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Latest Valuentum Commentary
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?
May 13, 2021
Markets Back on Track – Seeking Net-Cash-Rich, Free Cash Flow Generators with Pricing Power!
Image Shown: The pricing action of ideas in the Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio May 13. Image Source: Seeking Alpha. We remain intensely focused on the cash-based sources of intrinsic value—net cash on the balance sheet and future expected free cash flow—when it comes to identifying price-to-fair-value-estimate mis-pricings as well as in assessing long-term dividend health. We think it may be tempting to rotate into some names where fair value estimate revisions have occurred, but the margin of safety around many energy/commodity producers and banking entities may be too large even for conservative investors. We expect most energy/commodity producers to continue to endure boom-and-bust cycles, and banking entities to do the same, as the latter act more like utilities this day and age. Once implicitly nationalized during the Great Financial Crisis, and used as an extension of government programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program during the COVID-19 crisis, outsize economic profit spreads may remain limited for banks/financials given the punitive regulatory environment. Facebook, of course, remains our top idea for long-term capital appreciation potential. Newmont Mining remains our favorite dividend growth-oriented “inflation hedge” followed by garbage hauler Republic Services and its CPI-indexed contracts. AT&T remains our favorite high yield dividend idea, boasting a free-cash-flow covered ~6.5% dividend yield, and we prefer only diversified exposure to the energy and banking sectors through the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) and Financials Select Sector SPDR (XLF). We’ll be looking to deploy the ~10%-20% cash “positions” in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio in the coming months. The High Yield Dividend Newsletter remains “fully invested,” and Exclusive idea generation remains robust. If you haven’t already, please be sure to have a look at the video in this article to see how we assess the cash flow statement and balance sheet to uncover stocks with strong net cash positions and solid future free cash flows that handily cover expected cash dividend payments. We apply this laser-focus on financial statement analysis across our idea-generation suite of publishing products.
Apr 27, 2021
Trash Is Cash
Image Source: Clyde Robinson. Increasingly valuable disposal capacity that is only becoming scarcer and pricing power across collection and disposal operations that keep inflationary pressures at bay are just two of the reasons why we like the municipal solid waste space. Waste Management’s first-quarter performance showed that the U.S. municipal solid waste industry remains very healthy while free cash flow generation across the group will remain robust and perhaps grow stronger as the U.S. economy continues its recovery. We include Waste Management's peer Republic Services as one of our favorite ideas in the Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio.
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 24, 2021
Garbage Hauler Republic Services Expects Record Year in 2021
Image Source: Republic Services. There are few things as certain as death and taxes, but garbage may be one of them. One of our favorite ideas within the municipal solid waste coverage is Republic Services, a holding in the Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio. We love its free cash flow generating ability, visibility into future revenue, enviable position with respect to disposal capacity, CPI-based book of business, and exposure to fast-growing economic areas in the US.
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.
Jan 13, 2021
Surveying the Clean Energy Landscape for Ideas
Image Source: American Electric Power Company Inc (AEP) – January 2021 IR Presentation. There’s a lot of interest in clean energy these days! Though our favorite ideas within a portfolio context are always the ideas within the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, the Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio, the High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio, and the Exclusive publication, we also highlight interesting ideas via our articles that we publish on our website. In this article, let’s dig deep into the clean energy space. We’ll talk more about 1) Ameresco (AMRC), one of the green energy ideas we highlighted in the past that has performed incredibly well, 2) NextEra (NEE), a large utility “family” to keep an eye on (a utility firm and a merchant power spinoff), 3) First Solar (FSLR), a US-based manufacturer of solar panels, and 4) various alternative fuel and power storage companies, including Clean Energy Fuels Corp (CLNE) and Gevo Inc (GEVO). The recently-passed omnibus spending package in the US included significant funds to support various alternative and renewable energy activities. For example, the production tax credit for wind farms was extended for one year while the investment tax credit for solar plants was extended by two years. This is a major benefit for both manufacturers of solar modules and wind turbines along with the utility firms (XLU) that would own/operate such assets. Looking ahead, we expect that the US federal government will be very accommodative toward the green energy space as President-elect Biden and the incoming US Congress (which will be controlled by the Democratic Party) will likely step up federal investments in the space (such as subsidies, low or no interest loans, favorable procurement contracts, and other considerations). The share prices of various solar companies are on the rise as witnessed through the performance of funds such as Invesco Solar ETF (TAN) surging higher of late, while the impressive price performance of iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN) showcases the widespread nature of investor excitement toward almost all green energy oriented firms. Other securities in this realm include ALPS Clean Energy ETF (ACES) and SPDR S&P Kensho Clean Power ETF (CNRG).
Dec 31, 2020
2020 Won’t Soon Be Forgotten
2020 won’t soon be forgotten. The tumultuous year brought with it the greatest shock to the U.S. economy in modern history, ushering in the largest-ever decline in U.S. real annualized gross domestic product of 31.4% in the second quarter of the year (surpassing the prior record of a 28.6% collapse in the second quarter of 1921). Strict lockdowns to help contain the outbreak of COVID-19 created the biggest global health emergency in a century, driving a self-inflicted economic collapse worse than the Great Recession, the Great Depression, and any other recession before it (the Depression of 1873-1879, the Panic of 1893, etc.). Millions were put out of work. During the month of April alone, the economy lost a record 20.8 million jobs, with some estimating that the “real” unemployment rate during the depths of the COVID-19 crisis reached nearly 23%. The official 14.7% unemployment rate in April would obliterate prior post-World War II era records, and while it fell short of the peak Great Depression unemployment rate estimated at 24.9%, the pain of many families and households was no less severe as they battled both a financial and health crisis that materialized in a matter of weeks, with little lead time to prepare for what was to come. Pantry stuffing and panic buying of consumer goods became a sign of the times, and a great debate about the efficacy of wearing masks raged across mediums.
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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.