The Next GE – Interview #2 With Eric Schleien of The Intelligent Investing Podcast

The Next GE – Interview #2 With Eric Schleien of The Intelligent Investing Podcast

In the first interview I did with Eric Schleien of The Intelligent Investing Podcast in 2016, we talked about more general value investing concepts, mindsets and processes.

In today’s interview, we talk about an investment I made in 2015 that I called ‘The Next GE’.

In the 27 – minute interview linked below, we go over this investment case study style that I recommended in October 2015 exclusively to Press On Research subscribers.

We do this to figure out a couple of things…

  • Why I titled this company’s recommendation issue ‘The Next GE’
  • Why they’re now up 460% as of this writing since I recommended them

Some of the other things we also talk about in the interview are…

  • Valuation
  • How this company compared to its competition
  • Where I found this company
  • How I found this company
  • How you can find extreme value in the small cap OTC and ADR arenas
  • And more

Here is the description of the interview from Eric’s podcast site…

In this interview, Eric Schleien goes through an investment case study Jason Rivera recommended to his subscribers and for the portfolios he manages about a small and obscure company that has almost tripled since 2015.

When he recommended them, he titled the issue The Next GE and in this interview we go over why he thought that.

His podcast has interviews with other great up and coming value investors as well so make sure to listen to them.

You can listen to the interview here if you don’t have iTunes.

Or you can listen here if you do have iTunes.

Make sure to follow Eric on Twitter, and subscribe to his great podcast when listening to either of the above places.

I hope you enjoy and find some great value in the interview.

Oh, and by the way…

If you listen to the interview, you also get a couple of free resources to learn from that I provided exclusively to listeners of this interview.

One I’ve never released before other than to paying subscribers.

I hope you enjoy 🙂 and let me know your thoughts on this company in the comments below once you listen to the interview and download the FREE resources.

P.S. The analysis I did on this – and EVERY company I evaluate – is based on the preliminary analysis template I developed over the last 11 years, and after evaluating thousands of companies. If you’d like a copy of this to do your own preliminary analysis, you can get yours for free here.

P.P.S. I put on a FREE webinar last Thursday teaching The 3 Secrets That Have Helped Me Beat Buffett In The Stock Market, so you can possibly do the same. If you’d like to sign up for FREE to view the replay of the webinar, you can do so here.

Throwback Thursday – Updated Recommended Reading and Viewing Page

Throwback Thursday – Updated Recommended Reading and Viewing Page

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This is the fifth 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.

I’m not posting a ‘normal’ article today, instead I’m posting the updated Recommended Reading and Viewing Page in full below.

Why?

Because one of the questions I get asked most is some version of the question “What are some great books you recommend?”

Well these books, sites and videos are some of the best resources I’ve learned from over the years.

This is the most up to date version of the MOST viewed page on this blog every single year. This update includes 11 new book recommendations.

I know the resources on this post and on the Recommended Reading and Viewing page can help you reach your goals.

Jason

***

2017 Performance Review – NOW Six Full Years Beating Buffett and Crushing The Market

2017 Performance Review – NOW Six Full Years Beating Buffett and Crushing The Market

2017 is also known as the year of continuing to find a few great stocks and sit on your ass and do nothing.

Charlie Munger said this – or something similar – and it’s what I’ve done for almost 3 full years now.

I’ve bought ZERO new stock investments since April of 2015, when I bought a few great businesses, and haven’t done much since.

Why?

Well this article explains several of the reasons

Goldman Sachs says Valuations Across The Board Are At Highs Not Seen Since 1900

I’ve known this for years as I’ve searched all over the world for public company investments and around the US for multi-family apartment building investments since 2015.

But this is where we, as deep and disciplined value investors, can gain a MASSIVE advantage over other investors.

And 2017 further showed this approach of buying great companies and sitting on your ass for a few years, can make you and the people you invest in, a lot of money.

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

It means in the short-term, emotion and psychology drive the market. 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 as 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 is the 2017 performance review.

For links to 20122013, 2013 updated numbers, and 2014 and 2015, 2016 performance reviews, go to the previous links.

Also, as noted above in some of the individual posts, I made multiple mistakes in 2013 when calculating my returns. The numbers below – which show the six full years between 2012 and 2017 – are correct.

2017 Performance Review

I still own all the companies from 2014 and 2015 except one. I bought 3 new companies in 2016, and ZERO investments in 2017. These investments produced a 13.5% average return in 2017.

Here are the highlights from this year:

  • One of the companies I recommended while working at the investment newsletter, is up more than 300% since I recommended them in 2014 / 2015.
  • One company I recommended in Press On Research was up 154.6% JUST in 2017.
  • This same company has now QUADRUPLED since recommending them in 2015.
  • Another two Press On Research picks from 2015 have more than doubled.
  • The average market cap at the time of these recommendations was $246.4 million.
  • The average market cap of the 11 companies I still own – not including the company that was bought out last year – is now $543 million.

Below is the full spreadsheet…

2017 VIJ and POR Performance Review

If you’d like to know what these companies are, you can do so by purchasing ALL past issues at a 50% discount by using this code 2018ALLISSUES in our shop today.

Note. The only product that this code will work on is the ALL issues package here. To purchase this package for 50% off, put the ALL issues package in your cart and use the code 2018ALLISSUES before checking out.

So what does this mean for cumulative full six-year returns now?

Six Full Years Beating Buffett…

Here are Buffett’s returns that I’m referencing.

The Buffett Partnership Returns

I don’t compare myself to Buffett because I want to be the next Buffett. But because everyone knows who he is as he’s regarded by most as the best investor ever.

I want to be known as the first Jason Rivera when my career is over.

At the end, I want to be known as a better investor and capital allocator than Buffett and to produce better returns over time than he has so I can help millions or billions of people all over the world.

At least for now – six full years into my career – I am achieving this lofty goal by beating Buffett, when compared to the first six years of his career.

In the first six years of my career, I’ve produced average – non-compounded – returns of 27% each year. Or a total cumulative return of 162% over that period.

In the first six years of his career, Buffett produced average – non-compounded – returns of 23.1% each year. Or a total cumulative return of 138.8% over that period.

This means in the first six years of our careers, I’ve produced returns 3.9 percentage points better each year than Buffett did in the first six years of his career.

But what does this 3.9 percentage point excess return per year mean in dollar terms over this period?

Assuming we both started with an asset base of $10 million at the beginning of the six-year period, I would have grown that $10 million into $41.959 million after six years.

Buffett would have turned his investors $10 million into $34.798 million in that time.

This is why every point of excess returns is so important, and why you need to be aware of any fees charged to your account by your money managers.

Over a long period – or in this case six years – ‘only’ an excess 3.9 percentage points each year would have made investors $5.7 million extra.

And this further illustrates the power of compounding over time.

Last year, this difference between my returns and Buffett’s returns were 4.3 percentage points and a $5.7 million difference. This year, it’s a 3.9 percentage point difference and $7.161 million.

Even though the actual percentage point difference dropped by 0.4 percentage points, the amount increased because of the power of compounding and an extra year by $1.461 million.

Not only am I achieving my lofty goal of beating Buffett through this time, but I’m also crushing the market as well.

And Crushing The Market

From 2012 through 2017 the Dow Jones Index produced a total cumulative return of 48.9% – or almost doubled – for the six years or 8.2% per year on average.

The S&P 500 produced a 51.3% total return  – or more than doubled – for the six years or 8.6% per year on average.

And the Russell 3000 index – the closest thing to a small cap index – produced a 59% total return or 9.8% per year on average.

I’ve produced returns in excess of these indexes by 18.8%, 18.4%, and 17.2% points respectively each year over these six years.

Assuming a $10 million asset base like above, I would have produced $24.5 million more for investors over this six-year period than the Russell 3000 index would have.

  • $41.959 million minus $17.5 million the Russell 3000 would have produced.

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 necessary to continue this. Especially with valuations near or at all-time highs.

Other Highlights From 2017

Thanks to you investing in yourself via sales of my products, services, and consulting jobs we continued helping Mhicaella and her family in the Philippines.

The last letter we received from her mother told us that Mhicaella is now in 1st grade. She loves P.E. and is learning to read and write.

Here is a picture of Mhicaella when we first started helping her and her family…

Here is a recent picture of Mhicaella…

Mhicaella N.
The beautiful little girl we’re all helping support and have a better life in the Philippines.

With your help, some of the things we’ve been able to help provide for her and her family over the last year are school supplies, medical and dental care, and Christmas gifts for her entire family.

A percentage of all sales of my books, services, and products sold will continue going towards charities like these well into the future.

We will expand on this in the future and help even more kids and their families.

Thank you so much for helping and being a part of this milestone.

***

Other highlights from 2017 are:

  • Got my real estate license.
  • Learned an IMMENSE amount about real estate and real estate investing.
  • Put offers in on several multi-family and single-family properties.
  • Didn’t get any of these deals due to excessive valuations and getting outbid.
  • Did a lot of consulting work for a large firm in New York and Ohio.
  • Learned an IMMENSE amount about marketing in all facets.
  • Expanded my circle of competence into single family and multi-family investments.
  • Grew our mailing list and social media following A LOT.
  • Read around 50 books this year.
  • As mentioned above we continued helping Mhicaella and her family in the Philippines survive and thrive.
  • Learned several valuable skills to help my own businesses and others business.
  • Got several value investment coaching clients this year.
  • Began to build several value investing courses.
  • Hired 4 part-time team members.
  • We helped a lot more people this year than we have in the past due to the things above.
  • Began building more products, services, courses, etc to help as many people as we possibly can.
  • And a lot more

All this will continue to grow even more as we go forward and learn and improve.

Conclusion Thoughts

We’re still beating Buffet after six full years and crushing the market but both are catching up.

Value investing works best with a falling or stagnant market so with valuations at or near all-time highs – and reaching new highs on an almost every day basis still – this is expected.

Unless the market corrects sometime soon, I would expect Mr. Buffett and the market to continue catching up to or possibly passing us in the near future.

As I said last year at this time, barring a major sell-off I expect to add few to no companies again in 2018.

This is because I will only buy something that meets my ultra-strict criteria.  Under no circumstances will I buy something because I haven’t bought in a while.

This helps keep us only in great companies and real estate investments and should help us continue producing exceptional returns over time.

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

And with the market’s march ever higher, it’s allowed me to take the time to learn other valuable business skills.

This will help us even more over the long term as we get back into buying public companies stock. And into buying private businesses and multi-family real estate investments once we reach enough revenue and cash flow.

Here’s looking forward to an even bigger and better 2018.

Thanks so much to 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

Chairman, CEO, and Founder of Rivera Holdings LLC

Throwback Thursday – 10 Tips To Becoming A World Class Investment Analyst

Throwback Thursday – 10 Tips To Becoming A World Class Investment Analyst

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This is the fourth 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.

I’m reposting this article today because now that we’re at the beginning of a new year I wanted to post this to help you achieve anything you want in 2018.

The things I talk about below can be used to become great at any skill, not just value investing.

Other than some minor edits and updates, this is the same exact post as originally published in 2016.

Oh and sorry about the numbering… It got mixed up in the transfer and I can’t figure out how to fix it.

Jason

***

10 Tips To Becoming A World Class Investment Analyst

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This post is written in conjunction with Quandl as part of a series on how to become great investment analysts.

Quandl provides access to data and information useful to us as investment analysts.  So if you’re looking for specific data to make your analysis pop make sure to check out their site linked above.

***

Are you sure you want to be great?

No one admits they’re fine being average.  But our actions show otherwise.

Most of us would rather watch TV or random YouTube cat videos instead of working on improving and learning the skills necessary to improve and reach our goals.

The ones who do work towards greatness are often labeled antisocial hermits for not hanging out with friends and partying more…  Especially when young.

This social stigma keeps many of us from doing what we really want to do…

If you want to achieve greatness you must do things different than everyone.

If you want to improve fast you must endure short-term pain.  And sometimes ridicule from peers when you’re not doing what they expect you do to.

If you’re willing to do the work necessary to become a world class investment analyst below are the top ten things you have to do every day.

  1. Be Patient

Are you fine searching through thousands of companies only to invest in a few of them?  Are you fine going months or years without buying a new investment?

If you answer no to either you won’t be a great analyst.

I invest in less than 1 out of every 500 companies I research.  You need to have extreme patience and enjoy the hunt of buried treasure as much as actually finding it.

  1. You need to be an autodidact

Do you rely only on your degrees and certifications to get you by? Do you seek out new and sometimes contradictory information to continue to learn and improve processes?

To be a world class investment analyst you have to love learning, reading, and gaining knowledge on your own.

Degrees and certifications have nothing to do with how great of an investment analyst you are or can become.

If you’re not willing to read and continue learning you won’t become a world class investment analyst.  Because people like me who constantly read, learn, and work to improve will always be ahead of you.

  1. You must have strict and disciplined processes

If you can’t make unemotional decisions based on how your analysis plays out you won’t be great.

You can’t rely on preconceived notions, hearsay, emotion, or what Mr. Market’s doing.  Let your analysis take you where it does.

If you spend 100+ hours researching a company only to find at the end it’s not one you want to invest in don’t invest in it.

Just because you spend a lot of time evaluating a company doesn’t mean you need to invest in it.

If you have strict processes and have the discipline to stick to these processes you’ll invest in a fraction of the companies you research as mentioned above.

Don’t be average be great.  Again, this requires you do things different than everyone else.  Be selective in your investments to produce greater returns.

  1. Practice everything you learn as you learn it

When I started investing I would read everything but not practice anything I learned.  This led to years of wasted time as I had to go back and relearn things as I came across them and needed to know what they meant.

Don’t do this.

And when I say practice I don’t mean the normal practice most people do.  I mean deliberate practice.

  1. You need the fundamentals down pat

If you can’t explain what free cash flow, operating margin, and return on invested capital mean in terms a 6th grader can understand you don’t understand it well enough yourself.

You need to understand the basics better than other analysts to have an advantage over them.

  1. Be selfish with your time

If your friends are doing something you don’t want to do don’t do it.

This sounds easy but it’s not…  Remember the social stigma I talked about above?

If you want to improve fast be selfish with your time and find any spaces of time you have to learn.

As an example if your significant other’s taking forever getting ready to go out, instead of getting mad and anxious about them wasting your time read something.  Even if it’s only for five minutes.

The more you learn the faster you’ll improve.  Knowledge like money compounds over time.

Note on above quote: Most people – including me – can’t reach the 500 pages every day goal because of kids, significant others, family, work, relaxing so you don’t burn out, and life.  But it’s a goal to reach towards.

Read as much as you can every day.

  1. Don’t get complacent

There’s always more to learn.  Always an investment or thought process you can improve.  There are always more companies to look through.  Etc.

“The thing that amazes me about him {Nick Saban} 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.”

To learn more about what it takes to be great read my post: Greatness According to Nick Saban.

  1. You need confidence in your abilities

“You need to balance arrogance and humility…when you buy anything, it’s an arrogant act. You are saying the markets are gyrating and somebody wants to sell this to me and I know more than everybody else so I am going to stand here and buy it. I am going to pay an 1/8th more than the next guy wants to pay and buy it. That’s arrogant. And you need the humility to say ‘but I might be wrong.’ And you have to do that on everything.” Seth Klarman

This doesn’t mean being overconfident.

You need to be humble enough to spot and fix any mistakes you make in your analysis that may only come out after you invest in or recommend something.

But if you’re not confident in yourself and judgments you make why should anyone else be?

  1. You can’t be afraid of mistakes.

No matter how great of an investment analyst you are you’re still going to make mistakes.  Investing isn’t something anyone can perfect.  Even Buffett, Munger, Klarman, and the other greats in our business make mistakes.

As investment analysts were doing great things if we’re right four to six times out of 10.  No one is right 10 out of 10 times in this business.  Leave your perfectionism at the door.

You need to be comfortable making mistakes.  And be humble enough to learn from them so you don’t repeat them going forward…  Hopefully.

If you’re stubborn like I am this may be a hard learned long-term lesson you need to work correcting every day.

  1. Be obsessive.

No one starts life as a great investor or thinker.  You need to train yourself to become great.  And the faster you learn the faster you’ll become great.

If you’re obsessive about learning the craft of becoming a world class investment analyst nothing can stop you.

High IQ isn’t necessary in this field.  It will be a hindrance if high IQ comes with overconfidence and not being humble.  So the only thing stopping you from becoming a great analyst is the amount of time you’re willing to put in.

Note the reading of 500 pages quote from Buffett above.

Are you obsessive enough about investing and analyzing businesses to work towards that goal?

Do you love learning, reading, and constant improvement enough in this field to continue to work even on days you don’t want to?

Bonus – Write your analysis down and let others critique your work.

Most of us hate being critiqued.  When we put dozen, hundreds, or thousands of hours into something over days, weeks, or years it’s natural that we don’t want people to point out the flaws in what we’re doing.

Fight this urge…

If you want to become great write your investment analysis down and have others critique it.  A great way to do this is to start a blog.

When I started my blog Value Investing Journey and began getting feedback my improvement as an analyst jumped into hyper speed.

I went from this “analysis” when I started the blog less than four years ago to being told a version of the following on a regular basis:

“If I were to go to anyone else in the entire company to get a second opinion valuing and analyzing an investment… I would go to you first.”

The above quote is what a former colleague told me upon leaving my job.

The company had around 50 employees.  And every other analyst had an MBA.  Decades of experience investing.  And ran or helped run billions of dollars at various hedge funds and firms before joining the investment newsletter we worked for.

I get told a version of the above on a regular basis but I’m not telling you this to brag.

I’m telling you this because if I can achieve this without any formal education and severe health issues while beginning my investment journey imagine what you can achieve with your formal training, degrees, mentors, and certifications.

If you don’t already have a or want to start a blog post articles on places like Seeking Alpha and Guru Focus to get feedback.

If you take this route beware of haters making personal attacks though.  Ignore these people and pay attention to the constructive feedback.

Conclusion

If you paid attention above you’ll notice many of the above tips go together.  And a lot of it revolves around how you choose to spend your time.

The choice is now yours… Are you willing to put in the time to become great?  Or are you fine being average and producing average returns and recommendations?

Time is the only thing keeping you from becoming a world class investment analyst.

So what are you going to do next?

***

Let me know some of your 2018 goals in the comments below.

P.S  If you want to get every post like this in the future please subscribe for free here.

P.P.S. I put on a FREE webinar last Thursday teaching The 3 Secrets That Have Helped Me Beat Buffett In The Stock Market, so you can possibly do the same. If you’d like to sign up for FREE to view the replay of the webinar, you can do so here.

Preliminary Analysis Case Study #1 Part 10 – Final Part

Preliminary Analysis Case Study #1 Part 10 – Final Part – Inventory, Footnotes, And How To Evaluate Management

Last week I announced we were going to begin doing a real-world case study on Constellation Brands – Stock Ticker STZ.

Well, after releasing this post, my team reminded me that there was actually a preliminary analysis my client did before this one. So before we get to the STZ case study, we’re doing to take a detour to talk about Canopy Growth Corp –  Stock Ticker WEED.

I didn’t want to skip this one because there’s a lot of context and talk in this discussion that we don’t necessarily go over in the later training sessions because we’ve already talked about them.

This post is a continuation of the prior posts in this ongoing case study. All parts thus far are below.

Below is his unedited preliminary analysis for reference – without any of my comments – for you to get a  look at.

Canopy Growth Corp – WEED

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WEED – Canopy Growth Corp (Canadian Company)

All numbers are in millions of CAD unless noted otherwise.

  • FY Ends March 31st, 2017
  • 3,404 market cap (medium)
  • N/A dividend yield.
  • P/B TTM = 4.92
  • TTM Operating Margin is -39.2 and has somewhat increased over last 2 years.
    • 5 year average OM is N/A
  • Share count has done increased from 77 to 119 from FY16 to FY17. Current TTM is 149m.  Statement of shareholder’s equity??
  • Book value per share has increased from 1.34 to 1.55 from FY16 to FY17. Current TTM is 3.73.
  • Morningstar ROIC TTM is -6.58 and a little higher than the last 2 FY’s
    • 5 year average Morningstar ROIC is N/A
  • TTM ROE is -6.45 and a little higher than the last 2 FY’s
    • 5 year average ROE is N/A
  • TTM FCF/sales is -151 and we can’t tell any pattern. See con note on FCF
    • 5 year average FCF/sales is N/A
  • CCC: No info on the payable period (assume the product is cheap to grow) but DIO exploded on FY2017 to 5,494 days (FY2016 and 2015 avg is about 650 days). Research online says cannabis takes up to ½ year to grow so I would need much more investigation on why inventory takes so long to turnover.
  • EV=3,312
  • EV/EBIT is -73.6
  • EV/FCF is -37.6
  • EBIT/EV (earnings yield) -1.3%
  • FCF/EV (earnings yield) -2.6%

Cons

  • Young company – only about 3 years old after name change (used to be Tweed)
  • Note only balance sheet on Morningstar has FY2015 so we need to look at 10K for data.  We cannot really tell any direction with a 2/3 year old history
  • SG&A & Other are over 163% of Revenue
  • SG&A roughly decreasing and “Other” is increasing
  • Op Income and Margin are (-) but are generally decreasing over time
  • Outstanding shares are significantly increasing over time
  • FCF is increasingly negative as both op cash flow and CapEx are also both increasingly negative
  • Not much experience with Canadian companies
  • Goodwill and intangible assets exploded on FY2017
  • Regulation laws in Canada and USA
  • They bought a lot of companies in FY2016

Pros

  • Cash exploded in FY2017
  • FY2017 Cash & Equiv – Total Liabilities = $39m
  • Book value/share is generally increasing but only for last 3 years
  • Low Debt (also reflected by the ROE and ROIC being similar numbers)
  • Revenue is increasing over time
  • STZ bought about 10% interest in WEED.  Industry took notice and WEED most likely gained some legitimacy with large companies
  • COGS is only 23% of Revenue (doesn’t take much cost to grow product?)
  • High Working Capital Ratio = 9.8 but this high typically suggests either too much inventory or not investing excess cash…

***

In this video, we talked more about the inventory, how they’re accounting for inventory in the footnotes, a major issue in its inventory, how to evaluate management, and more.

For some reason, when I talk, the audio cuts out so I’ve added narration to the video above for context.

If you have any comments or questions, please post them in the comments section below and I’ll answer them.

I’d also love to see your preliminary analysis as well, so feel free to post these in the comments below.

If you’d like more information about the coaching program this client is in, go to this page.

For reference, he’s in the $ 10,000, year-long program, and this is only after 1 month of coaching, doing nine 1-hour training sessions via Skype.

P.S. This analysis is based on the preliminary analysis template I developed over a number of years, and after evaluating thousands of companies. If you’d like a copy of this to do your own preliminary analysis, you can get yours for free here.

P.P.S. I put on a FREE webinar last Thursday teaching The 3 Secrets That Have Helped Me Beat Buffett In The Stock Market, so you can possibly do the same. If you’d like to sign up for FREE to view the replay of the webinar, you can do so here.