Welcome to my blog

Financial analysis and non conformist thoughts from Bruce 

2
Nov
2020

On value and information

My weekly comments are now available outside of the Sharescope paywall here: If you’d like to read the most up to date analysis, you’ll need to subscribe to Sharepad It is an irony in financial services, that frequently the best quality analysis is free.  For instance: Warren Buffett’s shareholder letters Dan McCrum’s analysis of the Wirecard fraud on FT Alphaville...
Read More
24
Aug
2020

A new role

At the moment I have several projects I’m working on all at the same time.  Don’t worry, I haven’t decided to turn pro and become a full time beach volleyball player.  Instead I have taken on a new free lancer role, writing pieces for sharepad.  So it feels like this blog may go quiet for a couple of months, while...
Read More
7
Jul
2020

Remorseless

While every short seller is still celebrating the demise of Wirecard, I thought it might be worth writing about another financial institution that is in the 95% club – the share price has fallen 95% since the start of 2014. Incorporated under the laws of the British Virgin Islands, the bank I’m thinking of has grown by making an alphabet...
Read More
21
Jun
2020

A quick thought on Wirecard

On 18th June Wirecard announced: Wirecard AG’s auditor Ernst & Young GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, Munich, informed Wirecard AG that no sufficient audit evidence could be obtained so far of cash balances on trust accounts to be consolidated in the consolidated financial statements in the amount of EUR 1.9 billion (approximately a quarter of the consolidated balance sheet total). The share price...
Read More
10
Jun
2020

Recurring revenue and moats

A friend on twitter, Andrew who runs https://www.fundhunter.co/ asked an interesting question: is recurring revenue a “moat” in itself?  That is, do all companies that have recurring revenue / customers who stay for years, have competitive advantages (and by implication report high returns on capital).  After thinking about it for 10 seconds I replied with an unambiguous “NO!” * I...
Read More
25
Apr
2020

Analysing uncertainty – TMI

“These days everyone has the same data regarding the present and the same ignorance regarding the future.” Howard Marks   I’m fascinated by this talk on Three Mile Island (TMI) and analysing different stories around what caused the disaster. Please do watch the whole thing. You’ll thank me I promise! Who, or what, was to blame for TMI? Our minds...
Read More
9
Apr
2020

Sailing into the unknown

Not many things seem obvious at the moment. But one thing that does, is the likelihood that companies will need more cash from shareholders. Historically, the stockmarket was a mechanism for raising capital for uncertain trade ventures into uncharted territory. Starting with the Muscovy Company, the first Joint Stock Company in 1553 expedition round the top of Norway to find...
Read More
11
Feb
2020

Quant Winter

According to this recent article in FT just 15% of quant funds beat the US stockmarket index last year. Cliff Asness, head of AQR, which employs over 80 phDs and manages $186bn, has called it a “quant winter”. However, the “quant winter” has now lasted a couple of years. Old fashioned “active” portfolio managers have been losing assets to quant...
Read More