MBI is the abbreviation for “Mostly Borrowed Ideas”, which is my pseudonym on Twitter.
Why “Mostly Borrowed Ideas?”
As a generalist, I do not have a background in any particular sector. I enjoy navigating across industries, businesses, and countries to learn, understand, and connect the dots. In any case, most ideas and innovations are incremental in nature. Very few of us are smart enough to come up with truly original or groundbreaking ideas.
Although I started writing on twitter under my pseudonym, I think the current and future subscribers deserve to know the person behind “Mostly Borrowed Ideas”.
I am Abdullah Al-Rezwan. I was born and brought up in Bangladesh. I went to University of Dhaka for my undergrad and majored in Finance. After working three and half years in Equity Research (Sell-side) covering Financial Sector in Bangladesh, I left Bangladesh to pursue my MBA in the US. I graduated within top 10% of the class from Cornell University's two-year MBA program and worked on the buy-side following my graduation. During my time at Cornell, I won two stock pitch competitions and also became finalists in four other competitions. I thoroughly enjoyed my stint as a generalist in the US large cap team at Madison Investments and covered a wide range of companies from UnitedHealth to Amazon and Boeing before US immigration reality paused my career in investment management. As my work authorization expired, I moved to Canada in January, 2021. Then in early 2022, I was able to return to the US.
I am also a CFA and FRM charter holder. Yes, people from South Asian background have this strange fascination with credentials and I humbly succumbed to that stereotype. So with a CFA, FRM, and MBA, I have my fair share of alphabet soup under my belt. Of course, the market does not care about anyone’s credentials. I could add two more certificates and could still be a terrible investor.
As I started to think about my future plans following the expiry of work authorization in the US, I realized one of the biggest constraints in my life for last few years had been geography/location. After dealing with immigration related hassles, I wish I didn’t have to be in a particular location to do what I want to do.
After some twitter fame, I came up with the idea of starting this website in September, 2020. I can be anywhere in the world doing what I love to do: read and analyze different businesses.
If you are really, really curious about me, here's a pretty long interview that I gave in 2023 in which I delved deeper on my background, journey, and philosophy.
What can you expect from MBI Deep Dives?
Just one deep dive every month.
I will pick a company that I am curious about. I will spend hours on the company going through my research process. I will build financial model to get a better sense of the sensitivity of variables and expectations embedded in the stock price. You can explore my approach to valuation here. Finally, I will write a detailed piece on the business.
If I have a position on the stock, I will let you know in the very beginning of the piece. But if you want to subscribe to my website to receive just hot stock ideas, I will discourage you to subscribe to my work. My objective is to understand, analyze, and write about businesses. In some cases, after spending weeks on the business, I will conclude I am not comfortable with this business, and I want to write to explain why. Sometimes, the business can be great, but the valuation is perhaps too rich to my taste. I do believe errors of omission is far more expensive than errors of commission. One of the reasons I want to write on ideas I am not bullish about is to document my thought process in detail and then build a Bayesian mindset to track these companies. Perhaps I will change my mind at some point as new information comes along.
I believe it is impossible to find one great stock every month. So it is possible that in the next 12 months, I may only be “long” in 3 out of 12 stocks I will write about. As an individual investor, I do not want to have a portfolio of 40 stocks. Ideally, my ceiling in terms of number of stocks is 20 and the floor can be as low as 10.
If you subscribe, I promise you to provide in-depth research on companies without the typical sell-side biases (e.g. 80-90% “Buy” recommendations). You will also receive the downloadable detailed excel model in which you can change the assumptions to fit your narrative.
As a generalist, I constantly feel I do not know enough. If you have expertise on a company I have already written or will write in future, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com to share your opinion.
If you think I am wrong, you are probably right and don’t hesitate to contact me and leave me feedback. Although I have been investing since 2013, I am deeply aware of the fact that I have not experienced any prolonged recession. It takes years and perhaps decades to evaluate an analyst or investor just how good he/she actually is across the market cycle. I will try my absolute best to produce high quality research and ideas that survive the test of time. But only time will tell.