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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Oct 22, 2020
News Brief: Stay at Home Stocks, REITs, Housing, Oracle, and AT&T
Image: Number of COVID-19 cases reported weekly by WHO Region, and global deaths, 30 December 2019 through 18 October 2020. Source: WHO. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on, though the healthcare community has become more adept at reducing the incidence of death given the many treatments now available to battle the disease. We continue to stay the course with the newsletter portfolios. Many of our favorites include Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Alphabet, and PayPal, among other moaty, net-cash-rich, free-cash-flow generating powerhouses tied to secular growth trends. Our focus remains on the long haul. The business models of many stay-at-home stocks are solid as they continue to reap the rewards of the accelerated trends of home office use and e-commerce proliferation. Housing-related names are also benefiting as consumers adjust their lifestyles to accommodate a post-COVID-19 world. Many pockets of the economy still remain ill, and the slow fading of the attractiveness of commercial / office / apartment space may rear its ugly head as this new decade continues. As was the case with the department stores, they may hang around for years (decades) with myriad fits and starts, but it will be an uphill battle for REITs operating in these areas. We see little reason to bottom fish in airlines, cruise lines, or fickle mall-based retail, for example, but there may be select opportunities in the restaurant arena with Chipotle and Domino’s. The financials and energy sectors are two areas we continue to avoid, more generally, and they have continued to underperform.
Oct 22, 2020
Image: The performance of ideas in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio during the trading session October 21. Many of the higher-weighted ideas in the newsletter portfolio are propelling the portfolio to relative outperformance. The Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio comprises a portfolio constructed of Valuentum's best ideas. These are companies that have scored favorably on the Valuentum Buying Index (VBI) and have been included in the newsletter portfolio with consideration of sector diversification and market/economic risk. The Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio is found in the Best Ideas Newsletter, which is released on the 15th of each month. Source: Seeking Alpha.
Oct 16, 2020
The Skill Paradox Is a Myth in Investing
Image: The game of baseball has changed during the past 100 years. While many point to a declining standard deviation and coefficient of variation in batting averages for evidence of a paradox of skill in baseball, it's more likely the game has changed. Players are hitting more homeruns, sacrificing batting average as a result. Source: Baseball Almanac. Michael Mauboussin, while highlighting in his own words in The Success Equation how stock portfolios have conformed over time due to a reduction of active share brought about by myriad influences in how active managers are "playing the game," completely misses using this explanation as the correct conclusion for the observation of declining standard deviations of excess returns. There is no paradox of skill in investing. Investors are conforming to the same playbook due to conflicting incentives (perhaps even driving active management skill levels collectively lower), and this is resulting in what we're seeing today. Unlike his work in evaluating baseball and basketball, Mauboussin seems to completely miss that active mutual funds and ETFs are also only 15% of the market. In the case of investing, analyzing the standard deviation of returns of 15% of the stock market, as in active funds and ETFs, tells us little about luck or skill. Warning about the use of small sample sizes early in the book, the combination of this errant conclusion has only padded the indexing propaganda making The Success Equation an absolute tragedy of a text, and I must say it hurts me a lot to say it (I know how much work goes into writing a book, and I generally enjoy Mauboussin's work).
Oct 14, 2020
Our Thoughts on Apple Launching Its First-Ever 5G-Capable iPhone
Image Shown: Shares of Apple Inc have surged higher year-to-date. On October 13, Apple announced its first-ever lineup of 5G-capable iPhones along with a new smart home speaker offering HomePod Mini. While the 5G-capable iPhone announcement was largely expected, we appreciate the good news all the same. We include shares of Apple as a holding in both our Best Ideas Newsletter and Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolios and are big fans of the name. The HomePod Mini offering represents Apple’s way of staying competitive with similar offerings from Amazonand Alphabet.
Oct 13, 2020
Great Day in the Markets!
Image: The Invesco QQQ Trust, an exchange-traded fund based on the NASDAQ 100 index, had a great day during the trading session October 12, as it leads all major indexes on the year. The trading session October 12 was a sight to see. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.88%, the S&P 500 jumped 1.64%, while the NASDAQ powered ahead an incredible 2.56%. As many of our members know, the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio are very heavily weighted in large cap growth, big cap tech, and the NASDAQ.
Oct 8, 2020
Nelson: I'm Not Worried About This Market
Image Source: The White House. President Donald J. Trump listens as U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams delivers remarks and urges citizens to wear masks in public at a coronavirus (COVID-19) update briefing. All things considered, not much has changed since our last update. I think the newsletter portfolios--Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio, High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio--are well-positioned for this market environment, our new options idea generation has been great, the Exclusive ideas have had tremendous success rates (we just closed another two winners recently), and we continue to add tremendous value in providing our work in full transparency for readers. Thanks for tuning in.
Oct 7, 2020
Apple’s Growing Financial Tech Business
Image Shown: Shares of Apple Inc, a holding in both our Best Ideas Newsletter and Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolios, have surged higher year-to-date. We see room for additional capital appreciation upside. We continue to be huge fans of Apple, and shares of the tech giant are included as a holding in both our Best Ideas Newsletter and Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolios. Our fair value estimate for Apple sits at $140 per share, comfortably above where shares of AAPL are trading at as of this writing indicating there is room for meaningful capital appreciation upside. Additionally, shares of AAPL yield a modest ~0.7% as of this writing, and we view its forward-looking dividend growth trajectory quite favorably, though please note Apple also allocates a significant amount of capital every fiscal year towards share repurchases.
Oct 6, 2020
Third-Level Thinking and "Keynesian Convergence"
Image: The analytical process of the Valuentum Buying Index rating system. At Valuentum, we seek to identify strong, competitively-advantaged companies that are underpriced [with solid cash-based sources of intrinsic value (net cash, strong expected free cash flows)] whose share prices are either 1) also advancing, 2) have strong relative pricing strength, or 3) have just started to begin to advance toward an intrinsic value estimate (with a nice growing dividend to boot, where applicable). Third-level thinking is our foundation at Valuentum, and it continues to serve investors well.
Oct 2, 2020
ICYMI: How Big Is Your "Too Hard" Bucket?
Image Source: Christian Schnettelker. In investing, it's okay to admit that there are some things that investors can't know. It's not a poor reflection of one's analytical ability or a possible shortcoming of one's experience, but rather quite the contrary: Understanding and accepting that some things are "unknowable" is a sign of the quality of one's judgment. Quite simply, certain critical components of the equity evaluation process are more "unknowable" than others. The intelligent investor recognizes the variance (fair value estimate ranges) and the magnitude of the "unknowable" between companies and generally tries to identify entities that have the least "unknowable" characteristics as possible or situations where the "unknowable" might actually be weighted in their favor (an asymmetric fair value distribution).
Sep 18, 2020
Your Role as a Choice Architect
Image: Impact Hub Global Network. Richard Thaler in his groundbreaking book Nudge, co-written with Cass Sunstein, talked about the role of the choice architect. A choice architect is basically someone or some organization that has the responsibility for organizing the context and content in which people make decisions. At Valuentum, we can never provide personalized buy/sell advice, but in providing publishing services, we've opted for the healthy option for members, and that sometimes means you won't find a large selection of dessert options. This isn't a shortcoming of our service (i.e. we know desserts are tempting), but rather a key positive attribute. As we've shown time and time again, you don't need to look far to beat the market return (or, by comparison, to have a healthy diet). If something is not on the menu at Valuentum, it means the chef has something better cooking in the kitchen. Here's to your long-term financial health!
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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.