I will sell this house today
“How does Bill Ackman do it” is a question the investing community surely asks itself on a daily basis. Three words: Berkshire Mountains hideaway. Outsiders may figure in-depth research combined with skillful and ethical activism and a highly concentrated portfolio are the keys to Pershing Square’s success but, really, a 100-acre spread in upstate New York is the engine that drives this firm.
Specifically, the one found in Chatham, New York, that Ackman “scraped together the money” to buy in 2003, just months before his second act hedge fund launched, to arguably more success than its predecessor, Gotham Partners. Coincidence? Bill doesn’t think so. “This place has really good investing karma,” Ackman tells us. (Since buying the house, Pershing has had 21 percent compound returns. You do the math.) Is this information relevant in any way to your universe? If you’ve got $5 million to spare, a yen for sweeping views of the Berkshire mountains, and a desire to pump up lackluster returns it might be.
Despite spending many a happy (and profitable) weekend at the place over the last nine years, Ackman has with great reluctance and probably more than a few tears decided to put it on the market, having precious little time to make the (quick and painless!) trip up now that his three children have many an extracurricular commitment to tend to. According to Bill, he’s offering you “the deal of a lifetime” (and, in our professional opinions, we agree), when you consider 1) what he bought it for ($3.2 million, then put another $1.5 million in) and 2) what you’re getting. Things like: Read more »
No, not really, the new moneymaker is buying calls on the Hong Kong dollar, betting on Hong Kong abandoning its peg to USD. Regular recipients of Ackman’s unsolicited advice (e.g. anyone he’s set up with a personal trainer or wife), and those who read the comments here, may have already known that.
In his most recent letter to Pershing Square investors, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman dropped a bomb. The fund has added a new star to its portfolio and a big one at that. “In the past, we have made asymmetric investments which are not for hedging purposes, but which also offer large payoffs on relatively modest commitments of capital where we similarly believe that the market has mispriced the probability of a positive outcome,” Bill wrote excitedly. “We recently identified an investment that broadly falls into that category.” What, praytell, would that investment be? Read more »
How Would You Like To See The Oval Office Entirely Redecorated With The Home Furnishing Offerings From Target?By Bess Levin
He’s already thrown his hat in the ring for a gig running Treasury Secretary but the people would like Bill Ackman to dream bigger. Washington Post readers polled yesterday said they want the Pershing Square founder to run as a third party candidate for President (his qualifications being the bank plan he wrote up in 2009 and the fact that he was once invited to the White House to speak with Larry Summers). Read more »
“He looked seriously at the Brewers,” said Bill Ackman, another hedge fund heavyweight, who runs Pershing Square Capital Management. He said that Einhorn did not view his interest as a lark. Indeed, Ackman said Einhorn “kicked himself” when he heard what Attanasio’s group paid for his share of the team: $223 million. [NYT]
On tap: Ackman, Joel Greenblatt, David Einhorn, Eike Batista, Carl Icahn
4:55 Speaker 11, Bill Ackman, Pershing Square
4:56 “A lot of people think of Pershing Square as an activist fund- well this is going to be a passive idea”
4:57 Bill is recommending… Read more »
This year’s conference will not include David Tepper’s balls but the show must go on. Scheduled speakers, in order of appearance: Erez Kalir, Dinakar Singh, Jeff Aronson, Robert Howard, Phil Falcone, Jim Chanos, winner of the inaugural Ira Sohn investment contest, Steve Feinberg, Peter May, Steve Esiman, Jeff Gundlach, Marc Faber, Bill Ackman, Joel Greenblatt, Mark Hart III, David Einhorn, Eike Batista, Carl Icahn.
12:20 Speaker 1: Erez Kalir, founder and CEO of Sabretooth Capital, presenting: “Economic Death As A Special Situation”
12:21 The last time he spoke in front of this many people “was at my bar mitzvah”
12:22 You don’t have to make money the Warren Buffett way.
12:25 Holding MBIA stock is “favorably asymmetric” Read more »
Bill Ackman Will Get Rid Of Your Gut, Set You Up With Your Wife, Beat Your Ass On The Rowing MachineBy Bess Levin
One thing you may have picked up from Bill Ackman’s investing style is that he gets involved with companies he believes, very passionately, can benefit from his help. He comes in armed with a plan, and while some people might not be open to the unsolicited suggestions for improvement, few can argue that he’s just trying to make the world a better place. What you may not know is that what Bill does during his 9-5 doesn’t stop when he punches the clock and gets off his shift as as foreman at Pershing Square. The make-overs (aesthetic and spiritual) aren’t just for Target but for you, too. ”Bill’s a fixer,” former Bloomberg reporter Christine Richard told the Observer. “He just looks at everything as how can I sort this out, including people.” For instance…
Your ass. Can you deny it could benefit from some squat thrusts?
Almost everyone who has met Mr. Ackman has either been complimented or insulted regarding his or her appearance, and those falling into the latter group usually find themselves with an appointment to see his nutritionist and sometimes his personal trainer, too. He has been known to stop people on the street corner and give them advice or even find them a job in the time it takes for the light to change.
Or how about your love life? Wasn’t it time you stopped running around with these slag heaps and got serious about settling down? Read more »