Thank You To Everyone Who Has Read This Blog

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone around the world who reads this blog for everything including the conversations I have had with some of you, the help, encouragement, and understanding since starting this value investing journey.  Without you reading and helping me, the book that launches tomorrow would not have been possible and I would not be nearly the value investor that I am today.  Thank you all so much, I appreciate you all immensely, I hope you have learned as much as I have from this site, and I plan to continue to bring you the best valuation and analysis articles and value investing related content possible.

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I also wanted to share below the Dedication and Acknowledgements pages from How To Value Invest where I thank specific people for all that they have done in helping get the book together.

I am so excited to share the book with everyone tomorrow!  Some time late tonight I will send out copies of the eBook early to those of you who have preordered as a thank you for preordering.  For everyone else the book will be available for sale sometime tomorrow morning.

Dedication

For my wife, kids, and family.  Thank you for being there over the years and supporting me through everything.  I would not have been able to do this without you.

Acknowledgements

“If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” Sir Isaac Newton

Thank you to John from CSInvesting, Red from The Red Corner Blog, Taylor From Valueprax, Jeff, from Ragnar Is A Pirate, John from Shadowstock, The Brooklyn Investor, The Fundoo Professor, and all other value investing and related blogs for sharing your knowledge, conversations, and encouragements over the years.  You all have had an extraordinary impact on my life and me as an investor and I would not be where I am today without all of you.  Thank you so much.

Thank you to Dr. Wes Gray and Tobias Carlisle, authors of Quantitative Value, for your opinions and encouragements.  This book is infinitely better because of the feedback from you both.

Thank you to Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, Seth Klarman, and Joel Greenblatt for sharing your experience and wisdom with the world.

Thank you to Tim Ferriss for sharing how to hack the world and sharing your adventures.  Without the Four Hour Work Week and the sharing of your amazing life adventures I would have never had the motivation to finish writing this book.

Thank you to Dean and Eda Nelson, Chen Vincent, Kevin McKenna, and Amir Yizhaki for believing in the book enough to preorder it.

Book Cover Design Contest For How To Value Invest, Answering A Reader’s Email To Me, Graham-Newman Letters, And A Mini Review of The Einstein of Money

Started A Book Cover Design Contest For My Upcoming Book How To Value Invest

I started a book design contest on 99designs.com yesterday for my upcoming book How To Value Invest.  The first several submissions are excellent and I am extremely excited to see what I finally decide on.  The contest winner will win a portion of the $299 prize so if you know anyone who is creative please pass this along to them.  The contest for my book can be viewed here.  Seeing the potential book covers with my name as the author on the cover and the title is very surreal and exciting thing.

Answering  A Readers Email To Me

I received this email yesterday and wanted to share my response with everyone.  I have edited out this persons name, place of residence, and the university they are studying at to keep the persons privacy intact.

Dear Mr. Jason Rivera,

I really appreciate your hard work you are putting in your site and I am an avid reader of it. I would like to seek your advice regarding a decision I am facing. My goal is become a value investor and establish my own asset management firm to manage my own money and other people’s money. Right now, I have the opportunity to pursue partnership in my family business and be able to run it along with my father. I am 23 years old, and I am a freshman student at the blank university. If I am to be a partner in my family business, I have to drop out from the university and travel to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where the business is. I am still a freshman student because when I was 19 years old, I dropped out to establish my own business in the same industry as my family in blank country. I had an experience running a business and I had the opportunity to sell my business after two years of operation to my cousins, and, thankfully, it was a profitable venture.

My family business is somehow facing sales shrinkage and cash flow problem due to low capital (my family made terrible mistakes in managing it) and economic downturn. They are specialty contractors and manufacturers of fenestration products (windows, doors, kitchens, curtain walls, and rolling shutters). If I am to work with them, I can be able to help them in reorganizing the company. It might be risky for me, but if everything worked out well enough, I will have earnings that I believe is better than being an employee.

I am facing a decision that I need to make. You might not be able to advice me, but whatever advice you give me, I appreciate it. If my goal is to manage my own money and other people’s money by establishing my own asset management firm, is it helpful to have a university degree or the experience of having ran a business? Shall I drop out and pursue my family business opportunity? If I am to continue studying, I will incur student loan debt which I won’t prefer. But, alas, I will do it if it need be to accomplish my goal. Thank you a lot.

My response below to this very important question.

Nice to make your acquaintance and thank you for your kind words about my blog and work, I greatly appreciate it.

I will let Warren Buffett give you some advice before I give you my thoughts. “I am a better investor because I am a businessman, and a better businessman because I am an investor.”

I am admittedly biased against college due to how much money you have to pay, for classes that you do not want to take, and for the return that you get on your money after graduating.  I have not been able to go to college due to health reasons.  Most of my friends and family have gone to college, finished with at least a Bachelor’s degree (or sometimes even a Master’s Degree) and almost all of them have had problems finding jobs or being paid what they should be getting paid, all the while being saddled with hundreds of dollars a month payments due to student loans payments.  From all the people I know who have gone to college I do not think it is worth it unless you want to become a doctor, nurse, engineer, teacher, or a related field like those.  Almost everything else can be learned online for free/cheap now.  Almost every person I know who has gone to college and has graduated with Bachelor’s or Masters degrees have been told when they look for a job that the reason they weren’t being hired, or weren’t getting paid more, was because they didn’t have ENOUGH EXPERIENCE.  Experience is still king in most cases. I have been told many times that I know more about investing than most MBA’s and professional level investors and I am completely self-taught from mostly free resources I have found online.

The only reason you will need a degree is if you want to work at an investment firm since most people won’t even look at your application unless you have a Bachelor’s degree or are a CFA.  If you want to be your own boss this isn’t necessary.

If you want to open up your own investment firm it is most likely going to be better for you to quit school (You can always take classes online if you do want a degree) and gain all important experience and contacts by working at your family business.  I would also recommend taking some of the money you do earn, invest it, refine your processes, get better, and keep track of your returns.  The main thing potential investors in your firm will be looking for won’t be degrees, it will be your investment track record and how well you have done over time in your own portfolio and the portfolios that you manage.  I would also recommend starting a blog so your record can be public and people can see how you have done over time as well.  You will also get great feedback and improve a lot faster this way as well.  Since starting a blog I have improved more in the last year than in I did in all the previous four years combined.

Remember that I am very biased against going to college because in most cases I do not think that it is worth it so keep that in mind when thinking about what I have said.

I also have packages of my upcoming book where I will give you advice and critique your work as well if you would want me to help you on the investment front.  If you would like further instruction let me know and we can work something out as well.  I love to teach and help so please let me know if this interests you at all.

I hope this has helped, please let me know what you decide, keep me up to date with how things are going, and let me know if you would like me to help you in any way that I can.

Jason Rivera

Value Investing Journey

After I sent that email I realized that I forgot to include a few things that I wanted to but forgot to include.

  1. Treat everything that you do as a learning experience.
  2. Do the best that you possibly can at everything.
  3. Give 100% effort and focus to everything that you do.
  4. Try to improve yourself every day.
  5. Learn something new every day.
  6. Push yourself out of your comfort zone every day.

If you can do the above things on a consistent basis you will do very well in whatever you choose to do.

Do any readers have any other input on this situation, maybe someone who has a contrasting point of view to mine or maybe something that I missed about this situation.

If anyone else has any other questions you would like to ask me I would love to have you email me and converse with you and I will try to help you out in any way that I can.

Graham-Newman Letters

While I was finishing up listening to the audio book of The Einstein of Money: The Life and Timeless Wisdom of Benjamin Graham the other day the conclusion part of the audiobook mentioned that some of Benjamin Graham’s shareholders letters from his partnership had been transcribed and circulated.  I immediately searched for them and found the Graham-Newman partnership letters and wanted to share them with you.  As I tweeted out the other day I cannot believe that I did not know about these before and I am going to start reading through them immediately.

I would also like to mention that if you have ever been interested in listening to an audiobook before I highly recommend Amazon affiliate Audible.com.  They are offering two free audiobooks when you sign up for a free trial right now.

Mini Review of The Einstein of Money: The Life and Timeless Wisdom of Benjamin Graham

I only got to listen to one book on my trip and it was one I had wanted to read for a long time and I am glad that this was the audiobook that I picked.  The Einstein of Money is a must read for Benjamin Graham admirers or value investors of any stripe.  The book is a biography of one of my personal investing heroes and chronicles his personal and investing life.  Even though I have read a lot about Graham and his investing methods I still found the book worthwhile, even for more advanced investors.  The book will be a great introduction to beginning value investors as well because it goes over most of his investing philosophy and techniques.  The book is a lot shorter and less dry than Security Analysis (Which I still recommend every serious value investor to read) and the Intelligent Investor (Still one of my all time favorite books) and since it is a biography delves into Mr. Graham’s personal life a lot.  I found a lot of the stuff on his personal life very interesting because I knew almost nothing about Mr. Graham outside of the investment world.  The book chronicles his failings as a husband, how he got started in investing, his outside interests (Who knew the man wrote many other books that weren’t related to investing and even wrote a couple plays), his college years, etc.

If you are even remotely interested in Mr. Graham the investor, his value investing philosophies, and learning more about his personal life than I highly recommend that you read or listen to this book.

Article Update and Weekend Reading Links

I have finished up all three articles in my now shortened series and will proofread and do some light editing over the weekend and post them as soon as possible after I am able to acquire the shares I want.

Psy Blog-How Long To Form A Habit.

Hardcore value-Amazon, Apple, and The Beauty Of Low Margins.

Distressed Debt Investing-One Of Warren Buffett’s Greatest Trades.

CSInvesting-Video Lecture Course On Security Analysis and The Intelligent Investor.

Share Sleuth-Finding Hidden Debt.

Can’t Eat Value’s Blog-What’s Your Investing Edge.

Oddball Stocks-Value Momentum, Speculating On Recovering Net Nets.

The Equity Desk-Benjamin Graham: An Investing Legend.

Ragnar Is A Pirate-Fraud, Bankruptcy, and Ethanex.

25iq.com-Charlie Munger On The Psychology of Human Misjudgement.

Basehitinvesting.com

Wexboy-Why I Write…

The Globe and Mail-Article By GreensKeeper Asset Management Principle Michael McCloskey.

Distressed Debt Investing-My Three Favorite Quotes From Baupost’s 2012 Year End Letter.

Graham And Doddsville-Legacy Of Benjamin Graham.

Wexboy-The Great Irish Share Valuation Project Part IV.

GuruFocus-Answers From Tom Gayner’s Interview With Guru Focus.  Thanks for the link Obtuse Investor.

Sahara Investing-Triyards Holdings.

World Financial Review-Repeatability: How Companies Create Enduring Businesses In A World Of Change.

CSInvesting-More Valuation Case Studies.

An Update, New Translation Page, and Links

As you might have noticed at the top of the page is now a translation page where you can translate the entire blog into many different languages.  I found something similar to this a few days ago but could not get it to work on the blog so I enlisted the help of my brother and he got the translation page working, thanks a lot Kev.  This also means that the short-lived Mandarin Value Investing Journey is also not now needed and will be going away.  I am sure the 20 of you who visited the mostly untranslated site will miss it dearly :).

A quick update on where I am at with the process of my article series.  I have now finished up the first two articles of the series and as you know I had planned to write articles on one or two more companies and then do a conclusion article.  Two of the companies I was planning on writing articles on I have been asked not to by the person who recommended them to me because he is planning on writing articles about them.  I am still going to read those companies annual reports and other filings but will not be writing articles about them so this has turned into a three-part series covering the two companies I have already written articles about and the conclusion article where I decide which of them to buy.  I will hopefully have the whole series posted as soon as possible.

“Things do not happen–they are brought about by careful planning, diligence, application, and direction.”George Mecherle, Founder of State Farm Insurance.

Valueprax-This One Is Personal.

25iq.com-Charlie Munger On The Importance Of Worldly Wisdom And Consistently Not Being Stupid.

CP-Africa.com-Meet 31 Year Old Ashish Thakkar-Africa’s Youngest Billionaire.

OTC Adventures-International Wire Group Is Cheap, But Is It Safe (ITWG)

Valuewalk-Baupost Group’s Seth Klarman Sees “50 Shades Of Value” In The Market.

Valueinvestingblog.net-CASA Holdings and Fiamma Holdings.

CSinvesting-A Reader’s Question On Case Studies.

Santangel’s Review-Benjamin Graham On Staying Small.

Motley Fool-Charlie Munger Info From A Board Poster.

Valueprax-Notes-Nintendo Back In The Saddle?

CSInvesting-Valuation Case Study HVAC.

OTC Adventures-Value Investing Strategy and Unlisted Securities Part 2.

CSInvesting-ValueUncovered Philosophy; Treat Everything As A Case Study.

Wexboy-2013: The Great Irish Share Valuation Project Part 2.

Credit Bubble Stocks-Horizon Kinetics, Owner Operators, and the Predictability Arb.

Update and Links From Mark Lin, Oddball Stocks, Guru Focus, Farnam Street, ValueFolio and Old School Value

The most recent company I was researching turned out to be another no go as I found it to be overvalued at the low end by as much as 30%.  Since then I have turned my attention to Dole and have been getting my updated article on them prepared.  I have already written a portion of the article and with Dole releasing its most recent results later today I should be all good to go and have the whole article up by early next week.

Until then here are some links.

The One Thing That Can Kill Your Portfolio

ROE, ROIC, and CROIC

All Roads Lead To Rome: Bridging the Graham Buffett Divide

Alternative Information Sources

Analyzing Working Capital-The Key To Successful Investing In Net Nets

Why Net Cash Is The Most Misleading Indicator Of Balance Sheet Strength

Characteristics of Value Stocks and Value Traps

The Principle of Incomplete Knowledge

Charlie Munger…..”If I Were Teaching Business School”

Psych Plays and Bayesian Probability