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September 8, 2011

Gobi Vacation


Every year, near the end of August, I go on the family canoe trip. Normally, it’s been in the Adirondacks, convenient for my parents, less convenient for me. This year, we decided to mix it up and go canoeing in Lake Baikal—or at least that was the plan. Let’s just say that the Russians take their visa process very seriously if you are an ... Read More
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June 16, 2011

The Biggest Site Visit Ever


I’ve spoken quite a bit about Mongolia on this site lately—partly this is because I am now living here, partly this is because I find what is happening in this economy so fascinating. There is no economy in the world that will see its exports triple because of the construction of just one mining asset. I don’t know if something like this has ever ... Read More
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November 15, 2010

Dead End (For Now) In Cambodia


No entry visa? No problem. I was at the airport in Siem Reap, Cambodia. No one said anything previously about an entry visa, but for $20, one magically appeared in my passport. Over the years, I’ve sent documents, photos and my passport to all sorts of third world nations. After a few anxious days (losing your passport is like losing your freedom), the passport ... Read More
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November 7, 2010

Banking (Cambodia Style)


If you want to really know what’s going on in a country, talk to the top bankers. They always know about the leading indicators both for future growth and problems. They know loan demand from expanding businesses and they know which industries are currently having trouble repaying debt. It is their job to know their clients. Bankers can be an invaluable resource. Government data ... Read More
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October 26, 2010

South Gobi On The Move


I’m travelling south from Erdenet back to Ulaanbaatar. The scenery here is incredible. Every valley has something different to take in. I travelled part of this route just six weeks ago, but the change is stunning. Six weeks ago, everything was cloaked in a verdant green. It was the height of the short summer here in Mongolia. Now, the cold has come and green ... Read More
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September 13, 2010

Mongolia Part IV (Ad Finem)


During nearly two weeks in Mongolia, I saw and learned a lot. Most of it was very much Mongolia focused. I did witness one thing that will forever change how I value a business. In the Western World, I have always thought that far too much was predicated on the notion of P/E multiples. Let’s face it, business is volatile. There are good and ... Read More
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September 8, 2010

Mongolia Part III (Ger Country)


While traveling through the Mongolian countryside, our driver plowed off-road towards a nomad camp. I realize that this is an investment website, but sometimes I see something so unique that I feel emboldened to mention it. Like everything in Mongolia, this was a delightful experience. Though separated by customs, I have to say that I felt a certain camaraderie with the family in the ... Read More
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September 6, 2010

Mongolia Part II (Company Visits)


Over the last decade of investing I’ve literally visited hundreds of companies. You never really know what you’re going to see, but there is a standard pattern to these visits. Usually it starts with some pleasantries followed by a pile of marketing materials being tossed at you. You go through the pitch book followed by a few questions. The CEO often has his CFO ... Read More
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September 1, 2010

Mongolia Part I (An Overview)


When I was younger, if I wanted to go someplace, my mother would complain that it was in Outer Mongolia. In reality, it was a 30 minute drive, but the point still survived—it was far away. Well mom, if you’re reading this, I am ACTUALLY in Outer Mongolia. You were right—it’s a long way from Long Island—25 hours by plane to Beijing and another ... Read More
Categories: Travels
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