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Whew, what a crazy 10 days. I mean a lot has seriously happened in the last 10 days. The Little Man went on a father/son/grandson camping trip. The last of my wife’s grandparents died, and we traveled to the Midwest for the funeral. (Our third Midwest funeral in the last six months.) Finally, our country elected a new president. I am exhausted, and personally feel like I should go on vacation for a few months and let things settle out. Unfortunately, that isn’t an option at the moment……. Continue reading

M&A Lessons from Henry Singleton and Teledyne

In this current time of late cycle merger (and acquisition) mania, I thought it would be a good idea to kick off a discussion about a business icon that actually knew how to build shareholder value through M&A activity. His name was Henry Singleton and his company was Teledyne. I first became aware of him, and his track record, because of comments by Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. Later, I read about Singleton and his unconventional conglomerate in chapter 2 of The Outsiders. This book is outstanding and is included on my Recommended Reading List. Continue reading

October Surprise

Two thirds of the way through October, and the global equity markets have barely been riled. I’m sure next quarter we’ll hear about a few obscure hedge funds that went broke this quarter because the rise in global interest rates caught them wrong footed with highly leveraged bets, but on the whole market participants seem calm. No, I should say complacent. After all, there are numerous events that are likely to disrupt these calm markets in the coming months. The US has a presidential election to start with, which could be called amusing entertainment if…….one of those two jerks wasn’t likely to be the next US president. Then you have various geopolitical events in the the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Then you have rising bond yields around the globe, a slowing Chinese economy, and deflating housing bubbles in New York, Miami, and much of Canada. I have been very surprised by one thing this October however…..the fact that third quarter earnings are coming in ok so far. Continue reading