題外話,今天偶然從忠孝大的Line訊息得知有人對我的Blog有興趣,實在受寵若驚... ,也加了威宇和敬堯的FB,兩位看起來是很認真也很有實力的人啊。

得知Blog有人關注後,就會有想分享的衝動。所以分享一下至今我閱讀投資相關的原文書的心得。 第一次想接觸原文的衝動來自於當初看洪瑞泰的書"巴菲特選股魔法書"時。

他那時在書中描述他閱讀完巴菲特年報後被雷打到的情形,並且鼓勵大家看年報原文。這真的是非常好的建議! 相信所有對價值投資認同的人看完巴菲特年報原文後都會再被雷打到一次的。

然而為什麼看原文比較好呢? 理由是翻譯難免會有部分曲解了原文的意思,不論是翻譯的人翻錯或者是不懂。這都造成了差異化(gap),而使得閱讀的人沒有和作者想表達的on the same page.

 

舉個最近看到的 證券分析下的一段例子。

在第33章,葛拉漢全篇都在講解財報上的特殊狀況,從鑽研這些特殊情形衍生的機會就是股市當中的特殊機會。 其中,提到了Purity Bakeries Corp這家公司。以下是原文

Example A: Purity Bakeries Corporation. This large maker of bread
and cake operates through a number of subsidiaries, of which one of the
largest is Cushman’s Sons, Inc., of New York. Cushman’s has outstanding
$7 and $8 cumulative preferred stock, not guaranteed by Purity. The
annual reports of Purity are on a consolidated basis and show earnings
after deduction of full dividends on those Cushman’s preferred shares not
owned by Purity, whether earned or paid. The separate reports of Cushman’s
reveal that between 1934 and 1937 its operations resulted in a
considerable loss to Purity, on its accounting basis, viz.:

(000 OMITTED)
Loss of Cushman’s Purity earnings
Purity net income after full preferred excluding Cush-
Year as reported dividends man’s operations
1937 $463 $426 $889
1936 690 620 1,310
1935 225 (d.) 930 678
1934 209 173 382
Average 4 years 278 537 815
Per share of Purity 0.36 0.71 1.06


The earnings are thus seen to be three times as large excluding Cushman’s
as they were including Cushman’s. Could the analyst have reasoned
that the former provides the truer measure of Purity’s earning power, since
the company can be expected either again to earn money from that subsidiary
(as it had earned it in the past up to 1934) or to drop it? The question
of inter-corporate relationships would have to be considered. A note
in the 1937 report of Cushman’s indicated that Purity was making a fairly
large service charge in connection with its subsidiaries’ operations, which
suggests that Cushman’s might be of some extra value in absorbing overhead.
This matter would call for a careful inquiry.

But the report for the next year, 1938, showed, first, that Cushman’s
had earned the preferred dividend deduction, and secondly, that two
unprofitable retail plants (in Philadelphia and Chicago) had been closed.
Subject to further investigation, therefore, the analyst might well infer
that the subsidiary’s losses were nonpermanent in nature and that the
reported results for 1934–1937 are to be viewed with this point in mind.

 

簡單來說,這家公司底下有家虧損的Cushman's Sons, Inc. 並且這家公司有龐大的優先股股利負債,但不被母公司Purity所擔保,但問題來了,就算Cushman倒了,Purity也不用負責,但如何知道Purity會將Cushman清算掉? 如果一直不清算掉,身為拖油瓶的Cushman很可能每年的優先股股利就侵蝕掉母公司一半的獲利,這樣來看如果管理層無法認清楚情況,投資這家公司須負擔很大的風險,除非市場價格打到極低的水準。然而在1938年的報告顯示,1,Cushman獲利回升,似乎有擺脫拖油瓶的狀況,第二,其兩家長期虧損的廠房關閉,就這樣,分析師便在這些資訊公開後可以據以推斷Purity這家公司的實際獲利比在財報上的獲利還要高一倍。因為管理層開始清算掉不賺錢的廠房,如當初巴菲特在清算波克夏一樣,近四年認列子公司的虧損可以被推定是一項非經常性項目。投資價值便浮現了。

然在翻譯上,卻將Cushman獲利回升(first, that Cushman’s had earned the preferred dividend deduction)這句翻譯成Cushman得到優先股股利的扣減,只看中文版的人還會以為這可能是政府給的措施之類的,並且最後翻譯"Subject to further investigation, therefore, the analyst might well infer that the subsidiary’s losses were nonpermanent in nature and that the reported results for 1934–1937 are to be viewed with this point in mind."為"受制於進一步的研究,分析師或許因此洽當地推斷子公司的虧損並非永久性,而以這個觀點去分析1934到1937的業績",翻了一下我第一次看中文版的筆記,將整段意思搞錯了,以為這是一個從一開始就是非經常性費用的例子,然而實際上,Cushman若公司不處理並且其獲利沒回升,其優先股的負債將會是母公司經常性的費用。 若只看中文版的人便很難明白其中的意思。也無法實際理解葛拉漢對於這家公司的分析了。

此外相似的翻譯瑕疵也出現在大陸版翻譯的波克夏年報中,這便是我推薦閱讀原文的主要原因,被雷打到的機率會高出非常多。

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