Quick Takes

April 14, 2020

The Solvency Debate Continues: A Quick Tour of the Financially Fragile

August 17, 2023|

In August of 2021, we published Junk Stocks Funded by Junk Bonds, which noted that high-yield spreads had hit record lows. Our view was that record low-spreads on record-low nominal yields were a recipe for ruin. Using the Fed’s definition of financial fragility, we highlighted a group of equities that scored poorly on the Fed’s durability test and ranked poorly in our models.

How to Value Tech Companies Everyone Loves?

June 22, 2023|

“Disturbing research warns AI may be the ‘Great Filter’ that wipes out human civilization” -The Independent “…artificial general intelligence or AGI is AI’s ‘big brass ring’ and will become a trillion-dollar industry by the 2030s…it will also do good in the world.” -Business Insider “What is certain is that creating [artificial general intelligence] AGI is the explicit aim of the leading AI companies, and they are moving towards it far more swiftly than anyone expected...

Rank Speculation Returns: A Crisis of Concentration

March 27, 2023|

At the start of the year, KCR penned ARKK vs. QQQ in the Dot.Com Bust and Specious vs. Spurious Correlation. The point of both papers was to warn readers that after speculative peaks, stock prices drop swiftly but then rally violently. Post-bubble price patterns were impossible to predict but precise in their message: speculative counter-rallies among the “fallen generals” of speculative cycles were the rule, not the exception...

Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits

March 9, 2023|

In 1958 Philip A. Fisher published Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits in the hope of giving investors a systematic process to follow when seeking out great companies. Widely respected and admired, the book creates a process for an investing philosophy focused on growth. Our team shares some variant of Buffett’s quip that Berkshire Hathaway is “85% Graham and 15% Fisher.” 85% of Buffett’s investment process comes from...

Specious vs Spurious Correlation

February 10, 2023|

Spurious vs. Specious: The Merriam-Webster dictionary tells us that despite both terms featuring deceptive or deceitful in their respective definitions, there is a surprising difference between “specious” and “spurious.” Spurious, of “spurious correlation” fame, is explained as outwardly similar or corresponding to something without having genuine qualities. Specious adds an element of appeal or allure.

ARKK vs. QQQ in the Dot.Com Bust

January 20, 2023|

2020 was a brutal year for KCR. US bonds rose to offensive levels, offering investors a 0.50% yield, while equities soared to valuations above the dot.com peak. Our evidence-based investment process is driven by historical data, algebra, and common sense. By the end of 2020, there was nothing less common than common sense. Basic math's were tossed out the window and replaced by empirically impossible narratives spouted by promotional fund managers and...

Flush With Cash & the Quick Swing in Sentiment

November 11, 2022|

How the Rotation from Risk On to Risk Off is…Creating Risk - The Oxford University Press tells us that the principal meaning of being “flush with cash” is having a lot of money, usually for a short period of time. The last part of the definition is interesting considering investors’ newfound interest in holding abundant piles of cash. A recent article headlined with “Retail money market funds inflows are the highest in 30 years as investors seek safety.”

Macro Research: Will Math Ever Matter in the US?

October 7, 2022|

Tap Dancing with TINA & a Moment to Remember in US Monetary Policy - Macro Investing: The Rising Pressure of a Decade of Fiscal Profligacy - KCR’s investment process does not use macro inputs or engage in macro trading. We use historical security-level data around valuation, profitability, quality, and other metrics to identify opportunities for short sellers and long investors alike. Macro investing can be a challenging endeavor.

Equity Positioning, Sentiment, and the Disposition Effect

September 9, 2022|

KCR’s work leans heavily on sentiment for good reason. The presence of our in-house academic and co-founder does not mean we are advocates of efficient markets. Much of the research in behavioral finance that our systematic approach to fundamental research leans on is dedicated to finding undue pessimism and optimism. These are often a critical ingredient in...

A Lucid Stock Discussion on an Amazing Car Company

August 5, 2022|

The High Price of Cool Stuff: An Update on Stocks Valued Over 10x P/S. Lucid Motors Logo: A Symbol of the Future? It’s been a hot stretch of summer for the KCR equity research team. We have, at times, been accused of writing dry and dense material with an intermittently academic tone. Not today. First Friday in August. Let’s talk cars.

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