The thing about lemmings is that they will follow, without thinking, the other rodents and, en mass, will commit suicide. When looking at markets, however, few likely realize that as everyone moves in one direction, following the latest trend, that eventually such a strategy may turn them into a unsuspecting lemming. With technology, a lot of investors have embraced the idea of putting their accounts on the equivalent of auto-pilot, letting price drops, or increases in price, trigger a buy or sell order.
Sahm Adrangi, founder of Kerrisdale Capital, believes that a somewhat antiquated approach to investing is likely, at least in part, a good partial strategy to take. Machines can tell us most anything, but having a look at a stock’s fundamentals will tell us a lot more about where the stock is now, how the company is being managed, and if it is in short or long-term distress.
Having made it his point to head in the opposite direction of all the soon-to-be lemmings, Sahm Adrangi takes a closer look at why a company is troubled and reflects on whether it can be salvaged. He then moves on to developing strategies for either investing in a company, which can be construed as holding long-term, or using every possible tool and toy in his derivatives bag to make out on a company in a temporary situation.
Kerrisdale Capital, founded by Sahm Adrangi nearly 10 years ago, was created on utilizing situations that were driven by an event. An event is something a company can most likely come back from, but a systemic malaise is another story. This firm would likely long-term invest in a systemic malaise situation if the company had balance sheet, or even pipeline, promise. Situational investing is having a short-term interest in making some money on either a reversal-of-fortune for a company, or a short-term run that is lacking legs. Shorts and options can come together and allow any investor to make good on every move a company makes, turning it into a money-making opportunity.
Sahm Adrangi looks for opportunities in some unusual places, which is also why he unearths ignored sectors harboring future values. He will never be counted a lemming.