When I pick my "Blogs to watch", I evaluate them not just on the basis of their investment analysis. It's very important for me to have a feeling for the person behind them.
Bloggers are in a pole position to benefit from the secular trend away from corporate media, and a growing number of investment-related bloggers will become widely known and highly appreciated by a discerning, high-value audience.
Case in point, the aptly named Yet Another Value Blog written by Andrew Walker.
Andrew's posts about individual stocks often enough go viral, and many of you will have come across his work already.
Here are the four reasons why I think you should check out YAVB, if you haven't already.
1. High-quality, extensive analysis of value stocks
The name says it all, doesn't it?
However, it's not just the long-form analysis that appeals to me. I enjoy following YAVB because I always learn a lot about industries that I am not sufficiently familiar with. For instance, Andrew has a long-standing interest in stocks from music, media and telecom - industries that you are unlikely to have read much about on Undervalued-Shares.com.
Check out his extensive coverage of the highly complex transaction involving Bill Ackmann's SPAC, Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (ISIN US71531R1095, "PSTH"), and Universal Music Group:
Andrew is an equity analyst at Rangeley Capital, a boutique fund management firm in Connecticut that was set up by Christopher "Chris" DeMuth jr., well-known himself through his writing on Seeking Alpha. Rangeley Capital focusses on "mispriced securities with a limited fundamental downside and corporate events that unlock shareholder value". You can see why I was attracted to the website in the first place, right?
These in-depth, ongoing reports about specific subjects offer information and analysis that you could not find anywhere else – and a lot of it is for free!
2. Involving interesting people
Unlike myself, Andrew is active on social media.
On "YAVP" ("Yet Another Value Podcast", available on Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube), he regularly interviews guests, mostly about individual stocks. If you are deep into the American investment scene, you'll recognise the name of some of the interviewees.
When Andrew had a question about PSTH/UMG, he sent a tweet to Bill Ackmann.
YAVB is a prime example of how networking to improve and expand blog content is done, and why it delivers value to readers - something I have yet to become better at myself.
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3. An open, dedicated author
As Andrew puts it on his blog: "I am hoping I will still be writing this blog decades from now."
I hope so, too. Andrew lets his readers see the world through his eyes, which is what blogging is all about.
I enjoyed his writing about the alleged death of New York, for which I'd trust a New York-based finance blogger a lot more than any mainstream publication:
The insights gained through his wife, friends and professional contacts occasionally add nice "anecdata" to YAVB. If you didn't know the plural of this word before, now you do!
Every now and then, Andrew distributes a reading list with interesting articles and links to other websites. I love getting such insights into the source material and personal interests of a blogger. It helps you get to know them better, and makes you come across entirely new sources for information that otherwise you would have never found. Here is an example (scroll to the bottom):
4. Blogging as a business – destined to succeed
During my search for interesting blogs, I divide my finds into two categories:
- Blogs where the author has a serious interest in building a business.
- Blogs which are done "on the side", i.e. where the author has a primary interest in investments.
Finds from the second category regularly break my heart in terms of wasted potential. Case in point, there are several truly great blogs where the author decided to save money and not create an email list to alert readers about new articles. As a result, they only get a fraction of the readership that they could attract.
Treating a blog as a business and adding at least some paid-for features is better for the reader. A blog with income can invest in serving its readers better, and in that sense may be "cheaper" than a blog that is entirely for free.
YAVB carries a few features that explain the thinking behind building this blog, e.g.:
The premium part of YAVB has a fairly typical pricing for this kind of service: USD 499 per year (or USD 199 for a one-month trial). This is a very different pricing strategy to my own: I believe that the future of pricing media lies in being either extremely cheap (to make it easy to become a casual follower) or extremely exclusive (to receive bespoke services). However, having followed Andrew's writing for longer than I can remember, I am convinced it'll be worth it for some of you. For everyone else, there is lots of free content on YAVB.
For fellow (or aspiring) bloggers, following YAVB's evolution as a business should be useful. I have always been delighted to see that Andrew thinks about it all as a business that he wants to build for decades (just like myself), rather than something he does haphazardly on the side.
Upcoming eBook: "The world's best investing blogs"
Andrew Walker's YAVB is the 20th blog that I have featured on Undervalued-Shares.com – ta daa!!!
"Blogs to watch" has turned into a popular series for many of you, which is why I'd like to celebrate this milestone with a little gift.
Check your inbox next week for "The world's best investing blogs", a free eBook containing all 20 blogs that I've introduced you to so far.
Turning "Blogs to watch" into an eBook is a step that I hope will encourage many of you to make friends, professional acquaintances, and co-conspirators aware of these fantastic blogs. They all provide valuable services to private investors; and for the most part, the information they offer is for free!
You, dear reader, will get all the more value from us bloggers if you help us grow our audience. The more successful we are, the more tools and resources we will have to deliver value to you. So do feel free to share "The world's best investing blogs" widely!
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