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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.
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 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.
Dec 27, 2022
Exclusive Call: What To Expect From Valuentum in 2023
Video: 2022 was a successful year by almost every measure from the simulated Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and simulated Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio to the simulated High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio and Exclusive publication and beyond. There were some disappointments in 2022, of course, but the year showed the value of a Valuentum membership. Join President of Investment Research Brian Nelson on this year's Exclusive conference call to learn what to expect from Valuentum in 2023. Cheers!
Nov 30, 2022
Great Year for (Our) High Yield Dividend Ideas! Inquire about the High Yield Dividend Newsletter!
Image: The year-to-date simulated estimated performance of the High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio, which continues to hold up well during 2022, while offering an attractive forward estimated dividend yield. Simulated estimated performance is calculated by Valuentum and has not been externally audited. Inquire about the High Yield Dividend Newsletter. The next edition will be released December 1, 2022. Based on our estimates, the simulated High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio is down ~4.4% on a price-only basis so far in 2022 on an interim basis, using data from the trading session November 29 (retrieved from Seeking Alpha). By comparison, according to data from Morningstar, the Vanguard 60/40 stock/bond portfolio (VBIAX) is down more than 15% so far this year (on a price-only basis), the Vanguard Real Estate ETF (VNQ) is down 26% year-to-date (on a price-only basis), while the iShares Mortgage Real Estate Capped ETF (REM) is down ~30% on a year-to-date basis. Each simulated newsletter portfolio at Valuentum targets a different strategy, whether long-term capital appreciation, dividend growth, income/high yield, and the like. Generally, for the simulated Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, it targets long-term capital appreciation potential (not in one year or a couple years, but in the long run). During the past five years...an ETF that tracks the area of large cap growth is up more than 70%, while an ETF that tracks the area of dividend growth has advanced ~40%, an ETF that tracks small cap value is up ~17% during the past five years, while an ETF that tracks the area of the highest-yielding S&P 500 companies is up just 12% -- according to data from Morningstar. REITs, as measured by the VNQ, are up just 3% over the past five years. We nailed the call on the drawdown in the 60/40 stock/bond portfolio this year, and readers should continue to question the merits of modern portfolio theory, not merely state that now the 60/40 stock/bond is cheap (after the huge decline)! It's extremely important to continue to test whether something makes sense or not. If interest rates continue to rise, we think bond prices will continue to face pressure. Sometimes, a few of our best ideas don't work out (as in any year), but that's why we use the simulated (and diversified) Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio to measure the success of the VBI. We're not a quant shop. We believe in the qualitative overlay. For example, there are highly-rated ideas that don't make the cut for the simulated Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and there are low-rated ideas that find their way into the newsletter portfolio because they add a diversification benefit. Given the massive up years in the broader markets in 2019, 2020 and 2021, with the simulated Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio estimated to be down in the low-double-digits so far this year (approximately ~10%-12%, by our latest tally) -- and this estimate includes the missteps in Meta Platforms (META), PayPal (PYPL), and Disney (DIS) -- this is actually pretty awesome, in our view -- especially considering all that went wrong in other areas such as crypto, REITs, mortgage REITs, disruptive innovation stocks, Chinese equities, and the list goes on and on. A low double-digit estimated percentage decline, as that "experienced" in the simulated Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio so far in 2022 after huge up years, can be viewed as just part of a long-term journey that targets capital appreciation. For context, Berkshire Hathaway's stock price was nearly halved in 1974. It's okay to time the markets a bit as we did last August, but staying engaged with investing over the long haul is a key part of the recipe for success, as it was for Berkshire investors. For readers seeking income and high yield dividend ideas, please consider subscribing to our High Yield Dividend Newsletter. 2022 hasn't been an up year for a lot of investors, but it shouldn't have been a disaster either, and we've done a really great job avoiding the worst areas. We're interested in hearing how you are using our service, so that we can continue to get better. All told, we're excited about 2023, and we hope you are too!
Nov 28, 2022
2022 Showcased the Value of a Valuentum Membership
In bull markets, almost everyone is a winner. But 2022 was different. This year was a big test for Valuentum, and we passed with flying colors. We delivered across the board during the year from ideas in the Exclusive publication and the efficacy of the dividend growth methodology to the resilience of high yield ideas and simulated Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio relative performance--despite setbacks from Meta Platforms, PayPal, and beyond. Tune in to the latest video installment from Valuentum. Thanks for listening!
Nov 10, 2022
Market Whipsaw: Crypto Collapse and a Lower-than-Expected Inflation Print
Image: Uncertainty in the cryptocurrency markets has surged with concerns over the liquidity of a key exchange. Investors are weighing the spillover effects of crypto with the view that the pace of inflation may have peaked. The U.S. equity market continues to be highly volatile as it whipsaws between concerns over the health and sustainability of cryptocurrency and optimism over lower-than-feared inflation readings. We maintain our bearish/defensive stance on equities, but at the same time, we continue to be “fully-invested” across the simulated newsletter portfolios in part because we don’t want to miss out on days like today, November 10, when the markets are soaring ~2.5%-5.5% depending on which index you are monitoring. We’re also not ruling out a Santa Claus rally through the end of the year. Merry Dow Jones, as they say!
Nov 3, 2022
Lumen’s Dividend Cut Highlights Effectiveness of Valuentum’s Dividend Methodology and Uniqueness of Dividend Cushion Ratio
A lot of times investors only focus on the dividend payout ratio – dividends paid per share divided by earnings per share – or free cash flow coverage of the dividend, but the balance sheet is so very important to the sustainability of the dividend, too – something that the Dividend Cushion ratio embraces but other dividend health metrics do not. For example, Lumen’s dividend payout ratio was 50% ($0.75 in dividends dividend by $1.50 in earnings per share during the first three quarters of the year), and its free cash flow was enough to cover its cash dividends paid during the first nine months of 2022, too. However, the company held a massive ~$25 billion net debt position at the end of the quarter, which pushed its Dividend Cushion ratio deep into negative territory, raising a huge red flag with respect to the sustainability of the payout. Ignoring the balance sheet both with respect to intrinsic value and dividend analysis could be a recipe for disaster.
Oct 23, 2022
Must Watch: MPT Failures and High Yield Dividend Breakdown Spiral!
Valuentum's President of Investment Research breaks down what went wrong with modern portfolio theory in 2022, and why investors that have been lured into "sucker" yields may have just experienced permanent capital impairment with their retirement savings. A two-part video series.
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.