Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Quotes of 2016

Here's a collection of quotes said or written at some point during 2015.

Buffett on Stock-Based Compensation
"...it has become common for managers to tell their owners to ignore certain expense items that are all too real. 'Stock-based compensation' is the most egregious example. The very name says it all: 'compensation.' If compensation isn't an expense, what is it? And, if real and recurring expenses don’t belong in the calculation of earnings, where in the world do they belong?

Wall Street analysts often play their part in this charade, too, parroting the phony, compensation-ignoring 'earnings' figures fed them by managements. Maybe the offending analysts don’t know any better. Or maybe they fear losing 'access' to management. Or maybe they are cynical, telling themselves that since everyone else is playing the game, why shouldn’t they go along with it. Whatever their reasoning, these analysts are guilty of propagating misleading numbers that can deceive investors." - Warren Buffett

Bezos: The "Inseparable Twins" of Failure and Invention
"...corporate cultures...are enduring, stable, hard to change. They can be a source of advantage or disadvantage. You can write down your corporate culture, but when you do so, you're discovering it, uncovering it – not creating it. It is created slowly over time by the people and by events – by the stories of past success and failure that become a deep part of the company lore. If it's a distinctive culture, it will fit certain people like a custom-made glove. The reason cultures are so stable in time is because people self-select. Someone energized by competitive zeal may select and be happy in one culture, while someone who loves to pioneer and invent may choose another. The world, thankfully, is full of many high-performing, highly distinctive corporate cultures. We never claim that our approach is the right one – just that it's ours – and over the last two decades, we’ve collected a large group of like-minded people. Folks who find our approach energizing and meaningful.

One area where I think we are especially distinctive is failure. I believe we are the best place in the world to fail (we have plenty of practice!), and failure and invention are inseparable twins. To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment. Most large organizations embrace the idea of invention, but are not willing to suffer the string of failed experiments necessary to get there." - Jeff Bezos

Buffett: The "Double-Barrel Effect"
"The ideal business is one that takes no capital but yet grows...if you have a business that grows, and gives you a lot of money every year, and...it [capital] isn't required in its growth, you get a double-barrel effect: from the earnings growth that occurs internally without the use of capital, and then you get the capital it produces to go and buy other businesses.

And See's Candy was a good example of that." - Warren Buffett

Berkshire 2016 Meeting: Charlie Munger Highlights - Part I

"...looking back, I don't regret that I didn't make more money or become better known, or any of those things. I do regret that I didn't wise up as fast as I could have — but there's a blessing in that, too. Now that I'm 92, I still have a lot of ignorance left to work on." - Charlie Munger

"...every person has to have about eight or ten glasses of water every day to stay alive...and it improves life to add a little extra flavor to your water -- a little stimulation, and a few calories if you want to eat that way. There are huge benefits to humanity in that and it's worth having some disadvantages. We ought to almost have a law...where these people shouldn't be allowed to cite the defect without also citing the advantage. It's immature and stupid."

"Well, there could hardly be anything more important [than microeconomics]....Business and microeconomics are sort of the same term. Microeconomics is what we do and macroeconomics is what we put up with." - Charlie Munger

Berkshire 2016 Meeting: Charlie Munger Highlights - Part II
"We try to avoid the worst anchoring effect, which is always your previous conclusion. We really try and destroy our previous ideas." - Charlie Munger

"What you've got to do is be aversive to the standard stupidities. If you just keep those out, you don't have to be smart." - Charlie Munger

"...sometimes when you reduce volume it is very intelligent because you're losing money on the volume you're discarding. It's quite common for a business not only to have more employees than it needs, but it sometimes has two or three customers that could be better off without. So it's hard to judge from outside whether things are good or bad just because volume is going up or down a little." - Charlie Munger

"I don't think anybody really knows much about negative interest rates...None of the great economists who studied this stuff and taught it to our children understand it either...our advantage is that we know we don't understand it." - Charlie Munger

Buffett on Active Investing
"Supposedly sophisticated people, generally richer people, hire consultants, and no consultant in the world is going to tell you 'just buy an S&P index fund and sit for the next 50 years.' You don't get to be a consultant that way. And you certainly don't get an annual fee that way. So the consultant has every motivation in the world to tell you, 'this year I think we should concentrate more on international stocks,' or 'this manager is particularly good on the short side,' and so they come in and they talk for hours, and you pay them a large fee, and they always suggest something other than just sitting on your rear end and participating in the American business without cost. And then those consultants, after they get their fees, they in turn recommend to you other people who charge fees, which... cumulatively eat up capital like crazy." - Warren Buffett

Bogle & Buffett on Frictional Costs
"We have two [investment] managers at Berkshire. They each manage $9 billion for us. They both ran hedge funds before. If they had a 2/20 arrangement with Berkshire, which is not uncommon in the hedge fund world, they would be getting $180 million annually each merely for breathing. It's a compensation scheme that is unbelievable to me..." - Warren Buffett

Happy New Year,

Adam

Quotes of 2015 
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This site does not provide investing recommendations as that comes down to individual circumstances. Instead, it is for generalized informational, educational, and entertainment purposes. Visitors should always do their own research and consult, as needed, with a financial adviser that's familiar with the individual circumstances before making any investment decisions. Bottom line: The opinions found here should never be considered specific individualized investment advice and never a recommendation to buy or sell anything.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Grantham on Bubbles Revisited

From Jeremy Grantham's 3Q 2016 letter:

"We have been extremely spoiled in the last 30 years by experiencing 4 of perhaps the best 8 classic bubbles known to history. For me, the order of seniority is, from the top: Japanese land, Japanese stocks in 1989, US tech stocks in 2000, and US housing, which peaked in 2006..."

Grantham goes on to explain something each of these bubbles have in common. It essentially comes down to euphoria combined with widespread belief in the unbelievable. Things like:

- That "land under the Emperor’s Palace" should equal the combined value of all California real estate.

- That the Japanese stock market, at 65x earnings, was supposedly cheap.
(Apparently Solomon Brothers at the time thought that valuations should be more like 100x.)

- That U.S. tech stocks could also be considered cheap at 65x while Internet stocks had, at least in aggregate, negative earnings yet many sold at high multiples of their loss generating sales.

More from Grantham:

"...Greenspan (hiss) explained how the Internet would usher in a new golden age of growth, not the boom and bust of productivity that we actually experienced. And most institutional investment committees believed it or half believed it! And US house prices, said Bernanke in 2007, 'had never declined,' meaning they never would, and everyone believed him. Indeed, the broad public during these four events, two in Japan and two in the US, appeared to believe most or all of it. As did the economic and financial establishments, especially for the two US bubbles. Certainly only mavericks spoke against them."

So how does the current environment compare? Well, according to Grantham, it just doesn't stack up.

"How does that level of euphoria, of wishful thinking, of general acceptance, compare to today’s stock market in the US? Not very well. The market lacks both the excellent fundamentals and the euphoria required to unreasonably extrapolate it."

This hardly makes for a wonderful investing environment. Grantham points out that the market these days economically and psychologically "is closer to an anti-bubble than a bubble. In every sense, that is, except one: Traditional measures of value score this market as extremely overpriced by historical standards."

He then adds...

"None of the usual economic or psychological conditions for an investment bubble are being met" though valuations are "almost on the statistical boundary of a bubble."

Investing well necessarily requires not only sufficient margin of safety to protect against unforeseeable outcomes (along with inevitable mistakes), it requires sufficient compensation considering ALL risks and understood alternatives.

High valuations make meeting these requirements nearly impossible.

During the financial crisis -- and actually for quite a long while after the crisis -- lots of equity bargains could be found.

These days...not so much.

Instead, in way to many instances, more than full valuations prevail these days even if there may naturally be the odd exception when it comes to such a generalization. Charlie Munger once said:

"Our system is to swim as competently as we can and sometimes the tide will be with us and sometimes it will be against us. But by and large we don't much bother with trying to predict the tides because we plan to play the game for a long time."

Unfortunately, valuation reveals little or nothing about what market prices might do in the near-term or even longer.

Judging how price compares to the intrinsic value of a business is a very different game than guessing how the "tides" might impact market prices.

The former is difficult yet not impossible while the latter activity is, at least for me, something destined to be ignored from the sidelines with great enthusiasm.

Adam

Related posts:
Isaac Newton, The Investor
Grantham om Bubbles
Charlie Munger: Snare and a Delusion

This site does not provide investing recommendations as that comes down to individual circumstances. Instead, it is for generalized informational, educational, and entertainment purposes. Visitors should always do their own research and consult, as needed, with a financial adviser that's familiar with the individual circumstances before making any investment decisions. Bottom line: The opinions found here should never be considered specific individualized investment advice and never a recommendation to buy or sell anything.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Berkshire Hathaway 3rd Quarter 2016 13F-HR

The Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa3rd Quarter 13F-HR was released yesterday. Below is a summary of the changes that were made to the Berkshire equity portfolio during that quarter.
(For a convenient comparison, here's a post from last quarter that summarizes Berkshire's 2nd Quarter 13F-HR.)

There was some buying and selling during the quarter. Here's a quick summary of the changes:*

Added to Existing Positions
Phillips 66 (PSX): 1.9 mil. shares (2% incr.); tot. stake $ 6.5 bil.
Charter (CHTR): 106 thous. shares (1% incr.); tot. stake $ 2.5 bil.

I've included above only those positions worth at least $ 1 billion at the end of the 3rd quarter. In a portfolio this size -- more than $ 257 billion (equities, fixed income, cash, and other investments including Kraft Heinz: KHC at fair value) as of the latest available filing with roughly half made up of common stocks** -- a position that's less than $ 1 billion doesn't really move the needle much.

Shares that were added to among positions worth less than $ 1 billion include Liberty SiriusXM (LSXMK), Liberty Global (LBTYA), Visa (V), Bank of New York Mellon (BK), WABCO  Holdings (WBC), and Liberty SiriusXM (LSXMA).

New Positions
American Airlines (AAL): 21.8 mil. shares; tot. stake $ 797 mil.
Delta Air Lines (DAL): 6.3 mil. shares; tot. stake $ 249 mil.
United Continental Holdings (UAL): 4.5 mil. shares; tot. stake $ 238 mil.

Separately, Warren Buffett noted that Berkshire purchased shares of  Southwest Airlines (LUV) after the 3rd quarter ended.
(The 13F-HR naturally only reflects purchases/sales that occurred before the end of the quarter.)

Berkshire's latest 13F-HR filing did not indicate any activity was kept confidential.

Occasionally, the SEC allows Berkshire to keep certain moves in the portfolio confidential. The permission is granted by the SEC when a case can be made that the disclosure may cause buyers to drive up the price before Berkshire makes its additional purchases.

Shares that were sold among positions worth more than $ 1 billion include the following:

Reduced Positions
Deere & Co. (DE): 874 thous. shares (3% decr.); tot. stake $ 1.8 bil.

The other reduced positions worth less than $ 1 billion include Wal-Mart (WMT), Kinder Morgan (KMI), and Liberty Media (LMCK & LMCA).

It's worth mentioning that the Wal-Mart position was sizable -- nearly $ 3 billion -- before roughly two-thirds of the shares were sold last quarter.

Sold Positions
Suncor (SU)
Media General (MEG)

Todd Combs and Ted Weschler are responsible for an increasingly large number of the moves in the Berkshire equity portfolio. These days, any changes involving smaller positions will generally be the work of the two portfolio managers.

Top Five Holdings
After the changes, Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio of equity securities remains mostly made up of financial, consumer and, to a lesser extent, technology stocks (mostly IBM).

1. Kraft Heinz (KHC) = $ 29.1 bil.
2. Wells Fargo (WFC) = $ 21.2 bil.
3. Coca-Cola (KO) = $ 16.9 bil.
4. IBM (IBM) = $ 12.9 bil.
5. American Express (AXP) = $ 9.7 bil.

As is almost always the case it's a very concentrated portfolio. The top five often represent 60-70 percent and, at times, even more of the equity portfolio. The relatively new and very large stake in Kraft Heinz has, in fact, simply made the portfolio even more concentrated. In addition, Berkshire owns equity securities listed on exchanges outside the U.S., plus fixed maturity securities, cash and cash equivalents, and other investments.

The portfolio excludes all the operating businesses that Berkshire owns outright with ~ 361,000 employees (with 25 being at headquarters) according to the latest letter. Numbers like these -- along with many other things of interest especially for Berkshire shareholders -- should be updated in the next annual report and letter.

Here are some examples of Berkshire's non-insurance businesses:

MidAmerican Energy, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, McLane Company, The Marmon Group, Shaw Industries, Benjamin Moore, Johns Manville, Acme Building, MiTek, Fruit of the Loom, Russell Athletic Apparel, NetJets, Nebraska Furniture Mart, See's Candies, Dairy Queen, The Pampered Chef, Business Wire, Iscar, Lubrizol, Berkshire Hathaway Automotive, Oriental Trading Company, Precision Castparts, and Duracell.
(Among others.)

In addition to the above businesses and investment portfolio, Berkshire's large insurance operation (BH Reinsurance, General Re, GEICO etc.) has historically been rather profitable while providing plenty of "float" for their investments.

See page 115 of the 2015 annual report for a more complete listing of Berkshire's businesses.

Adam

Long positions in BRKb, PSX, KO, WFC, and AXP established at much lower than recent market prices. Also, long positions in WMT established at somewhat below recent market prices and IBM established near recent market prices. (In each case compared to average cost basis.)

* All values shown are based upon the last trading day of the 3rd quarter.
** Berkshire Hathaway's holdings of ADRs are included in the 13F. What is not included are shares listed on exchanges outside the United States. The status of those shares, if a large enough position, are updated in the annual letter. So the only way any of the stocks listed on exchanges outside the U.S. will show up in the 13F is if Berkshire buys the ADR. Investments in things like preferred shares (and valuable warrants, where applicable, as explained in the recent letters) are also not included in the 13F.
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This site does not provide investing recommendations as that comes down to individual circumstances. Instead, it is for generalized informational, educational, and entertainment purposes. Visitors should always do their own research and consult, as needed, with a financial adviser that's familiar with the individual circumstances before making any investment decisions. Bottom line: The opinions found here should never be considered specific individualized investment advice and never a recommendation to buy or sell anything.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bogle & Buffett on Frictional Costs

John Bogle had the following to say in a speech earlier this year:

"Hedge funds (so-called; actually concentrated investment accounts which offer a wide variety of strategies) manage about $2.8 trillion of assets, at a cost equal to at least 3% of assets per year (300 basis points, an informed guess), generating some $84 billion in annual fees."

Vanguard manages roughly $3 trillion with roughly two thirds being index funds. Similar size but naturally much lower costs:

"The costs of supervising these index portfolios come to about $400 million annually, or 0.02% per year (two basis points)—less than 1% of the hedge fund rate. Administering the index funds and handling the accounts of some 15 million index shareholders costs another $1.2 billion, adding 0.06% (six basis points) to bring the aggregate expense ratio to eight basis points."

The ~ 300 basis point "informed guess" is primarily driven by 2 and 20 compensation structure that is common to hedge funds. The above comments are not unlike those made by Warren Buffett -- in reference to his bet that a low-cost S&P 500 index fund would outperform a basket of hedge funds chosen by experts -- at the Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa) shareholder meeting earlier this year:

"The result is that after eight years and several hundred hedge fund managers being involved, the totally unmanaged fund by Vanguard with very minimal costs is now 40-something [percentage] points ahead of the group of hedge funds. It may sound like a terrible result for the hedge funds, but it's not a terrible result for the hedge fund managers."

Buffett also pointed out...

"We have two [investment] managers at Berkshire. They each manage $9 billion for us. They both ran hedge funds before. If they had a 2/20 arrangement with Berkshire, which is not uncommon in the hedge fund world, they would be getting $180 million annually each merely for breathing."

And then added:

"It's a compensation scheme that is unbelievable to me and that's one reason I made this bet."

So it comes down to this big difference in frictional costs to explain the results (so far) of Buffett's bet.

Investors in these high-cost funds are betting that, over many years, a capable manager can reliably outrun such a frictional cost headwind and that somehow those investors will be able to correctly pick beforehand who that manager is going to be. As Charlie Munger said at the same Berkshire meeting:

"There have been a few of these managers who've actually succeeded...But it's a tiny group of people...like looking for a needle in a haystack."

The likelihood that a manager will do well ends up much higher than the likelihood those who actually put their capital at risk will do well.

It seems rather obvious that the system would be vastly improved if the opposite were true.

Tortured logic is required to explain why those who are putting their capital at risk shouldn't first be compensated sufficiently before vast sums are drained from their balance sheet.

Adam

Long position in BRKb established at much lower than recent market prices

Related posts:
Buffett on Active Investing
John Bogle: Arithmetic Quants vs Algorithmic Quants
Hedge Funds: Balancing Risk & Reward?
Index Funds vs Actively Managed Funds
John Bogle on Investor Returns
Buffett's Hedge Fund Bet
John Bogle's "Relentless Rules of Humble Arithmetic", Part II
Index Fund Investing Revisited
Charlie Munger on Complexity, Hedge Funds, and Pension Funds
Why Do So Many Investors Underperform?
When Mutual Funds Outperform Their Investors
John Bogle's "Relentless Rules of Humble Arithmetic"
Investor Overconfidence Revisited
Newton's Fourth Law
Investor Overconfidence
Chasing "Rearview-Mirror Performance"
Index Fund Investing
Investors Are Often Their Own Worst Enemies, Part II
Investors Are Often Their Own Worst Enemies
The Illusion of Skill
Buffett's Bet Against Hedge Funds, Part II
Buffett's Bet Against Hedge Funds
The Illusion of Control
Charlie Munger on LTCM & Overconfidence
"Nothing But Costs"
When Genius Failed...Again

This site does not provide investing recommendations as that comes down to individual circumstances. Instead, it is for generalized informational, educational, and entertainment purposes. Visitors should always do their own research and consult, as needed, with a financial adviser that's familiar with the individual circumstances before making any investment decisions. Bottom line: The opinions found here should never be considered specific individualized investment advice and never a recommendation to buy or sell anything.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Buffett on Active Investing

Warren Buffett said the following on CNBC back in May:

"Active investing as a whole is certain to lead to worse than average results."

He goes on to explain that those who are active, in aggregate, must by definition get an average result. Subtract all the fees and what happens is a below average result. John Bogle has previously made the point that it's tough to get around what he calls the "relentless rules of humble arithmetic".

Naturally some think they themselves will be able to outperform over the long haul or, alternatively, that they'll be able to reliably pick, beforehand, an active manager who will outperform.

This might prove possible for some but history shows it's much easier in theory than reality.

Buffett's bet with Protege Partners -- one that now goes back more than eight years -- was, from his point of view, meant to demonstrate that while many "smart people are involved in running hedge funds...to a great extent their efforts are self-neutralizing, and their IQ will not overcome the costs they impose on investors."

Naturally, Protege held the opposite view.

The results so far?*

Index Fund: 65.7%
Hedge Funds: 21.9%

Of course, one example doesn't necessarily prove anything but Buffett elaborated on his thinking during the 2016 Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa) shareholder meeting:

"Supposedly sophisticated people...hire consultants, and no consultant in the world is going to tell you 'just buy an S&P index fund and sit for the next 50 years.' You don't get to be a consultant that way. And you certainly don't get an annual fee that way. So the consultant has every motivation in the world to tell you, 'this year I think we should concentrate more on international stocks,' or 'this manager is particularly good on the short side,' and so they come in and they talk for hours, and you pay them a large fee, and they always suggest something other than just sitting on your rear end and participating in the American business without cost. And then those consultants, after they get their fees, they in turn recommend to you other people who charge fees, which... cumulatively eat up capital like crazy."

And, according to Buffett, it's not easy to change behavior:

"I've talked to huge pension funds, and I've taken them through the math, and when I leave, they go out and hire a bunch of consultants and pay them a lot of money. It's just unbelievable."

And guess who these consultants tend to recommend?

Hedge funds that typically get paid via something like a 2-and-20 or a similar compensation structure.

According to Buffett these consultants usually "have lots of charts and PowerPoint presentations and they recommend people who are in turn going to charge a lot of money and they say, 'well you can only get the best talent by paying 2-and-20,' or something of the sort, and the flow of money from the 'hyperactive' to what I call the 'helpers' is dramatic."

During the CNBC interview Buffett added the following:

"In...almost every field, the professional brings something to the party."

Yet, in contrast, Buffett points out that the world of professional investing as a whole produces "negative results to their clientele. And that's a very interesting phenomenon to live with, if you spend your life doing something where your expectancy is to hurt your customer. And yet that is the case for professional investors."

Naturally, some capable individual managers will outperform. Yet as Charlie Munger said at the Berkshire meeting:

"There have been a few of these managers who've actually succeeded...But it's a tiny group of people...like looking for a needle in a haystack."

Think about it this way: if 80% to 90% of actively managed funds tend to underperform, then that by definition means the purchaser of a low-cost index fund, with no skills whatsoever, should over the long-term outperform roughly 80% to 90% of the professional managers.**

Can you imagine such a product existing for other professions?

In other words, there's just no way to buy a product that will enable someone to perform better than, for example, 80% to 90% of doctors without the requisite expertise. The same would be mostly true for other professions (and, for that matter, this also applies to skilled trades).

Of course, one of the problems with this is investors tend to trade index funds too much -- the net reward for the incremental effort being reduced returns -- as well as the actively managed funds they own. Such behavior usually turns what should be inherently, at least on a relative basis, an advantageous approach into one that is less so.

It's tough to outperform picking individual stocks. Similarly, it's tough to pick the professional investors who, going forward and over the long-term, will not only outperform, but will outperform by enough to justify all the frictional costs and, possibly, the incremental risks they'll need to take.

Stocks, generally speaking, appear to be not all cheap these days. So it would seem to be rather unwise to expect market averages will produce more than modest results as long as such valuations persist. Of course, what look like high-ish valuations can for a time become even higher and, as far as near-term price action goes, almost anything can happen.***

Some will see such a situation for what it is and no doubt be tempted to find some creative ways to outperform.

An understandable response?

Possibly.

That doesn't necessarily make it the correct response.

The vast majority (I'd 80% to 90% qualifies) of  active investors -- many who are smart, capable, and hardworking -- do worse than what a passive approach could achieve. So that means many market participants, if nothing else, must have a built in bias; they inherently overestimate their own likelihood of success. To them, it's always the other less prepared and less able participants who'll do worse than the average.

Certainly not themselves.

It's worth amplifying that all the extra effort involved isn't just producing no incremental benefit, it's producing a worse than passive outcome; a negative return on all the additional invested time and effort.

A subpar result for the investors though likely not for the managers.

Where else is so much time and talent put forth to achieve so little or, in fact, what is a net reduced outcome?

Adam

Long position in BRKb established at much lower than recent market prices

Related posts:
John Bogle: Arithmetic Quants vs Algorithmic Quants
Hedge Funds: Balancing Risk & Reward?
Index Funds vs Actively Managed Funds
John Bogle on Investor Returns
Buffett's Hedge Fund Bet
John Bogle's "Relentless Rules of Humble Arithmetic", Part II
Index Fund Investing Revisited
Charlie Munger on Complexity, Hedge Funds, and Pension Funds
Why Do So Many Investors Underperform?
When Mutual Funds Outperform Their Investors
John Bogle's "Relentless Rules of Humble Arithmetic"
Investor Overconfidence Revisited
Newton's Fourth Law
Investor Overconfidence
Chasing "Rearview-Mirror Performance"
Index Fund Investing
Investors Are Often Their Own Worst Enemies, Part II
Investors Are Often Their Own Worst Enemies
The Illusion of Skill
Buffett's Bet Against Hedge Funds, Part II
Buffett's Bet Against Hedge Funds
The Illusion of Control
Charlie Munger on LTCM & Overconfidence
"Nothing But Costs"
When Genius Failed...Again

* Through December 31, 2015.
** Think of it this way: it's essentially a choice between a small chance of picking the manager who produces long-term outperformance versus near certainty of being at or near the top ~10% or 20% in terms of long-term market performance. Also, there's still some (usually rather modest) fees to consider in an index fund that might produce a lesser outcome.
*** As always, I have no view on what near-term market prices might be. I'll leave that sort of thing to those who attempt to profit betting on price action. The focus here is definitely not on speculation; it is always on investment -- judging what something is intrinsically worth, looking for reasonable (if not considerable) mispricings, then benefiting, in general, mostly from what's produced over the long run. Valuations right now do seem to be more on the high side than not for many stocks. Or, well, let's just say it seems wise to, considering where valuations are at the present time, use conservative assumptions and lower future return expectations. Of course, higher multiples in the near-term can naturally occur. Those higher multiples may even theoretically make those with a shorter horizon (who sell) better off -- or, at a minimum, will make some participants feel better off -- but, in fact, a meaningful drop in market prices would logically make life easier for the long-term investor. Those with a substantial investing time horizon who are hoping for market prices to continue higher near-term (or even intermediate-term) should keep this in mind. It is lower market prices that increase the possibility of making incremental purchases -- whether done directly by the shareholder or via buybacks using the company's excess cash -- at a nice discount to intrinsic value. The potential long-term compounded effects for continuing owners (i.e. not traders) need not be small. Buying shares at increasingly large discounts to conservatively estimated value over time should, all else equal, reduce risks/improve returns.
(Notice the sometimes overlooked inverse relationship here. Risk and reward is at times positively correlated, but some incorrectly assume they're always positively correlated. Well, the correlation is not always positive and is, as far as I'm concerned, too often a rather underutilized consideration.)
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This site does not provide investing recommendations as that comes down to individual circumstances. Instead, it is for generalized informational, educational, and entertainment purposes. Visitors should always do their own research and consult, as needed, with a financial adviser that's familiar with the individual circumstances before making any investment decisions. Bottom line: The opinions found here should never be considered specific individualized investment advice and never a recommendation to buy or sell anything.
 
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