Buenos días, os dejo un artículo del WSJ que me parece muy
interesante sobre Einhorn. HAce unos días recibí el informe de
Greenlight Capital y me sorprendió su particular visión sobre la
nueva burbuja de los valores tecnológicos que ahora están de moda.
Tengo el informe en PDF pero no sé como subirlo a la página. Un
David Einhorn, the hedge fund guru best known for shorting Lehman
Brothers in 2007, is back at it, this time with tech stocks in his sights.
”There is a clear consensus that we are witnessing our second tech
bubble in 15 years,” Einhorn’s $10.3 billion firm,
Capital, told clients in a letter this week.
The correction in tech stocks so far is hardly a shock. Tiny
companies with negligible earnings were priced at unhealthy levels.
Inevitably, inflated valuations fell back to earth as traders cashed
out and plowed money into dividend-payers and slower-moving blue-chip
stocks with actual revenues to report. That's just what happens when
emotions drive our investments , rather than letting the
ultimate goal — a steady, reliable return — dictate.
So why did investors put so much capital into unproven firms? That's
the nature of the beast, as Jason
Zweig explains in The Wall Street Journal . We want a quick hit,
a runaway winner that absolves us of all of our portfolio sins.
Unfortunately, as Zweig notes, stocks that rise quickly also tend to
disappoint just as fast. In a market trading at 21 times earnings,
Internet stocks were trading at 158 times earnings, he points out.
Only a flashing red light would have been more obvious, although
likely equally unheeded.
People ignore such signals because they don't understand the math
behind them. It's really easy, however, and an important point to
consider: If you buy a business at 10 times earnings, you are agreeing
to wait a decade for those earnings to pay back the original investment.
Ice cream economics
Imagine you plan to buy an ice cream shop. You know the store
generates $50,000 a year, after subtracting rent, labor, cost of ice
cream and so on. The seller wants $300,000 to buy her store.
If nothing changes, you will wait six years to turn a profit. Maybe
it's worth the wait, or maybe you want to negotiate or even walk away.
The point is, you know what you're getting into in terms of risk.
That Internet company trading at more than 100 times earnings will
never, ever pay you back in a meaningful way. You won't live long
enough, and the company itself will be overrun by competitors or go bust.
So what are you trying to buy here, exactly? Really, you're hoping a
"greater fool" will come along and pay you now for the right
to wait a century for those nonexistent earnings to appear.
Zweig goes on to build a case for momentum investing, and it's a fine
argument to make — if you have 60 hours a week to trade the markets
like David Einhorn. Most people saving for retirement barely have time
to focus on career and family.
That's the unfortunate illusion peddled by Wall Street, that ordinary
people can and should be traders. There's a commercial out now that
shows doctors, waiters and tailors dancing around and singing about
their great online trading service.
Does a doctor running from bedside to bedside have time to research
and intelligently trade a single stock? A whole portfolio? Meanwhile,
thousands of professional managers are working around the clock to do
the same thing, gleefully waiting to trade against our busy doctor.
Chain of fools
And that's the reason Internet stocks blew up so radically. Wall
Street marketing and the financial media are bent on creating herds of
"greater fools" to buy into completely unrealistic stocks.
The result, naturally enough, is that people pressed for time don't
do the homework, don't research the stocks they buy, don't even look
at P/E multiples and instead hop on the name and notoriety of one or
two hot issues in hopes that the chain of fools is long enough for
them to hop back off undamaged.
Zweig does counsel diversification, that is, owning a variety of
stocks to avoid amplifying the negative effects of one or two big
losers. But he does so in the context of active management, something
a portfolio manager might do at a professional level, handpicking
value stocks to balance against a short-term flier on untested
I'd go one step further. For the vast majority of retirement
investors, the far better route is to own the whole market as part of
a portfolio indexing strategy. Rebalancing — selling fast gainers as
they climb to buy cheaper value stocks — happens painlessly at the
I do love the idea of people dancing and singing about their
investments, however. Emotions are great, so long as it's happiness
from seeing your portfolio grow into the retirement you expect and deserve.