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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Mar 21, 2023
How Do We Use the Valuentum Buying Index?
Image: We highlighted Exxon Mobil to start 2022, and the stock was one of the best performers in the S&P 500 during that year. Exxon Mobil was a “Valuentum” stock during 2022, with shares being undervalued, exhibiting a strong technical breakout, and sporting an attractive dividend yield to boot. The stock was a huge winner. We answer one of the most frequently asked questions about the Valuentum Buying Index.
Mar 14, 2023
Brain Teaser - Reflexive versus Reflective
Image: Amy Leonard. Valuation multiples tend to trigger the reflexive side of our brain, and we process the multiples through anchoring. On the other hand, enterprise valuation, or the process required to answer the questions (in this article) correctly, shows that our reflexive process can be quite incorrect at times. In fact, cognitive biases such as anchoring can completely trip us up into missing out on truly undervalued companies that may have high P/E ratios while baiting us into value traps with low P/E ratios.
Mar 13, 2023
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).
Feb 27, 2023
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!
Feb 22, 2023
ICYMI: As Expected, Stock Pickers Trounce the Indexes When It Matters
Image: Charles Dickens. Image Source: Public Domain. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” -- Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities. We are big believers in prudent and diversified stock selection more than we ever have before, and we have little confidence in applying correlations, as in traditional asset allocation, to try to achieve financial goals and manage risks. In this age of wisdom, we like to follow the data, and the data keeps pointing to prudent and diversified stock selection as one of the best risk-adjusted ways to achieve long-term financial goals. To each, their own, but we continue to like stocks for the long run, and 2022 was yet another example why!
Feb 16, 2023
Keeping the Horse Before the Cart: Valuentum’s Economic Castle™ Rating
Image shown: An examination of the problem that might arise by focusing exclusively on companies that have economic moats, or sustainable and durable competitive advantages.Without an economic castle, an economic moat doesn’t matter. Let's examine Valuentum's Economic Castle™ rating.
Feb 2, 2023
Meta’s Free Cash Flow Generation Has Returned, But TikTok Has Permanently Changed the Competitive Landscape
Image: Meta Platforms’ free cash flow has bounced back a bit, but the firm’s top-line growth remains challenged as it transitions away from a secular growth powerhouse into a cyclical story with encroaching competition. Image Source: Meta Platforms. We’re loving this nice move higher in the stylistic area of large cap growth, and for those investors seeking broad-based exposure, we think this area is the place to be in the long run. Tesla’s strong financial performance coupled with Meta Platforms’ return to financial discipline are propelling large cap growth higher, but risks to the broader equity markets and economy remain. In any case, with inflation likely peaking in June 2022, fourth-quarter 2022 earnings season coming in better-than-feared, and technical breakouts of key indices across the board from the equal-weighted and market-cap weighted S&P 500 to the NASDAQ-100, equity investors have a lot to cheer about.
Jan 25, 2023
Microsoft Is Betting Big on Artificial Intelligence (AI); Fiscal Q2 Shows Meager Revenue Growth, Weaker Cash Flow Generation
Image: Microsoft believes artificial intelligence (AI) will be the next platform wave, and the company is going full steam ahead to incorporate AI across its business systems. Image Source: Microsoft. “The age of AI is upon us and Microsoft is powering it. We are witnessing non-linear improvements in capability of foundation models, which we are making available as platforms. And as customers select their cloud providers and invest in new workloads, we are well positioned to capture that opportunity as a leader in AI. We have the most powerful AI supercomputing infrastructure in the cloud. It’s being used by customers and partners like OpenAI to train state-of-the-art models and services, including ChatGPT.” – Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (January 24, 2023)
Jan 20, 2023
The Role of Luck in Investing and How To Think About It
Image: EpicTop10.com. For every Amazon that made it, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, from the dot-com era that didn't. Very few remember Pets.com or etoys.com, both of which went belly up during the dot-com meltdown. For every Tesla, there is a DeLorean Motor Co. We might have completely forgotten about DeLorean were it not for the blockbuster movie, Back To The Future, that immortalized its futuristic sports car. For every streaming enterprise like Netflix, there is a Napster that failed. Most of us probably don't even remember the original Napster, which encountered legal troubles before closing shop shortly after the dot-com bust. For every Alphabet, there's an AltaVista or Netscape. For every Apple, there is a Palm or Blackberry. Who remembers how popular the Palm Pilot and Blackberry were? How about the Motorola Razr? For every Facebook, there is a Myspace or Friendster. As investors, we underestimate the role of luck in a company's long-term success. In February 2000, a month before the dot-com market crash, a fledgling Amazon raised $672 million in convertible notes to European investors. If the company hadn't done so, there'd likely be no Amazon today, and one of the wealthiest men in the world, Jeff Bezos, might have just been a mere footnote in stock market history. Amazon would have been insolvent in 2001-2002 just like many of its other dot-com peers.
Jan 11, 2023
Don't Let "Them" Spin the Narrative
Here’s the bottom line: The 60/40 stock/bond portfolio has failed both during the COVID-19 crisis as well as during 2022, when diversification was needed most. The strongest performers during 2022 were among the weakest performers in the years prior, and their 5-year returns still pale in comparison to those of big cap tech and large cap growth during the past five years. Small cap value, of which factor investing has been built on top of, continues to trail most other stylistic areas during the past five years. We’re staying the course. Though we expect continued tough sledding during the first quarter of 2023, we think the year will offer an incredible opportunity for investors to dollar cost average into what could be yet another strong decade of returns for stocks!
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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.