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Deep Value Investing: Finding bargain shares with big potential Paperback – November 18, 2013
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Reviews for the first edition; "Mr Bos has written a practical and very readable book that should appeal to those who are looking to learn more about this very particular style of investing. The examples are neatly interwoven with the lessons he has learnt over the years and the qualities required of a deep value investor." -FT Adviser's Book of the Year 2013; "Very well written, easy to understand and jargon free... the book probably will help in making you a better investor, and on that basis it is definitely worth an addition to any serious investor's library." -Richard Gill, T1ps; "If you're "deep" into deep value strategies, or want to watch over the shoulder of a talented operator, Jeroen Bos's 'Deep Value Investing' is well worth picking up!" -Valueprax; "Deep Value investing is not for the faint hearted but Jeroen Bos is an expert practitioner. His book is clear, engaging and practical. It shines an expert light on this lucrative and little known investment niche. Frankly, as a fellow deep value investor looking for undiscovered bargains, I wish he hadn't done quite such a good job of it." -Andrew Williamson, Hawkwood Capital LLP; "If you want to know how to make money by buying cheap companies, this book is a must." -Philip Best, Argos Investment Managers. "...there is a lot of value in Deep Value Investing, especially today afer a period of underperformance." --Michael Wasserman, StrictlyValue --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Dutch investor Jeroen Bos has lived in England since 1978. He has a diploma in Economics from Sussex University and has worked his entire career in the financial services industry, mainly in the City of London. He worked for many years at Panmure Gordon & Co, the stockbroker, and it was here that his interest in value investing developed. This process accelerated after the October 1987 stock market crash, during which time he took inspiration from The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. At the end of 2003 Jeroen joined Church House Investment Management to manage CH Deep Value (Bahamas), which in March 2012 became the CH Deep Value Investments Fund. He lives in Sussex, is married and has three sons.
Top customer reviews
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Overall, the book's contents are quite good. I recommend the reader have a solid general understanding of value investing and investing terminology before reading, but this isn't totally necessary. With a good foundation of knowledge in accounting and finance, the book is a quick read. I got through it in an evening. The author covers all the material as promised on the rear cover, so I give it five stars for quality writing and for covering all topics as promised. Don't expect a textbook on value investing, instead it reads more as a series of essays on previous trades, their rationales, and their outcomes. The only way it could be improved upon is to go into greater detail about the mechanics of screening deep value companies and tools to do so.
As to the book itself, the binding, editing, and cover design are spot-on. The only demerit is the quality of ink used for the type and certain aspects of the typography. Instead of using a deep, strong ink, the publisher seems to have used some sort of rinky-dink printing process that reminds me of a dot-matrix printer. The type is composed of many small dots, which ruins the look of the characters, making their fine lines appear ragged. Also, the color is too light, and it makes the words hard to read. Finally the typography looks amateurish, especially the line spacing and the tables of balance sheets.
Content: Five stars, well done, could've used a bit more meat on the bone
Construction: Four stars, stumbled on the typography and ink
Value: Overpriced due to inferior typography and cheap-o printing. Also, the content of the book is lean for the price. I feel it's more fairly valued at about half the current offered price, or it needs to be beefed up with more detail.
Benjamin Graham’s Principles Applied
Although it provides a summary introduction to the theory of Benjamin Graham’s classic deep value (net-net and discount-to-book value) strategy, Bos’s “Deep Value Investing” is decidedly a practitioner’s guide, not a philosophical work. More accurately, it’s a collection of case studies for observation and analysis– what did and didn’t work in various key examples from Bos’s own investment portfolio.
This is the book’s strength, and weakness. It is a strength because any opportunity to peer into the portfolio of a working money manager and see not only what he’s done, but why he has done it, is often worth the price of admission. Bos gets hands on with the reader and provides the relevant information in each case study, including the start and end date and price of each trade, the relevant balance sheet information and per share calculations and a helpful chart of price movements over time to put it in perspective.
Most importantly, though, Bos provides a lot of qualitative detail that helps to flesh out the simple quantitative analysis. Many curious students of value investing will be happy to see Bos not only explains what piqued his initial interest in each security, but that he also talks about how long and why he waited to get involved in each opportunity and how he interpreted business developments in each case (positive and negative) along the way. He also provides an explanation as to why and how he exited each investment, whether it was a winner or a loser.
This is something that’s missing in most investment case study discussions and it’s a real value add with this book. Another value add is the online support materials for the book, including a record of all relevant publicly available information for each investment that Bos used in his analysis (so you can follow along and see if you can see what he saw), as well as a free eBook version of the title accessible with a special link.
As mentioned, the weakness of the book lies in the fact that it’s mostly a collection of case studies with little else to structure it. In that sense, while the material is approachable and certainly not technical or difficult by any means to comprehend, this is not a “beginner’s book” but better for a reader who has already read a more philosophical work such as Graham’s “The Intelligent Investor” or “Security Analysis”. After reading those, revisiting Bos’s “Deep Value Investing” should yield many profitable insights and appreciation for what he has managed to accomplish.
If you’re “deep” into deep value strategies, or want to watch over the shoulder of a talented operator, Jeroen Bos’s “Deep Value Investing” is well worth picking up! Even veteran value guys have something to learn from Bos’s “qualitative-quantitative” combined approach and especially his criteria for exiting a successful investment as it “transforms” over time from a balance sheet to earnings play.
Some of my other favorite observations worth noting:
1.) Liquid assets are what we’re really interested in, for the strongest margin of safety
2.) Share prices tend to be volatile, but book values tend to be stable over time
3.) Service companies tend to offer good value opportunities because they’re light on fixed assets and heavy on current assets; they also have flexible business models that can quickly scale up or down depending on business conditions
4.) Cyclical stocks always look cheapest on an earnings basis at the top of their cycle and most expensive at the bottom of their cycle (which is ironically when they’e a best buy)
5.) To better understanding accounting statement terms, compare treatment of confusing items across different companies in the same industry
6.) When evaluating trade receivables, it’s important to understand who the company’s clients are
7.) Check lists of new 52-week lows for good value investment candidates