I was faster: How my e-letter beat the Wall Street Journal

I was faster: How my e-letter beat the Wall Street Journal
20 December 2018

Belmond update

Please forgive the clickbaity headline. I just couldn’t resist. Too sweet is the victory that at least some of my readers reaped on the back of my recent article about Belmond Ltd., the luxury hotel operator formerly known as Orient Express Ltd.

On 28 November, I anticipated a higher-than-expected bid for Belmond.

A mere 17 days later, French luxury giant LVMH made a $2.6bn offer for the company ($3.2bn if you include debt).

Few had expected a bid higher than $2bn. I put an estimate of $2.2bn to $2.5bn out there. It turns out the heavy bidding for the company, some noise about which I had picked up with my sensitive ears, drove up the price even further.

On the day of the announcement, the share price closed at $24.68. That’s 34% higher than when I reported about this. Not a bad gain in two weeks, if you were in on it.

As one reader from Asia emailed me: “Mega, Swen!!! The next dinner is on me.”

Rolling out my research service

Much as I enjoy and appreciate free dinners, I didn’t set up this website to get access to sustenance.

Nor is my free weekly e-letter an investment advisory service in any way. Just for the avoidance of doubt, what you do with your own money is entirely your own business.

My regular e-letter ramblings are primarily geared towards:

  • Providing you with leads and ideas for potential investments, to broaden your investment horizon and give you something to carry out your own research.
  • Offering a bit of light-hearted travel writing, edutainment and financial market commentary.

Naturally, all the better if this free e-letter has some actual use and value for investing your dough. As it did with Belmond, where I nicely beat the pros at their game.

However, as much as I love writing this weekly publication, it’s really only the scraps and crumbs that I put in it.

If you want to get to read the real deal, mark 28 December in your diary. You can be among the first to join when I start offering a much more exciting service.

Launch of my long-read research reports

For the genuinely extraordinary stuff that I come across during my research, I'm going to compile extensive, in-depth reports.

Comprising anything from 20 to 150 pages, they will be very much in the style of the reports I used to publish on this website pre-2009 before I took a hiatus from writing to pursue other interests.

I’ll be writing ten of these reports each year, possibly complemented by an additional two special reports about more general subjects.

On 28 December, I’ll launch the first of those regular research reports.

The upcoming report is one that I am actually quite proud of. It took me half a year to research, and the better part of three months to write. I am excited about the investment idea, which I believe comes with a few angles that the general public hasn’t caught onto yet.

If I am proven right, there’ll be another chance to be ahead of the crowd. Though with an opportunity that is much bigger than Belmond, and also longer-term.

Building a global movement

I've spent a lot of time thinking about how to best launch and market this new research report service.

Some told me to make it a VIP product and charge $2,000 or maybe even more per year.

Others asked me to research small-cap companies because that’s where they felt the most opportunities are generally found.

After careful contemplation, I felt that none of those options would be suitable for the day and age we live in. The world has changed, and I wouldn’t want to merely offer a re-run of the kind of writing I've done in the past.

Instead, here is what I aim for over the next few years:

  1. Community
    A network of investors around the world, i.e., not limited to any country or area.
  2. Easy-to-invest opportunities
    A focus on liquid, well-known companies that anyone with a brokerage account can easily buy and sell (with the very occasional small-cap share or alternative asset class thrown in).
  3. DIY
    A philosophy based on private investors taking charge of their own investments, instead of paying a lot of fees to – mostly mediocre – financial services companies.

The last 20 years have seen a revolution in saving and investing. There are now at least 500 million equity investors around the world, or maybe even closer to one billion. People in China, India, South America and elsewhere have joined the world of investing.

Access to publicly listed equities around the world is easier than ever. There are at least 50,000 publicly listed companies trading on stock markets around the world. Shares that can be bought and sold on a public market still offer the single biggest opportunity to generate superior returns.

I want to do my bit and help this growing mass of self-directed private investors to take charge of their financial destiny.

And I’d rather help a lot of people around the world by giving them access to useful information than get a high price out of a small number of privileged readers.

That’s why I am going to make my research available for just $49 per year.The weekly e-letter will continue to be free, but my monthly in-depth research reports will require you paying for a membership.

Early access to investment opportunities – for the price of one coffee per month

I am pricing it to make it affordable to just about anyone who has got a few thousand dollars to invest. My service will not be about elitism, but about empowering as many private investors as possible to manage their own affairs – and have a bit of fun along the way!

Great if I can even get the odd student as reader. One can’t start learning about investing early enough in life!

Thanks to my roaming the planet in search of clever investments, which I have been doing for a quarter century, you can get your hands on information that others often only get to read about much later. For about the price of a cup of coffee per month in many major cities, you will be able to get access to information that – as demonstrated in the case of Belmond – gives you at least the occasional opportunity to beat the big guys at their game.

You’ll still have to manage your investments based on your own decisions because I am not a licensed financial advisor and can’t give you specific advice when to buy and sell. But I can deliver ideas, leads and background information for you to be able to head off and create your own financial destiny.

No ads, no BS

My website will not feature any annoying display ads.

There are no BS rules to my service. You pay for a year. If you ever get tired of the service, you’ll be able to simply cancel your subscription.

My reader data doesn’t get shared with anyone.

Put another way, my website and my research reports are a BS free zone.

What you need to do

Going forward from here, there’ll be two options to follow my musings.

  • Free Weekly Dispatches:
    You can sign up to the free e-letter that comes out every week. From 28 December onwards, the website will feature a sign-up option.
  • Research Reports:
    Also starting on 28 December, you can sign up to my research report service ($49 p.a.; you'll be able to pay by credit card or PayPal). As a member, you will enjoy unlimited access to ten research reports each year, updates on previous research reports, plus two special publications.

Obviously, you can also choose to only read the weekly e-letter by checking the “Weekly Dispatches” link on my website. That way, you won’t have to sign up to anything. You just need to remember to check back every Friday.

If you’d like to join: Check www.undervalued-shares.com on 28 December!

I myself am counting down the days until we switch the new website “on.” I am quite pleased (and just a bit proud) with the design and functionality that my team have put together. A lot of finance websites make zero effort when it comes to how they look, which motivated us, even more, to put in the extra mile.

The research reports, too, will see a lot of high-quality visuals.

Given how long I have been in the business of investment writing – on and off – I very much want this to be the best website and the best research service I have ever provided.

On that note, and with you now hopefully having some spare cash from Belmond burning in your pocket just before Xmas, I hope to count you in for our new movement very soon.

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