Distress investing is mostly thought of as investing in companies that are in deep trouble, especially financial distress. However if one thinks a bit further and looks below the generally accepted misconceptions one will be able to decipher large mispricing, viz. wide gaps between prices driven by short term selling pressure versus long term fundamental value. This article tries to clarify misconceptions and its objective is to further lay down sound principles and detail some relevant cases in the future. Read More
This article was originally published on ValueWalk
“The less prudence with which others conduct their affairs, the greater the prudence with which we should conduct our own affairs.” – Warren Buffett 1
While the long expected earnings recovery has continued to push its realization date further out, equity markets have continued to march upwards. As indices have moved up while earnings have largely failed to keep pace, valuations, to the extent that one bases them on the current earnings power of the business, have increasingly extended themselves in the overvalued zone. The willingness of market participants to pay significantly more for the same stream of earnings is also reflected in exuberant behavior in primary markets.
- 1986, Chairman’s letter, Berkshire Hathaway. ↩
This article first appeared on Advisor Perspectives
“…. valuing the market has nothing to do with where it’s going to go next week or next month or next year, a line of thought we never get into. The fact is that markets behave in ways, sometimes for a very long stretch, that are not linked to value. Sooner or later, though, value counts.” – Warren Buffett
It is important to remember that all investments are subject to a certain amount of risk. ‘Risk” can simply be defined as the probability of losing whole or part of the sum invested. This probability must be considered before investing. Various tools may be employed to identify investment-worthy stocks such as fundamental analysis, price-to-earnings ratio, technical and quantitative analysis. Fund managers may combine two or more systems to determine the strength of investment.
By and large, traditional investment strategies are based on a fixed percentage mix of stocks, bonds, and cash for varying risk tolerances. It is often the money manager’s job to select the best investment options based on various theories that can be based on the long-term average performance of investment assets. For example, a moderate risk investor is likely to keep fully invested in 60 percent stock and 40 percent bond allocation without taking into consideration the risk. Institutions and fund managers may follow a relative investment approach, which in our opinion, has fundamental flaws as it focuses on short-term horizons and fails to incorporate emerging trends.
Since June 2015, we have been voicing our concern on market valuations on mid and small cap space. Irrespective of events like Brexit, demonetization or outcome of US elections, market momentum in mid and small cap space has been undeterred.
Since May 2014 with the outcome of Indian elections and NDA government coming in majority, we believe market has rallied on a complete hope based story where the gap between valuations and fundamentals has widened significantly. Focus has shifted from strong conventional businesses to emerging and turnaround stories where we believe the premiums paid are very high.
It is usually in a market like this when behavioural biases overpower an investor’s cognitive decision making ability where greed takes a precedence to rational thinking.
This article originally appeared on Advisor Perspectives.
“Ben felt that what I do now makes sense for my situation. It still has its founding in Graham, but it does have more of a qualitative dimension to it because, for one thing, we manage such large sums of money that you can’t go around and find these relatively small value-price discrepancies anymore. Instead, we have to place larger bets, and that involves looking at more criteria, not all of them quantitative. Ben would say that what I do now makes sense, but he would say that it’s much harder for most people to do.” – Warren Buffett 1 responding on apparent divergence from Graham, emphasis ours.
“The number one idea is to view a stock as an ownership of the business and to judge the staying quality of the business in terms of its competitive advantage. Look for more value in terms of discounted future cash-flow than you are paying for. Move only when you have an advantage.” –Charlie Munger
“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” – William Bruce Cameron 2
While cash flows have been used as a guide to indicate the health of a company, just looking at cash flows is not enough. Multi-Act experts conduct an analysis of 3 companies,in the auto parts retailing industry, a highly favoured segment amongst investors and analysts. You’ll see why investing in auto part retailers may not be wise under certain circumstances. As we analyze 3 companies in the following areas, discover fundamental traits that should make investors skeptical:
- Profitability: Margin Cycle
- Cash Flow Generation: Working Capital
- Cash Flow Utilization: Capital Allocation
Fundamentalists believe that the cash flows in a company’s book never fail to provide a realistic picture of the business’ current state. However, sometimes sale of receivables can help keep the debt off-balance sheet and result in much better reported cash flow performance. Read More
Ever made an investment decision based on market hype? Multi-Act experts review a Chinese e-commerce company headed by a celebrated personality that appears to be outdoing its competitors. While the company seems to be a victor; a careful quality of earnings analysis by our team reveals some creative accounting practices that investors should not ignore. Analysis includes the company’s:
- Adjusted Non GAAP EBITDA and Net Income
- Capital Allocation
- Low Tax Rate Sustainability
- USD Denominated Debt
Questions arise about the said company’s profit margins, cash-flows and valuation. Read how this can impact investor decisions.
This article originally appeared on Advisor Perspectives.
“The moat in a business like our auto insurance business at GEICO is low cost. I mean people have to buy auto insurance, so everybody’s going to have one auto insurance policy per car basically, or per driver. And…I can’t sell them twenty…but they have to buy one. Read More