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Bridge Street Journal, Vol. 3.16: Who Rates the Raters? Do Your Own Research.

Bloomberg reports that Standard & Poor's has "lowered credit ratings on capital notes of 13 structured investment vehicles and placed debt of 18 SIVs on negative outlook as the funds struggle to finance themselves."  In what seems to be the typical situation in today's world of high finance, a credit rating agency has downgraded risky investment vehicles just in time for those who lost money to see why they lost it, but too late to do anything about it.  If you will think back with me to th

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Bridge Street Journal, Vol. 3.15: On Yield Spreads

I note that the yield curve is finally sloping upward again.  This is interesting because downward sloping curves often precede recessions, yet the curve regained its upward slope right around the time many Economists/ pundits/ would-be experts believe the U.S.

November Contest Winners

I am pleased to announce the November Contest winners here at Value Investing News. Drum roll please... The winners with the most user points earned in November are:

And the randomly selected winner is:

Bridge Street Journal, Vol. 3.14: Which Financials Will Profit?

In response to yesterday's Bridge Street Journal about various financial companies taking big hits due to not heeding the investing advice found in the scriptures, George asked which financials appropriately prepared for the current lending problems.  He noted that it appears that Goldman Sachs and Berkshire Hathaway did and asked which others I thought may have as well.

Bridge Street Journal 3.13: The Financials and the Scriptures

Yahoo Finance reports that E-Trade Financial is selling a $2.5B stake to a private equity firm (Citadel) and firing its CEO.  It seems that financial writers can make a template with fields like "Company Name," "Amount of Writedown," "Amount of Cash Infusion," "Percent of Stake Sold," and "Name of Ousted CEO," and then have Microsoft Word automatically generate a story upon each day's news.  It was only a few days ago that Citigroup announced it sold a $7.5B stake to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (

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Understanding The Numbers

The three pieces which help you put the puzzle together are the Balance Sheet, Income Statement(Profit & Loss) and Cash Flow (+ the footnotes.) These are the key financial statements which together help you fully appreciate a company's current health. In isolation they provide you insight which could be misleading. All three of these statements are related and you need to understand them with respect to the other.

A Benjamin Graham Style NCAV: Envoy Capital Group (ECGI)

Formerly known as Envoy Communications Group, Canadian based Envoy Capital Group (ECGI) is a merchant banking company that provides financial services, equity and debt capital to small companies. They give loans and equity investments from $500,000 to $3,000,000 to small and mid-sized companies. Last year they dumped UK subsidiary, ECG Holdings (UK) Limited and launched Envoy Capital Group. They have been doing some restructuring and have been buying back shares like crazy. In 2006 there were 20.3 million shares outstanding.

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Server Upgrade Completed!

Saturday, we completed a major server upgrade for Value Investing News. This has been our most significant investment to date on the website. 

Writers/Bloggers Wanted

Value Investing News is expanding to provide exclusive feature articles. We are looking for a few good writers that are value investors interested in sharing their analysis with the world.

USG value trap or Bargain

USG at 36 dollars per share is a great "speculative" investment at these levels. Buffett bought in last summer at 46 and who in the world knows more about compounding their money than the 200 billion dollar man. This is abet on the "jockeys" and not the horse. Company insiders and a German company who own at least 10% have been recent buyers and that with the recent price drop have made these shares a GREAT long term investment. My advice is to buy at 36 and average down if the stock breaks below 30.

HNR -- Harvest Natural Resources Inc

Here is my take on HNR. If it is anything like my usual analysis, it is full of holes and errors, so do your own due diligence and reach your own conclusions. I previously posted this at www.gurufocus.com but thought it was worth sharing here as well.

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October Contest - Active Value Investing

I am pleased to announce that fellow Value Investing News member, Vitaliy Katsenelson in partnership with publisher John Wiley & Sons, is sponsoring this month's user contest.

We will be giving away 3 signed copies of Active Value Investing: Making Money In Range-Bound Markets. You can learn more about this book at ActiveValueInvesting.com.

The first copy of Active Value Investing will go to the top point earner for the month of October. The second copy will be given to the second highest point earner. Finally, the third copy will be given away to a randomly selected active member of Value Investing News. The winners will be announced on Halloween.

July Contest Winners

I happy to announce that the July VIN Contest winners have been drawn. This month we assigned one entry for each point accumulated by each member. Then we selected each of the winners.

What are you buying on the dip?

Where do you see an overreaction that we can exploit? Post here!

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Recommendations Back

We think we got the "Recommendations" page back up and running again. Members who are logged in should now be able to get a list of recommended story links based on their past voting record and the voting patterns of other members.

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