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How Saudi Prince Waleed invested globally and grew $30k to $22B — with Jeffrey Towson (transcript)

Posted on July 10, 2011 at 7:30 pm

On Tradestreaming Radio, we’re interviewing lots of innovative entrepreneurs, investors, and researchers all trying to make investors better at what they do. Check out our archives. Subscribe on iTunes. The podcast itself can be heard in its entirety here.

Transcript purchased from SpeechPad

Announcer: Live from the Internet, it’s Tradestreaming Radio, with your host, Tradestreaming.com’s own Zack Miller.

Zack: Hey, this is Zack Miller and you’re listening to Tradestreaming Radio, our place on the Internet where investors learn directly from experts. We’ve got a great show today. We’ve got Jeffrey Towson, the author of “What Would Benjamin Graham Do Now?” Towson was Head of Direct Investments, Asia Pacific and Middle East for Prince Waleed of Saudi Arabia, who is the world’s fourth wealthiest person. He manages a portfolio of over $22 billion, and Towson worked for him for many years, having grown up in the States. Lived overseas and was very much involved in direct investments, buying up properties, investing directly into companies.

His book is a really interesting take, because for many years, obviously, U.S. investors have recognized that there is the rest of the world, and it’s getting more and more interesting. Unfortunately, the way we do it is somewhat, according to Towson, very contorted. Buying a multinational that has exposure to the Middle East is one way to play this game, but obviously not the best. So, in his book, he lays out sort of a framework for investors of any sort, whether they’re retirement investors or professional investors, private equity guys, hedge fund managers, who really want to understand and learn from a framework of how to do business in the Far East. He lays it out in this book.

It’s a very good book. The book, in fact, is probably more suited for the classroom, but it was a very informative read. Lots of interesting anecdotes, and to me, the most interesting thing about the entire enterprise is how Waleed grew his business from a $30,000 loan from his father into a $22 billion investment portfolio, really with two or three staff. It’s a bare bones operation, yet he has his hands in investments all over the world. Being able to understand that model, to me, was really one of the most interesting takeaways from this book. Continue Reading »

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  • When Good Trades Go Bad: Deadly Portfolio — with John Hohn

    Posted on July 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm UTC

    The fine line between doing what’s right for a client and what’s good for you is walked daily by financial advisors.

    Most of the time things go off without a hitch.But sometimes, the results of poor decision making are disastrous.

    John Hohn joins us on Tradestreaming Radio to talk about his new book, Deadly Portfolio: A Killing in Hedge Funds. John had a 40 year career in financial services, all the while exploring his avocation, writing.

    Deadly Portfolio is his first book and it explores the insides of the financial industry, how decisions are made, how brokers make a living, and how wealthy clients behave.It’s also full of murder and intrigue…
    We talk to John about the book and his experiences in managing 300 brokerage clients influenced his writings. Continue Reading »

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  • Join us today: A live chat about global value investing — Prince Waleed Style [Tradestreaming Live]

    Posted on July 18, 2011 at 11:29 am UTC

    Many of you mentioned that you enjoyed our recent interview with Jeff Towson, best-selling author of What Would Ben Graham Do Now: A New Value Investing Playbook for a Global Age.  Towson spent 9 years closely working with Saudi Prince Waleed, one of the world’s richest and most successful investors.

    Towson provides a global value investing framework for Westerners interested in getting involved abroad.  The thing is — after the interview — many of you still had questions.  Towson wrote a book intended for investors of all size, but many felt that his framework was more attuned to private equity investors — professionals with deep pockets.

    I’ve invited Jeff to talk more about his book, his experiences working under Waleed, and his view on global investing in a new live format on Tradestreaming, I’m calling — for lack of a better term — Tradestreaming Live. Think of it as an intimate chat about global investing. Continue Reading »

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  • The End of Probability: A new way of thinking about derivatives — with Elie Ayache

    Posted on July 13, 2011 at 12:35 pm UTC

    Every once in a while, you meet someone and you just look in the mirror and think: hey, I’m not worthy. What am I doing with my life?

    Today’s guest Elie Ayache is part entrepreneur, part philosopher, and part technologist.He takes aim at Taleb’s Black Swan model (and in general our view of probability and market pricing) and provides a new model of how to view contingent claims and their relationship with the market’s pricing mechanism. He walks the talk, growing and expanding his software firm’s client base with institutional investors.It’s possible that with time, his software and theory will have a significant impact on how contingent claims are viewed, priced and traded.

    We discuss his new book, The Blank Swan: The End of Probability.  I learned a ton about how this all works (even if I didn’t understand everything Ayache spoke about). Continue Reading »

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  • Top Investment Resources for Sentiment Analysis

    Posted on July 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm UTC

    The holy grail for investors — and one being frantically searched for by technologists, entrepreneurs, and investors — is to find a way to program machines to decipher social media (or more accurately, unstructured text) and structure a trading system around it.

    Sentiment analysis (the ability to pull out what people are feeling by the words they’re using online) is one of the next big things in investing. Here are a few of the resources investors may want to consider when learning about sentiment analysis and portfolio management.

    Have any suggestions? Add your own below.

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  • The Best Way to Play Earnings with Options — with John Shon

    Posted on July 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm UTC

    Investors should always be on the prowl for investment strategies to improve returns while lowering risk.

    new book by john shon

    While everyone knows that options can help here, very few individual investors I’ve met actually have a good strategy to implement options.

    John Shon, author of Trading on Corporate Earnings News: Profiting from Short Term Options Positions and a professor of accounting at Fordham University, joins us on this episode to discuss:

    • why earnings announcements are good times for investors to make money
    • why stocks continue to move big after earnings, even though they’re being scrutinized
    • how to use options regardless of whether we’re right about earnings strength/weakness
    • how to capitalize on post-earnings announcement drift (stocks continue to move AFTER earnings announcement)
    • advice on how to increase chances of success in options strategies around earnings announcements Continue Reading »

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About Tradestreaming

Tradestreaming is a community of investors learning directly from experts. I’m Zack Miller, investor, entrepreneur, and founder of Tradestreaming.com and I literally wrote the book on how to invest in the age of Facebook and Twitter. Tradestreaming is the resource I’ve created to help me become a better investor.  I believe it will help you … Continue Reading