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Posted: 12 April 2011 - 7 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Research

As the star in the retail space for some time now, Shoprite has widened margins and shown a stunning shareprice gain.

 

This was observed some time ago,  ( Cause or Effect? ) and the remaining matter is whether to buy, or to leave well alone, at these levels.

 

Well it seems that if profit margins can be held at their current (high) levels, then this company must grow each and every year at 17%. That is a big ask.

 

 

alt

Alternatively, if it can grow at say 12% then it needs to gouge a 6.1% margin - which I suspect is too far ahead of its current levels.

 

So I suggest its value is more at  the R80 level - and I won't buy right now.

 

Stuart

 

(full dcf spreadsheet is exclusively in the Model Portfolio Group ) 


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Posted: 29 March 2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Research

Calling all (any?) common sense out there please!

 

There was a time when presidential candidates could say "its the economy, stoopid" and us little people felt in awe of these powerful and well informed Washingtonians, and their ability to lead us to a better place.

 

Well, lets take a look at where they have taken our planet's largest economy...

 

And what might this mean?

 

Stuart

 

 

from William A. Sahlman, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School
 
From where I sit as an economist, it's still all about the economy and the long-term impact of the problems laid bare by the Great Recession. During the financial crisis, the world came to the apparently shocking realization that debt financing entails risks. Financial institutions, households, and governments all suffered because they had too much leverage.
 
Though the corporate sector has generally decreased leverage, the same is not true of government, particularly in the United States. Every company and household here and abroad will ultimately be affected by the unabated and accelerating gap between government revenues and spending.
"Every company and household here and abroad will ultimately be affected by the unabated and accelerating gap between government revenues and spending."
 
There is a great deal of confusion in the popular media about the level of the current budget deficit and outstanding debt. To illustrate, most press reports peg the current U.S. deficit at $1.5 trillion, roughly 10% of gross domestic product (GDP). Gross public debt is $14 trillion, or over 95% of GDP. Most observers believe that the government will run a sustained deficit for the next decade that could add over $10 trillion to outstanding federal debt.
 
But closer inspection of government data reveals that these figures grossly understate both the current deficit and level of debt. Consider, for example, that the estimated net present value of obligations under the Social Security system is approximately $8 trillion. As the ratio of retired people receiving benefits to working people paying into the system increases, there will be an ever-increasing deficit confronting the government.
 
Even more problematic is the fact the Medicare system has a vested unfunded net liability of approximately $38 trillion. Once again, the inexorable shift in demographics, combined with high and increasing healthcare costs, will result in a widening gap between tax intake and payment outflow for Medicare.
On another front, the government is also on the hook for insuring bank deposits (including money market funds at the peak of the crisis), pension liabilities, and a wide range of other loans and liabilities. The total value of explicit loan guarantees is well over $10 trillion.
In total, the estimated liabilities of the federal government are in the range of $70 trillion, over five times annual GDP. By implication, the annual deficit is equal to the reported deficit plus the change in the vested, unfunded liabilities incurred in that year (e.g., the change in the Medicare liability) plus the implicit net cost of the annual guarantee for various liabilities. Therefore, the current deficit is more like $4.5 trillion than $1.5 trillion, while the total net revenue for the government was only $2.2 trillion in fiscal 2009. Washington, we have a problem.
 
This kind of leverage is unsustainable. Though some will argue that higher taxes are required, the reality is that the total amount collected each year in personal and corporate taxes (excluding social security and Medicare taxes) is only a bit over $1 trillion. Spending must be cut.
The recent report of The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform suggested a number of options for addressing the challenges posed by excessive government leverage. This report, and several others prepared by other objective bodies, must become part of our collective dialogue about the future of the country. Every business leader and every citizen has a responsibility to understand and help address these issues. Otherwise, as some scenarios in Europe have already made clear, the United States will ultimately suffer the same fate as all countries that spend way beyond their means.

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Posted: 30 March 2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Research

Two nice write-ups here.

 

I prefer the first - as follows:-

 

OK - so social networking is here now. The genie is out of the bottle. And that means the old role of middle managers as gatekeepers on information flow is gone. Over. Dead. Does this not tell you something about the old role of investment professionals as gatekeepers in the investment world??.... if not, you will wake suddenly at some stage...

 

Anyway, enjoy them -

Stuart

 

 

 

 

 

Executive Summary:
Harvard Business School professors—former Medtronic chairman and CEO Bill George, and innovation and strategy authority Rosabeth Moss Kanter—offer their thoughts on the most significant business and economic developments from 2010. Key concepts include:
  • Social networking is the most significant business development of 2010, says Bill George, noting that some 600 million people are now active on Facebook—and half of them spend at least an hour per day on the site.
  • Rosabeth Kanter points out that new technology shone in 2010, in spite of the world's economic anxieties. She gives kudos to the Apple iPad, which accelerated the trend toward digital content.
 
Bill George, Professor of Management Practice
"Social networking is the most significant business development of 2010, topping the resurgence of the U.S. automobile industry. During the year social networking morphed from a personal communications tool for young people into a new vehicle that business leaders are using to transform communications with their employees and customers, as it shifts from one-way transmission of information to two-way interaction. That's one reason Time magazine just named Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg Person of the Year.
"The biggest threat presented by social networks is to middle managers, who may become obsolete when layers of managers are no longer needed to convey messages up and down the organization."
A year ago many people poked fun at Facebook as a place where kids shared their latest party news. Today more than 600 million users worldwide are active on the site. The most rapidly growing demographic is people over forty. More than 300 million people spend at least one hour a day on Facebook. Approximately two hundred million people are active on Twitter in spite of—or because of—its 140-character limitation. Another 100 million use LinkedIn. None of these social networks even existed at the beginning of the decade.
Leaders like IBM's Sam Palmisano, PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi, Apple's Steve Jobs, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, Carlson's Marilyn Nelson, and Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria are all active social network users. Why? Because these social networks are a unique way of broadly communicating real-time messages to the audiences they want to reach. They can write a message anywhere, anytime, and share it with interested parties without any public relations meddling, speech writers, airplane travel, canned videos, or voicemail messages. Now their words are much more authentic and can be remarkably empowering.
Social networking is also flattening organizations by distributing access to information. Everyone is equal on the social network. No hierarchies need get involved.
The biggest threat presented by social networks is to middle managers, who may become obsolete when layers of managers are no longer needed to convey messages up and down the organization. The key to success in the social networking era is to empower the people who do the actual work—designing products, manufacturing them, creating marketing innovations, or selling services—to step up and lead without a hierarchy.
Consumer marketing companies are lining up to use these networks to reach their tailored demographics with highly personalized messages. Already they are revolutionizing marketing by shifting dollars from purchased media advertisements to building their own outlets and content. Kraft Foods, for example, is now one of the largest publishers of food-related materials. IBM is launching thought leadership communities. PepsiCo uses social networks to reach millions of social entrepreneurs in lieu of advertising at the Super Bowl. From a leadership perspective, social networking is making authentic leadership a reality and a necessity for 21st century leaders. You can't hide on your social network when you're revealing who you are and what you really believe. Transparency is essential here.
Even more important, this new phenomenon is enabling business leaders to regain the trust and credibility they have lost over the last ten years. That's why social networking is the most important business development of the year."
 

 

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration
"In many ways the biggest business developments of 2010 were the things that didn't happen. Big companies with cash didn't spend it. Banks with cash didn't lend it. Small businesses didn't attract capital and thus didn't help reduce unemployment. Europeans were paralyzed by debt crises and transportation shutdowns caused by volcanic ash and disgruntled workers. Americans were paralyzed by fear of a Chinese takeover of the world. Google didn't exactly leave China or prevail in the face-off over government-banned content. The BP oil spill debacle in the U.S. Gulf region didn't destroy the company, didn't stop offshore oil drilling for very long, and didn't produce the political will to push for alternative energy sources.
Yet even in the midst of gridlock in Washington, economic anxiety around the world, and government liquidity crises in Europe, technology marched on, seemingly impervious to global events. Technology companies with the capabilities and courage to innovate were bright spots and signals of important trends for the future.
"Technology companies with the capabilities and courage to innovate were bright spots and signals of important trends for the future."
One enormous continuing development is the exponential growth of social networking media and the increasing use of social media by companies to crowdsource ideas, mount contests to award prizes and gather audiences, and attempt to create dialogues with customers. The year 2010 accelerated the trend toward the use of social networking sites for an increasing number of commercial purposes and gave social networking companies the confidence to remain independent rather than be acquired by existing players (witness upstart Groupon's recent rejection of Google's $6 billion offer, for instance).
And for what it symbolizes, let me add the launch of the Apple iPad in April. This device quickly gained a 95% share of the tablet computer market and a big share of the public mind.
But the iPad represented more than just an extremely successful product launch. It also signified important technological directions that are reshaping other industries. The iPad extends and accelerates the webification of life whereby devices can connect to the "cloud" and provide functions on a mobile, as-needed basis. There is no more need to embed them in the guts of a stationary device. This makes an enormous amount of computing power available to individuals and small businesses and continues the importance of apps that can be accessed directly. The existence of the iPad extends and accelerates the trend toward digital content such as e-books and downloadable newspapers and magazines.
While uncertainty continues to cause wary businesses to wait before investing, innovation and entrepreneurship are invoked by leaders as the one sure way out of economic distress."
 
Bill George is a Professor of Management Practice, Henry B. Arthur Fellow of Ethics, at Harvard Business School.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter is the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

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Posted: 27 July 2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

 

We are spoilt for choice on the JSE, with toward 6 trillion rands worth of shares to choose from. That represents an asset class with a multi-decade past track record of compound growth of 12% per annum, with an annual dividend on top of that of around 2.5%.
 
This table sets out the make up of the larger companies on the JSE, and shows one way to group them, by considering what broad area of activity drives their fundamentals.
 
alt
 
 
And lets understand something, there are over 400 listed companies, and a greater number than that of unit trusts, not to mention CFDs SSFs and all the other “enhanced ” ways of getting exposure to the equity assets through investment products. Clearly, some of the shares do really really well at times (don’t you wish you had put 100% of your portfolio into Capitec?), as do some of the red hot investment products.
 
But does all this choice help us, or is it making our life as direct investors just too complicated.
 
So how can a small direct investor get started?
 
1.       For small amounts, the best place to start is to get onto the overall market index. It means you step onto that uneven 12% escalator to wealth, and you needn’t worry about a single share you choose going belly up. All JSE share investors, professionals and amateurs, have a 50% probability of beating the index. Half of the money beats the index, and the other half gets beaten by the index, every day, every month, and every year. And That Is Before Costs! So what is the best way for you to get onto the index? Probably an index product, even if it offers tracking of just the Top 40 companies, which add up to around 90% of the whole JSE. So think about your amount to invest, your time frame, whether you can add monthly or at other intervals to your investment, what you will do with dividends (cash out or re-invest), and then choose based on what the cost structure will be over time.
2.       Once this is in hand, grow your pot diligently until you can consider changing to a cheaper platform. You will have more buying power and better understanding of the sometimes subtle costs, and can shop around.
3.       Also feel free to look at thoughtful ways to try and get a “top half” result – you may like to try a dividend-yield-based or a fundamentals-based product. But be careful of choosing an index product that is not all-share exposed – for example the gold index is also an index, but it takes a strong view to put all your cash on an index product which follows that sector!
4.       If you reach a point where you can confidently try to beat the index by picking individual shares, you will find that you probably need about a R¼million rand to get a cost effective portfolio – with an acceptable risk spread. A smart way to start is to leave 90% of your cash in the index product you have identified, and to take the other 10% and select a share. You must have a rational argument that your choice will beat the index over say a 12 month period, and you must know why it will. If it does, and you are sure it was because of your skill and not mere luck, take another 10% across, and run two shares in your second year. Ideally the first one you will keep, since you chose so well and so you can avoid trading costs and taxes! And then repeat a few times – if after five years, your share selections have beaten your index holding five times, then you will be well placed to do your own portfolio!
5.    And when you want to design a portfolio, start off by allocating percentages to the broad sectors in the table above, and seeing what rand amount you can therefore put into each area. You will quickly see two things - one is the folly of trying to spread say R20,000 or even R100,000 across every sector - it cannot be done economically; and the other is that by being clear on which sectors you back, you can get a sharply different exposure to, and thus performance from, the overall market.
6.    So - how to start? For small amounts - buy the index in the most cost effective way for your circumstances. For larger amunts, either do the same, or when you feel you want to back yourself, start by allocating your sector amounts - and only then start to pick the shares you can buy to meet the sector weights that you want.

 

I take this approach further in the Model Portfolio Group - see  http://www.tickertalk.co.za/blog.php?user=stuart&blogentry_id=2662

 

Cheers

Stuart


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Posted: 17 March 2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Research

 

The Web’s €100 billion surplus
Consumers get the bulk of it with free services like social networks. Will industry dynamics shift as providers and advertisers try to get a bigger share?
JANUARY 2011 • Jacques Bughin
In This Article
Consumers derive significant value from all they do on the Web, and since advertising pays for much of this, it involves no immediate out-of-pocket cost. We all experience these benefits each time we log onto a social network or watch a free Web video.
But how much is all of this Web use worth? About €150 billion a year, according to new McKinsey research involving a survey of 4,500 Web users across Europe and the United States, as well as conjoint analysis of their willingness to pay for various online activities.1
Consumers do pay for some of this: €30 billion for services such as music subscriptions and gaming Web sites. In a sense, they also pay for the “pollution” of their Internet experience by intrusive pop-up advertising and perceived data privacy risks, an amount we estimate to be €20 billion after asking consumers what they would pay to avoid further clutter and privacy concerns. That leaves a substantial consumer surplus of €100 billion a year, a total that we project will grow to €190 billion by 2015 as broadband becomes ubiquitous around the world and as new services and wireless devices come to the fore.
For Web service providers, this is a large parcel of value to leave on the table. In fact, it amounts to more than three times the €30 billion companies pay providers to advertise on their Web sites and is almost as much as the €120 billion consumers pay for wired and wireless broadband access. One reason for this seeming largesse may be that once a Web service is created, the cost of distributing it is very low, and most Web companies are satisfied covering their basic costs with advertising. In the off-line world, things are different, of course: the surplus is more evenly divided between consumers and suppliers, since in many markets—books, movies, or cable TV, for example—consumers pay for content.
Three ways Web economics could shift
Web players may try to recapture some of this large, growing source of value. One not-too-distant example of such a move is how broadcasters gradually shifted service from free programming to pay-TV to capture a bigger slice of value. While it’s not clear how things will play out on the Web, at least three scenarios seem worth contemplating.
 
Your javascript is turned off. Javascript is required to view exhibits.
Service costs rise
One obvious possibility is that Web players will charge more for services, they already do for certain premium offerings, such as multiplayer video game sites or subscription-based access to unlimited music libraries. So far there’s been strong resistance to this approach from consumers: only about 20 percent of online users pay for some services, and our research shows that expanding the scope of fees to an amount equaling the value of the surplus would reduce usage by as much as 50 percent, torpedoing the economics of Web services.
Advertising grows
Another strategy would be to ramp up Web advertising, and here, the “pollution factor” may be the key. At present, Web companies are reaping more in advertising revenues than consumers are willing to pay to avoid them (€30 billion versus €20 billion). This imbalance suggests that today’s levels of advertising are sustainable and that there could be room for more ads or other monetization plays, such as asking consumers to provide more personal data to access services.
It’s hard to say how much more, though, because there’s no data on how consumers would respond if Web pollution grew a great deal. Is there a tipping point where their willingness to pay to eliminate pollution would increase so dramatically that business models would shift in response? For example, if ad revenue grew to €40 billion or €50 billion, it is not clear whether consumers’ willingness to pay to avoid the new ads would grow so much that Web service providers would be better able to extract more surplus by charging users more, as opposed to selling still more ads.
Monetization by other means
Web players operate in multisided markets that allow them to collect revenues from both their advertisers and their users. They may be betting that by creating a large consumer surplus today with free services and big audiences, they will bolster their online brands, leading to higher profits or market value down the road. The rationale for this approach is pretty compelling, though a for-pay walled garden would work only for premium brands and services. Even for those, reach will be limited—as will companies’ ability to use their Web platforms to launch other businesses.
Preparing for change
Of course, we’re still in the early days of the Web economy, and only recently has the consumer surplus swelled with the rise of blockbusters such as Facebook and always-on connectivity. Clearly, this is a market that’s far from equilibrium, so players should be planning for major change and preparing their strategies accordingly.
Service players trying to stay ahead of market shifts must be attuned to rapid market consolidation: the top 100 providers accounted for 45 percent of Web traffic in 2010, up from only 20 percent in 2007. To stay ahead, leading players are already broadening their base of services on robust proprietary platforms, particularly services that can be offered at low cost via the cloud and mobile devices; Twitter and Facebook are prime examples of such multiuse platforms. As more business and individual activities move online, early movers should be well positioned to capture higher advertising revenues and perhaps, over time, higher service fees.
In turn, advertisers may have better revenue options because of Web innovations. Some are already moving beyond distracting display ads; they’re designing branded content promotions to attract the attention of users and shaping marketing campaigns around messages that travel virally among socially networked “friends,” thus making these campaigns more acceptable to the consumer.
For consumers, the benefits of Web surpluses will continue. Engagement with consumers is the key to value creation in multisided markets, so they should expect continuing service innovations and tolerable advertising levels that keep the prices for Web use and access low.
 
About the Author
Jacques Bughin is a director in McKinsey’s Brussels office.

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Posted: 11 January 2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Research

Happy New Year.

 

Stepping back a moment, was the "GFC" (global financial crisis) a trivial blip in the march to prosperity for us all, or was it an inevitable outome of information overload, coupled with ever sexier tools (phones & computers), and difficulty with our appreciation of our ability to interpret or master the markets?

 

Cheers

Stuart

 

 
 
 
 "The paradigm shift rate (ie, the overall rate of technical progress) is currently doubling (approximately) every decade; that is, paradigm shift times are halving every decade (and the rate of acceleration is itself growing exponentially). So, the technological progress in the twenty-first century will be equivalent to what would require (in the linear view) on the order of 200 centuries. In contrast, the twentieth century saw only about 25 years of progress (again at today's rate of progress) since we have been speeding up to current rates. So the twenty-first century will see almost a thousand times greater technological change than its predecessor." (Ray Kurzweil). What Ray is saying is that most people project future growth in technology at today's rate of change. But the rate of change is accelerating, so that more and more change is packed into smaller and smaller amounts of time. "...And we'll make another 20 years of progress at today's rate [of growth], equivalent to that of the entire 20th century, in the next fourteen years. And then we'll do it again in just seven years." But that is just technology…     (John Mauldin)
 
"We humans are the victims of an asymmetry in the perception of random events. We attribute our success to our skills, and our failures to external events outside our control, namely to randomness. We feel responsible for the good stuff, but not for the bad. This causes us to think that we are better than others at whatever we do for a living.” (Nassim Taleb)

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Posted: 11 January 2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Research

 

South African media group Naspers owns a slice of Facebook, through China via Russia, so many JSE investors are hoping for a big number as the price if early investors can exit for cash at some stage.

 

 

Where Facebook ends up, and how it gets there, are intriguing many people. It might fizzle out, it might be overtaken, or it might become the next generation of the internet itself. In that case (the ultimate success) will and should   Mark Zuckerberg end up as "un-wealthy" as Tim Berners-Lee?

 

In this acutely probing piece, Bloomberg writer David Pauly from Fort Myers, Florida (mail to  dpauly@bloomberg.net ) expolores the notion, and touches on some ingrained customs of the investment industry. The date may have changed, the technology has, but have the customs and culture of the investment industry changed? Why should they?

 

Cheers

Stuart 

 

 

Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Can Facebook Inc., that monument to wasted time, really be worth $50 billion?

We’ll have to take Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s word for it. There are no public audited numbers for Facebook to back up the bank’s estimate of the company’s value. News has leaked out that Goldman, supposedly the smartest Wall Street firm, will buy $450 million of stock in closely held Facebook, with Digital Sky Technologies, which invests in start- ups and is partly owned by Goldman, purchasing another $50 million. The anonymous folks who put out these numbers said the deal sets a value for Facebook equal to that of Boeing Co. and approaching that of Home Depot Inc.

Goldman clearly is capitalizing on Wall Street’s latest diversion: a semi-public stock market for private companies. Several firms now offer shares of closely held companies or offer estimates of their value, or both.

Featured in this new market are Facebook, where users share private information and photos among themselves; Twitter Inc., where you can follow your favorite celebrities as they desecrate the language; and Groupon Inc., an electronic coupon-clipper. All this fuss fires up the market for initial public offerings of these companies well in advance of any actual sales.

Shadow Boxing

Putting a sky-high but hard to verify value on Facebook will likely boost the value of the shares Goldman is buying even higher on the shadow market and touch off extraordinary gains when Facebook’s 26-year-old chief Mark Zuckerberg finally decides to do an IPO. Late last week, Facebook said it would start reporting financial information in April 2012, a prelude to going public.

There’s another lucrative piece of the current deal for Goldman Sachs. It plans to sell an additional $1.5 billion in Facebook shares to its partners and wealthy clients. Goldman will take a 4 percent placement fee for selling the shares, 5 percent of any gain in the stock and an annual servicing fee, according to two clients who have been offered shares. Goldman’s investment in Facebook also should give the firm an inside track as the underwriter whenever the social networking company goes public. A successful Facebook IPO is almost certain. Its Internet site got more hits in the January-November period last year than Google Inc.’s main site, according to New York-based tracker Experian Hitwise.

Money for Schools

Facebook says it has more than 500 million users. The company last week said that in the first nine months of 2010 it earned $355 million on sales of $1.2 billion. Founder Zuckerberg has become a celebrity, recently giving $100 million to the schools in Newark, New Jersey. While Facebook looks more like a Google, which went public in 2004 and has climbed since, it’s being insanely overvalued as were dot-com disasters like EToys Inc. and Webvan Group Inc. If you believe the company is worth $50 billion, take another leap. Using Facebook’s numbers from last week -- the best we have in the absence of complete financial reporting -- we might guess it made about $500 million for the year. That would mean its shadow market value was about 100 times its earnings. Google’s price-earnings ratio is 25. Investors with short memories will pay whatever the shadow market and Goldman Sachs, the prospective underwriter, say they should.

Back in 2000, Cisco Systems Inc., then already the dominant company in computer network gear, had a P/E approaching 200. It’s now 15.

There’s another even more down-to-earth problem for the company. Facebook is now seen by analysts as a threat to Google as a gatherer of ad revenue. Who’s to say a few years from now another startup won’t pose a similar threat to Facebook?

 

(David Pauly is a columnist for Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his.)

 

 

 

 


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Posted: 12 January 2011 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Research

I visited one of this town's top retailers this morning, and found him leaping about on various web pages as he prepared for a buying trip to New York next week.

 

Humbly, he apologised for his "ADD/ADHD" and suggested he would be easier to spend time with if he got onto  Methylphenidate (trade name Ritalin) .

 

This piece may quell some of his concerns.

 

Cheers

Stuart

 

What's It Like To Have ADD?

by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D.

 

What is it like to have ADD? What is the feel of the syndrome? I have a short talk that I often give to groups as an introduction to the subjective experience of ADD and what it is like to live with it:

 

Attention Deficit Disorder. First of all I resent the term. As far as I'm concerned most people have Attention Surplus Disorder. I mean, life being what it is, who can pay attention to anything for very long? Is it really a sign of mental health to be able to balance your checkbook, sit still in your chair, and never speak out of turn? As far as I can see, many people who don't have ADD are charter members of the Congenitally Boring.

 

But anyway, be that as it may, there is this syndrome called ADD or ADHD, depending on what book you read. So what's it like to have ADD?

Some people say the so-called syndrome doesn't even exist, but believe me, it does. Many metaphors come to mind to describe it. It's like driving in the rain with bad windshield wipers. Everything is smudged and blurred and you're speeding along, and it's reeeeally frustrating not being able to see very well. Or it's like listening to a radio station with a lot of static and you have to strain to hear what's going on. Or, it's like trying to build a house of cards in a dust storm. You have to build a structure to protect yourself from the wind before you can even start on the cards.

 

In other ways it's like being super-charged all the time. You get one idea and you have to act on it, and then, what do you know, but you've got another idea before you've finished up with the first one, and so you go for that one, but of course a third idea intercepts the second, and you just have to follow that one, and pretty soon people are calling you disorganized and impulsive and all sorts of impolite words that miss the point completely. Because you're trying really hard. It's just that you have all these invisible vectors pulling you this way and that which makes it really hard to stay on task.

 

Plus which, you're spilling over all the time. You're drumming your fingers, tapping your feet, humming a song, whistling, looking here, looking there, scratching, stretching, doodling, and people think you're not paying attention or that you're not interested, but all you're doing is spilling over so that you can pay attention. I can pay a lot better attention when I'm taking a walk or listening to music or even when I'm in a crowded, noisy room than when I'm still and surrounded by silence.

God save me from the reading rooms. Have you ever been into the one in Widener Library? The only thing that saves it is that so many of the people who use it have ADD that there's a constant soothing bustle.

 

What is it like to have ADD? Buzzing. Being here and there and everywhere. Someone once said, "Time is the thing that keeps everything from happening all at once." Time parcels moments out into separate bits so that we can do one thing at a time. In ADD, this does not happen. In ADD, time collapses. Time becomes a black hole. To the person with ADD it feels as if everything is happening all at once. This creates a sense of inner turmoil or even panic. The individual loses perspective and the ability to prioritize. He or she is always on the go, trying to keep the world from caving in on top.

 

Museums. (Have you noticed how I skip around? That's part of the deal. I change channels a lot. And radio stations. Drives my wife nuts. "Can't we listen to just one song all the way through?") Anyway, museums. The way I go through a museum is the way some people go through Filene's basement. Some of this, some of that, oh, this one looks nice, but what about that rack over there? Gotta hurry, gotta run. It's not that I don't like art. I love art. But my way of loving it makes most people think I'm a real Philistine. On the other hand, sometimes I can sit and look at one painting for a long while. I'll get into the world of the painting and buzz around in there until I forget about everything else.

In these moments I, like most people with ADD, can hyperfocus, which gives the lie to the notion that we can never pay attention. Sometimes we have turbocharged focusing abilities. It just depends upon the situation.

 

Lines. I'm almost incapable of waiting in lines. I just can't wait, you see. That's the hell of it. Impulse leads to action. I'm very short on what you might call the intermediate reflective step between impulse and action. That's why I, like so many people with ADD, lack tact. Tact is entirely dependent on the ability to consider one's words before uttering them. We ADD types don't do this so well. I remember in the fifth grade I noticed my math teacher's hair in a new style and blurted out, "Mr. Cook, is that a toupe you're wearing?" I got kicked out of class. I've since learned how to say these inappropriate things in such a way or at such a time that they can in fact be helpful. But it has taken time. That's the thing about ADD. It takes a lot of adapting to get on in life. But it certainly can be done, and be done very well.

 

As you might imagine, intimacy can be a problem if you've got to be constantly changing the subject, pacing, scratching and blurting out tactless remarks. My wife has learned not to take my tuning out personally, and she says that when I'm there, I'm really there. At first, when we met, she thought I was some kind of nut, as I would bolt out of restaurants at the end of meals or disappear to another planet during a conversation. Now she has grown accustomed to my sudden coming and goings.

 

Many of us with ADD crave high-stimulus situations. In my case, I love the racetrack. And I love the high-intensity crucible of doing psychotherapy. And I love having lots of people around. Obviously this tendency can get you into trouble, which is why ADD is high among criminals and self-destructive risk-takers. It is also high among so-called Type A personalities, as well as among manic-depressives, sociopaths and criminals, violent people, drug abusers, and alcoholics.

But is is also high among creative and intuitive people in all fields, and among highly energetic, highly productive people.

 

Which is to say there is a positive side to all this. Usually the positive doesn't get mentioned when people speak about ADD because there is a natural tendency to focus on what goes wrong, or at least on what has to be somehow controlled. But often once the ADD has been diagnosed, and the child or the adult, with the help of teachers and parents or spouses, friends, and colleagues, has learned how to cope with it, an untapped realm of the brain swims into view. Suddenly the radio station is tuned in, the windshield is clear, the sand storm has died down. And the child or adult, who had been such a problem, such a nudge, such a general pain in the neck to himself and everybody else, that person starts doing things he'd never been able to do before. He surprises everyone around him, and he surprises himself. I use the male pronoun, but it could just as easily be she, as we are seeing more and more ADD among females as we are looking for it.

 

Often these people are highly imaginative and intuitive. They have a "feel" for things, a way of seeing right into the heart of matters while others have to reason their way along methodically. This is the person who can't explain how he thought of the solution, or where the idea for the story came from, or why suddenly he produced such a painting, or how he knew the short cut to the answer, but all he can say is he just knew it, he could feel it. This is the man or woman who makes million dollar deals in a catnap and pulls them off the next day. This is the child who, having been reprimanded for blurting something out, is then praised for having blurted out something brilliant. These are the people who learn and know and do and go by touch and feel.

 

These people can feel a lot. In places where most of us are blind, they can, if not see the light, at least feel the light, and they can produce answers apparently out of the dark. It is important for others to be sensitive to this "sixth sense" many ADD people have, and to nurture it.

If the environment insists on rational, linear thinking and "good"

behavior from these people all the time, then they may never develop their intuitive style to the point where they can use it profitably. It can be exasperating to listen to people talk. They can sound so vague or rambling. But if you take them seriously and grope along with them, often you will find they are on the brink of startling conclusions or surprising solutions.

 

What I am saying is that their cognitive style is qualitatively different from most people's, and what may seem impaired, with patience and encouragement may become gifted.

 

The thing to remember is that if the diagnosis can be made, then most of the bad stuff associated with ADD can be avoided or contained. The diagnosis can be liberating, particularly for people who have been stuck with labels like, "lazy", "stubborn", "willful", "disruptive", "impossible", "tyrannical", "a spaceshot", "brain damaged", "stupid", or just plain "bad". Making the diagnosis of ADD can take the case from the court of moral judgment to the clinic of neuropsychiatric treatment.

 

What is the treatment all about? Anything that turns down the noise.

Just making the diagnosis helps turn down the noise of guilt and self-recrimination. Building certain kinds of structure into one's life can help a lot. Working in small spurts rather than long hauls. Breaking tasks down into smaller tasks. Making lists. Getting help where you need it, whether it's having a secretary, or an accountant, or an automatic bank teller, or a good filing system, or a home computer, getting help where you need it. Maybe applying external limits on your impulses. Or getting enough exercise to work off some of the noise inside. Finding support. Getting someone in your corner to coach you, to keep you on track. Medication can help a great deal too, but it is far from the whole solution. The good news is that treatment can really help.

 

Let me leave you by telling you that we need your help and understanding. We may make mess-piles wherever we go, but with your help, those mess-piles can be turned into realms of reason and art. So, if you know someone like me who's acting up and daydreaming and forgetting this or that and just not getting with the program, consider ADD before he starts believing all the bad things people are saying about him and it's too late.

 

The main point of the talk is that there is a more complex subjective experience to ADD than a list of symptoms can possibly impart. ADD is a way of life, and until recently it has been hidden, even from the view of those who have it. The human experience of ADD is more than just a collection of symptoms. It is a way of living. Before the syndrome is diagnosed that way of living may be filled with pain and misunderstanding. After the diagnosis is made, one often finds new possibilities and the chance for real change.

 

The adult syndrome of ADD, so long unrecognized, is now at last bursting upon the scene. Thankfully, millions of adults who have had to think of themselves as defective or unable to get their acts together, will instead be able to make the most of their considerable abilities. It is a hopeful time indeed.

 

 

 

 

 


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Posted: 18 January 2011 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Research

For direct DIY investors. See the group TTK Model Portfolio

 

But here is the first look, just to get a sense of scale and performance.

 

R1.6 million deposited in Sept 08. Now worth two and a half.

 

Very low level of trades. Five holdings - all have paid divvies and have grown too.

 

Cheers

Stuart

 

alt


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Posted: 21 January 2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Off-beat

 
This Recession is hitting everyone.........

I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail...

Wives are having sex with their husbands because they can't afford batteries...

CEO's are now playing miniature golf...

Exxon-Mobil and JPMorganChase each laid off 12 Congressmen...

A stripper was killed when her audience showered her with rolls of pennies while she danced...

I saw a Mormon polygamist with only one wife...

If the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," you call them and ask if they meant you or them...

McDonald's is selling the 1/4 ouncer...

Angelina Jolie adopted a child from America ...

Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children's names...

My cousin had an exorcism but couldn't afford to pay for it, and they re-possessed her!

A truckload of Americans were caught sneaking into Mexico...

A picture is now only worth 200 words...

When Bill and Hillary travel together, they now have to share a room...

The Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas is now managed by Somali pirates...

Congress says they are looking into this Bernard Madoff scandal. Oh Great! The guy who made $50 Billion
disappear is being investigated by the people who made $1.5 Trillion disappear!


 


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Posted: 25 January 2011 - 2 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

Hi all,

 

The recently formed paygroup  TTK1 Model Portfolio is open for business, i.e. closed to people who haven't paid.

 

This post sets out the briefest description of the group.

 

Cheers

Stuart

 
  
Description:-
 
A pay-to-belong group. Initial subscription is R2880.00 per annum plus VAT at 14%, payable in advance. Users requesting membership will be contacted to give them relevant banking details and the necessary reference for their deposit. Once their deposit has cleared, membership will be enabled.
 
This group reveals an actual running model portfolio - tracked against the relevant JSE index as a benchmark.
 
Paid-up members will get to see the underlying makeup of the portfolio, the detailed performance - and to see the debate about composition/design as well as changes in the portfolio - before and as they happen. Group members will thus be free to: follow/replicate it in their own affairs; or use only those parts of it that they understand accept and endorse; or they can simply watch the performance over time and take what they can from the thinking and investment debate.

 

 

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Posted: 1 February 2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Research

The frenzy with which humans have been burning two billion years of accumulated fossil fuels in just two centuries may soon lead to exhaustion of the resource, but may first lead to a "Carbon tax" of some kind on big burners. In SA we have to world-class burners, in Eskom and Sasol, and a world class "indirect" burner in BHP-Billiton.

 

Just be aware that if the tax gets imposed at the Deloitte recommended level of R165 per tonne (see Carbon tax could earn govt R82,5bn/yr , then Sasol may need to fund carbon tax in the amount of R10bn per year - this by a company which could only pay R5.4bn in dividends last year.

 

So as always - caveat emptor, and plant a spekboom!

 

See also

How far does the market look?

 

Cheers

Stuart


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Posted: 3 February 2011 - 8 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Market news

Now here's a thing.

 

Someone, lets call him A, invested some hardwon capital in a fund, which seemed very securely administered, and which further seemed very astutely invested. Now it has become evident that the fund, at a time in the past, had some exposure to the Bernie Madoff operation. But unlike recent participants, A's fund actually showed a gain on the exposure to Madoff.

 

BUT - other investors, like B for example, now feel that having lost in the Madoff story, they want to go after A's fund - after all, why should A, whether knowing or unknowing, gain from the proceeds of what has been judged in court to be crime?

 

So B, and various others, enlist lawyers (perhaps on contingent fees) to go after the likes of A's fund. This may take time, and may cost plenty, but it is happening as we speak.

 

A's fund promptly makes a provision for legal fees, and starts a part-freeze on withdrawals. It says if people try to withdraw R100, it now assumes the right to pay out only R70, and to keep R30 for the "unlikely" outcome that they may have to surrender the Madoff gains. (And the fund people continue to take fees on the money in the fund.) They point out that the prospects for success by B and his cronies must be low - after all, people who tried to take on the sellers of pre-crash Enron shares were rebuffed since "that might have jeopardised the entire stockmarket". And a successful reclaim of these Madoff gains might "jeopardise the hedge fund industry".

 

So - what do you feel, think, and expect?

 

Before writing this matter off as a foible of American courts, please understand that we have our very own Tannenbaums, Fidentias, and more very close to home.

 

Cheers

Stuart

 

 


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Posted: 3 February 2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Research

Can the "new high" be made? Justified?

 

This picture shows the JSE (index is red) against earnings in blue. Curious that the weighted aggregate share prices are up ~80% from their last lows (March 09), a turn which "anticipated" the bottom in earnings by exactly a year. But earnings are only up by 26% from the low that they hit in Mar10. 

 

So what to do with your portfolio?????

 

alt


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Posted: 4 February 2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

Just to share - this picture shows the time plot of the  TTK1 Model Portfolio (interest and dividends get added as they come in) against the rebased All Share. 

 

It was drawn using  ShareMagic - a product I don't know well yet, but am starting to quite like.

 

And a lot of work is going on in the Group  behind the scenes - because of  Hot or What

 

Understand the group better as follows

 

A pay-to-belong group.

Initial subscription is R2880.00 per annum plus VAT at 14%, payable in advance. Users requesting membership will be contacted to give them relevant banking details and the necessary reference for their deposit. Once their deposit has cleared, membership will be enabled.

This group will reveal an actual running model portfolio - tracked against the relevant JSE index as a benchmark.

Paid-up members will get to see the underlying makeup of the portfolio, the detailed performance - and to see the debate about composition/design as well as changes in the portfolio - before and as they happen.

Group members will thus be free to: follow/replicate it in their own affairs; or use only those parts of it that they understand accept and endorse; or they can simply watch the performance over time and take what they can from the thinking and investment debate.

 

Cheers

Stuart

 

alt


Total votes: 0
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Posted: 4 February 2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Market news

In the light of the recent post  What should happen? and the ensuing comments, here is some chilling reading for fans of the big US banks...

 

I paste here only the opening statement of the lawyers' papers - they put across the nub of the problem fairly quickly. Should we become sellers of big banks and buyers of big law firms?

 

Cheers

Stuart

 

see more at         Madoff trustees lawsuit against JPMorganChase

 

 

Irving H. Picard (“Trustee”), as trustee for the substantively consolidated liquidation of the business of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (“BLMIS”) under the Securities Investor Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 78aaa, et seq. (“SIPA”), and the estate of Bernard L. Madoff, by and through his undersigned counsel, as and for his Complaint against JPMorgan Chase & Co., JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, and J.P. Morgan Securities Ltd. (collectively, “JPMC” or “Defendants”), states as follows:
 
NATURE OF THE ACTION
“‘But the Emperor has nothing on at all!!!’ said a little child.” Hans Christian Andersen, The Emperor’s New Clothes
 
For whatever it[’]s worth, I am sitting at lunch with REDACTED [JPMC Employee 1] who just told me that there is a well-known cloud over the head of Madoff and that his returns are speculated to be part of a [P]onzi scheme.” REDACTED [JPMC Employee 2], REDACTED Risk Officer, Investment Bank, JPMC, June 15, 2007
 
1. The story has been told time and time again how Madoff duped the best and the brightest in the investment community. The Trustee’s investigation reveals a very different story—the story of financial institutions worldwide that were keen to the likely fraud, and decidedly turned a blind eye to it. While numerous financial institutions enabled Madoff’s fraud, JPMC was at the very center of that fraud, and thoroughly complicit in it.
 
2. JPMC was BLMIS’s primary banker for over 20 years, and was responsible for knowing the business of its customers—in this case, a very large customer. JPMC is a sophisticated financial institution, and it was uniquely situated to see the likely fraud. Billions of dollars flowed through BLMIS’s account at JPMC, the so-called “703 Account,” but virtually none of it was used to buy or sell securities as it should have been had BLMIS been legitimate. But if those large transactions that did not jibe with any legitimate business purpose triggered any warnings, they were suppressed as the drive for fees and profits became a substitute for common sense, ethics and legal obligations. It is estimated that JPMC made at least half a billion dollars in fees and profits off the backs of BLMIS’s victims, and is responsible for at least $5.4 billion in damages for its role in allowing the Ponzi scheme to continue unabated for years, with an exact amount to be determined at trial.
 
3. In addition to being BLMIS’s banker, JPMC also profited from the Ponzi scheme by selling structured products related to BLMIS feeder funds to its clients. Its due diligence revealed the likelihood of fraud at BLMIS, but JPMC was not concerned with the devastating effect of fraud on investors. Rather, it was concerned only with its own bottom line, and did nothing but a cost-benefit analysis in deciding to become part of Madoff’s fraud: “Based on overall estimated size of BLM strategy, . . . it would take [a] . . . fraud in the order of $3bn or more . . . for JPMC to be affected.” JPMC also relied on the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”) to protect its profits: “JPMorgan’s investment in BLM . . . is treated as customer money . . . and therefore [is] covered by SIPC.” By the Fall of 2008, in the midst of a worldwide economic downturn, the cost-benefit analysis had changed. JPMC, no longer comfortable with the risk of fraud, decided to redeem its $276 million in investments in BLMIS feeder funds. JPMC also received an additional $145 million in fraudulent transfers from BLMIS in June 2006. The Trustee seeks the return of this money in this Action.
 
4. JPMC allowed BLMIS to funnel billions of dollars through the 703 Account by disregarding its own anti-money laundering duties. From 1986 on, all of the money that Madoff stole from his customers passed through the 703 Account, where it was commingled and ultimately washed. JPMC had everything it needed to unmask the fraud. Not only did it have a clear view of suspicious 703 Account activity, but JPMC was provided with Financial and Operational Combined Uniform Single Reports (“FOCUS Reports”) from BLMIS. The FOCUS Reports contained glaring irregularities that should have been probed by JPMC. For example, not only did BLMIS fail to report its loans from JPMC, it also failed to report any commission revenue. JPMC ignored these issues in BLMIS’s financial statements. Instead, JPMC lent legitimacy and cover to BLMIS’s operations, and allowed BLMIS to thrive as JPMC collected hundreds of millions of dollars in fees and profits and facilitated the largest financial fraud in history.
 
5. In addition to the information JPMC obtained as BLMIS’s long-time banker, JPMC also performed due diligence on BLMIS beginning in 2006, using information it obtained from those responsible at JPMC for the 703 Account, as well as information provided by various BLMIS feeder funds. At some point between 2006 and the Fall of 2008, if not before, JPMC unquestionably knew that: a. be true; b. c. Madoff would not allow transparency into his strategy; JPMC could not identify, and Madoff would not provide information on, BLMIS’s returns were consistently too good—even in down markets—to his purported over-the-counter (“OTC”) counterparties; d. e. BLMIS’s auditor was a small, unknown firm; BLMIS had a conflict of interest as it was the clearing broker, sub-custodian, and sub-investment adviser; f. feeder fund administrators could not reconcile the numbers they got from BLMIS with any third party source to confirm their accuracy; and there was public speculation that Madoff operated a Ponzi scheme, or was engaged in other illegal activity, such as front-running.
 
6. JPMC looked the other way, ignoring the warning signs, even in the aftermath of other well-known frauds. In response to those who, prior to Madoff’s arrest, found it “[h]ard to believe that [fraud] would be going on over years with regulators [sic] blessing,” REDACTED Risk Officer of JPMC’s Investment Bank responded, “you will recall that Refco was also regulated by the same crowd you refer to below and there was noise about them for years before it was discovered to be rotten to the core.”
 
7. JPMC’s due diligence team was further concerned about fraud at BLMIS in the wake of another well-known fraud, the Petters fraud. Some of these concerns centered on BLMIS’s small, unknown auditor, Friehling & Horowitz (“Friehling”): The “DD” [due diligence] done by all counterparties seems suspect. Given the scale and duration of the Petters fraud it cannot be sufficient that there’s simply trust in an individual and there’s been a long operating history . . . . Let’s go see Friehling and Horowitz the next time we’re in NY . . . to see that the address isn’t a car wash at least.
 
8. In or about September 2008, as JPMC was re-evaluating its hedge fund investments in the midst of the worldwide financial crisis, REDACTED [JPMC Employee 3], of JPMC’s London office, had a telephone call with individuals at Aurelia Finance, S.A. (“Aurelia Finance”), a Swiss company that purchased and distributed JPMC’s structured products. During the course of that call, the individuals at Aurelia Finance made references to “Colombian friends” and insisted that JPMC maintain its BLMIS-related hedge. That conversation triggered a concern that Colombian drug money was somehow involved in the BLMIS-Aurelia Finance relationship, which led to an internal investigation at JPMC of BLMIS and Aurelia Finance for money laundering. Significantly, it was only when its own money was at stake that JPMC decided to report BLMIS to a government authority.
 
9. As reported in the French press, by the end of October 2008, JPMC admitted in a filing of suspicious activity made to the United Kingdom’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (“SOCA”) that it knew that Madoff was “too good to be true,” and a likely fraud: (1) . . . [T]he investment performance achieved by [BLMIS’s] funds . . . is so consistently and significantly ahead of its peers year-on-year, even in the prevailing market conditions, as to appear too good to be true — meaning that it probably is; and (2) the lack of transparency around Madoff Securities trading techniques, the implementation of its investment strategy, and the identity of its OTC option counterparties; and (3) its unwillingness to provide helpful information. None of this information was new to JPMC—it had known it for years. It was only in an effort to protect its own investments that JPMC finally decided to inform a government authority about BLMIS. JPMC further sought permission from SOCA to redeem its Aurelia Finance-related investments and admitted that “as a result [of these issues with BLMIS] JPMC[] has sent out redemption notices in respect of one fund, and is preparing similar notices for two more funds.”
 
10. Incredibly, even when it admitted knowing that BLMIS was a likely fraud in October 2008, JPMC still did nothing to stop the fraud. It did not even put a restriction on the 703 Account. It was Madoff himself who ultimately proclaimed his fraud to the world in December 2008, and the thread of the relationships allowing the fraud to exist and fester began to be revealed as well. JPMC’s complicity in Madoff’s fraud, however, remained disguised, cloaked in the myth that Madoff acted alone and fooled JPMC. But that is the fable. What follows is the true story.

 

 


Total votes: 0
Average(Out of 5): 0
Posted: 9 February 2011 - 5 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Research

OK

 

I really like the notion of an inland fuel monopoly, and normally would want it (Sasol) in my portfolios.

 

So I have tried to value Sasol, and the value I derived (see user_uploads/Driver value model SOL1.pdf ) comes up short of the latest price.

 

Any comments/opinions?

 

Stuart

 

(This post just gets the pdf - I will be posting the editable spreadsheet in the Model portfolio group

 

 


Total votes: 0
Average(Out of 5): 0
Posted: 10 February 2011 - 4 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Ask...

Hi

 

At tickertalk HQ, some cash has just been laid out on a new faster internet line (with backup) and a UPS.

 

One reason is to be able to offer market education by webinar, essentially clear useful sessions much more focussed than the wonderful random stuff you can find all over the Web if you have time; and also free of the the time- and place-restrictions of formats such as the Standard OST face-to-face courses.

 

If you have the opportunity to sign in in on a live session, with webinar interaction with the presenter, do you have adequate internet to benefit? 

 

And what time (SA time) of the week makes most sense to you? eg

 

Weekday - lunchtimes;

Weekday late afternoon >4pm;

weekday early morning if end by 8.30am;

Weekend (do you have decent internet away from the office?)

etc etc

 

Please let us know

Stuart and Simon


Total votes: 0
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Posted: 17 February 2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Research

US giant Walmart  now has enough green lights to buy half of Massmart .

 

Catch up on the deal progress at http://info.massmart.co.za/

 

But is the price right?

 

Right now, the Massmart share trades at ~144, and the Walmart purchase is at 148. What trading performance from here onwards is needed to make this a great buy for Walmart (or for a little independent investor).

 

Look at this pdf sheet - it may be fairly sobering:-  7 driver value model (two stage growth) - MASSMART

 

(the working, editable, excel sheet is only available in the TTK1 Model portfolio group )

 

Here is an extract...

 

alt

 

It seems that the current price makes sense if, and only if:-

 

Sales grow smoothly at 19% .   In the update for H1 2011 Massmart SENS notice , it seems that sales grew at just 13.3%, of which 5.7% was from new store openings. That makes it even harder to hit the 19 needed.

 

PBT margin widens to 5.5% and never slips

 

Working capital (a negative amount for Massmart) widens to -3.5% of turnover (Walmart may get this right, playing hardball with suppliers)

 

And see how the RONA (return on net assets) has to climb like a Concorde, for ever, in this scenario.

 

Good luck from here on out, Massmartians

 

Stuart

 

 


Total votes: 0
Average(Out of 5): 0
Posted: 28 February 2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Research

A strong performer in the Model portfolio  has been BHP Billiton. So do I add, hold, or take profit and exit?

 

This picture sets out the summary of some recent valuation work on the share (don't be too confused, the DCF is in US$ since thats what they report in):-

 

The working spreadsheet is available in the Model portfolio  group.  

 

alt

And if you think I am too harsh on expected margins, here is a shot of where the company's EBIT margins have been for the last while:-

 

alt

 

My current view? - HOLD.


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