The Best Investing Blogs and Newsletters (Other than the Wall Street Flaneur)

Posted by – July 2, 2014

The universe of potential investments is huge. There are over 6,000 publicly traded stocks in the U.S. alone. Throw in mutual funds, ETFs, bonds, REITs, options, and the myriad other possibilities and we’re talking about dozens of thousands of different places to put your money to work.

Enter a newsletter like the Wall Street Flaneur. One of the cornerstones of our value proposition is to narrow that universe for you. When we find a compelling investment opportunity, we share it with you in these emails and on our website for free. There are 10,000+ potential investments out there; we try to shine a light on some that we find particularly compelling. 

Sometimes we’re wrong. Other times we are very, very right. It’s your job as our reader to do your own homework and make your own decisions. We are curators. We’re your filter. We apply our experiences and our philosophies to find investments that we think make sense for medium to long term opportunities.

That being said, we’re a small team. We run a lean operation. We can’t possibly find every single winning investment. 

Today, we want to share with you other investment outlets that we use and trust. There are certainly others, but these few outlets stand out to us as best in class. –The Flaneur

The Top Investing Websites and Newsletters to Follow Other Than The Wall Street Flaneur
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Recent-IPO Opower is a critical, value-added partner in the changing utility industry

Posted by – June 24, 2014

We live in what history may remember as a revolutionary time. Major, century-or-more-old industries are being disrupted. Tesla has shaken up the auto industry. Renewable energy sources like solar threaten to disintermediate utilities. Airbnb has re-defined lodging. Uber has upended the taxi industry. Power is transferring to the consumer.  

But trillion dollar industries do not go quietly into the night. A trillion dollars wields enormous financial, political, and media influence. Sometimes an upstart underdog is just what the heavyweight needs. A jab leads to a counter. 

Utilities are taking punches from all angles – regulators, consumers, renewable energy sources – but they’re fighting back. One energy efficiency software company aims to help them in that fight. It saves utilities and consumers money, and most importantly generates revenue while doing so. That company is Opower (NYSE: OPWR).  –The Flaneur  More

3 Undervalued Stocks Poised for a Big Rebound

Posted by – May 6, 2014

On April 8, 2013, we recommended American International Group. We said that AIG was “a poster child of all that went wrong leading up to the Great Recession, and it’s a company that is struggling to free itself of the past as it forges a new identity for the future.

Since then AIG has returned over 30%, outpacing the S&P 500 by over 10%. It’s a familiar story for many successful investors – find a stock that is significantly undervalued, buy it, then sit back and profit while the rest of the investing world plays catch up.

Today we’ll explore a few other companies that we feel are undervalued. All of these examples have taken hits in recent years – financially, in the publi’sc perception, or they’ve simply been beaten in a competitive niche. John Wooden said that “failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” We agree, and we think these companies do as well. –The Flaneur

3 Undervalued Stocks Poised for a Big Rebound

There are a variety of ways to evaluate if a stock will increase in value over time. The company could be positioned in an industry on the rise and simply ride the macro wave. The company could be uniquely positioned to outperform its peers in an established industry. The company may have a new or special product that is far better than any alternative.

Or, the company may simply be undervalued. Whether it is because of public perception, recent underperformance, or a change in strategy the bottom line is the same. It’s the opportunity to buy a great company on the cheap.  Here are three companies we think may be undervalued right now.

wooden quote

Citigroup (NYSE: C) – A global bank trading way below book value

Of all the major U.S. banks, perhaps no other has fared worse since 2007. The company was infamously forced to cut its dividend in the lead up to the crisis before other banks, it has repeatedly failed to find the good graces of regulators, and its stock has continually lagged. Actually, that’s an understatement. Citigroup’s stock has been downright disgraceful. More

USA’s greatest comeback: domestic crude production will surpass crude imports in 2014

Posted by – April 29, 2014

The comeback of US crude production has been well chronicled. In 2013, domestic crude production nearly equaled imported crude, reaching its highest level in 24 years. What’s more, in 2013 domestic production as a percentage of total domestic consumption increased by more than in any year since 1923. So with the resurgence still gaining momentum, 2014 domestic crude production will no doubt surpass what’s imported.

In more than a century a lot can change:

Source: EIA.

Source: EIA.

But what’s remarkable is the rate of change. Owing to advances in fracking and horizontal drilling, domestic production has surged, with the entire landscape shifting since 2008 alone. It’s an incredible change, especially when considering how capital intensive and regulated the industry is. Zooming in on 2008 – 2013:

Source: EIA.

Source: EIA.

North Dakota continues to heat up. Other basins are under exploration. And with domestic production driving the economy, and closing the trade deficit, major political resistance is unlikely. The once-theoretical call for energy independence may ultimately be answered.

Worried about the Fed, the economy, inflation, and the future of capitalism? 

Warren Buffett has famously said that he will invest in a great company regardless of the macro economy. His theory is that a tumultuous world is a great opportunity to invest in world class companies at rock bottom prices. Of course, you must know how to pick world class companies to follow his advice. To help you learn Buffett’s analytical methods, we’ve created this course in Beginner’s Financial Analysis. Our method is robust, it’s straightforward, and it works for literally any company large or small. Check it out today by clicking here. With this method in your toolbox, you can build wealth even while the world falls apart all around you.

Lob City – The Dark Horse of the 2014 NBA Playoffs

Posted by – April 17, 2014

The NBA playoffs – where amazing happens.  The postseason starts Saturday, and while TV pundits, professional betters, and normal NBA fans can predict most of the serious championship contenders, there are always a few dark horses that can sneak into the Conference Finals and even win the championship with a few breaks.  After combing through the numbers at ESPN.com, we’ve identified empirical evidence correlating to the NBA Finals’ participants over the past 10 years.  Granted, there is no magic set of data that will predict a champion; however regular season rankings in key categories may suggest that certain under-the-radar teams have a great chance of overachieving.  The Los Angeles Clippers currently are a 9/1 bet to win the NBA championship; their odds may not be as slim as Vegas thinks.

chris paul flex

Regular Season Point Differential

Not surprising – if a team easily beats opponents during the regular season it’s a safe assumption they should continue their dominance through the playoffs.  Playoff games tend to be closer than say a regular season Bucks-Pacers matchup, but look at the past 20 NBA Finals’ participants:

  • 2013 – Miami #2, San Antonio #4
  • 2012 – Oklahoma City #3, Miami #4
  • 2011 – Miami #1, Dallas #8
  • 2010 – Los Angeles Lakers #6 (tied), Boston #9
  • 2009 – Los Angeles Lakers #2, Orlando #4
  • 2008 – Boston #1, Los Angeles Lakers #3
  • 2007 – San Antonio #1, Cleveland #7
  • 2006 – Dallas #3, Miami #5
  • 2005 – San Antonio #1, Detroit #6
  • 2004 – Detroit #2 (tie), Los Angeles #7

Only once did both finalists fall outside of the top 5 in regular season point differential (2010).  Every other year, at least one team was the first, second, or third best in the NBA.  Excluding that 2010 matchup between the Lakers and Celtics, 9 of the past 10 Finals’ participants were in the top 4; obviously regular season dominance translates to postseason success.  The Clippers currently have the second best point differential, trailing only the top winning percentage San Antonio Spurs.

Adjusted Field Goal Percentage

This somewhat obscure yet simple statistic also coincides with NBA Finals participation.  AFG%, for short, calculates a team’s point production per shot attempt and illustrates the benefit or detriment of a team’s three point shot selection.  The formula for AFG% is [field goals made + (3 pointers made/2)]/field goal attempts; essentially meaning teams that take too many dumb 3s and miss them will have a lower AFG% than teams that take the right amount of smart 3s and make them.  Looking at regular season AFG% in the past 10 Finals:

  • 2013 – Miami #1, San Antonio #2
  • 2012 – Oklahoma City #2 (tie), Miami #5 (tie)
  • 2011 – Dallas #3, Miami #4
  • 2010 – Boston #5, Los Angeles Lakers #15 (tie)
  • 2009 – Orlando #3, Los Angeles #5 (tie)
  • 2008 – Los Angeles #4, Boston #5
  • 2007 – San Antonio #2, Cleveland #22
  • 2006 – Miami #2, Dallas #10 (tie)
  • 2005 – San Antonio #6 (tie), Detroit #23
  • 2004 – Los Angeles Lakers #7, Detroit #20 (tie)

The Clippers finished the season tied for fourth.  The past 6 Finals again outline the importance of AFG%, with 11 of 12 finalists falling within the top 5.

Offensive Rebounding – Hardly Important

But we can’t just cherry-pick the best statistics and ignore the blemishes.  Offensive rebounding is thought to be a vital component of slower, grind-it-out playoff basketball.  Teams will need every extra shot attempt against better competition in closer games, right?  The Clippers are currently 21st in the NBA at 10.5 offensive rebounds per game, but this may be indicative of better shooting (3rd highest percentage) which means offensive rebounds become less pertinent.  Regular season offensive rebounding in the past 10 Finals:

  • 2013 – Miami #28, San Antonio last (tie)
  • 2012 – Oklahoma City #19 (tie), Miami #24
  • 2011 – Miami #26 (tie), Dallas #28
  • 2010 – Los Angeles Lakers #3, Boston last
  • 2009 – Los Angeles #3, Orlando #27
  • 2008 – Los Angeles #17 (tie), Boston #23
  • 2007 – Cleveland #1, San Antonio #28
  • 2006 – Dallas #3 (tie), Miami #20 (tie)
  • 2005 – Detroit #6, San Antonio #15 (tie)
  • 2004 – Detroit #12, Los Angeles #13 (tie)

Clearly, offensive rebounding has almost no correlation to championship pedigree.  Just look at the Detroit Pistons; the #1 offensive rebounding team and their president resigned amidst a disappointing 29-53 season.

The Los Angeles Clippers have the statistics indicating great potential for a deep playoff run.  Best point guard in the game – check.  Great coach – check.  All aboard the Clippers’ bandwagon.