Turnaround Investing Tips

EV/EBITDA: What Is It & Why Are We Using It More?

In reading recent editions of The Turnaround Letter, you have probably noticed that we are increasingly using EV/EBITDA as a valuation measure, rather than the better-known price/earnings multiple.  We thought it might be useful to describe this measure and why we like it.


Turnaround Investing Mistakes

One of the keys to making money in investing is to avoid making mistakes. If you can avoid at least most of the following pitfalls, you will greatly enhance your ability to make money investing in turnaround situations. Read the 10 most common mistakes turnaround investors make.


Investing in Distressed Securities

Distressed investing usually involves greater risk than turnaround investing, but can also offer higher returns. Given the risk, most investors in distressed securities focus on bonds. These securities can provide greater downside protection than equities, as they may have legal claims on valuable assets and may receive new securities or cash in a bankruptcy reorganization; however, they still can provide significant upside potential. Get all the information you need to integrate distressed securities into your portfolio.


Activist Investors

With nearly $180 billion in assets under management, “activist” investment funds have become a powerful force in the capital markets: Nearly 40% of companies in the S&P 500 attracted activist attention in recent years. According to Activist Insight, 320 companies in the U.S. experienced an activist campaign in just the first half of 2017; but who, exactly, are these activists, what are they after, and what role do they collectively serve? Find out how you can leverage this activist investor data.


Comparing Stocks & Bonds

While the common stock of a turnaround candidate usually has the greatest upside potential, other classes of securities, such as bonds or preferred stock, may offer attractive profit possibilities with less risk. Learn how savvy turnaround investors can profit from a little extra analysis of these various options.


They Don't All Go Up

Not every stock pick immediately goes up—this is especially true when it comes to turnarounds and other deep value situations. Learn how The Turnaround Letter recommends buy and hold contrarian investors react when a stock is down.


Don't Try to Time the Market

There is an old saying in the investment business: “You can always tell the market-timers: they’re the ones with the holes in their shoes.” While there may be cycles in the stock market, we don't know anyone who can successfully time those cycles. Find out why we always recommend that investors should not attempt market timing.


A Note of Caution on Penny Stocks

Although The Turnaround Letter chooses not to include “penny stocks” in our portfolio, it is possible to realize substantial profit with low-priced stocks, particularly if that price is low because the company is in the process of turning around. Turnaround companies usually have substantial operating histories and significant assets, but their stock prices are low because recent results have disappointed investors. Find out how to distinguish cheap stocks from value stock picks.


Stocks that Pay Dividends

We've always liked dividend-paying stocks for the three principal reasons named here. This Turnaround Tip details those benefits--and warns of the potential dangers of an uninformed investment strategy. Learn more.


IPOs: Looking for Bargains

2017 is shaping up to be a pretty busy year for IPOs, but not all deals have been blockbusters. There have been several recent IPOs by companies with worthwhile products and services, reasonable valuations and share prices below or little-changed from their debut prices. Get more IPO advice.


Buying Stock of Companies in Bankruptcy

The Turnaround Letter rarely recommends that you buy the stock of a company operating under protection of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Stockholders are the lowest priority when it comes to payback; and—even if a company can successfully emerge from Chapter 11 protection—there is rarely enough value in that reorganized entity to give the old stock any value. Read more of "Buying Stock of Companies in Bankruptcy."


Insider Buying

Insider buying consists of buying shares of stock in a corporation by someone who is employed by that company. Insider buying, which is based on public information, is absolutely legal. While trading on specific, undisclosed inside information (a practice known as insider trading) is certainly illegal, insiders are allowed to buy and sell their company’s shares provided that they report all trading activity to the SEC. Learn how these trading details can be a very useful tool for savvy investors.


Convertible Bonds

Convertible bonds are an attractive vehicle for investors who want equity-like returns but cannot bear the volatility of stocks. See if convertible bonds are the right option for your turnaround investment portfolio.


Management Changes

Constructive management shake-ups could indicate that a successful turnaround is in the cards for some companies. Find out why a change in leadership might be a good sign.


Know What You Don't Know

We recommend investors not attempt to time the market—but rather, choose a level of stock market exposure and stick with it, focusing efforts on fundamental analysis of select stock picks. Get more straight-forward stock market advice.


Value Compression

A lot of good companies' stocks have suffered from value compression, and this can offer a potentially lucrative opportunity for the well-informed turnaround investor. Learn more.


Secular vs. Cyclical

When considering a potential turnaround stock opportunity, it is always a good idea to ask, “Is the company’s problem cyclical (or otherwise temporary), or is it secular?” Find out how you can make that critical distinction.


Sell When They Want to Buy

There is an old saying on Wall Street: "Bulls make money; bears make money but pigs get slaughtered." Investors who consistently pursue a bullish long-term strategy can make money, as can investors who consistently apply a bearish strategy. The investors who do poorly--i.e. “get slaughtered”--are those who are greedy and who always chase the hot stocks or hold onto stocks too long. Read more.



Diversification is the best, and in some cases only, way to reduce risk to your investment portfolio; and diversification is especially important with turnaround stocks because these situations inherently have more uncertainty—and hence, risk—than many other types of investments. Learn how you can use mutual funds for ready-made diversification.



Warrants can offer a lucractive option for those investors who are willing to take on more risk to obtain potentially higher returns. Read more about the pros and cons of this approach.


Year-End Bounce/Tax-Loss Selling


Investors can capitalize on year-end, short-term calendar quirks to lock in stock market gains. Learn more about this stock profit phenomenon.


Don't be Trendy!

Turnaround investors need to be especially wary of trendy sectors, and The Turnaround Letter's one rule in choosing stocks is that there must be a solid core business with long-term viability. Learn why your investment strategy shouldn't follow a passing fad.


High Yield Bonds

Many high yield issues have return--and risk--characteristics closer to stocks than to other fixed income instruments. Also, many companies that issue high yield debt are in the process of turning around, or at least trying to do so. Do the the inherent risks here outweigh returns?

Identify & Profit from Distressed Investing

Free Report: Turnaround Investing Mistakes

Turnaround Investing Blog

Turnaround Investing Blog

Is there value in bankrupt PG&E’s stock?

In nearly every case, the shares of a company in bankruptcy become worthless. In very rare cases, however, they can become great investments. W.R. Grace (NYSE:GRA) shares produced a 75-fold return, as an example. With California utility PG&E (NYSE:PCG) now in bankruptcy, the range of possible outcomes for its equity is wide.

Read More.

EV/EBITDA: What Is It & Why Are We Using It More?

In reading recent editions of The Turnaround Letter, you have probably noticed that we are increasingly using EV/EBITDA as a valuation measure, rather than the better-known price/earnings multiple.  We thought it might be useful to describe this measure and why we like it.

Read More.

Turnaround Letter Stock Pick Named Top Performer of 2017


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What Last Year's Top Stock Pickers Are Buying in 2018


This Forbes write-up follows up on the recent Top Stock Tips report--naming The Turnaround Letter's Crocs recommendation the top performer of 2017: With 90% gains, CROX beat out 100 other investment ideas included in the report; and the stock continues to have value investing appeal, according to Putnam.


George notes, "We see additional upside for the stock in 2018 as management's efforts continue to bear fruit, though the gains will likely be more muted than we saw in 2017."