The Value Of Picking Great Managers & Stocks (Post Ira Sohn)


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An eternal optimist, Liu-Yue built two social enterprises to help make the world a better place. Liu-Yue co-founded Oxstones Investment Club a searchable content platform and business tools for knowledge sharing and financial education. also provides investors with direct access to U.S. commercial real estate opportunities and other alternative investments. In addition, Liu-Yue also co-founded Cute Brands a cause-oriented character brand management and brand licensing company that creates social awareness on global issues and societal challenges through character creations. Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Liu-Yue worked as an Executive Associate at M&T Bank in the Structured Real Estate Finance Group where he worked with senior management on multiple bank-wide risk management projects. He also had a dual role as a commercial banker advising UHNWIs and family offices on investments, credit, and banking needs while focused on residential CRE, infrastructure development, and affordable housing projects. Prior to M&T, he held a number of positions in Latin American equities and bonds investment groups at SBC Warburg Dillon Read (Swiss Bank), OFFITBANK (the wealth management division of Wachovia Bank), and in small cap equities at Steinberg Priest Capital Management (family office). Liu-Yue has an MBA specializing in investment management and strategy from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Marketing from Stern School of Business at NYU. He also completed graduate studies in international management at the University of Oxford, Trinity College.

By Murray Coleman, Barron’s Blog,

Last week, my colleague Avi Salzman blogged from the Ira Sohn event, which featured top hedge fund managers talking about their favorite stocks.

The public displays by a largely opaque industry can drive a price up — or down — and are viewed by many with a great deal of skepticism.

One of those naysayers is Felix Salmon. The Reuters blogger says there’s no value in following the conference, arguing if you buy after they speak, you’re essentially a sucker. He also says that identifying a good hedge fund manager is even harder than finding a good stock — so how do you know what you’re really listening to is the best advice?

While he agrees that there’s a lot of confusing and disjointed information floating around about funds in general, Mebane Faber points out that a pile of academic evidence points to the difficulty of trying to pre-determine winners.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done, adds the manager of the Cambria Global Tactical ETF (GTAA).

In a recent blog post, he notes that while researchers can pile over SEC filings and test academic theories — “back-test until the cows come home,” as he puts it — real-time returns can prove to be even more fruitful evidence for investors.

Along with partner Eric Richardson, Faber listed 54 funds the money managers thought would be worth studying over time. The list was printed in their book, “The Ivy Portfolio: How to Invest Like the Top Endowments and Avoid Bear Markets.”

Faber writes now that he did put 46 of those funds into a database to study. Since the beginning of 2009, he says that the group as a whole have beaten the S&P 500 (SPY) by an average 15 percentage points a year.

He adds:

“Historical research shows that following (Warren) Buffett since the 1970s would have resulted in a greater than 10% outperformance per year – and he has beaten (the market) by 8% per annum since ’00. So much for all those detractors that say he isn’t a good stockpicker.”

In fact, studying 13F filings to the SEC by large institutional-class funds could’ve helped some investors avoid the Galleon Group, a large hedge fund that was caught up in the ongoing insider trading probe.

Although admitting that fund company filings can be a bit confusing, Faber points out that enough public information did exist to be wary of Galleon.

Filings detailed huge turnover rates and a hedgie that was clearly “not engaging in long term fundamental analysis, but rather shorter term information arbitrage, i.e. is Apple (AAPL) going to beat estimates, is Google (GOOG) making an acquisition, etc.”

Faber believes that even though public filings and conferences like Ira Sohn might leave a lot to be desired, they still provide an opportunity for savvy investors to pick out at least some pearls to make more informed decisions.


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