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Our Firm / Investment Research Team

Applied Finance, a thought leader in valuation and portfolio construction, is a true “value” investment management company.  Unlike the majority of firms today that focus on low multiples to define “value”, we define value as identifying companies trading below their intrinsic value.  Our Valuation Driven™ approach forms the foundation of our investment decisions

Applied Finance is 100% employee owned, with the average tenure of our 10 partners being over 17 years.

History of Innovation

Research has always been a critical part of Applied Finance’s culture.  In 1995, we humbly began in a Chicago basement, with the idea to create a better approach to measure corporate performance and value companies than existed at the time.

Our roots were and remain dedicated to answering two questions critical to any investment decision:

  • What is a firm’s economic performance?
  • What is a firm worth?

We developed the Economic Margin® framework to measure a firm’s economic, rather than as-reported accounting performance, leading the industry with primary research into:

  • Capitalizing R&D
  • Estimating size and leverage risk premium
  • Modeling competitive advantage through Economic Profit Horizons

Ultimately, creating a direct link from corporate performance to valuation.

Shortly thereafter, we began assembling a technical team that today includes a unique mix of professionals with diverse functional, educational and cultural backgrounds.  The result is a special workplace that values: accomplishment, stability, and ethics in the pursuit of excellence for our clients.

Since 1995, over 20 million individual, point-in-time, company valuations have been calculated.  Each week we calculate approximately 20,000 intrinsic value estimates to continually expand our knowledge and improve our strategies.

Our proprietary research analytics provide the foundation for our repeatable and sustainable investment process.

Applied Finance Facts:

  • 100% employee owned.
  • Average tenure of our 10 partners is 18 years.
  • Total assets managed through all affiliated entities is approximately 1 billion.
  • Investment strategies available across Large Cap Stocks and Small Cap Value.
  • Investment vehicles available include Separately Managed Accounts and Mutual Funds.
  • The Gross Profitability Trap

    The Gross Profitability Trap “But this time, it’s different!” More foolish words are rarely spoken in the financial industry, but they always seem to find their way back into the stock market lexicon. A firm’s [...more]
  • Intrinsic Value Factor™

    February 4, 2019 Applied Finance

    Valuation 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]

  • Then and Now: Buyers Remorse Versus Sellers Loss

    October 31, 2008 Applied Finance
    Over the past couple months, worsening macro economic conditions, declining corporate profitability and a bottomless stock market have investors longing for the good old days when the economy delivered steady increases in GDP growth with [...more]
  • Economic Margin®

    A corporate performance metric should provide insights into what a firm is worth. Most money managers utilize common earnings-based measures of corporate performance and value, which are suspect and easy to manipulate. Applied Finance developed the Economic Margin (EM) framework to remove the noise inherent in accounting data.

    Traditional accounting-based valuation methods provide an incomplete view of a company’s value by not accounting for the investment needed to generate the earnings, cost of capital, inflation or cash flow. […more]