Amitabh Singhi and value investing

Are you a student of value investing?

If the answer to the above question is a “Yes” then DO NOT miss the Value Investing Podcast series brought to you by the same guys behind the Manual of Ideas. This podcast series has interviews with some of the top investors of the world including Pat Dorsey (Morningstar), Guy Spier, Robert Hagstrom etc. I also found one with my former boss Caglar Somek of Caravel Management.

However, the episode that I loved the most is the one with Amitabh Singhi of Surefin Investments. I listened to it twice just to make sure I didn’t miss any of the points. Since he specifically invests within India, investors and analysts in frontier and emerging markets will find similarities and important takeaways.

A few of the points he makes include

1. It is important to look at 10 years of past numbers and see how management has made capital allocation decisions. Sometimes a company makes good decisions for 3-4 years giving the illusion of a top notch institution. However if it in reality is not,  it will likely slip at some point or the other.

2. Management and owners need to cross checked by talking with credible and knowledgeable people in the industry. Just 4-5 phone calls can bring out a lot of information.

3. Doing physical field trips to understand whether a company has brand loyalty  or not will bring out insights that will not be found elsewhere. He gives a great example of Archies (which was losing its brand image) and Fevicol (with very strong brand value).

4. There are weird correlations that exist which one might easily overlook. For example, a particular consumer company might be enjoying strong sales because of wealth effect due to rising property prices. As soon as house prices start falling, this seemingly unrelated consumer company can get affected.

There is a lot more in the podcast itself. In fact I would encourage people to listen to all the episodes if possible.

Asif Khan, CFA

Asif Khan is presently a Research Analyst (Financial Sector) for Exotix which is a frontier market focused investment bank. He has more than 6 years of work experience as equity analyst in both buy and sell side roles across Asian frontier markets. Asif is a CFA Charterholder and has a dual major in Finance & Economics from North South University.

3 thoughts on “Amitabh Singhi and value investing

  1. in relation to number 3, I would like to recommend a book called “Why Moats Matter?” by Morningstar.
    The book talks about some of these key differentiation ideas (network effect, cost advantage etc.) for a corporation that not only makes them a good company, but also a good stock.
    Things like these make fundamental analysis much more fun, especially when these ideas are also backed up by good numbers.

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