Mr Juggles Investing Commandments (#3 & #4)

by Mr Juggles

In this installment (Read Mr Juggles Investing Commandments #1 and #2), the focus is what you can discern from a company’s investor relations team.

Commandment #3: Stocks with attractive IR women are no more likely to appreciate than average, but they are more fun to cover.
Stocks are, in the end, a good that is subject to the normal laws of supply and demand. A CEO who hires an attractive IR woman understands marketing and is stimulating demand; after all, his target demographic — financial analysts at large investment firms — is almost exclusively male and geeky. Unfortunately, these same CEOs have a propensity to overspend and have questionable judgement (tending to, say, sleep with members of the IR department). Thus, on balance, these stocks are not any more likely to perform better than stocks with unattractive IR women or men but, if you are in the aforementioned demographic, you are more likely to enjoy your time with the company. That’s a net win for you. Half of investing is picking the right asset class.

Commandment #4: Do not invest in companies where the IR team is larger than the management team.
Good examples of this phenomenon include the Old Media Cabal ( Time Warner (TWX), Viacom (VIA.B), and Disney (DIS)). A company that needs 12 experienced finance professionals to explain its operations, spin results to the press, coddle investors, and organize field trips to the studio lot probably does so because the business itself won’t produce stellar results.
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