About Briteless

I am a Melrose Arch based Portfolio Manager. I help people invest and manage portfolios for them. This blog focuses on wealth management, investments, financial markets and investor psychology. I manage portfolios for private clients at Vestact Asset Management.

Lessons from the Vodacom YeboYethu deal for Black investors

Lessons from the Vodacom YeboYethu by Craig Gradidge Of Gradidge Mahura Investments

The Gradidge Patch

Our company turns 10 this month. On 26 June 2008 CIPRO (as it was known back then) confirmed that our business had been registered. Kagisho and I went for dinner that evening to celebrate this milestone! All the talking, planning and dreaming were now kicking into action. It was an exciting time in South Africa in general. Markets had been going up strongly for almost 5 years, the economy was growing, property prices were soaring. Fast forward a few months and President Thabo Mbeki is recalled, the global financial crisis hits global and local economies hard, interest rates shoot up, the currency falls off a cliff, and the stock market loses almost 40% of its value in a matter of months.

In the middle of everything, Vodacom announced a BBBEE deal, YeboYethu (YY). The deal came to the market soon after Sasol’s hugely popular Inzalo deal had gotten investors all…

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Andrew Left Shorting Shopify

Citron Research a firm run by legendary short seller Andrew Left The Bounty Hunter Of Wall Street released a detailed report yesterday on Shopify accusing the company for violating federal trade commission legislation. See the report here: Citron Exposes The Dark Side Of Shopify 

Shopify is a platform provider for e-commerce businesses, they provide all the backend of an e-commerce store to help entrepreneurs to focus more on the product that they produce and sell online. Shopify is up 124% year-to-date notwithstanding that it closed down 11.5% on the bad news from Citron Research. This marks their worst trading day this year.

Andrew is basically claiming that Shopify is a business dirtier than Herbalife see his Tweet below. Another Research Firm Baird wrote their rebuttal to Citron basically rubbishing the claims and saying this pull back Citron Research Creates A Buying Opportunity 
Here’s another guy on Seeking Alpha defending Shopify  Shopify Response To Citron 
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Andrew Left has a good track record as a short seller and he’s not known for shooting from the hip, this is a guy that goes for the jugular! He has the nose as sharp as a bloodhound to sniff all the accounting frauds, companies that defraud and mislead investors, naughty equity analysts. He’s a cross between a no nonsense detective with an eye for detail and an obsessive forensic accountant. Let us not forget the old adage that says where there’s smoke there’s fire. I wouldn’t touch this one with a ten foot barge pole!

Are Balanced Funds broken?

The Gradidge Patch

I have been a believer in balanced funds for many years now. The simple balanced fund offers investors good exposure to growth assets, and lower volatility than the market. A well run balanced fund can outperform the equity market over time if the manager is able to get asset allocation right. Numerous balanced funds have long term track records with better than market returns so it possible. The rise of passive balanced funds has added an additional dimension to the market as investors can now access the benefits of balanced funds at a fraction of the cost that most active managers charge.

A few weeks back I sat for an annual portfolio review with a client. He has been a client for three years and like many investors, was concerned about lower than expected returns over the period. After the usual discussion around market conditions, he asked for a bit…

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