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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Nov 19, 2020
Normalizing our Fair Value Estimates for the Money Center Banks
Image Source: Mike Cohen. During the past few weeks, positive news surrounding the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines means that, while times will still be tough for banks as bad loans pile up, losses and defaults perhaps won’t be as bad as we had originally predicted at the onset of the outbreak of COVID-19. The unemployment rate has steadily crept lower from the 14.7% rate it hit in April 2020 (it stands at 6.9% as of October), and businesses have been battling hard through the worst of times with help from the Paycheck Protection Program, among other stimulus efforts. There have still been many business failures, however. Several banks’ net interest margins have faced pressure, too, but 30-year rates have managed to ease a bit higher from the sub-1% mark on March 9, 2020, to 1.62% at the time of this writing (November 18). The widely-watched 10-year/3-month Treasury yield spread has also advanced to 79 basis points, representing a meaningful improvement from most of February and early March when the 10-year/3-month Treasury yield spread was negative. The probability of an adverse tail-event is also substantially reduced (if not, eliminated), given the laser-focus of the Fed/Treasury to do whatever it takes to get to the other side the COVID-19 crisis. With all of this in mind, we expect to raise our fair value estimates for the money center banks upon their next update, effective November 21. That said, we’re not changing our general views on the banking and financials sector. Banks are being used more and more these days as extensions of government fiscal intervention/policy via myriad stimulus programs (which makes them more like “utilities”), while regulatory oversight has put a limit on just how much capital they can return to shareholders. This adds a degree of unnecessary complexity for dividend growth and income investors. Returns on equity remain relatively unattractive for many banks when compared to some of the strongest Economic Castles on the market that put up ROICs north of 100%, for example, some even higher. Systemic risk remains present, too, with most lending books opaque and intertwined within a global financial system that remains far from healthy due to COVID-19.
Oct 23, 2020
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week October 23
Let's take a look at companies that raised/lowered their dividend this week.
Sep 3, 2020
Update: Frequently Asked Questions About Valuentum Securities, Inc.
Valuentum (val∙u∙n∙tum) [val-yoo-en-tuh-m] Securities Inc. is an independent investment research publisher, offering premium equity reports and dividend reports, as well as commentary across all sectors/companies, a Best Ideas Newsletter (spanning market caps, asset classes), a Dividend Growth Newsletter, modeling tools/products, and more. Independence and integrity remain our core, and we strive to be a champion of the investor. Valuentum is based in the Chicagoland area. Valuentum is not a money manager, broker, or financial advisor. Valuentum is a publisher of financial information. We address a number of questions from both subscribers and visitors to our site.
Sep 1, 2020
Valuentum Website Overview
Overview of the key features of www.valuentum.com (03:55). Valuentum (val∙u∙n∙tum) [val-yoo-en-tuh-m] Securities Inc. is an independent investment research publisher, offering premium equity reports, dividend reports, and ETF reports, as well as commentary across all sectors/companies, a Best Ideas Newsletter (spanning market caps, asset classes), a Dividend Growth Newsletter, modeling tools/products, and more. Independence and integrity remain our core, and we strive to be a champion of the investor. Valuentum is based in the Chicagoland area. Valuentum is not a money manager, broker, or financial advisor. Valuentum is a publisher of financial information.
Aug 3, 2020
Video: Exclusive 2020 -- Furthering the Financial Discipline
In this 40+ minute video jam-packed with must-watch content, Valuentum's President Brian Nelson talks about the Theory of Universal Valuation and how his work is furthering the financial discipline. Learn the pitfalls of factor investing and modern portfolio theory and how the efficient markets hypothesis holds little substance in the wake of COVID-19. He'll talk about what companies Valuentum likes and why, and which areas he's avoiding. This and more in Valuentum's 2020 Exclusive conference call. Note: The August edition of the Exclusive publication will be released Saturday, August 8.
Jul 24, 2020
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week Ending July 24
Let's take a look at companies that raised/lowered their dividend this week.
Jun 21, 2020
Warren: Four Ways to Play the Market at This Juncture
Image Source: Daniel Lobo. In this piece, we examine where the economy and stock markets have been recently, where we are now, and where we are going next. We also highlight four key ways to play this volatile market. We think this is a helpful way to think about overall portfolio construction, especially so that one does not overly expose themselves to a particular set of risks that could come to fruition—like an extended downturn in the economy or a rapid discovery of a vaccine for Covid-19 on the other hand.
Jun 16, 2020
Reiterating Our Bullish Long-Term View on Stocks
Image: The NASDAQ 100 Index remains resilient, bouncing off support, after breaking out to new highs recently. Some of our best ideas are included in the NASDAQ 100, and our favorite concentrations include exposure to big cap tech and large cap growth. We continue to be bullish on equities for the long run. In addition to unlimited quantitative easing and "whatever it takes, squared" Fed policy, today, June 16, the Trump administration announced that it is weighing a $1 trillion stimulus bill to help support the economy. While uncertainties remain regarding specifics of the bill (it might include state assistance, extension of unemployment benefits, etc.), the move is consistent with the outsize spending we expect to further bolster the bull case, "ICYMI -- Stay Optimistic. Stay Bullish. I Am." We continue to emphasize that, in light of unlimited QE and runaway fiscal stimulus, the longer-duration components of intrinsic values are expanding considerably, and as a result, fair values, themselves, are actually rising during this recession and pandemic [a good estimate of the value of the S&P 500 today may be between 3,530-3,920, as outlined in the following: "Scribbles and More Newsletter Portfolio Changes.]."
Jun 15, 2020
ICYMI: Survey Coming Later Today, More Market Volatility Expected
Image: The market's levels of volatility so far in 2020 have been among the greatest in history. Expectations for increased volatility in the marketplace as a result of the proliferation of price-agnostic trading (indexing and quantitative trading) is a key theme of Valuentum's text, Value Trap: Theory of Universal Valuation. We continue to emphasize the importance of due diligence, enterprise valuation, behavioral thinking, the information contained in prices, and stock selection across equity portfolios. Page 256. This week is setting up to be yet another volatile week of trading, but nothing too surprising. We've talked extensively about outsize levels of volatility in the book Value Trap, and many of our predictions regarding the magnitude of volatility have come to fruition, as described in this note here. But as we've also noted in Value Trap, we don't think increased volatility is a transient development. The Fed and Treasury have only further emboldened price-agnostic trading (indexing/quant) with recent bailout actions, and volatility and momentum funds, which exacerbate the swings, will only grow as a percentage of trading volumes. The magnitude of market volatility during the COVID-19 crisis has certainly been immense. During March for example, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had 8 consecutive days with a 4% move in either direction (this is the first time in history this happened--not even during the tumultuous times of the Crash of 1929 or Black Monday of 1987 or the Great Financial Crisis did this happen). Intra-day volatility has also been considerable, and it has become commonplace for equity futures to swing wildly before market open. Now, more than ever, investors need a steady hand at the wheel.
Jun 12, 2020
*ALERT* Scribbles and More Newsletter Portfolio Changes
Image: Why are stock prices increasing while the near-term economy and near-term earnings outlook isn't as bright as before...How unlimited quantitative easing, runaway government spending, increased inflation expectations impact equity values...Why this year's earnings expectations or next year's earnings expectations don't matter much...Why Valuentum thinks equity values are rising today, even as the near-term outlook remains unclear. Scribbles on page 76 of Value Trap. "I know it sounds crazy to say so during a global pandemic and during a recession, but the right multiple and the right earnings to use to value this market is an 18-20x multiple on $196 earnings, putting a fair value range on the S&P 500 today of 3,530-3,920. The S&P 500 is trading at about 3,000 today." -- Brian Nelson, CFA
Latest Press Releases
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.