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Latest Valuentum Commentary
May 5, 2021
Video: Sports Cards as an Alternative Asset Class
Image: 1950 Bowman Jackie Robinson. Video: Valuentum's President Brian Nelson explains recent developments in the sports cards and memorabilia market, and why he thinks the area will become a feasible, transparent and liquid alternative asset class for investors to consider in the longer run.
Apr 8, 2021
The Best Years Are Ahead
The wind is at our backs. The Federal Reserve, Treasury, and regulatory bodies of the U.S. may have no choice but to keep U.S. markets moving higher. The likelihood of the S&P 500 reaching 2,000 ever again seems remote, and I would not be surprised to see 5,000 on the S&P 500 before we see 2,500-3,000, if the latter may be in the cards. The S&P 500 is trading at ~4,100 at the time of this writing. The high end of our fair value range on the S&P 500 remains just shy of 4,000, but I foresee a massive shift in long-term capital out of traditional bonds into equities this decade (and markets to remain overpriced for some time). Bond yields are paltry and will likely stay that way for some time, requiring advisors to rethink their asset mixes. The stock market looks to be the place to be long term, as it has always been. With all the tools at the disposal of government officials, economic collapse (as in the Great Depression) may no longer be even a minor probability in the decades to come--unlike in the past with the capitalistic mindset that governed the Federal Reserve before the “Lehman collapse."
Apr 6, 2021
Our Equity Component Is Hard to Pass Up
The average monthly returns and standard deviation of returns for the simulated Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio relative to its declared benchmark, the S&P 500 (SPY), on an apples-to-apples basis, from inception, May 11, 2011, through December 15, 2017, with dividends collected but not reinvested for both the newsletter portfolio and the SPY. Returns are hypothetical. Past performance is not an indication of future performance. The hypothetical returns do not represent returns that any investor actually attained and do not include management or trading fees. Valuentum is a financial publisher.
Mar 24, 2021
ViacomCBS Makes Big Bet on Streaming
Image Source: ViacomCBS Inc – Fourth Quarter of 2020 IR Earnings Presentation. After Viacom and CBS were reunited in December 2019, the new entity ViacomCBS Inc has finally started to gain some traction on the video streaming front. The service CBS All Access, which has since been rebranded as Paramount+, was largely a dud and did not gain the level of attention that Walt Disney Company’s Disney+ service, AT&T Inc’s HBO Max service, or Netflix's namesake service were able to generate. For background, ViacomCBS’s operations include various TV network and cable TV assets, TV and movie studios, various streaming services, and a book publisher. That includes various CBS networks (CBS, CBS Sports, CBS News), CBS studios, MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount, Nickelodeon, Pluto TV (another video streaming service that is free and ad-supported), BET, CMT, POP TV, half of CW (AT&T owns the remaining 50%), COLORS (focused on India), telefe (focused on Spanish-speaking content), SHOWTIME, and the book publisher Simon & Schuster. However, with ViacomCBS launching Paramount+ this month in the US and various Latin American markets, the service now has a larger slate of content than CBS All Access and is supported by ViacomCBS’ vast library (and most importantly, ViacomCBS has plans to produce dozens of original series for Paramount+ going forward). Paramount+ is leaning on properties such as Star Trek and SpongeBob SquarePants along with reboots of shows like iCarly to create engaging original content. Content is king. The combination of Viacom and CBS helped address that issue and provided the new entity with the scale required to be competitive in this business.
Feb 14, 2021
Earnings Roundup: DIS, GM, PEP, TWTR, UA
Image Shown: A look at the 2022 GM HUMMER EV pickup truck that is due to launch by the end of this year. Image Source: General Motors Company – Fourth Quarter of 2020 IR Earnings Presentation. Earnings season is roaring along, and we cover the reports of five more companies across different sectors in this article (Disney, General Motors, Pepsi, Twitter, and Under Armour). The coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic continues to loom large, though we are encouraged by reports from Moderna that its existing COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use is at least somewhat effective at treating variants of the virus according to initial clinical trials (a lot more work needs to be done on the subject). Global health authorities are working to put an end to the public health crisis, though COVID-19 virus variants have created additional obstacles on that front. However, we still expect the COVID-19 pandemic will be brought under control sooner than many expect as global vaccine distribution efforts become more widespread and efficient. A common theme across earnings reports is that (most) of the companies in this article view their outlooks favorably, though serious short-term headwinds remain in some instances. Video streaming services continue to be in high demand, major automakers are stepping up their EV investments, demand for consumer staples products remains healthy, the digital advertising market is resilient, and retailers are leaning heavily on their omni-channel selling capabilities to ride out the storm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Feb 13, 2021
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).
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!
Jan 29, 2021
Repub from March 5, 2018: The Tragedy of Quantitative Finance
-- Okay – it’s not 2038, but just imagine if this could happen…
Jan 29, 2021
More Earnings Reports: BA, CMCSA, MCD
Image Shown: Though the past year has been brutal for the commercial airliner and aerospace industries, and it will continue to be rough sledding in the near term, Boeing is optimistic that within a few years passenger traffic will return to pre-pandemic levels and resume its growth trajectory thereafter. Image Source: Boeing Company – Fourth Quarter of 2020 IR Earnings Presentation. We are continuing with our coverage of key earnings reports. Ongoing vaccine distribution activities should help global health authorities bring the coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic under control, though risks remain as new variants of the virus are popping up all over the place (and then spreading aggressively). In this article, we cover the recent earnings reports from Boeing, Comcast, and McDonald's.
Jan 27, 2021
ALERT: Raising Cash in the Newsletter Portfolios
Our research has been absolutely fantastic for a long time, but 2020 may have been our best year yet. With the S&P 500 trading within our fair value estimate range of 3,530-3,920 (and the markets rolling over while showing signs of abnormal behavior), we're raising the cash position in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio to 10%-20%. For more conservative investors, the high end of this range may even be larger, especially considering the vast "gains" from the March 2020 bottom and the increased systemic risks arising from price-agnostic trading (read Value Trap). The individual holdings will be reduced in proportion to arrive at the new targeted cash weighting in the respective simulated newsletter portfolios. The High Yield Dividend Newsletter and Dividend Growth Newsletter are scheduled for release February 1. We'll have more to say soon.
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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.