John Neff and Five Picks for the Low P/E Investor

For legendary investor John Neff, who managed Vanguard’s Windsor Fund from 1964 to 1995, a stock’s price-earnings ratio represented a measure of what level of growth investors are expecting a company to achieve in the future. This according to a recent Nasdaq article by Validea CEO John Reese. The expectation factor, writes Reese, “was paramount for Neff, who found that high-flying growth stocks with high P/E’s were very sensitive to any disappointment compared to expectations.” But Neff saw the upside potential in this scenario if an investor was able to find those stocks that were unfairly beaten down. Reese outlines […]

Peter Lynch Style Investing: Simpler is Better

 In an article for this week’s Nasdaq, Validea CEO John Reese highlights the investment philosophy of guru Peter Lynch that centers on the importance of investing in what you know. “Hardly a pithy inside tip” writes Reese, “but very characteristic of the Lynch approach.” Lynch generated one of the most impressive track records of all time during his tenure as manager of Fidelity’s Magellan Fund from 1977 to 1990. Reese outlines the concepts that form the foundation of his common-sense investment strategy, including how Lynch categorizes companies. He also describes one of the most important metrics in Lynch’s methodology, the […]

Buffett to Investors: Railroads are Resilient Businesses

In his 2016 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Warren Buffett argues that the resilience of the railroad business makes it an attractive investment, writes Validea CEO John Reese in a recent article for TheStreet. Buffett summarizes his faith in the industry, writes Reese, as “justified both by our past experience and by the knowledge that society will forever need huge investment in both transportation and energy.” Using the stock screening models he developed based on the philosophies of some of the most successful investors, Reese identifies the following high-scoring railroad operators and suppliers: Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) owns and operates […]

Buffett and 3G Capital Might Like These Picks

 While the private-equity firm 3G Capital and Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway have teamed up on a few headline deals (such as the acquisition of H.J. Heinz and the subsequent merger of Heinz and Kraft), their investment portfolios look a little different, writes Validea CEO John Reese in a recent article for The Globe and Mail. The Berkshire portfolio is weighted heavily in stocks of consumer goods and companies (including a big bet on Apple), while 3G’s holdings include a substantial portion of energy, basic materials and telecommunication stocks. There are some overlaps, however. By looking at both portfolios, Reese identified some […]

Buffett Revisited

The Oracle of Omaha is an investment legend whose tireless work ethic and down-to-earth philosophy has helped him grow Berkshire Hathaway into one of the largest companies in the world. In a recent article for Nasdaq, Validea CEO John Reese digs into Buffett’s stock selection method and offers five stocks picks that make the grade under his Buffett-inspired screening model (the first of which are currently in the Berkshire portfolio): Apple Inc. (AAPL),the tech industry behemoth, gets a green light based on its predictable and growing earnings and moderate debt level. The company’s return-on-retained earnings (change in 10-year earnings-per-share divided […]

Making Friends With Bear Markets

If you are trying to avoid the next bear market, Validea CEO John P. Reese has some advice: Stop trying to avoid the next bear market. In a piece for Forbes.com, Reese cites a recent column from Mark Hulbert, who monitors the performance of hundreds of investment advisors through his Hulbert Financial Digest. Hulbert says that over the past 15 years the best performers have been those who have stayed the course through bear markets. Those advisors he tracks who by and large avoided stocks during either the 2007-2009 or 2000-2002 bear market – when stocks were pummeled – are […]

Apple vs. Google, and Other Market “Playoff” Matchups

With the NCAA’s college football playoff only a couple weeks away, Validea CEO John Reese recently took a look at some stock market “playoff” matchups that feature several global powerhouses, including Apple, Coca-Cola, and Google. In a column for Forbes.com, Reese looks at how four pairs of market rivals stack up against each other. The matchups: Apple vs. Google, PepsiCo vs. Coca-Cola, Exxon Mobil vs. Chevron, and Anheuser-Busch InBev vs. Molson Coors. Reese uses his Guru Strategies to analyze each firm on a purely quantitative basis. “The numbers might not tell you everything, but they tell you more than you […]

Be Like Buffett: Go Low — Low-Beta, That Is

Conventional wisdom has long held that, in investing, greater risk leads to greater reward. But over the past couple years, new research has turned that idea on its head, and in his most recent Seeking Alpha article, Validea CEO John Reese looks at some of the implications for investors. “In Betting Against Beta, Andrea Frazzini and Lasse Pedersen found that [Warren] Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has beaten the market over the long haul by focusing on low-beta stocks, and using leverage – other people’s money – when buying them,” Reese says. “Most investors can’t use large amounts of leverage, however. Instead, […]

When It Comes To Growth Or Value, Have Your Cake And Eat It Too

It’s extremely common to hear investment commentators talk about “growth” and “value” as though they are polar opposites. But Validea CEO John Reese says not to buy that false notion. “When it comes to investing’s great ‘either/or’ – that is, the growth or value debate – you can have your cake and eat it, too,” Reese writes for Canada’s Globe and Mail. “That’s because the great growth versus value debate is, in fact, a false choice. … Confining yourself to either value stocks or growth stocks is only limiting your portfolio’s potential. At certain times, you’ll be able to find […]

Would Lynch, Buffett, and Graham Like Apple, Facebook, and GE?

How do Apple, Facebook, Berkshire Hathaway, and other market giants stack up against the strategies used by history’s greatest investors? In his latest column for Forbes.com, Validea CEO John P. Reese takes a look at how 10 market titans fare, and the results might surprise you. Reese notes that, historically, small stocks have beaten large stocks by a significant margin. Small stocks have an advantage because they can fly under the radar in a way that larger stocks cannot, and they usually come with an added risk premium because they tend to be less stable and more susceptible to bankruptcy. […]

Value Portfolio, Meet Big Mo’

Much like a shot of nutrient-rich wheatgrass can add a “power boost” to your morning smoothie, a shot of momentum can add a big boost to your value investing portfolio, Validea CEO John Reese says. The idea of focusing on hot stocks may make value investors, who tend to find bargain-priced stocks amid the beaten-down members of the market, cringe, Reese writes in his latest for Canada’s Globe and Mail. “But value stocks aren’t always falling. Nor are red-hot stocks always expensive,” he says. “While they are often portrayed as polar opposites, value and momentum are really two separate concepts. […]

Don’t Get Spooked By Value Stocks

Value stocks may have underperformed growth stocks for several years now, but Validea CEO John Reese says investors would be wise not to pronounce value investing dead anytime soon. “Given that it’s Halloween season, it seems appropriate that value stocks are starting to stage a comeback in the United States,” Reese writes in his latest column for Canada’s Globe and Mail. “Much like the villain in a scary slasher flick, value stocks have been beaten, battered and, by many, presumed dead. They’ve been losing to growth stocks since mid-2006, marking the longest stretch of imbalance in the growth/value cycle in […]

How Your Brain Hurts Your Returns — And What You Can Do To Stop It

What’s the biggest obstacle to investment success? Validea’s John Reese says it may well be our own brains. “The capabilities of human beings’ brains are staggering,” Reese writes in his latest piece for Forbes.com. “Over the course of many millennia, the development of our brains has allowed us to outsmart dangerous predators, build enormous cities and create complex machines like computers and automobiles. Our brains let us think abstractly, plan for the future and create emotion-provoking art and music.” “But,” he continues, “when it comes to investing, our brains have us hardwired to fail.” He says that our alertness to […]

Focus on Long-Term Food Trends, Not Short-Term Factors, Reese Says

One of the keys to successful investing is knowing the difference between long-term trends and short-term disruptions. That’s what Validea CEO John Reese says, and he says investors who can do that can take advantage of some opportunities in food-related stocks right now. While food prices are down globally over the past year, the factors pushing them lower – Russia’s embargo of US products, China’s slowdown, bird flu fears, and the strengthening dollar – are all relatively short-term factors, Reese says in his latest Forbes.com column. Longer-term trends point toward higher food prices, however, he contends. Growing world population, increasing […]

A Disciplined Market-Timing System That Nearly Doubled The Market Over Four-Plus Decades

Trying to time the market often leads to big problems for most investors. But Validea CEO John P. Reese says that, in the hands of a highly disciplined investor, a rules-based market-timing strategy can yield stellar results, as it has for him. “With market timing, the danger is less about the activity itself and more about how you go about it,” Reese writes in a column for Proactive Advisor magazine. “Many market-timers have little knowledge about how the market moves over time, they jump in and out of stocks or indexes based on what everyone else is doing. Their decisions […]