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Latest Valuentum Commentary
May 30, 2023
Paper: Value and Momentum Within Stocks, Too
Abstract: This paper strives to advance the field of finance in four ways: 1) it extends the theory of the “The Arithmetic of Active Management” to the investor level; 2) it addresses certain data problems of factor-based methods, namely with respect to value and book-to-market ratios, while introducing price-to-fair-value ratios in a factor-based approach; 3) it may lay the foundation for academic literature regarding the Valuentum, the value-timing, and ultra-momentum factors; and 4) it walks through the potential relative outperformance that may be harvested at the intersection of relevant, unique and compensated factors within individual stocks.
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.
Apr 19, 2023
1Q 2023 Earnings Coming in Better Than Feared Thus Far
Image: We view valuation as a range of probable fair value outcomes. Our updated fair value estimate for Booking Holding stands north of $3,000, while shares are trading at less than $2,700. First-quarter 2023 earnings season has been coming in better than feared, in our view, and bank earnings have not spooked the market as many may have thought they would. But again, any banking crisis takes far more than just a month or two to work through the system, and in the event another shoe drops – whether in Europe or in U.S. commercial real estate or U.S. housing – things could get ugly for the banking sector. We continue to prefer equities over bonds, and as was shown once again during SVB Financial meltdown, the Fed was there once again to bail out the “market” and prevent contagion at any cost. With roughly 10% of the S&P 500 reporting first-quarter 2023 earnings so far, many companies have been beating consensus estimates.
Apr 11, 2023
Markets Don’t Look Bad
Image: The market-capitalization weighted S&P 500 continues to hold its January breakout, while support held in mid-March. The market-capitalization weighted S&P 500 is no longer in a downtrend, and while the regional banking crisis gave investors pause, we’d have to say the markets don’t look bad. From a technical standpoint, the SPY broke through its downtrend in January, while it held support in mid-March. If the S&P 500 can break through the early February near-term highs, technically, things are looking quite good for the beginnings of this nascent market leg-up. It’s been a long road to get to what looks like a “bottom,” but we might have witnessed it in October of last year.
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 20, 2023
4 Very Good Reasons Why We Don’t Like Dividends of Banking Stocks
Image: Bank Run in Michigan, USA, February 1933. Source: Public Domain. It’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the fragility of a banking firm’s business model. Let’s examine the reasons why we don’t like banking firms’ dividends. Reason #1: A Bank Run Is Always Possible. Reason #2: Others Have Tried to Invest in Bank Dividends and Have Failed. Reason #3: Cash Flow Is Not Meaningful at Banks. Reason #4: There Are Plenty of Other Options. Let's dig in.
Mar 13, 2023
ALERT: We’re ‘Raising Cash’ in the Newsletter Portfolios
Image: American Union Bank, New York City. April 26, 1932. Public Domain. Almost a decade ago now, we wrote the following: “We firmly believe that an investment in a bank must come with the acknowledgement of the distinct possibility that another financial crisis may occur at an unknown time in the future. Why? Banks do not keep a 100% reserve against deposits. Our good friend George Bailey knew this very well when he tried to discourage Bedford Falls residents from making a “run” on the famous and beloved Building and Loan.” – Brian Nelson, CFA, September 4, 2013
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).
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.
Mar 6, 2023
Markets Bounce Off Technical Support But Not Out of the Woods
Image: The market-cap weighted S&P 500 (SPY) bounced off technical support last week, both the 200-day moving average as well as the breakout of the downtrend line, but while this may push off any leg down in the near term, we won’t hesitate to “raise cash” on a few newsletter portfolio names if a breakthrough of support to the downside happens. Image Source: TradingView. The 200-day moving average remains a key technical level for the market-cap weighted S&P 500. The risks that the market may break through both the 200-day moving average and the breakout of the technical downtrend line remain elevated, but the past week showed a successful test of technical support levels, in our view, and that means to us markets may avoid any substantial leg down for the time being. We continue to be cautious on the equity markets in the near term, and we won’t hesitate to “raise cash” across the newsletter portfolios if the S&P 500 breaks through its 200-day moving average and the breakout of the technical downtrend line.
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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.