Talk about a value investment.
While Seth Klarman’s "Margin of Safety" out-of-print value investing bible is so south among the investor community and on Wall Street that used hardback copies sell for thousands of dollars, this morning Bloomberg spotted that it was now listed on Amazon Kindle store for paltry $9.99.
After quietly appearing there on July 6, the book has shot to No. 16 on the list of Kindle best-sellers in the business and investing category.
As Bloomberg notes, hard copies, which have become collectors’ items in certain circles of the investment world, were recently advertised on Amazon for as much as $2,500. Photocopied versions have been known to circulate among analysts who are too poor - or too tight-fisted - to pay up for the real thing.
The book first published in 1991 offers an in-depth look into the investing process of Seth Klarman, founder of the Baupost Group hedge fund, whose track record is among the best in the industry, although maybe not so much lately after sounding the alarm on FANGS at the start of the year, since which point the growthy tech names have exploded higher and crushed such other value investors as David Einhorn who has been short the names.
However, as often turns out, if it appeared too good to be true, it's because it was, and as Bloomberg follows up, Baupost said the Amazon version published without his approval and that his legal team is taking action.
Hedge fund legend Klarman, Baupost’s chief executive officer, hasn’t authorized republication of the book in any form. The Boston-based firm said in a statement Tuesday that the publication on Amazon was a copyright violation.
And indeed as of shortly before noon Eastern time, the URL where the book was previously found showed a missing page.
For those who purchased the book in time, congratulations: “I bought one immediately” after seeing it in the Kindle store, said Hao Hong, chief strategist at Bocom International Holdings Co. in Hong Kong. “It’s like a value investing bible.”
It was unclear if Amazon would delete any copies that had been downloaded on user Kindles.