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Financial analysis and non conformist thoughts from Bruce 

5
Oct
2017

Difficult opportunities

“True words are not fine sounding Fine sounding words are not true.” – Lao Tzu, Tao T Ching I’ve been a sceptical for a while about how anyone might make money from using technology to analyse sentiment. The hedge fund set up in late 2010 to implement the Twitter mood strategy, Derwent Capital Markets, failed and closed in early 2012....
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27
Aug
2017

Sectoral heterochromia

“Aviation in the evening, I can feel it coming on” – Aviation: The Last Shadow Puppets Professional fund managers tend to make their name by taking big sector positions. Famously Neil Woodford did very well avoiding banks, and owning tobacco companies. When I started everyone loved technology and hated mining companies. Then 10 years later this reversed, mining companies had...
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2
Aug
2017

The wisdom of clouds

Small details can lead to big differences.  Often it’s not even the details, just things you can’t quite put your finger on.  I’ve been looking at a couple of companies that do the same thing, are the same size, operate in same industry but one is 6 times more valuable than the other.  I’ve been messing around with a programming...
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18
Jun
2017

The Red-Headed League

“For strange effects and extraordinary combinations we must go to life itself, which is always far more daring than any effort of the imagination.” Sherlock Holmes I’ve been re-reading Sherlock Holmes stories, like The Red Headed League. One reason the stories are so effective is that the reader understands the genre, but it’s still hard to see what Holmes can see,...
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4
May
2017

Dumb money

A couple of my friends asked for my thoughts on Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). For instance, one said: “I went into a bank, and they tried to sell me this funny derivative. It’s a bank, so I know what they are trying to sell me is good for them, not for me. How do ETFs work?” Given the number of mis-selling...
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17
Apr
2017

Same balancesheet, different stories

The key to all story telling is to give your audience what they want, but not the way they expect…Robert McKee I like stories. They are the way we interpret contradictory information and understand different perspectives. If you want to change someone’s mind, psychology research suggests that appeals to reasoned argument don’t work. Think of all those climate change debates, no...
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7
Apr
2017

My friend used to run Glencore

After writing this blog post on the Glencore IPO, a friend got in touch.  Let’s just call her “Mel in IT” because she used to program databases and excel spreadsheets at a company I worked at.  And she used to run Glencore. She reminded me of what happened, how she came to be running a company called Glencore.  She wasn’t actually...
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