Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Investing in a Bubble Mania Stock Market Trending Towards Financial Crisis 2.0 CRASH! - 9th Sep 21
2.Tech Stocks Bubble Valuations 2000 vs 2021 - 25th Sep 21
3.Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
4.Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
7.AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
8.Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
9.Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
10.Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Last 7 days
Bitcoin Price TRIGGER for Accumulating Into Alt Coins for 2022 Price Explosion - 30th Nov 21
Omicron Covid Wave 4 Impact on Financial Markets - 30th Nov 21
Can You Hear It? That’s the Crowd Booing Gold’s Downturn - 30th Nov 21
Economic and Market Impacts of Omicron Strain Covid 4th Wave - 30th Nov 21
Stock Market Historical Trends Suggest A Strengthening Bullish Trend In December - 30th Nov 21
Crypto Market Analysis: What Trading Will Look Like in 2022 for Novice and Veteran Traders? - 30th Nov 21
Best Stocks for Investing to Profit form the Metaverse and Get Rich - 29th Nov 21
Should You Invest In Real Estate In 2021? - 29th Nov 21
Silver Long-term Trend Analysis - 28th Nov 21
Silver Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 28th Nov 21
Crude Oil Didn’t Like Thanksgiving Turkey This Year - 28th Nov 21
Sheffield First Snow Winter 2021 - Snowballs and Snowmen Fun - 28th Nov 21
Stock Market Investing LESSON - Buying Value - 27th Nov 21
Corsair MP600 NVME M.2 SSD 66% Performance Loss After 6 Months of Use - Benchmark Tests - 27th Nov 21
Stock Maket Trading Lesson - How to REALLY Trade Markets - 26th Nov 21
SILVER Price Trend Analysis - 26th Nov 21
Federal Reserve Asks Americans to Eat Soy “Meat” for Thanksgiving - 26th Nov 21
Is the S&P 500 Topping or Just Consolidating? - 26th Nov 21
Is a Bigger Drop in Gold Price Just Around the Corner? - 26th Nov 21
Financial Stocks ETF Sector XLF Pullback Sets Up A New $43.60 Upside Target - 26th Nov 21
A Couple of Things to Think About Before Buying Shares - 25th Nov 21
UK Best Fixed Rate Tariff Deal is to NOT FIX Gas and Electric Energy Tariffs During Winter 2021-22 - 25th Nov 21
Stock Market Begins it's Year End Seasonal Santa Rally - 24th Nov 21
How Silver Can Conquer $50+ in 2022 - 24th Nov 21
Stock Market Betting on Hawkish Fed - 24th Nov 21
Stock Market Elliott Wave Trend Forecast - 24th Nov 21
Your once-a-year All-Access Financial Markets Analysis Pass - 24th Nov 21
Did Zillow’s $300 million flop prove me wrong? - 24th Nov 21
Now Malaysian Drivers Renew Their Kurnia Car Insurance Online With Fincrew.my - 24th Nov 21
Gold / Silver Ratio - 23rd Nov 21
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Can We Get To 5500SPX In 2022? But 4440SPX Comes First - 23rd Nov 21
A Month-to-month breakdown of how Much Money Individuals are Spending on Stocks - 23rd Nov 21
S&P 500: Rallying Tech Stocks vs. Plummeting Oil Stocks - 23rd Nov 21
Like the Latest Bond Flick, the US Dollar Has No Time to Die - 23rd Nov 21
Why BITCOIN NEW ALL TIME HIGH Changes EVERYTHING! - 22nd Nov 21
Cannabis ETF MJ Basing & Volatility Patterns - 22nd Nov 21
The Most Important Lesson Learned from this COVID Pandemic - 22nd Nov 21
Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis - 22nd Nov 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Secrets to Stock Market Value Investing Profits

Stock-Markets / Stock Market Valuations Nov 20, 2008 - 10:22 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Stock-Markets

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleKeith Fitz-Gerald writes: Value funds have long been viewed as conservative investments. So why are they down an average of 42% during the past 12 months, and what's wrong with them?

No question, such numbers are scary, especially for large-cap value fund investors who have experienced that 42% drop. And the fact that some of the biggest names in value investing have taken such big beatings has to be especially disconcerting for investors who already have had their confidence badly shaken and their portfolios eviscerated.


Bill Miller 's once-vaunted Legg Mason Value Trust fund ( LMVTX ) has dropped 62%. Meanwhile, Marty Whitman 's Third Avenue Value Fund ( TAVFX ) is down 50%. Even the Dodge & Cox Stock Fund ( DODGX ) fund has tumbled 49% year to date.

For many investors who viewed value funds as comparatively “safe,” low-risk investments, this has to feel like a betrayal. And that's understandable, given that history has repeatedly shown the value discipline to be one of the strongest, most stable investment strategies available for navigating a bear market.

What's different this time?

Some managers – like Legg Mason's Miller, as well as the Dodge & Cox team, for example – simply underestimated the depth and severity of the challenges facing their investments. Adding insult to injury, they concentrated their investments in a relatively small number of core holdings they thought they “knew.” During good times, this concentration strategy can dramatically boost returns when stellar companies that had been trading at deep discounts subsequently rebound. But now, when times are tough, as is readily apparent, stockpiling money in one or two holdings like Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. (OTC: LEHMQ ) or Freddie Mac ( FRE ) can be devastating.

Others, like Whitman – a gentleman who is often regarded as the “Dean of Value Investing” – simply don't sell all that often, preferring to ride out market gyrations, which they view as a mere nuisance. So their performance is likely to suffer in line with the markets. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, Whitman, who is notorious for looking beyond what the public markets do, doesn't care that prices have fallen so low. He believes that undervalued companies will be taken over, liquidated or refinanced which, as he pointed out in an interview with Brian Zen last year, is “where you make your money.”

While such strategies put value players on the losing side of the investment ledger for now, it will be a different ballgame when the markets turn, as they eventually will.

In fact, when we emerge from the other side of the current financial crisis – which we will, and probably sooner than everybody realizes – the deep-value choices available today will be some of the highest-performing investments for decades to come.

And for all the right reasons: Many of the underlying companies are still expecting solid business growth, diversified revenue streams and a clear path to higher earnings.

That means that one of the smartest moves a savvy investor can make today is to stick with the value-investing discipline. The historical record suggests that the best choices continue to be those companies with low or no debt, a high proportion of international revenue, and a history of solid dividend growth that pays us cold, hard cash for the ownership risks we take.

That is why there is nothing “wrong” with making value investing a key component of your investment strategy. Especially now.

As for the notion that “value” investing is broken, we don't buy into that. Studies show that investing styles come and go. For instance, indexing might hold sway for awhile, until it gives way to a total-return strategy. Then the momentum players hold the majority. And so on.

What's important to understand, however, is that styles don't work all the time; they work over time, which is why it is more important than ever to maintain a laser-like focus when the going gets tough. The following five guidelines can help you keep that focus.

Five Keys To Consider Right Now

  • Rebalance : Tough markets can really skew your financial perspective. And your portfolio balance. “ Rebalancing ” can help you get back on track to higher returns, as we've mentioned in the past. Not only does rebalancing force you to take profits, but it also encourages you to put more money to work in areas that have been hit the hardest (and which are also poised for the biggest-potential rebounds, studies show).
  • Look For Consistency : As redemption requests mount and conditions deteriorate, some value funds are shifting managerial styles in an attempt to make up lost ground. Not only does this suggest that these funds never had a strategy to start with, but it also suggests a lack of discipline, which is exactly what we don't want right now. Studies show that value funds, in particular, tend to rebound more sharply than other investment choices because they're often chocked full of quality stocks trading at deep – but temporary — discounts.
  • Make Sure Value Really Is Valuable : “Value” has many different meanings, so it's important to make sure you understand what the term means when it comes to picking a suitable investment. For some managers, value means companies that are simply trading at steep discounts to other stocks. For others, it means a concentration on those stocks trading in predetermined ranges, perhaps as measured by such indicators as Price/Earnings (P/E) or Price/Book (P/B) ratios.  Different definitions can lead to vastly different types of stocks.
  • When Buying On The Cheap, Understand That Near Term Outlook Often Stinks: During good times, value investing is often about buying companies that, at least in the near-term, have fallen on hard times. Now, however, pretty much everything is “cheap,” so the more important issue is identifying those companies with superior fundamentals and improving outlooks that may simply be caught in this bad-market maelstrom.

After all, Wall Street knows the price of everything . But very few people understand the value of anything .

[ Editor's Note : As Keith Fitz-Gerald's value-investing commentary underscores, uncertainty has been the watchword in the whipsaw markets of recent months. Just when it seems as if clear patterns have emerged, another bad-news revelation seems to jump up out of nowhere to roil then markets anew. But what if you knew what that next “revelation” was going to be? And you had enough time to prepare a strategy to tackle this new development – or, better still, someone also handed you a strategy with which to capitalize on this event. Money Morning 's latest investment report does just that – it predicts five key “aftershocks” that we expect will emanate from the U.S. financial crisis, and talks about profit opportunities that will flow forth from these “seismic” market events. Indeed, we're so excited about the potential for these new predictions that we've actually launched a news series to watch as they unfold in the weeks and months to come. To read our first installment in this new news series, check out “ The Five Financial Crisis “Aftershocks” Investors Can Play for Profit .” Make sure to watch for additional installments of that series. In the meantime, check out our full research report on the five aftershocks investors can play for profit. And check out our just-launched economic forecasting news series, “ Outlook 2009 ” series. The latest installment, our forecast for the U.S. housing market , appears elsewhere in this issue of Money Morning .]

By Keith Fitz-Gerald
Investment Director

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2008 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investment advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or 72 hours after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in