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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Apr 12, 2021
How Many Stocks to Achieve Diversification?
Image: GameStop’s shares are falling like a rock after hitting euphoric levels in the mid-$400s earlier this year. Our fair value estimate stands below $10 per share. Day trading GameStop is gambling. Resist the urge. The 60/40 stock bond portfolio may have cost investors a bundle during the past 30 years relative to active stock managers charging 2% per annum, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t diversify appropriately within the equity component of your asset mix. Use common sense, and don’t get too aggressive on your favorite ideas either. We generally like to limit new ideas to 8%-10% of the newsletter portfolios at “cost” and generally don’t like them to run higher than 15% of the newsletter portfolio after appreciation. From my perspective, only ultra-sophisticated investors should ever consider shorting, and please don’t gamble too aggressively on options. Know the unlimited loss potential of selling options contracts. Options is not a fun game to lose. Investing is a long game--and know the difference between diversification across your favorite ideas and “diworsification” by buying overpriced assets. Adding pipeline MLPs to your portfolio in mid-2015 may have smoothed your returns the past five years, but only by hurting them. Leave gambling to the quants. See through the illusion of “factor” investing. Be smart, and don’t get stuck thinking “inside the box.” Markets are inefficient, unless you think GameStop was appropriately priced at both $180 and $350 on the same day (March 10) on no news. Finally, unless you have a few friends that can lend you a few billion in a pinch, don’t ever forget the cardinal rule--and even if you have a few billionaires next store: Always leave yourself outs. Stocks for the long run.
Mar 31, 2021
Why You Need to Hire an Active Stock Manager and Ditch Modern Portfolio Theory
Image: Why You Need to Hire an Active Stock Manager and Ditch Modern Portfolio Theory. An Approximate Hypothetical representation of an active manager that charges a 2% active management fee that mirrors the S&P 500 benchmark versus an advisor that charges a 1% advisor fee that applies a 60/40 stock/bond rebalancing from 1990-2021. Approximate Hypothetical returns are based on the following extrapolation: “Since inception in November 9, 1992, returns after taxes on distributions and sales of fund shares for the [Vanguard Balanced Index Fund Investor Shares] VBINX came in at 6.5% through June 30, 2020, while the same measure since inception in January 22, 1993, for the S&P 500, as measured by the S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), came in at 8.12% through June 30, 2020.” The ‘Approximate Hypothetical 60/40 stock/bond portfolio w/ 1% advisor fee (smoothed)’ represents a hypothetical 100,000 compounded at an annual rate of 5.5% [6.5 less 1] over the period 1990-2021. The ‘Approximate Hypothetical S&P 500 (SPY) w/ 2% active management fee (smoothed)’ represents a hypothetical 100,000 compounded at an annual rate of 6.12% [8.12 less 2] over the period 1990-2021. Approximate Hypothetical results are for illustrative purposes only and are based on the data available. Let's get caught up on recent developments at Korn Ferry, Dick's Sporting Goods, Chewy, GameStop, Williams Sonoma, McCormick & Company, and CRISPR Therapeutics.
Feb 25, 2021
Realty Income’s Dividend Track Record Unfazed by Its Weakened Theater Exposure
Image Source: Realty Income. We include Realty Income, “The Monthly Dividend Company,” in the Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio, and the company’s long-term dividend growth track record has been fantastic, posting 90+ consecutive quarterly dividend increases. Though the REIT is capital-market dependent, its investment-grade corporate debt ratings (A3/A-) support its ability to tap the debt and equity markets when needed, as it has been doing during this COVID-19 crisis. Shares of Realty Income yield ~4.5% at the time of this writing.
Feb 8, 2021
Stock Market Outlook for 2021
2020 was one from the history books and a year that will live on in infamy. That said, we are excited for the future as global health authorities are steadily putting an end to the public health crisis created by COVID-19, aided by the quick discovery of safe and viable vaccines. Tech, fintech, and payment processing firms were all big winners in 2020, and we expect that to continue being the case in 2021. Digital advertising, cloud-computing, and e-commerce activities are set to continue dominating their respective fields. Cybersecurity demand is moving higher and the constant threats posed by both governments (usually nations that are hostile to Western interests) and non-state actors highlights how crucial these services are. Retailers with omni-channel selling capabilities are well-positioned to ride the global economic recovery upwards. Green energy firms will continue to grow at a brisk pace in 2021, though the oil & gas industry appears ready for a comeback. The adoption of 5G wireless technologies and smartphones will create immense growth opportunities for smartphone makers, semiconductor players and telecommunications giants. Video streaming services have become ubiquitous over the past decade with room to continue growing as households “cut the cord” and instead opt for several video streaming packages. We’re not too big of fans of old industrial names given their capital-intensive nature relative to capital-light technology or fintech, but there are select names that have appeal. Cryptocurrencies have taken the market by storm as we turn the calendar into 2021, but the traditional banking system remains healthy enough to withstand another shock should it be on the horizon. Our fair value estimate of the S&P 500 remains $3,530-$3,920, but we may still be on a roller coaster ride for the year. Here’s to a great 2021!
Feb 1, 2021
It May Be Too Little Too Late
With the ability to stop it before it started now behind us, in my view, enterprise valuation and a focus on net cash and future expected free cash flow within companies with strong competitive advantages that are tied to secular growth trends is still the best way to combat this type of environment. But investors need to keep their guard up. We could be headed for some crazy market action in the coming months.
Jan 25, 2021
ALERT: Bull Raids, Short Squeezes and Highly Unusual Market Activity
Image: Shares of GameStop have been on an irrationally wild ride recently driven by what looks to have been an orchestrated and highly unethical (and perhaps illegal) short squeeze on the stock. According to some reports, during the pre-market session January 25, GameStop’s shares were up ~80%, and turned red during the trading session, with no fundamental news.In late 2018, Valuentum published Value Trap, a book that warned to all that would heed its warning that a collapse in the traditional quant value factor was coming and that excessive volatility in the markets caused by price-agnostic trading--or those that aren’t paying attention to fair value estimate calculations--would only build and build to eventually reach extreme and irrational levels. The book, while hugely successful winning award after award, was largely ignored by the media, despite our best efforts to get the word out. Now, the chickens are coming home to roost.
Jan 21, 2021
ICYMI: Valuentum's Brian Nelson on the Latest Howard Marks' Memo: "Something of Value"
Valuentum's President of Investment Research Brian Michael Nelson, CFA, explains why there are not really value and growth stocks, why most of the research in quantitative finance is spurious and needs to be redefined on a forward-looking basis, and why enterprise valuation (not the efficient markets hypothesis) should be the organizing principle of finance. Nelson explains his views about valuation, what it means to be a value investor, and investing in the context of Oaktree Capital Howard Marks' latest memo, "Something of Value," January 11, 2021.
Dec 11, 2020
AT&T’s Outlook Is Getting Brighter
Image Shown: An overview of AT&T Inc’s capital allocation priorities over the coming years and a snapshot of its financial position at the end of September 2020. Image Source: AT&T Inc – Third Quarter of 2020 IR Earnings Presentation. The rollout of 5G wireless packages in the US combined with expected growth at its video streaming business has significantly improved AT&T’s outlook during the past few months. We include shares of AT&T in the High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio, and as of this writing, shares of T yield ~6.6%. Headwinds caused by the ongoing coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic weighed negatively on AT&T’s financial and operational performance in 2020, though the company remains on track to generate enormous amounts of free cash flow this year. AT&T currently expects to generate $26.0 billion or more in free cash flow in 2020, a forecast that the firm reiterated on December 8. The company has guided its dividend cash-flow payout ratio (dividend obligations divided by free cash flow) to come in near the high 50s% area this year. Please note that back in April 2020, AT&T expected its dividend cash-flow payout ratio in 2020 would be in the 60s% range, but its outlook was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Things are starting to turn around in part due to the recent successes AT&T has had at its video streaming business after things got off to a slow start.
Nov 16, 2020
Value Is Not Static and the Qualitative Overlay Is Vital to Our Process
With prudence and care, the Valuentum Buying Index process and its components are carried out. Our analyst team spends most of its time thinking about the intrinsic value of companies within the context of a discounted cash-flow model and evaluating the risk profile of a company's revenue model. We have checks and balances, too. First, we use a fair value range in our valuation approach as we embrace the very important concept that value is a range and not a point estimate. A relative value overlay as the second pillar helps to add conviction in the discounted cash-flow process, while a technical and momentum overlay seeks to provide confirmation in all of the valuation work. There's a lot happening behind the scenes even before a VBI rating is published, but it will always be just one factor to consider. Within any process, of course, we value the human, qualitative overlay, which captures a wealth of experience and common sense. We strive to surface our best ideas for members.
Sep 3, 2020
How Some Members Use Valuentum’s Investment Services
We serve a wide variety of investors, including dividend growth investors, value investors, and pure Valuentum investors, among others. Many different types of investors and professionals use our research and financial analysis in a whole host of applications from individual stock-selection to the evaluation of closed-end funds to an overlay in a money-management setting and beyond. The Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio seeks to find stocks that have good value and good momentum characteristics and typically targets capital appreciation potential over a longer-term horizon. The Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio seeks to find underpriced dividend growth gems that generate strong levels of free cash flow and have pristine, fortress balance sheets, translating into excellent Valuentum Dividend Cushion ratios. The High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio seeks to find some of the highest-yielding stocks supported by strong credit profiles and solid business models, but not always robust traditional free cash flow. Ideas in this newsletter offer higher-yielding opportunities, but also much higher capital and income risk. We also offer a full suite of products to financial advisers (gold level) that range from a more extensive Excel-based screening tool (the DataScreener) to 'Ideas' and 'Dividend' publications that are released on a quarterly basis. Our research product includes hundreds of stock reports, fair values, fair value ranges, associated commentary, and hundreds of dividend reports with Valuentum Dividend Cushion ratios and expected dividend growth rates. Silver and gold-level members can add the Valuentum Exclusive or additional options commentary/ideas to their plans. The Exclusive publication is a part of the institutional (platinum) level membership.
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.