Archive

February. 2020

Enrique's take on the recent market action; Refinance your debt; Calpers Top Money Man Is Swept Up in Chinese Espionage Fears; Fraud Fest 2020: 300 Years of Fraud; New Silk Road Forum in Istanbul

By Whitney Tilson

Empire Financial Daily,
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
1) One of the first – and most important – things I did when I started Empire Financial Research was persuade my longtime friend Enrique Abeyta to join me. He’s not only an industry veteran with a great track record, but he thinks differently than any investor I know. I’m more traditional, which is neither […]

Invitation to my two parties at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting; Why I come every year; Buffett on Squawk Box; Inside Berkshire Hathaway's Future Without Warren Buffett; Washington Post annual letters, 1971 and 1972

By Whitney Tilson

Empire Financial Daily,
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
1) Following up on yesterday’s e-mail, in which I analyzed Warren Buffett’s annual letter and explained why I call Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) the “No. 1 Retirement Stock in America,” here are a few other related items… I will be attending my 23rd consecutive Berkshire annual meeting, which will take place in Omaha on Saturday, May […]

Berkshire Hathaway is the 'No. 1 Retirement Stock in America'; Buffett is telling us to buy; Berkshire's share repurchases; Updated estimate of Berkshire's intrinsic value

By Whitney Tilson

Empire Financial Daily,
Monday, February 24, 2020
1) I’ve been pounding the table for quite some time now that Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) is the “No. 1 Retirement Stock in America.” Importantly for all investors – and especially retirees – it’s incredibly safe. It’s an incredible collection of high-quality businesses, run by the greatest investor of all time, and has the ultimate Fort […]

My analyst's take on Conagra Brands; The Moldy Whopper; Shocking director resignation letter; Social media awash with scorn for 'sloping toilet'

By Whitney Tilson

Empire Financial Daily,
Friday, February 21, 2020
1) Last month, Alex Griese joined the Empire Financial Research team as an analyst. He’s down at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York’s (“CAGNY”) conference in Boca Raton, Florida this week and has attended the presentations from a number of companies over the past few days. I asked him to do a short write-up […]

My friend's take on L Brands' sale of Victoria's Secret; Bed Bath & Beyond Boss Tries to Declutter Stores; Why a 'balanced' life is something to be avoided and not pursued; How I've structured my life to 'pound forehands' all day long

By Whitney Tilson

Empire Financial Daily,
Thursday, February 20, 2020
1) Over the past few months I’ve been sniffing around the stock of L Brands (LB), which owns Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. At just under $25 per share today, it has been decimated since it peaked at nearly $100 per share in late 2015… yet the company generates robust (albeit declining) free […]

How important are long hours?; Efficiency tips; 'C.A.V.E.' people: 'Coworkers Against Virtually Everything'; 'time plus effort' versus 'insight plus efficiency'; Big wall climbing

By Whitney Tilson

Empire Financial Daily,
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
1) In my February 6 e-mail, I included a link to this article, Why hard work is so important (and still under-rated), and said: There’s no substitute for hard work, especially early in your career. Trust me, you are far more likely to get ahead if you are the first into the office every morning […]

Highest-earning hedge-fund managers; How Private Equity Buried Payless; Elizabeth Holmes Gets Fraud Case Narrowed, Not Dismissed; Yosemite; The parallels between climbing and investing

By Whitney Tilson

Empire Financial Daily,
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
1) The hedge-fund industry is generally suffering these days – anyone with cash or a short book (and then layer in the high fees!) is going to underperform in a long, complacent bull market. But some guys (and, yes, they’re all men) are crushing it, as you can see in Bloomberg’s list of the 15 […]

Brookfield: inside the $500 billion secretive investment firm; The Mormon Church Amassed $100 Billion; Playing doubles with Andre Agassi; You must accurately assess your abilities relative to those around you

By Whitney Tilson

Empire Financial Daily,
Friday, February 14, 2020
1) I really enjoyed two fascinating articles about two of the largest yet most opaque investment firms in the world. The first, by the Financial Times, is about the Brookfield family of companies: Brookfield: inside the $500 billion secretive investment firm. Excerpt: “Our reputation is that if you have a large transaction, if you have […]

Notes from the Charlie Munger meeting; Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

By Whitney Tilson

Empire Financial Daily,
Thursday, February 13, 2020
1) For more than 20 years, I’ve been attending the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B), Wesco, and Daily Journal (DJCO) meetings to hear Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger speak. I have never once regretted making the trip. These two are so wise and unique – and I love meeting and catching up with my friends and readers. […]

Live-blogging Charlie Munger's annual meeting today; 'Melt Up' event tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern time; American Dream mall; You can't scare me: I have three daughters

By Whitney Tilson

Empire Financial Daily,
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
1) As you read this, my analysts – Kevin DeCamp and Alex Griese – and I are at Charlie Munger’s Daily Journal (DJCO) annual meeting in Los Angeles. We’ll have a full report in tomorrow’s Empire Financial Daily. In the meantime, we will be live-blogging the event in conjunction with Seeking Alpha. Click here a […]

Goldman downgrades ExxonMobil; Luckin Coffee sinks after report alleges fraud; Nicholas Kristof's U.S. Bancorp follow-up; My backpack in Kenya

By Whitney Tilson

Empire Financial Daily,
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
1) In my February 3 e-mail, I analyzed the financials of energy giant ExxonMobil (XOM) and what I found wasn’t pretty: declining revenue, net income, and operating cash flow… combined with rising capital expenditures. The result is insufficient free cash flow to cover the company’s hefty dividend payments, which are instead funded with rapidly rising […]

'Melt Up' event and Charlie Munger's meeting on Wednesday; Of Permanent Value: The Story of Warren Buffett; Back from Kenya

By Whitney Tilson

Empire Financial Daily,
Monday, February 10, 2020
1) There are two big events happening on Wednesday… Both are free and open to the public, and will be hosted by two of the smartest investors I know: Stansberry Research’s Dr. Steve Sjuggerud and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) Vice Chairman Charlie Munger. Steve has absolutely nailed this bull market from the start, and thinks there […]

Heroes get slaughtered; My Tesla calls; Why TSLA is so volatile; Amazon-Tesla comparison; Want to Know the Secret to Staying Fit Forever?

By Whitney Tilson

Empire Financial Daily,
Friday, February 7, 2020
1) It’s absolutely fascinating to closely follow the wild gyrations in Tesla’s (TSLA) stock – as well as the underlying company and the mad genius CEO behind it, Elon Musk. But that doesn’t mean I need to have a position in the stock. It remains in my “too hard” bucket, for reasons I outlined in […]

'Melt Up' thesis; The Culture of Misogyny Inside Victoria's Secret; She Helped a Customer in Need. Then U.S. Bank Fired Her; Why hard work is so important (and still under-rated)

By Whitney Tilson

Empire Financial Daily,
Thursday, February 6, 2020
1) I don’t know of anyone who has nailed this bull market from the start like my colleague Dr. Steve Sjuggerud has. His “Melt Up” thesis, which he first outlined in a free webinar in 2017, has played out pretty much exactly as he described – and the weighted return for his 10-stock portfolio is […]

Ray Dalio Is Still Driving His $160 Billion Hedge-Fund Machine; Dalio's response; Bitcoin Has Lost Steam. But Criminals Still Love It; The Woman Shaking Up the Diamond Industry; Greetings from Zanzibar

By Whitney Tilson

Empire Financial Daily,
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
1) The hedge-fund industry is filled with larger-than-life characters whose fortunes are matched only by their egos. Exhibit A is Ray Dalio, the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater, and the author of Principles: Life and Work (which a lot of people love… but honestly, the book didn’t do it for me). The […]

Alphabet's earnings report; The Gap Between the Haves and Have-Nots of Tech Widens; Amazing day for Tesla; Stupid to twice stupid; Comments on the Willow breast pump

By Whitney Tilson

Empire Financial Daily,
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
1) Investors are once again failing to see the big picture at Google’s parent company Alphabet (GOOGL), which reported fourth-quarter earnings after the close yesterday. The stock is down today because revenues came in slightly below expectations, but I simply see another amazing quarter by an extraordinary company. It’s truly remarkable that a company of […]

ExxonMobil is a value trap; Greetings from Nairobi

By Whitney Tilson

Empire Financial Daily,
Monday, February 3, 2020
1) After reporting earnings on Friday morning, energy giant ExxonMobil (XOM) fell 4% and is now trading at a nearly 10-year low. Buying the stocks of blue-chip companies when they’ve fallen out of favor has been one of my most profitable investment strategies over the past two decades: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B), McDonald’s (MCD), Apple (AAPL), […]
Whitney Tilson

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About Whitney Tilson

Prior to creating Empire Financial Research, Whitney Tilson founded and ran Kase Capital Management, which managed three value-oriented hedge funds and two mutual funds. Starting out of his bedroom with only $1 million, Tilson grew assets under management to nearly $200 million.

Tilson graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in government in 1989. After college, he helped Wendy Kopp launch Teach for America and then spent two years as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. He earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1994, where he graduated in the top 5% of his class and was named a Baker Scholar.

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