gained 38%.  Or an average gain of 12.7% every year.  This index includes the 3,000 largest companies listed on US stock markets.  This is the closest thing to a micro cap index.

This means my stock picks have crushed the market by 130.1 total percentage points.  And the whole portfolio beat the market by 71.6 total percentage points since the beginning of 2012.  Even when over the last three plus years the portfolios I manage had more than 50% cash positions earning zero.

How big of a difference is this over time?

Let's say you invested $100,000 in my stock picks at the beginning of 2012 until December 31st 2015.  At the end of four years - with no new additions in money - your money would have grown from $100,000 to $406,587.

If you followed the same above, but instead invested 50%+ of your portfolio in cash like I did, your $100,000 would turn into $263,438 at the end of the last four years.

The Russell 3000 index would have turned your $100,000 into $161,323 after the last four years.

I could have made you $102,115 and $245,264 in excess of what the market would have.

I started posting my results publicly in 2012 because this is when I began doing "real", in-depth, investment research and analysis instead of speculating.

Results have been great thus far...  Better than I expected... But there's still a lot of work and improvement to do as seen from the last two years subpar results.

Conclusion Thoughts

As expected my average gain per year over the last two years dropped a lot.

With the market's continued rise I've sold or gotten bought out of most positions.  At one point the portfolios I managed held only two companies.  And until late 2014 I wasn't able to deploy any of the cash towards better use.

At its height after multiple sales of companies cash in the portfolios I manage was 85% of the portfolios.  This of course means lower returns.

I also knew I wasn't going to repeat the huge gains earned in 2013 due to the markets ever rising valuations.  This made it harder to find great and cheap companies.  In 2012 and 2013 the market was still fairly to a bit overvalued making it easier to find cheap companies then.

No matter what the market continues to do, over time I'm confident we'll continue to beat the market by a wide margin.  And continue to compound our wealth over time.

But this isn't all we've done in the last few years...

Since Value Investing Journey started on a free WordPress site until now on a paid WordPress site there have been more than 200,000 total views on the joint sites.

And after coming back from the investment newsletter at the beginning of 2015 there have been a lot of changes and improvements on the blog.

The major change being the blog is now dedicated towards helping others instead of myself.

Some other highlights from 2015 are below.

Here's looking forward to an even bigger and better 2016.

Thanks so much for everyone who's been a part of this journey so far.  And please let me know how I can continue to improve things going forward in the comments below.

Jason Rivera

P.S.  And remember if you want access to my exclusive stock picks that are crushing the market over the last four years you need to subscribe to Press On Research.  And free Value Investing Journey subscribers get a 50% discount on a year-long Press On Research subscription.

I Want To Start Investing In Stocks, But I’m Afraid Of Losing Money. Would Penny Stocks Be The Best Place To Start?

I Want To Start Investing In Stocks, But I'm Afraid Of Losing Money. Would Penny Stocks Be The Best Place To Start?

Below is a question I answered on Quora that I wanted to share with everyone.

I Want To Start Investing In Stocks, But I'm Afraid Of Losing Money. Would Penny Stocks Be The Best Place To Start?

Penny stocks - also known as small, micro, and nano caps - is the worst place a new investor can start. Especially if you're afraid of losing money.

Yes, investing in smaller companies can make you more money over time if you know what you're doing. But if you don't know what you're doing the likelihood of losing money is almost 100%.

Why?

Because smaller companies are small for a reason.

Most of the time they're newer companies. Companies in niche industries. Companies that don't have competitive advantages. And many are even unprofitable and terrible businesses.

And I say this as a micro cap loving investor.

I know this because after I gained confidence as an analyst and investor I now concentrate almost exclusively on smaller companies.

After going through several thousand companies I analyzed my data and found I invested in fewer than 0.2% of the companies I came across. Or fewer than 1 out of every 500 companies I research.

This was more than two years ago...

As I've continued to improve as an analyst and investor. And continued to improve my investment processes and checklists this number's gotten lower.

I haven't analyzed my data since then but I would guess that I now invest in fewer than 1 out of every 1,000 companies I research.

Why so few?

Because of my ultra strict criteria I require before I will even consider investing in a company. I'm an ultra conservative value investor who requires safety from losing money as my number one criteria.

Another reason is a combination of the things I mentioned above... Most small companies are newer businesses. Many of which are terrible companies that shouldn't be public.

If you don't know how to spot these things you shouldn't invest in smaller companies. Are even bigger companies for that matter.

If you're a new investor and analyst start evaluating and investing in bigger companies first. As you learn, gain knowledge, and improve your processes and analysis you should start dipping into some of the smaller companies. But again, only if you know what you're doing. And are confident in your abilities.

Did I miss anything in my answer to this new investor?  Let me know in the comments below.

To make sure you don't miss any great content subscribe to Value Investing Journey for free here.Once subscribed you'll also get entered to win prizes.  Get a 50% discount on a One Year Press On Research subscription.  And get three gifts.

Which Points Could Be The Sign Of Overvalued Inventory?

Which Points Could Be The Sign Of Overvalued Inventory?

Below is a question I answered on Quora yesterday that I thought would be valuable to share here.  The below answer is unedited except I added some links and pictures for further clarification.

At first glance this seems like it would be something hard to figure out.  But it's not once you know how interpret three ratios and numbers from the companies financials.

First, go to a site like Morningstar - Independent Investment Research and pull up the balance sheet and key ratios tabs in separate pages.

Go to the key ratios tab.  From here scroll down until you see key ratios and click on the efficiency ratios tab.  Look at the cash conversion cycle over a several years.

If the CCC it rising over the years this could mean the company is having issues selling inventory.  And if they're having trouble selling inventory it could mean the inventory will need to be written down at some point.  And is overvalued.

To continue your search for overvalued inventory now go to the balance sheet tab you have open.  Look at two things here: Inventory and accounts receivable and the relation in these numbers over time.

As an example, if accounts receivable rises 5% year over year but inventory rises at 15+% year over year this could mean the company is having issues selling inventory i that time.

This scenario is almost always bad news for the company and shareholders unless the company can correct the issues going forward.

Why?  Because this may mean it will have to write some of the inventory down (or off altogether) at some point.  Again, meaning the inventory is overvalued on the balance sheet.

Watching the three above things won't catch everything.  But its a good start in figuring out if inventory may be overvalued.  And have to be written down or off the balance sheet at some point.

Remembering this one simple rule will help a lot when evaluating companies as well... Accounts receivable and inventory should rise or fall at about the same amount over time.  If they don't you need to find out why because there could be some serious issues.

What are your thoughts on overvalued inventory and using the cash conversion cycle?  And did I miss anything? Please let me know in the comments below.

To make sure you don't miss any more great content subscribe to Value Investing Journey for free here.Once subscribed you'll also get entered to win prizes.  Get a 50% discount on a One Year Press On Research subscription.  And get three gifts.

Value Investing Journey 10 Most Popular Posts Of 2015

Value Investing Journey 10 Most Popular Posts Of 2015

The following list is the Value Investing Journey 10 Most popular Posts of 2015.

If you missed any when they were first posted make sure to check them out below now.  Here's looking forward to an even better 2016.

10. Car Wash Psychology, Mental Models, And The Power Of Habit

9. Searching For Case Studies - Turning $2 Million Into $2 Trillion

8. My Answer To How Do You Find Stock Opportunities?

7. Armanino Foods Case Study Part 1 - Preliminary Analysis

6. On Failure

5. The 15 Steps I Took To Become An Excellent Value Investor

isaac newton

4. 17 Things That Changed My Life - Some Saved It

3. Why The P/E Ratio Is Useless - And How To Calculate EV

2. Lionel Messi Is A Failure

And the number one most viewed post on this site in 2015 was...

1. Warren Buffett And Charlie Munger Are Failures

File:Charlie Munger.jpgFile:Warren Buffett KU Visit.jpg

From the views it looks like you're interested in a variety of topics.

Valuation, case studies, Buffett and Munger, failure, psychology, habit, mental models, and personal improvement were major themes of the above list.

According to Munger reading a wide variety of things means we all improved as investors and thinkers in 2015.

Remember, no matter how fast you improve or learn as long as you continue to learn and improve this will compound over time and lead us closer to our goals.

Bonus - Most Viewed Page Of The Year

The number one viewed page on the blog - besides the home page - was the Recommended Reading And Viewing Page.  This one page got almost 8,000 unique views last year by itself.

If you've never visited this page you should.  It holds links to all the best resources I've learned from over the years.  And gets updated regularly.

Is there anything I haven't written about yet that you want me to in 2016?  Did your favorite post make the list? If so which one was your favorite?  If not which post was your favorite that didn't make it?  Let me know in the comments below.

And to make sure you don't miss any more great content subscribe to Value Investing Journey for free here.

Once subscribed you'll also get entered to win prizes.  Get a 50% discount on a One Year Press On Research subscription.  And get three gifts.

First Sponsored Child – Look What We’ve Done In Only 9 Months

First Sponsored Child

Look What We've Done In Only 9 Months

Years ago when I began learning about value investing I came across Jae Jun's great site Old School Value.  First off, if you've never gone to the site it's a must read for every value investor.  And you should go read everything on the site now.

Second, there was something else that intrigued me about the site...

Most investment/finance related sites concentrate only on profits, losses, expenditures, valuation, balance sheets, etc.  This is fine.  But the ones making a difference are the ones I continue to go back to over the years.

This is why I try to help as many people as possible.  And Jae does this as well.

How?  Go to the About Page on OSV.  After you read the parts introducing Jae and his family you'll be about halfway down the page.  Stop where it says "Our Mission and Story."

Read all this.  And click on the links in this part of the page to learn more about how Jae and his family "sponsor" kids in countries around the world.

His goal is to sponsor more than 1,000 kids around the world over time.  And he can do this because of the money he makes from his blog and valuation software services.

I knew when I first came across sponsorship years ago that once Value Investing Journey started making money we were going to sponsor kids too.  But we'll get back to this later.  First I need to answer the following question.

What does sponsoring a child mean?

What Does Sponsoring A Child Mean?

Value investors either have enough "excess" money to invest.  Or are working towards that goal one day at a time.  But many around the world struggle just to survive day-to-day.

These people don't have the luxury of caring about future aspirations other than where my kid's next meal will come from.  Or where am I going to sleep tonight.

This is where sponsoring comes in.

When you sponsor a child it means you help the child and their family by sending them money every month that will go towards education.  Clothing.  Health and dental care.  And food and other necessities for the family.

In other words you become part of the child's family helping them to survive and thrive.

This sponsorship goes through a charitable agency who selects kids and families based on their needs.  You give the charity money.  And they take care of the logistical work.

Once you find a child you want to sponsor you can even visit the child - the charity helps with this - if you want to.  So you can see firsthand if your money's spent well.

That's the kind of accountability I love to see.

So what does Jae Jun sponsoring kids have to do with us here at Value Investing Journey and Press On Research?

Well because of you subscribers and readers we've now sponsored our first child.  And taken up Jae's challenge to get to 1,000 sponsored kids.

Our First Sponsored Child

Meet four-year-old Mhicaella from the Philippines.  Sponsored through Children's International.

Card 

Not only will we help support Mhicaella.  But also her younger sister and parents.  Who combined live on less than $120 a month - less than $4 a day for a family of four - in Quezon City.

Our $32 a month donation will increase this families earning power by 27% a month.  And help provide clothing, food, health and dental care, education, and shelter for her and her family.

With our help hopefully they can get ahead.  Stop just surviving.  And start building for the future.

I keep saying our and we because without you subscribing to Value Investing Journey and Press On Research.  And without you buying How To Value Invest none of this would be possible.

I'm very proud of this and I hope you are too.

I said when starting Press On Research in April that at least 5% of proceeds from all services and products would go toward charity.  Well I'm proud to say that this goal's been exceeded.

More than 10% of proceeds from the above sources have gone to charity this year.  And I hope we're able to up this again next year.

If you would like to donate or buy any of the products and services I offer.  Hire me for freelance work.  Again where part of proceeds go to charity.  Please contact me at either jmriv1986@gmail.com or jasonrivera@valueinvestingjourney.com.

Thank you all so much again.  And here's hoping for an even bigger year next year so we can sponsor more kids and do more for those in need.  Let's continue to follow the words of Henry Ford...

To find out more information about why I'm doing this read this post.  And the Service I Offer page.

And if you have any questions or comments about any of this please let me know in the comments below.