As the days shorten and we spend more time indoors, IM felt the need to put out a piece that elicited debate and discussion, whereas previously this time would have been devoted to outdoor pursuits. The basic idea is to buy (long) a basket of shares that has fallen precipitously, and sell (short) a basket that still appears to be expensive based on prevailing operating, valuation and growth metrics. John Biccard summed it up at a recent Investec presentation: "Buy humility, sell hubris." To make it more interesting, an investment bank was approached to see whether an instrument holding the basket of longs and shorts could be put together for investors. Unfortunately, it declined. After the financial crisis of 2008 banks do not like to tie up capital in the pursuit of frivolity. Second, many do not like to be seen shorting the shares of their clients … at least openly. That may also explain why investment banking analysts seldom put out a sell recommendation on a share. Finding share...

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