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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Nov 12, 2021
Hard Work and the Trust That Binds
Image: Terry Johnson. It’s easy to forget how much we’ve been through the past two years. Often, we forget how helpful the warning that markets were going to crash was the weekend before they did on February 22, 2020, “Is a Stock Market Crash Coming? – Coronavirus Update and P/E Ratios,” how we thought dollar-cost-averaging made sense at the bottom in March 2020, and how we went “all-in” in April 29, 2020, “ALERT: Going to “Fully Invested” – The Fed and Treasury Have Your Back,” when we saw the writing was on the wall for this blow off top. If nothing else, these three moves alone during the past couple years have paid for a lifetime of subscriptions.
Oct 13, 2021
Fastenal’s Latest Earnings Update Indicates US Economic Recovery Continues
Image Source: Fastenal Company – Third Quarter of 2021 IR Earnings Presentation. On October 12, Fastenal reported third-quarter 2021 earnings that beat top-line consensus estimates and matched bottom-line consensus estimates. The company’s latest earnings report reinforces our thesis that the US economy is continuing to recover from the worst of the coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic. In 2020, Fastenal generated over 85% of its total sales in the US. Fastenal provides products and services in the decentralized maintenance, repair & operation (‘MRO’) industry, a space where the company attempts to gain an advantage over distribution by locating its operations as close as possible to the economic point of contract with its customers. We view Fastenal as a bellwether to broader trends in the industrials sector. With that said, let's dig into its latest report.
Jul 8, 2021
Still Bullish -- Stocks for the Long Run!
Image shown: The 10-year Treasury rate has fallen quite a bit since March of this year, suggesting that inflation expectations have come down in recent months. Image source: CNBC. The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq continue to hover near all-time highs, and all appears well. We maintain our bullish take on the markets and believe that we are in the early innings of a long bull market that started following the washout March 2020 during the depths of the COVID-19 meltdown. Stock bull markets tend to average about 4.4 years in duration, with the last one enduring ~11 years, while bear markets are very abrupt, lasting only 11.3 months on average, the last one a very short 1.1 months, according to data from First Trust. We’re about 15 months into this new stock bull market, and we continue to believe increased equity exposure may better serve investors of all types going forward, through both the best of times and the worst of times.
Jun 24, 2021
Energy: A Small Part of the S&P 500 But Making a Comeback
Image Source: Bureau of Land Management. The energy sector is now a small part of the S&P 500, but improving energy resource pricing has enhanced the merits of many in the space, namely the dividend growth and income prospects at ExxonMobil and Chevron. Both companies offer investors dividend yields north of 5%, and both have experienced tremendous improvements in free cash flow generation thanks in part to more prudent capital spending. We’ll be looking to add both to the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio on any market breather. We like the risk/reward opportunity.
Jun 1, 2021
ICYMI -- 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.
May 24, 2021
Thinking Slow: 3 Research Blind Spots That Changed the Investment World
Image Source: EpicTop10.com. We have to be on high alert about how our minds work. PBS is premiering a four-part series examining about how easily our minds are being hacked, and why it is so important to "think slow." Tune in. When it comes to the active versus passive debate, does the analysis suffer from parameter risk? With respect to empirical, evidence-based analysis, does the analysis have the entire construct wrong? When it comes to short-cut multiples, are we falling into the behavioral trap of thinking on autopilot?
Apr 28, 2021
Structural Changes in the Airline and Aerospace Business
Image Source: Valuentum. The future profile for air travel demand will be negatively impacted in the long run (relative to pre-COVID-19 expectations) as increased leisure travel from the wealth effect may not completely offset reduced business travel growth impaired by digital solutions permanently disrupting the way companies conduct business. As with Warren Buffett, who recently wrote down the value of metal casting jet-engine supplier Precision Castparts (one of the best aerospace suppliers in the business), we believe intrinsic values of others in the aerospace supply chain have been permanently reduced as well. We’re staying away from airlines and aerospace with the exception of Honeywell, which offers diversified industrial exposure and a “call option” on a gradual aerospace recovery to a “new normal.” Honeywell is included in the Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio and showed with its first-quarter 2021 results that it can thrive in a business environment where aerospace demand may not live up to pre-COVID-19 long-term expectations. Honeywell yields ~1.7% at the time of this writing.
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."
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 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.