Many people have e-mailed us with questions about who we are, and what it is we do during our daily lives.
Most people would refer to our work as investment banking. We prefer to call it deal making. A Company public or private may have a corporate finance problem that requires an introduction to a new banking source. It may involve strategic planning, or simply an outsider coming in and doing a valuation. All of the preceding deals with VALUE, and VALUATION.
What we like to do is constantly deal with what something is worth. Whether it is a share of stock, or a company, or a building, or a piece of land, there are ways to value it. Some of the methods use are discounted cash flow analysis, or sum of the parts valuation, or the comparable company approach. We feel comfortable with these approaches.
In the end though, you have to have a nose for stocks. Nobody talks about this concept. The price of the stock has to smell right. If it does, you buy. If it doesn't, you walk away.
Yes we do travel when it is necessary; sometimes it is overseas. The world we enter and work in, are the rarefied worlds of people, companies, and countries making deals. We like it, and we are comfortable with it. In the end though, it comes back to VALUE, and VALUATION.
Recently we were directly involved in a capital raise for a medical device venture capital deal in Texas. It taught us a lot about value. We were involved through a relationship with a venture capital raise for a medical device Internet deal in Georgia. Again, it's all about value.
We did some work for an environmental company with worldwide operations based in Germany. They needed to do a $ 100 million high yield debt raise. If you want to see mountains of paper work being generated, just work on a high yield debt raise. The lawyers make a fortune.
What the above should give you is a feel for our work. Many of our relationships are outside the immediate activities of valuestockplayers.com. We could never hope to be able to afford to bring into any business, the wealth of talent that we feel we can access outside our business. It's about connections. It's about relationships. As the owner of a restaurant we frequent likes to say, "What good is a connection that you never used. It's like not having one." He's right. As a consequence we are always talking with our relationships about stocks. What do you like, and why do you like it? How much do you know? Where do you think the stock is going?
Our questions very rarely involve what our relationships think of the market. Only FOOLS try to predict the market. We have been doing this long enough; it has actually taken us several decades to realize that the market is unpredictable for all practical purposes.
Remember what happens in cards. You have to play the cards you are dealt. The market is the dealer. You are the player. We will help you play. We will help you to perfect your hand, we believe. If you give us an opportunity, we think we can deliver a rich, rewarding stock market experience. See you at the Bottom.
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Former Chairman, Lehman Brothers
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