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Distress Investing: Principles and Technique Hardcover – Apr 13 2009


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“…this is the best book that I have read since The Black Swan…do yourself a favor and pick up a copy; you'd be crazy not to.” (SeekingAlpha.com, June 11, 2009)

From the Inside Flap

Financial innovation, new laws and regulations, and the financial meltdown of 2007-2008 are just a few of the forces that have shaped, and continue to shape, today's distress investment environment. Combine this with the fact that the discipline of distress investing doesn't always follow what conventional wisdom says, and you can see why it is one of the most challenging areas in finance.

Nobody understands this better than Martin Whitman—the legendary founder of Third Avenue Management LLC and a pioneer in the field of distressed markets—and leading academic Dr. Fernando Diz of Syracuse University. That's why they decided to write Distress Investing. As an outgrowth of annual distress and value investing seminars the two have taught together at Syracuse University's Martin J. Whitman School of Management, this reliable resource will help you gain a better understanding of the essential principles and techniques associated with distress investing and show you how to effectively apply them in the real world.

Divided into four comprehensive parts—the General Landscape of Distress Investing, Restructuring Troubled Issuers, the Investment Process, and Cases and Implications for Public Policy—this book comprehensively covers the practice of buy-and-hold investing in distressed credits, whether it be performing loans or the reinstated issues of a reorganized issuer.

From the recent changes to U.S. bankruptcy code and creditor rights to cash bailouts, you'll quickly learn how to analyze distressed situations such as pricing issues, arbitrage opportunities, tax disadvantages, and the reorganization of funding plans. Along the way, case studies of both large and small distress investing deals—from Kmart to Home Products International—will give you a better perspective of the business.

Critical topics addressed throughout these pages include:

  • Chapter 11 bankruptcy and why it's not considered an ending, but rather a beginning when it comes to distress investing

  • The "Five Basic Truths" of distress investing

  • The difficulty of due diligence for distressed issues

  • Distress investing risks from reorganization risk to risk associated with the alteration of priority of payments in bankruptcy

  • Valuing companies by both going concern as well as their resource conversion attributes

In today's turbulent economic environment, distress investing presents some enticing opportunities. Put yourself in a better position to excel at this endeavor with Distress Investing as your guide.


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Amazon.com: 12 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Timely Release May 27 2009
By Interested Investor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Fernando Diz and Martin Whitman's Distress Investing is a practical tool to both beginner and experienced investors. Today's worldwide economic downturn has created attractive investments for distressed investors which makes this book a timely release. Distress Investing guides the reader step by step from defining distressed debt to valuation. Understanding creditor's rights and bankruptcy law allow distressed investors to capitalize on investments that are overlooked by individuals who are not knowledgeable of their securities' rights. In addition, it offers insight into many of Martin Whitman's strategies that he has employed during his long successful career of investment finance. Distress Investing is well written and provides excellent examples that make it an easy read. I would recommend this book to any individual looking to expand their knowledge base beyond equities.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Meant for the Institutional Investor March 2 2010
By Joseph - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is filled with a lot of knowledge about investing in distressed assets and navigating your way, as an investor, through the the bankruptcy process. However, this book is for institutional or-- in the words of Martin Whitman-- "control" investors. There is close to nothing of value here for the retail investor who is looking to understand this aspect of investing and profit from it. Joel Greenblatt's chapter on bankruptcies in "You Can be a Stock Market Genius" is far more valuable for retail investors.
21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Too difficult for the layman on the subject March 15 2010
By Frederik Vanhaverbeke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book may be good for people who are very familiar with distress investing, but honestly that I can not judge. What I can tell is that the book is totally unsuitable for people unfamiliar with the subject. I stopped reading the book somewhere in the middle (and that is the first book in a list of about 70 on investing (or trading) where I gave up) because I was overwhelmed by the jargon and the descriptions of laws surrounding distress investing. I had the impression that it was more a book for lawyers and other people involved in the legal aspects of bankruptcies. But it is definitely not suited for common stock investors. If you don't have THOROUGH knowledge of the field, the book is certainly not for you.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Best book on the subject Aug. 14 2009
By Mariusz Skonieczny - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book because with the current economic crisis, it seems like anywhere I turn I am finding incredible deals. This book, however, focuses on distressed debt which is not specifically my specialty, but I definitely learned a lot from it.

The author discusses topics such as Chapter 11 reorganization, securities' rights, and the workout process. Because these special situations add another complexity level to investing, there is not that much competition from institutional investors so the opportunities for above average returns are plentiful. I would recommend this book to serious investors.

- Mariusz Skonieczny, author of Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market? Learn how to invest your money, how to pick stocks, and how to make money in the stock market
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Basics for Bankruptcy Investing July 17 2009
By James East - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
First it should be noted that this book is not for the casual weekend investor but for the more serious investor willing to get their hands a little dirty. Also, much like Mr. Whitman's classic book "Aggressive Conservative Investor", this book too is not necessarily set up to read in series or chronologically as one can if one wishes to start with sections that interest them the most. Also like the aforementioned classic, this book also provides considerable space devoted to describing the real world faced by both the outsiders and the insiders with respect to where their interests and incentives are most likely set. Understanding the viewpoints of both the insiders, whether corporate management or the directors, and the outsiders, whether control investors, the banker, the financier, the short-term traders, or that of the outside passive investor will help you along your way in understanding what may be happening in the market and why. Why? - because one needs to understand the view of the interested parties perspective and that one may temporarily have leverage over the other.

With that cautionary note, the reader can gain some great insights into the somewhat hidden world of how the bankruptcy process works. With the ample examples and historical perspective that the authors bring to the table, the reader will gain more understanding of what is going on versus what one may read in the daily headlines of the pre-filing, or the post-filing, of the bankruptcy proceedings.

All in this book provides one with some safeguards in regards to what to invest in and what to look out for while investigating distressed opportunities. "Distressed Investing" also still sticks to the Safe & Cheap philosophy advocated by both the authors and from the framework of Benjamin Graham.


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