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Last night’s vote for Great Britain to exit the EU was a massive shot to the bow of the European establishment. While polls had been even, the betting odds were basically 8-1 that the country would stay in the EU, so markets are quite shocked at the result. In overnight trading, just about every asset...
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  Since the extremely weak May jobs report, interest rates have plummeted across the globe. There are now over $10 trillion in bonds that are trading at negative interest rates. This is unprecedented as the buyers of these bonds are guaranteeing themselves losses if they hold until maturity. This has pushed asset prices up as...
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The basic tenets to value investing and margin of safety are the following: Every stock is a fractional share of an actual business. Every business or stock has an “intrinsic value.” The “intrinsic value” of a business generally changes at a much slower rate than the price of a publicly traded stock can change. Over...
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Yesterday, Assured Guaranty reported very strong 1st quarter earnings and once again saw an increase in both operating and adjusted book value. Over the last year, the company has grown both metrics by roughly 15%, despite adding material reserves for its Puerto Rico exposures and paying a respectable 2% dividend. The stock still trades at...
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In perusing the WSJ today, an article caught my eye. The venerable Charles Schwab has become the latest company to discontinue offering load mutual funds, where investors pay what generally is a high commission in addition to regular fund fees, as a result of the new Department of Labor law requiring brokers to act as...
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As earnings season continues to develop, we have seen a bit of divergence in favor of value stocks. Companies that have been out of favor, due to difficult short-term business conditions, and that have incredibly low valuations have outperformed glamor stocks that trade at high multiples, based on the perception of safety. It is essential...
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Today, Assured Guaranty announced its acquisition of fellow bond insurer CIFG.  This is now the 3rd acquisition AGO has made of another bond insurance company.  The others, which were FSA and Radian Asset, have been very successful thus far.  While this acquisition is a bit smaller, it looks very safe and should add a nice...
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I spent my weekend catching up on some of the recently released annual reports of the big banks. The more I read, the less I could explain current share prices, which are down quite a bit on the year. Despite these companies growing in intrinsic value each year over the last 5 years, some of...
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It has been quite a bizarre 2016 thus far in the equity markets.  We’ve seen a dramatic selloff and global bear market.  Then we saw a reasonable recovery in March.  Some of the worst performing economies such as Brazil have had the best stock market returns, while many others are still deeply in the red. ...
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From the 1964 Buffett Partnership Limited Letter: “In looking at the table of investment company performance, the question might be asked.  ‘Yes, but aren’t those companies run more conservatively than the Partnership?”  If you asked that question of the investment company managements, they in absolute honesty, would say they were more conservative.  If you asked...
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