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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Sep 20, 2023
ICYMI: Questions for Valuentum’s Brian Nelson
Valuentum's President Brian Nelson, CFA, answers your questions.
Sep 16, 2023
4 Very Good Reasons Why We Don’t Like Dividends of Banking Stocks
Image: Bank Run in Michigan, USA, February 1933. Source: Public Domain. It’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the fragility of a banking firm’s business model. Let’s examine the reasons why we don’t like banking firms’ dividends. Reason #1: A Bank Run Is Always Possible. Reason #2: Others Have Tried to Invest in Bank Dividends and Have Failed. Reason #3: Cash Flow Is Not Meaningful at Banks. Reason #4: There Are Plenty of Other Options. Let's dig in.
Jun 26, 2023
CFA Institute Blog: "Hide-'Til-Maturity" Accounting
CFA Institute Blog: "The Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapse recalls the tussle over the accounting for financial instruments after the global financial crisis (GFC) in 2009, particularly the debate about whether some financial instruments should be carried at amortized cost (held-to-maturity, HTM) rather than at fair value (available-for-sale, AFS), or what is referred to as the “mixed measurement model.”" -- Sandy Peters, CPA, CFA
Jun 5, 2023
ALERT: Going to “Fully Invested” in the Best Ideas Newsletter Portfolio
Image: Since the publishing of the first edition of the book Value Trap, the stylistic area of large cap growth (SCHG) has meaningfully outperformed both the equal-weight S&P 500 (SPY) and small cap value (IWN).With the debt-ceiling debate behind the markets, the regional banking crisis largely in the rear-view mirror, and the Fed winning the fight against inflation, a continuation of the strength in the markets as witnessed from the October 2022 lows can probably be expected. We're going to "fully invested" in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio today and expect to do the same in the Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio and High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio soon.
May 30, 2023
Paper: Value and Momentum Within Stocks, Too
Abstract: This paper strives to advance the field of finance in four ways: 1) it extends the theory of the “The Arithmetic of Active Management” to the investor level; 2) it addresses certain data problems of factor-based methods, namely with respect to value and book-to-market ratios, while introducing price-to-fair-value ratios in a factor-based approach; 3) it may lay the foundation for academic literature regarding the Valuentum, the value-timing, and ultra-momentum factors; and 4) it walks through the potential relative outperformance that may be harvested at the intersection of relevant, unique and compensated factors within individual stocks.
May 8, 2023
Long Live Apple and Large Cap Growth!
Image: Since the release of the book Value Trap in December 2018, an ETF that tracks large cap growth (SCHG) has outperformed not only the S&P 500 (SPY), but also the areas of dividend growth (SDY) and small cap value (IWN) by sizable margins. In a world where monetary policy is tightening and regional banks are failing, we maintain our long-held view that big cap tech and large cap growth are the places to be. Since the release of the book Value Trap in December 2018, an ETF that tracks the area of large cap growth (SCHG) has not only outperformed the S&P 500 (SPY), but also the areas of dividend growth (SDY) and small cap value (IWN) by sizable margins. We love the net cash rich balance sheets and strong expected future free cash flow generators within the area of large cap growth, and Apple remains one of our very favorites that fits the mold. Apple is included in both the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio.
Mar 22, 2023
Quick Take: Fed Raises 25 Basis Points; This Banking Crisis Is Far from Over
Image: FOMC Chairman Powell answers a reporter's question at the March 20, 2019 press conference. On March 22, 2023, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate 25 basis points, to the range of 4.75%-5%, a move that we think reflects a government agency that is now more or less a deer caught in headlights--given the nascent regional banking crisis in the United States. The bottom line is that the U.S. banking system does not have enough cash on hand to redeem all deposits (it never has), and with respect to U.S. banks, deposit insurance is only up to $250,000 per depositor, per FDIC-insured bank, per ownership category. The U.S. public has grown concerned, and that may spell continued panic (and deposit flight). The bank business model is inherently flawed, in our view, necessitating outsized risk and enormous amounts of leverage. From where we stand, the U.S. banking system will likely continue to be tested until it is resolved that any deposits held at any financial institution in the U.S. are completely safe by explicit government guarantee. Without this explicit guarantee, it may mean continued deposit flight from the regional banks to the large money center banks -- the Too-Big-to-Fail ("TBTF") banks -- or it could mean potentially higher deposit insurance levels that go far beyond the current $250,000 threshold, which itself was raised from $100,000 during the Great Financial Crisis in 2008 (and made permanent in 2010). One might hope that the markets can perhaps avert another all-out banking crisis if deposit insurance thresholds are raised once again, but this explicit move remains to be seen.
Mar 13, 2023
ALERT: We’re ‘Raising Cash’ in the Newsletter Portfolios
Image: American Union Bank, New York City. April 26, 1932. Public Domain. Almost a decade ago now, we wrote the following: “We firmly believe that an investment in a bank must come with the acknowledgement of the distinct possibility that another financial crisis may occur at an unknown time in the future. Why? Banks do not keep a 100% reserve against deposits. Our good friend George Bailey knew this very well when he tried to discourage Bedford Falls residents from making a “run” on the famous and beloved Building and Loan.” – Brian Nelson, CFA, September 4, 2013
Mar 9, 2023
SVB Financial, Silvergate Capital, Credit Suisse Reveal Cracks in Global Financial System
Image: SVB Financial looks to be collateral damage of the Fed’s rate-hiking cycle, and we can’t rule out that other regional banks could have also managed interest-rate risk wrong. Shares of SVB Financial have collapsed, and other banks could be facing similar issues that have yet to come to light. Image Source: TradingView. SVB Financial announced March 8 what looks to be an emergency equity offering to the tune of $2.25 billion in common stock and convertible preferred shares. The company also announced that it had sold almost all of its available-for-sale (AFS) $21 billion securities portfolio, which resulted in an after-tax loss of ~$1.8 billion during the current quarter. This looks to be an effort to shore up liquidity while it can, and we would not be surprised to see some bad bets at the bank come to light. SVB Financial’s client cash burn has accelerated, and the executive team noted that the “challenging market and rate environment has pressured Q1 performance, with implications to (its) 2023 outlook.” It’s difficult to know just how bad things are at SVB Financial, but the bank seems to have mismanaged interest rate risks and its asset sensitivity. SVB is reconstructing its AFS portfolio with short-duration fixed rate U.S. Treasuries. Though this may be the right move, the stark scenario for the bank is that if market participants lack confidence in the institution, there is more downside to come.
Jan 17, 2023
Goldman Sachs Drops, Morgan Stanley Pops in “Bull Market for Advice”
Image: Morgan Stanley’s ‘Wealth Management’ division has provided the company with stability, while Goldman Sachs continues to feel weakness across several of its business segments. Image Source: TradingView. Banking entities have kicked off fourth-quarter 2022 earnings season. The quarterly results across those that have reported have been mixed thus far, among the largest entities, but perhaps the dichotomy among players was no more pronounced than the market’s reaction to Goldman Sachs’ and Morgan Stanley’s respective fourth-quarter 2022 results. Goldman Sachs’ shares fell to the lower end of our fair value estimate range, while Morgan Stanley’s shares surged toward our fair value estimate. We think Morgan Stanley’s shares could run to the high end of our fair value estimate range, or $118 each, in part on the basis of technical momentum, but we’re not making any changes to our banking fair value estimates following the results at this time.
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The High Yield Dividend Newsletter, Best Ideas Newsletter, Dividend Growth Newsletter, Nelson Exclusive publication, and any reports, articles and content found on this website are for information purposes only and should not be considered a solicitation to buy or sell any security. The sources of the data used on this website are believed by Valuentum to be reliable, but the data’s accuracy, completeness or interpretation cannot be guaranteed. Valuentum is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of its newsletters, reports, commentary, or publications and accepts no liability for how readers may choose to utilize the content. Valuentum is not a money manager, is not a registered investment advisor and does not offer brokerage or investment banking services. Valuentum, its employees, and affiliates may have long, short or derivative positions in the stock or stocks mentioned on this site.