Mayer’s Special Situations (defunct)

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sheeple123jump
Member
sheeple123jump
July 25, 2009 12:18 pm

Newsletter Title Chris Mayer’s Special Situations

From Agora, this newsletter from Chris Mayer is very good in my opinion. Very well written,Chris appears to be insightful,and thoughtful, with a good understanding of global markets and he does due diligence on fundamentals,finding value investments,off the beaten path,based on an awareness of the big picture of the complex and distressing economy we are in…. investments he calls ‘special situations’, like a junior miner that is set to break out, or an oil company in kazakstan that sells to china…I like that kind of idea.
or understanding the importance of the Water industry for the future…his outlook is not about blue chip american stocks. It’s about finding the savvy investments around the world (still too many of his picks in the USA,in my opinion…) but investments that are close to the changing trends in global economic development,world problems that need addressing, etc…so it is ‘contrarian’, and well researched. Many of his picks are stable ‘infrastructure’ stocks ,which I think is the right idea,so it’s a combination of established stocks,alongside savvy idea stocks well thought out.
I like it because it provides me with the research that I am looking for but unable to find on my own…steers me in the right direction…it’s a very good newsletter.
What I dont like, (right nowadays) is that it is mostly a ‘buy and hold’ strategy….which in this current world economic crisis….is dangerous…so even though his stock picks are well advised and researched… it remains a dangerous market to be in for any stocks out there,and ‘buy and hold remains dangerous idea . He does advise when to get in and get out.It’s a good newsletter.
So it’s hard to write a conclusion to this review. I like his picks,his thought processes,the due diligence, the ‘hidden opportunities’ etc… but the timing of this uncertain market ,in my mind, currently overrides any potential ‘buy and hold’ investments…in favor of remaining safe…in cash, gold,a few bonds, and alot of patience to wait for the right time to reinvest at bigger bottoms,or double bottoms, or after the next wave of commercial real estate defaults trigger the next collapse of the market next year, or the next war that causes chaos, or whatever it is that I am instinctively waiting to befall the ongoing crisis in investing.
Therefore I cancelled my subscription for now, but would highly recommend it,at another time when the investment climate is safer.
This is not a cheap newsletter . It costs about $ 1000 a year.
But I do think Chris Mayer and his newsletter is top notch.

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ernesto
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ernesto
April 5, 2010 8:27 am

Ok after sheeple`s seems there`s nothing to say but let me tell you that i`ve paid for around 42 publications and for two years his is the best,with a little of my own doings i`m up in every one,uncomon,rare but it`s a feast for my pocket and the best is that I guess that his choices will work in the comming years.
my only regret is I didn`t buy all of his picks

subscriber
Member
subscriber
October 20, 2010 1:47 pm

I am a subscriber to Mayer’s Special Situations,have been so for over a year, and I would have to give it mixed ratings. Here’s why. The newsletter is in a stage of change from last year …it is evolving, but in a choppy,naiive and uncentered way.
Last year,Agora Financial wanted to take advantage of the popularity of BRIC investment themes and they came out with a BRIC newsletter they called ‘Bric by Bric’ (clever huh) It failed in the first month because the editor they contracted with (from India?) failed to get it going after the first month.

But because the idea is still good, Agora has been wishing to have a BRIC newsletter. So far,that task seems to be falling on the shoulders of Chris Mayer.He’s been travelling all over the world this year, with a specific focus on China,Brazil, India, and not yet russia… looking for anything that looks like it would fit into the Mayers Special Situations newsletter…..which because of this new focus….is really fast becoming Mayer’s BRIC hybrid newsletter.
The problem is that Mayer is no expert on BRIC investments,culture, economies, etc…the way other analysts might be better educated or experienced.
So he has recommended several china stocks this year…with Very mixed results….significant losses,a few gainers…good ideas that went awry…Chris has good ideas….about infrastructure, water,agriculture, resources, etc….thats been the focus of his Special Situations newsletter….and Now its about the same good ideas….in a BRIC investment focus. nothing wrong with that…sort of.

After buying some of his China recommendations and watching them tank for losses…I stopped buying his recommendations.

The ideas are good but the timing is bad.
Some of the recommendations turned out to be fraudulent companies or accounting and CEO problems, you know the ones that happened over the summer….bad china speculation plays.

Turning to Brazil, he just went there on one of their junkets,to find agriculture investments…a great idea…until the Brazilian government shut the door on foreigners buying land in Brazil…the week before he went there.. Oops.
So its been going like that for Mr.Mayer this year and the Special Situations newsletter.

In today’s fragile economy teetering on the brink of something we can never feel sure about,but looks like possible disaster always nearby….the wisdom of the experts who are saying Only gold and silver and the miners are the only ‘safe’ investments these days….I am inclined to believe that opinion….and Mayer’s Special Situations is more about investing in essential infrastructure….like agriculture in Brazil,and China,fertiler companies,water companies,Iron ore, rare earth metals, ….anything he can find these days…it feels like he is groping around to establish a clear theme,away from USA markets and into BRIC markets.

But Brazil is way overbought now.
China has been dangerous if you choose a fraudulent company. Hows NEP doing these days. I dont know since I sold it for a big loss.

Last year,I liked the ideas Mayer had about infrastructure and essential resources plays…its still a good idea, but maybe its also a few years ahead of its time.
Economic climates can change.Geopolitics can make things worse. In this sense,right now, seems more like economic crisis ,monetary crisis, global economic war, outrageously obvious manipulated markets playing out currently, to an uncertain destination….. may not be the best time to have alot of buy and hold stocks.
I owned Hyflux for a year….it went sideways. I owned Lindsay …it went sideways.

In a happy economy and stable global financial system, maybe his stock picks would be ok.

I’m waiting for him to tell us what he likes in Brazil ….but especially what he sees there that Isnt terribly overbought.

Now That would be a truly special situation.

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sheeple123jump
Member
sheeple123jump
October 20, 2010 1:52 pm

I wrote an updated review today so I wont repeat myself. But my views have changed since the last year. I cant recommend this newsletter at this time. The focus has changed to one of finding investments in BRIC countries….but Mayer is not expert in these countries,and his recommendations have shown the weakness. Some recent China stock picks that proved fraudulent companies, is one example. He seems to have had to rely on the ‘expertise; of associates he knows who live and work in Asia…and their ‘knowledge ‘ wasnt any better.

He went to Brazil to look for agriculture investments….right as the brazilian government proceeded to shut the door on land investments to foreigners….bad luck huh?

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agnostic
Irregular
agnostic
February 9, 2011 4:41 pm

I’ve been reading this newsletter since its inception. Chris Mayer is a perceptive observer of the investment scene, with a background in banking and a strong bias toward value investing, buy-and-hold style. As the acid test for any investment advisor is always return relative to risk, here’s the record of the picks for this newsletter as I’ve recorded them over the four plus years it’s been in existence. I’ve recorded 79 picks (26 losers and the rest winners), 21 of which are still active. Five of these were made in the first year; two in the original issue. His average length of holding is a little over 15 months, with the extremes being the two original picks from 2006 still held, and the shortest holding of a closed position was less than a month for one, and just over a month for a couple of others. Big winners have been in his shortest holdings, meaning simply that when a position took off right after he added it, he took the profits, ranging from about 30% in less than three weeks on one, to over 60% in about a month for another. His biggest winners in longer term holdings have included several doubles or better in periods roughly ranging from nine to 24 months. Because he doesn’t use trailing stops or any kind of technical guides, his biggest losers tend to be big indeed. These include one of over 90% in about 8 months time, and several in the 60%-80% ranges over a year or so. His average return for all his picks has been about 23% over an average holding period between fifteen and sixteen months, which makes his average annual return about 18% across the entire history of the newsletter, a period in which the S&P 500 has gone essentially nowhere, and the Nasdaq is up less than 30% total. Added value seems real enough. Whether it’s enough to justify the price is an individual call, based on the performance of competing letters relative to their return and price. He’s an excellent writer, and I always like to read whatever he has to say.

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ogopogo007
Guest
ogopogo007
February 10, 2011 12:59 am

I get this as part of Agora Financial Reserve
Some picks are pretty pricy or trade on Ozzie Exchanges..that I didn’t buy.
I’ve looked at the Turkey oil co a couple of times, freaking expensive for 2400 BOED….can buy CDN Co’s for much less market cap. Seems like there is a lot of expectation already built into SP here

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Tom T.
Member
Tom T.
March 6, 2011 1:10 am

One of the better analysts out there. Talented at valuing companies. Sometimes you have to wait for the market but his record is good if you have that patience.

TomT
Member
TomT
May 13, 2011 5:37 pm

Chris is an ex-bank analyst that really can value a business.
His picks are based on these valuations and if you hold them long enough for the market to come around, you win. I think he has about 6-8 positions now over 100% gains, and he is seeing events, and concerns like the rest of us, therefore focused on Intl. and resource investments. If you can’t stand to hold them in a dip, then it may not work out for you.

ammonites
Irregular
February 26, 2013 12:21 pm