Recent Posts

Small Was the Debt I Thought

By Derek On February 13, 2012

From: Derek Hillen
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2012 10:54 AM

“Slight was the thing I bought,
Small was the debt I thought,
Poor was the loan at best—
God! but the interest!” –
Paul Laurence Dunbar

While the Greeks gave us the word “democracy,” which means “popular government,” the current government of Papademos, after passing massive austerity measures on the crippled Mediterranean economy today, can probably safely drop the first word. The Greeks also gave us the words “chaos” and “anarchy,” which is what is happening on the streets of Athens right now. Even George Soros, who has been busily buying Italian sovereign debt, believes Greece is doomed. In a CNN interview today he said the Greek austerity package is “not necessarily going to work in the long run, but it will certainly buy you another six months of quiet..” The average “Greek in the street”

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Visiting Listed Companies – Why and How

By Derek On February 8, 2012

“Stand out. Make noise.”  – Jon Bon Jovi

Bill Gates: An Early Attempt to Stand Out

The financial industry is super competitive and if you want to thrive you first have to survive. A good way to do this is to stand out from the crowd and do something your competition isn’t.

A large part of the job, whether as an analyst, a salesperson or a fund manager, is visiting listed companies and learning as much as you can about them. We do this pretty much every day and it is the best way to get to know a company and stay on top of important developments and trends. Meeting senior management is also often useful for the intangible benefits of getting a feeling about how “real” or “sustainable” their story is. We all want to invest in undervalued gems that have a great story as

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Land of Hope and Gloria

By Derek On February 6, 2012

“I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy – but that could change.”  – Dan Quayle

The weathervane of macro data releases is beginning to point firmly in one direction. The US non-farm payroll number we saw on Friday was huge and tells us the risk of a double dip scenario in the world’s largest economy is no longer worth worrying about. The 243,000 net jobs added is over 70% higher than consensus estimates of 140,000. Hiring was strong across the board from services to manufacturing. What’s more, is once you look inside the numbers you see this isn’t just people giving up looking for work and going back to the couch or jumping off high bridges: the labor force actually expanded. Average hourly earnings are also up and have risen 1.9% over the past 12 months which helps

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