In this week's Five Good Questions, we're interviewing Sundeep Bajikar about his book Equity Research for the Technology Investor.
Sundeep Bajikar is a portfolio manager of the Acteve Model Portfolio, which is based on a value investing philosophy and process described in his book Equity Research for the Technology Investor. Previously, Sundeep was a Wall Street analyst for 9 years at Morgan Stanley & Jefferies. He spent the 9 years before that in the technology industry at Intel. He holds an MBA in Finance from Wharton, and M.S. degrees in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.
Five Good Questions:
1. If you’re a generalist investor, do you have any business venturing into technology investments? Or are you setting yourself up for failure by venturing outside your circle of competence? Or is it that exact mindset that creates the opportunities?
2. What are your views on discussing investments with others? It seems like a difficult balance of gaining valuable insight vs. tainting your own views?
3. There are so much data out there. What do you focus on? What’s your key message to individual investors?
4. Most historical “technology” investments (airplanes, cars, radios, internet) have shown a few big winners, but mostly a lot of zeroes for shareholders. It seems all the value flows through to the consumer. How do you avoid that as an investor?
5. With such a wide range of outcomes in tech, how do you handicap the odds and magnitudes of different outcomes to get a ballpark of a probabilistic future?
In this week's Five Good Questions, we're interviewing Malcolm Balk about his book The Art of Running.
Malcolm Balk is a runner, coach, Alexander Technique teacher, cellist, and father of two based in Montreal, Quebec. Malcolm trains colleagues from the Alexander world to teach The Art of Running which is based on his book of the same title and which aims to help runners improve their performance and enjoyment.
Five Good Questions:
1. Who was Alexander, what was his technique, and how does it relate to running?
2. What is S.M.A.R.T. running?
3. In our achievement-driven society, emphasis is placed results over process. Your book argues putting process over results, which happens to fit with how some of the best investment thinkers view the world. Why do you put process over results?
4. What’s the mantra/checklist I should be telling myself while I’m running to maintain good form?
5. What’s the connection between running and deep thinking exercises, like reading?
In this week's Five Good Questions, we're interviewing Jeremy Miller about his book Warren Buffett's Ground Rules.
Jeremy Miller is a research analyst at a large New York-based asset manager.
Five Good Questions:
1. Having thoroughly read the partnership letters and presumably followed Buffett closely after that period, what percent of Buffett’s current wisdom would you guess he had by 1970 when he closed the partnerships?
2. Who was Harry Bottle, and why was he so critical to the decentralized model of what Berkshire has become?
3. Everyone remembers American Express as a formative investment for Buffett because he moved from purely quantitative to more qualitative, but a strong argument could be made that his Dempster investment was also highly formative. What did he learn from that experience?
4. Buffett has famously said that he believes he could still do 50% per year on a small portfolio. Do you agree or disagree with his claim?
5. What’s the difference between conservative and conventional?
In this week's Five Good Questions, we're interviewing Jeff Gramm about his book Dear Chairman.
Jeff manages a hedge fund and teaches value investing at Columbia Business School. His recently published book, Dear Chairman: Boardroom Battles and the Rise of Shareholder Activism, has been praised as "a terrific read" by Andrew Ross Sorkin in the New York Times, "a revelation" by the Financial Times, "a grand story" by The Wall Street Journal, and “an engaging and informative book” by The New Yorker.
1. I’ve heard you previously interviewed and have been impressed with your thoughts around governance and board dynamics. How can boards help management make better strategic decisions, especially with respect to capital allocation?
2. I’ve heard Munger say you could teach an entire MBA just from studying GM. Could you walk us through some of your insights, specifically during the period of Ross Perot’s involvement?
3. Of all of the stories, which one was your favorite to research?
4. We all see these major headlines of activists battling with management, but what percent of the work would you guess is being done behind the scenes?
5. The arc of activism seems to have gone from Graham’s “would you mind releasing some of these pent up assets, please?” to Icahn’s 1980s hostile takeovers to Loeb’s poison pen and quite personal attacks. Maybe it’s softening a little from there? Where do you see the future of activism going from here?