Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Another Good Blog

There is a blog that I have mentioned before as a good blog

(I call it GOI for short) but I have not really talked about why. Now I will.

Geoff Gannon is the publisher of the above blog as well as the producer of podcasts, and the writer of a quarterly newsletter. The blog and the podcasts are free; the newsletter is a paid subscription. I have been reading his blog since I just about started investing...I think I found it sometime in January from Shai's blog (link on the right) regarding a discussion of whether value investing and technical analysis can coexist.

Anyway the blog is a straight blog on value investing, which is not to say there is not a discussion of growth, but that it is a blog on fundamental/quantitative analysis of companies.

GOI does not try to mix any sort of TA or momentum into the value investing paradigm. GOI is all about helping me learn how to find companies with reasonable growth prospects selling at a discount to their intrinsic value using several metrics.

The beauty of GOI is it discusses the complex in a way that is simple to understand. That is not to say that GOI is a simple fact the points made are often so subtle that one must re-read a blog in order to clearly grasp what has been said. It is just very well written in language even someone like me (only investing since 12/05) can understand. GOI just does a real good job of explaining complex topics in a way which new investors like I can follow along.

The blog does many things does posts on current other blogs...provides links to relevant websites...and does in-depth value analysis.

The in-depth analysis is the best part. If you are new like me and struggling to understand how to evaluate a company, what an evaluation looks like, and the things that go into it, GOI sets it all out for you…(GOI has done analysis of LXK, JRN, OSTK, and a few others since the blog started in 12/05).

If that was not enough, GOI also gas a glossary/encyclopedia of investing terms. So when you are reading one of GOI’s posts, if he uses a specific term or investment metric that you are not to sure of, GOI provides a hyperlink to the glossary so that you can understand what he is writing about (for instance the definition of free cash flow). This is very helpful to a new investor.

I have waited this long to write about GOI because I wanted to see what the Gannon Quarterly Newsletter (GQN for short) was all about. The GQN is the subscription newsletter I mentioned at the beginning of the post. After reading GOI for a couple of months, I decided to take a chance and buy the GQN for 1Q 06 (as the name of the publication is the gQn, it is published at the end of each Q with more in-depth discussion of specific companies added or subtracted from the GOI portfolio).

Well I actually took no chance because the GQN met or exceeded my expectations. As it is copyrighted material I really can not go into specific details or quote passages to you (I do this not as a way of teasing you at all, it is just that I respect the author’s desires) but the newsletter is professionally printed, well organized, with graphs and charts as well as meaningful statistics and analysis (essentially each company reviewed is given a one page stat sheet similar to what you might see at Value Line with an accompanying in-depth 8-12 page analysis). GOI also offers a general market commentary as well.

While the company analysis would be well worth the price paid, the true value to me so far is that in reading the general commentary GOI has provided to me a way to think about investments I had not previously thought. Essentially he has helped me understand better what is value investing and what is not (it may sound simple to say but being able to repeat something is not the same as identifying it, e.g., taking medication is easy; knowing what medical problem exits is the hard part). For that alone I feel I got my money’s worth.

Now I must state that over the last few months I have emailed GOI with specific questions which he has always had time to respond to. So I have had “personal” contact (I say that within the confines of the internet, i.e., exchanging emails, as opposed to the non-internet world contact of sharing a cup of coffee for example) with GOI and have not been a passive reader. But I have not ever received anything of value from GOI other than that which everyone else has received, which is his writing on investing at GOI.

Anyway GOI is on my short list of blog’s that I must read. A new investor can do very well just starting at the beginning of his blog posts in December 05 and reading straight through to get a good handle on value investing. Of course reading offline books will always be helpful, but GOI provides a good resource to read, learn, and ask questions. As far as the GQN goes, I think it provides very good value for the money I spent and can recommend it, but a new investor can also do just fine reading GOI. I recommend you check it out.

Take care



Anonymous said...

His pod cast is absolutely the best, help me greatly. Geoff is a real gentleman with honour !



Outstanding stuff