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January 26, 2020

Valuation vs. cheapness Investing

Despite decades of academics and practitioners promoting the ”value factor”1, it generates marginal to no long-term alpha. We believe four reasons have contributed to slow the discovery process from the current accepted “value” regime (low price to something) towards a more robust and realistic true value regime (worth measured independent of market price and focused on the value of future cash flows).
1. No theory.  There is no clear link between commonly used “value” variables and true value.  Yet academics and practitioners have developed no viably accepted competing perspective to explain future returns […more]

Faster And Cheaper Aren’t Always Better

100 mph pitchers are a rare and treasured commodity, simply because they have been among baseballs’ most effective players. The mention of Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, JR Richardson, Bob Feller, all elicit reverence for their amazing careers. Yet what of Steve Dalkowski who Ted Williams once faced off against and said – I could not see the ball […more]

Value Versus Cheapness: Same, Same, But Different

Cheapness has existed as an investment concept forever, but it became institutionalized with the Fama/French’s 1993 three factor model. Cheapness has never been the same as hundreds of billions was poured into equity investment strategies focused on buying “low price to something” stocks supported by reams of back test data. In addition, thousands of small investment professionals and amateurs replicate much of the process the large firms employ via access to abundant datasets on Yahoo! Finance […more]

Common Sense Not Drama

With Q1’19 behind us, we were again reminded why most strategies which trade in and out of the market are nothing more than a Siren call luring a portfolio to crash on the rocks of chasing returns. Much better to be Odysseus and put wax plugs into your ears and focus on the long term to avoid buying high and selling low as volatility trashes your sense of normality. After Q4’18, few people had much appetite for equities, thinking only bad news would prevail in the year ahead. Yet, by the end of Q1’19, US equity markets were up double digits. […more]

Intrinsic Value Driven

Intrinsic Value Driven™ Investing begins and ends with calculating the intrinsic value of every stock in a benchmark against which a portfolio is constructed, and comparing those values against traded prices. All of Applied Finance’s portfolios are Intrinsic Value Driven™, which differs significantly from a “value” perspective. To gain a better understanding into Applied Finance’s Intrinsic Value Driven™ approach, let’s first review traditional approaches to “Value”.

The traditional approaches to finding undervalued stocks use a simple ratio such as P/E or P/B, or a mix of them. These common approaches to value come with many shortcomings: […more]