Which value metric works best?

I recently undertook a quick and dirty backtest on NIFTY stocks to verify whether buying a portfolio of the cheapest index stocks and rebalancing annually would beat the broader index. In spite of the fairly short period under test (nine years from 2008 to 2017), if you’re a value investor, the results are encouraging. From Sep 2008 to Aug 2017, ignoring transaction costs and dividends, a 10 stock value portfolio returned 18% annually compared to 9.8% for the NIFTY. The details of the test and outcomes are in the post ‘Can buying cheap NIFTY stocks beat the index‘ For this test,

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Decoding the PE ratio of a stock

At a glance Price-Earnings or PE is the most widely valuation metric by equity market investors However, arbitrarily shifting PE levels and differences across industry groups mean it’s hard for an investor to utilize it in his decision-making The conservative interpretation of PE should be “the number of years of earnings it will take to pay back your cost of buying a share” Additionally, PE is an indicator of the market’s expectations of earnings growth over a sustained period of time. Working out that expected growth number provides an investor additional information on the suitability of a purchase Ask a

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Predicting stock market returns

At a glance While predicting market performance is nearly impossible, there are lessons to be learnt from looking at past performance We take the predictive power of three popular valuation metrics; Price-to-Earnings, Price-to-Book and Dividend Yield P/E as a valuation metric performs better than P/B and yield as a lead indicator of annual returns As of early Jan 2015, the Nifty is trading at 21.2x earnings, more expensive than 80% of all trading days in the last 16 years Higher the P/E at the time of purchase, lower the returns achieved for the Nifty Current P/E levels indicate marginally negative

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3 charts that sum up Indian equities in 2014

1. An “exuberant” 2014 Both key benchmark indices up by 30% December so far has seen the only significant correction in 2014 2. A “can’t go wrong” 2014 Every sub-index provided positive returns, some more than others with returns ranging between 10% and 70% Metals, Oil & Gas, IT, FMCG and Power under-performed the broader index Small caps, Consumer Durables, Mid caps, Auto & Capital Goods offered 50%+ returns 3. An “Expectations ahead of Earnings” 2014 Indian markets currently trade just above 21x earnings (For every ₹1 in earnings, you pay ₹21) Unless earnings show significant growth in the next quarter or two, historical data over 15 years suggests you’re more

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Developing a stock investment philosophy

At a glance Every investor needs a consistent basis for making all her stock investing decisions This basis allows the investor to stay the course in the face of short-term fluctuations Broadly two investment philosophies exist based on Fundamental Analysis and Technical Analysis TCI follows a value-stock investment style that looks for out of favour sectors at reasonable P/Es An investor should pick a style or philosophy that aligns with his temperament and proceed to refine it as he gathers more experience in stock investing In the last post (Election 2014 fever and deciding when to buy), I introduced Philip

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Election fever and deciding when to buy

In the fire hydrant post, I mentioned how every potential investor is inundated with a barrage of news / opinions / techniques to do his investing. It doesn’t help that financial news editors like using words like “surge” and “plunge” for routine market movements in their headlines. In addition, the investor has to contend with the enemy within – Mr. Market who exhorts him to jump in with both feet when markets rise and to dump everything when they drop. The Calm Investor doesn’t let the noise or his own biases stampede him into thinking of the stock market as a casino in Las

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