The wealth of knowledge
3 things I enjoyed reading this week, though it hasn’t been a particularly investing-heavy one. Must be that mid-December celebration creeping up on me..
Valuhunteruk is back after wrapping up his blogging a few months back. This is great news as, as I mentioned when he left, his was one of the first blogs I read and contains a great deal more specific detail on any one equity than I ever go into. As far as I’m concerned, the more blogs the better, frankly, since they’re rather neat ways of finding interesting stocks. The post I’ve linked is one on Clarkson, the shipping broker I was interested in a while back but never invested in. To excuse the horrible cliche, the investment case looks like a pretty classic value one – it’s a business growing its market share in a market undergoing a horrible cyclical dip. There also appear to be the usual distracting side businesses detracting from the returns of the profitable core. The thing that makes me most nervous is pretty neatly summed up, too: “the very valid criticism that staff are very much in control in these kind of businesses”. I find broking pretty strange businesses. They don’t seem to really provide much for their brokers except the place to work and the brand name to work on. That’s an oversimplification, of course, but still a difference from more traditional types of businesses, where the employees are one piece of an organisation far larger, and where their productivity is far harder to measure(and therefore they’re in a much worse bargaining position).