Cover image for Dead companies walking : how a hedge fund manager finds opportunity in unexpected places
Dead companies walking : how a hedge fund manager finds opportunity in unexpected places
Fearon, Scott.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
Physical Description:
vii, 243 pages ; 25 cm
Historical myopia -- The fallacy of formulas -- A minor oversight : your customers -- Madness and manias -- Deck chairs on a sinking ship -- The buck stops ... there -- Short-to-long: rescuing failing companies -- Losing money without even trying : welcome to Wall Street.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HG6041 .F38 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HG6041 .F38 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HG6041 .F38 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HG6041 .F38 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Unlike most investors, who live in fear of failure, Scott Fearon actively seeks it out. He has earned millions of dollars over the past thirty years shorting the stocks of businesses he believed were on their way to bankruptcy. In Dead Companies Walking, Fearon describes his foolproof formula for spotting these doomed businesses, and how they can be - extremely profitable investments. In his experience, corporate managers routinely commit six common mistakes that can derail even the most promising companies: they learn from only the recent past; they rely too heavily on a formula for success; they misunderstand their target customers; they fall victim to the magical storytelling of a mania; they fail to adapt to tectonic shifts in their industry; and they are physically or emotionally removed from their companies' operations. Fearon has personally interviewed thousands of executives who were headed, unknowingly, for bankruptcy - from the Texas oil barons of the 80s to the tech wunderkinds of the late 90s to the flush real estate developers of the mid-2000s. Here, he explores recent examples like JC Penney, Herbalife and Blockbuster Entertainment to help investors better predict the next booms and busts - and come out on top.

Author Notes

Scott Fearon worked as a stock analyst and mutual fund manager before launching his own hedge fund, Crown Capital Management, in 1991. Since its inception, the fund has averaged an 11.4 percent annual return after all fees - 50 percent greater than the benchmark S&P 500 index's total return over the same time period, and well above the hedge fund industry average. He has written for Seeking Alpha and blogs at He lives in Marin County, California.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Hedge fund manager Fearon shares his take on why companies fail in this surprisingly entertaining mix of business guide and memoir. Fearon, now exceptionally successful, isn't shy about revealing some of his financial missteps, the earliest being in the summer following his graduation from Northwestern University, when he started a job in Houston just as the oil industry crashed. But, as he insists, his mistakes-and his observation of others'-have helped him recognize key warning signs of a company about to tank. Fearon also identifies such common errors as viewing the "recent past" as "history," "confusing formulas with good decision making," and "confusing your own tastes for the tastes of your customer." His entertaining tales of the business world include notable failures with inline skating investments, NordicTrack, and Blockbuster, paired with success stories like Zale Corporation and International Gaming Technology. And he isn't afraid to dish about the many nefarious people and companies he's encountered during his career in the financial industry. The final takeaway of this spirited book is that "learning to love failure all over again" can help America recover the adventurous spirit that Fearon believes our economy needs. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Forged in Failurep. 1
1 Historical Myopiap. 7
2 The Fallacy of Formulasp. 35
3 A Minor Oversight: Your Customersp. 61
4 Madness and Maniasp. 85
5 Deck Chairs on a Sinking Shipp. 115
6 The Buck Stops ... Therep. 141
7 Short to Long: Rescuing Failing Companiesp. 169
8 Losing Money without Even Trying: Welcome to Wall Streetp. 197
Conclusion: Learning to Love Failure All Over Againp. 227
Acknowledgmentsp. 235
Indexp. 239