The Most Hated (And Most Loved) Investing Factor

By Jack M. Forehand (@practicalquant)  —  Factor investing requires a lot of patience. Despite the fact that research shows that many factors can produce outperformance over long periods of time, all of them will struggle at times in the short-term. And those struggles are typically long and difficult enough that most investors will abandon underperforming strategies in favor of what is working now. When that happens, that typically signals a bottom for the factor is near. At Validea, we track several hundred factors in our guru-based models that run the gamut from value to growth to momentum. Our historical testing […]

Book Value – A Buffett Favorite, But Far From Perfect

Article Summary Warren Buffett reports Berkshire’s book value in Berkshire’s Annual Letter, but Buffett admits it is not perfect in determining the value of a firm. The price-to-book ratio is a popular factor, taking book value into consideration, but the effectiveness of this value factor has been fading recently. A prominent quantitative firm shows how share buybacks may be clouding price-to-book’s usefulness. The takeaway for investors is no factor is perfect. ———————- How does an investor know what a company is really worth? For some, a standard accounting measurement known as book value will provide the big clue. It is […]

Investing Principles Part I: Identifying Value based on Assets

This describes the first investment approach outlined in the Tweedy Browne Company publication entitled What Has Worked In Investing referenced in yesterday’s blog post. The net current assets approach was developed and tested by Benjamin Graham between 1930 and 1932 and is described by Tweedy as the “oldest approach to investment in groups of securities with common selection characteristics of which we are aware.”  The technique involves identifying and purchasing those stocks which are “priced at 66% or less of a company’s underlying current assets net of all liabilities.” This strategy was subsequently examined by a professor at the State University […]

Re-defining Value

The value premium may seem to have disappeared. Since 1926, cheaper stocks have outperformed expensive ones by 400% according to data from Normura (see graph below). Since February 2007, however, a value investor relying on price-to-book, which is the traditional measure of value and defining trait of the Russell 1000 Value Index, would not have reaped the gains that one would expect from this historical data. Why? Barron’s reports that, according to Joseph Mezrich of Nomura, “the market started to distinguish between different types of value” beginning after the dot-com bust. Price-to-book now appears linked with a higher probability of […]