Soros Is Brilliant, but Don't Get Left Holding the Herbalife Bag
If you haven't already read Ackman's presentation, you can find it, with slides, at factsaboutherbalife.com. Not only did I find it utterly unconvincing, I found most of the same arguments Ackman used just as easily be applied towards any business venture and or sales positions.
Despite the presentation having more fluff than sustenance, investors dumped shares faster than Wile E. Coyote falling off a cliff, and investors' emotions were on full-tilt. Aside from investors dumping shares after a billionaire declares the stock valueless, none of it made sense to me.
I wrote two key articles why shareholders shouldn't sell in the face of an oncoming train. The first one titled "Will Herbalife End Up a Penny Stock?" details why Ackman will need to step up his sales game if he ever finds himself in need of selling Herbalife products -- a future we can't totally exclude if his short position continues to move against him.
I'm not sure how much Ackman paid for the advice to get short Herbalife, but he should have hired me. I would have charged a lot less and not advised shorting this one, much less to the moon. I wrote the above article after the shares closed at the very low of the move. So to the person who gave the recommendation, how do you like them apples?
Again, the whole thing doesn't pass the smell test. Why risk your reputation on a massive short position that you know can blow up in your face while also stating you intend to donate all the profits if you're right to charity? Calculating the risk to reward is so far off the scale that it makes the quants who developed the models for loans to sub-prime appear reasonable.
Since that time, we enjoyed one of the most memorable and highly entertaining sparring matches between Ackman and Carl Icahn on live on CNBC. The spat included a lesson in "Schmuck Insurance," and if you're one of the only people left who hasn't watched, you don't want to miss this.