Many thanks to everyone who replied to my last job search statement--especially to SF. I really appreciate it. As promised, here is an updated statement:
I'm looking for a position with a firm that allocates capital to outside money managers. Briefly, what I offer is the ability to evaluate value investors, as I define the term. To me value investing is not simply a way of investing in stocks, but a way of thinking about capital allocation in general. Below is an excerpt from an earlier post in which I tried to define it:
- You invest in businesses, not pieces of paper. Your job is to understand a business and predict its future, not to predict the macroeconomy or short-term price movements of securities.
- You want to buy something for less than it's worth, i.e. less than its intrinsic value, the sum of all its discounted future cash flows. If you're shorting, do the opposite.
- You look for a margin of safety. Avoiding permanent capital loss is the first consideration.
- You're long-term oriented. The idea is to increase purchasing power measured over a period of years and decades, not weeks and months.
- You're not too diversified. There is a scarcity of good investment ideas out there, so concentrate your bets on them when you find them.
- You think like a principal. Returns after taxes and fees are what you care about.
By my definition, a value investor need not be restricted to investing in publicly traded securities. So you don't have to be a hedge fund or mutual fund. A private equity fund can be a value investor, as can, I will argue in a future post, a venture capital investor. Value investing is not confined to equities, private or public. A distressed debt investor can often be a value investor (when I worked at a hedge fund I did mostly distressed debt). A value investor can be a completely passive minority owner of securities, or a 100% owner-operator of a business. He can invest in "good businesses" like Buffett does now, or "bad businesses" like he used to do. A publicly traded investment company like Berkshire Hathaway or Leucadia can practice value investing, but so can a "regular" company that does only one thing: to me Sam Walton was one of the great value investors--his only investment was "build more Wal-Mart stores" but the returns on those investments have put most hedge fund managers to shame.
If you or someone you know may be interested in buying what I'm selling, please do let me know. Thank you.
On a related point, even if I don't find a job for awhile I'm very interested in pretending I already have one and behaving accordingly (not only is this good for morale, but it makes me more employable in the first place). In other words, I want to meet as many professional value investors as I can, with an eye towards eventually investing with them (but not for blogging purposes, unless you'd like to do an on-the-record interview). If you think you meet my broad definition of a value investor and are raising capital now, or thinking of raising capital in the future, I'd love to meet you. Have yellow pad, will travel. I believe that not all "investors in investors" are created equal, and that a good one can make an investor's job easier, independently of the amount of capital he allocates. I strive to be a good (limited) partner, and hope one day to have the capital to allocate (Think of me as an undervalued stock with a high future intrinsic value). So please let me know if you're interested.