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Constructing a Winning Portfolio Lessons in Stock Analysis from Master Investors.

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Presentation on theme: "Constructing a Winning Portfolio Lessons in Stock Analysis from Master Investors."— Presentation transcript:

1 Constructing a Winning Portfolio Lessons in Stock Analysis from Master Investors

2 Key Questions for Investors Out of all the possible stocks in the world, how do you decide which ones merit a closer look? Stock “screening” What is your comparative advantage? Invest in what you know! What is your universe?? Can’t just ask, would Warren Buffett invest in this stock; need to ask, would Warren Buffett invest in this stock if he were you?? How will you know when you are wrong about a stock? How will you know when you are right about a stock?

3 Growth + Value 3 Legendary Investors: Philip Fisher Started in 1928, still investing today “It’s quality that counts” Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway Investing from a “business perspective” Peter Lynch Fidelity Magellan (1977 – 1990) Invest in “understandable” stocks

4 It’s Quality that Counts: the Philip Fisher Approach Wrote “Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits” investing as a mix between science and art investment decisions often boil down to a judgment call about the relative importance of relevant qualitative factors wanted companies that could generate and sustain long-term growth

5 Philosophy Investment in “outstanding” companies that, over the years, can grow in sales and profits more than the industry as a whole. Key features of “outstanding” companies: strong management with a disciplined approach designed to achieve dramatic long-term growth in profits products or services that have the potential for sizable sales long term other inherent qualities that would make it difficult for competitors and newcomers to share in that potential growth

6 Universe of Stocks No restrictions on universe of stocks to select from; OTC stocks shouldn’t be overlooked, but “outstanding” companies not necessarily young & small Criterion for initial consideration: 15 points, divided into 3 categories: Functional factors Excellence in management Business characteristics

7 Functional Factors Products or services w/ sufficient market potential for sizable increase in sales for several years; major sales growth, judged over series of years superiority in production - lowest cost provider of goods or services strong marketing organization - efficiency of sales, advertising, and distribution outstanding R&D - amount expended relative to its size; effectiveness as indicated by ability to bring research ideas to market effective cost analysis and acctg. controls; choice of capital investments that bring highest return financial strength or cash position - sufficient capital to exploit prospects w/o needing to sell additional equity

8 Excellence in Management Entrepreneurial attitude among management - keep innovating w/ new products or services to keep sales growing Development of good in-house management & teamwork Management depth Good labor and personnel relations; labor turnover relative to competitors Long-range outlook by mgmt., even at the expense of short-term profits Good investor relations & willingness to talk freely about problems Mgmt. of unquestionable integrity; salaries & perks in line w/ those of other managers

9 Business Characteristics Above average profitability compare profit margins w/in industry and over several years older & larger firms usually best in industry younger firm can have narrower profit margins if spending (investing) a lot in research and/or marketing Ability to maintain good profit margins; good position relative to competition due to: skill in a particular line of business patent protection

10 Secondary Factors Once “outstanding” company is found, purchase stock when it is out of favor due to: market has temporarily misjudged true value of company, or general market conditions outstanding companies can be purchased at fair value, but investors should expect a lower (though still respectable) return

11 Monitoring / When to Sell 3-year rule for judging results if stock is underperforming but no fundamental changes have occurred hold stock until there is a fundamental change in its nature or it has grown to a point where it will no longer be growing faster than the overall economy don’t sell for short-term reasons sell mistakes quickly once they are recognized don’t overdiversify - hold companies in a variety of industries having different characteristics

12 “The Warren Buffett Way” “An Unreasonable Man” Influenced by Benjamin Graham and Philip Fisher “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw General Philosophy of Warren Buffett Invest in stocks based on their intrinsic value, where value is measured by the ability to generate earnings and dividends over the years. Target successful businesses – those with expanding intrinsic values – and seek to buy at a price that makes economic sense, defined as earning an annual rate of return of at least 15% for at least 5 – 10 years.

13 “The Warren Buffett Way” Step One: Turn off the stock market. Mr. Market and the Lemmings – the market as manic-depressive “After we buy a stock, consequently we would not be disturbed if markets closed for a year or two. We don’t need a daily quote on our 100 percent position in See’s or H.H. Brown to validate our well being. Why, then, should we need a quote on our 7 percent interest in Coke?”

14 “The Warren Buffett Way” Step Two: Don’t worry about the economy. “If Fed chairman Alan Greenspan were to whisper to me what his monetary policy was going to be over the next two years, it wouldn’t change one thing I do.” Buy businesses that have the opportunity to profit regardless of the economy.

15 “The Warren Buffett Way” Step Three: Buy a business, not a stock. Four categories of tenets companies must satisfy to be considered as potential investments:  Business tenets  Management tenets  Financial tenets  Market tenets  Will be described in more detail later …

16 “The Warren Buffett Way” Step Four: Manage a portfolio of businesses. “Know-nothing” investors should own a large number of equities and space out their purchases over time  Use an index fund and dollar cost average purchases.  Will enable investor to outperform a majority of investment professionals “Know-something” investors  “if you are … able to understand business economics and to find five to ten sensibly priced companies that possess important long-term competitive advantages, conventional diversification makes no sense to you.”  If the best stocks you own present the least financial risk and have the most favorable long-term prospects, why would you put money into your twentieth favorite choices rather than add to your top choices?

17 Back to Step Three: Buy a Business; Not a Stock Business Tenets: Is the business simple and understandable? How does it make money? Does the business have a consistent operating history? Do earnings exhibit a stable upward trend? Does the business have favorable long-term prospects? Is the business a “consumer monopoly” or a commodity-type business?

18 Monopoly vs. Commodity Consumer monopoly: Repeat business, plus one or more of following:  Strong brand or other barrier (Nike, McDonald’s, Amgen (patent), rock quarries)  Necessary gateway for mfrs. to reach customers (worldwide advertising agencies, newspapers)  Provide necessary services (tax preparers, insurance) Commodity-based business: Low profit margins, low ROE, absence of brand loyalty, presence of multiple producers, existence of substantial excess capacity, erratic profits that depend on management’s ability to optimize the use of tangible assets

19 Buy a Business; Not a Stock Management Tenets: Is management rational? Do they invest the company’s cash profitably? Is management candid with its shareholders? Does management resist the institutional imperative?

20 Buy a Business; Not a Stock Financial Tenets: Focus on return on equity, not earnings per share. Calculate “owner earnings.”  NI + (D + A) – (capital expenditures necessary to maintain economic position) Look for companies with high profit margins.  Want company’s management to view earnings as belonging to the shareholders. For every dollar retained, make sure the company has created at least one dollar of market value. What is the value of the business? Can the business be purchased at a significant discount to its value?  “Margin of safety” to protect against mistakes  Focus of Benjamin Graham

21 Investing in a Business: the Warren Buffett Approach Advantage of stocks over bonds Stocks have opportunity for growth in yields “Margin of safety” vs. “margin of protection” “Margin of protection” comes from investing in successful companies Get good growth opportunities even if stock never moves all the way up to its intrinsic value Contribution to Warren Buffett’s thought from Philip Fisher

22 Universe of stocks No limitation on stock size, but analysis requires some operating history Criterion for initial consideration: Consumer monopoly, not “commodity-based” business Strong management Business that is easy to understand & analyze also must have ability to adjust prices for inflation

23 Indications of capable management: Strong upward trend in earnings Conservative financing Consistently high return on S/H’s equity High level of retained earnings Low level of spending needed to maintain current operations Profitable use of retained earnings

24 Valuing the Stock You’ve found a promising company, now how much should you pay for it?? Buffett uses several approaches, incl: Compare investment in bonds:  relative value = EPS / LT T-bond yield Project value forward using historical data:  estimate growth rate in EPS using past 10 years’ worth of earnings data  future EPS = current EPS * (1 + est. g)  multiply by high & low P/E’s over past 10 years to get estimated future price range for stock  Q: will this future price allow  15% return?

25 Monitoring / When to Sell Prefer investment in small no. of companies that investor can know & understand extensively  Diversification not favored hold for long term hold as long as company remains “excellent”  consistently growing  quality management operating for S/H’s benefit Sell if: these circumstances change, or alternative investment offers a better return

26 “Invest in What You Know”: the Peter Lynch Approach Wrote “Beating the Street” Bottom-up approach, selection from among companies with which investor is familiar, then through fundamental analysis that emphasizes a thorough understanding of the company, its prospects, its competitive environment, and whether the stock can be purchased at a reasonable price

27 Philosophy Investment in companies in which there is a well-grounded expectation concerning the firm’s growth prospects and in which the stock can be bought at a reasonable price A thorough understanding of the company and its competitive advantage is the only “edge” that investors have over other investors in finding reasonably valued stocks Find a “story” for the stock: slow growers, stalwarts, fast-growers, cyclicals, turnarounds, asset opportunities

28 Universe of Stocks All listed and OTC stocks, but... Size DOES matter! Other than that, specific criteria depend on company’s story, but factors to examine include: earnings - stability & consistency w/ an upward trend P/E in lower range of historical average P/E below industry average (P/E) < (g + D/P) / 2 low levels of debt financing relative to equity financing high levels of net cash per share if co. pays a dividend, look for low payout ratio but long records of regularly increasing dividends esp. for cycicals, want inventory growth < sales growth

29 Other Favorable Characterisitics Boring name, product, or service; or company does something disagreeable or depressing; or rumors of something bad about the company spin-off fast-growing company in a no-growth industry niche firm controlling a market segment repeat-purchase product that customers must keep buying even in bad times not a technology producer, but can take advantage of technological advances low % of shares held by institutions; little analyst coverage insiders buying shares company buying back shares

30 Unfavorable Characteristics Hot stock in hot industry Companies (particularly small firms) with big plans that are yet to be proven Profitable companies involved in diversifying acquisitions (“di-worse- ifications”) Companies in which one customer accounts for 25% - 50% of sales

31 Monitoring / When to Sell As with Fisher & Buffett, don’t diversify simply for the sake of diversification, esp. if it means less familiarity w/ firm for diversification, invest in several categories of stocks, but invest in few enough firms that you can still fully research & understand each firm don’t put all your eggs in one basket, but don’t use so many different baskets that you can’t watch them all!

32 Monitoring / When to Sell Review holdings every few months, rechecking the company’s “story” to see if anything has changed - sell if: the story has played out as expected or either something in the story fails to unfold as expected or fundamentals deteriorate Price drops should be viewed as opportunities to buy more of a good prospect at cheaper prices Consider “rotation” - selling played-out stocks with stocks w/ a similar story but better prospects Maintain a long-term commitment to the stock market & focus on relative fundamental values

33 A sampling of other approaches: Value Benjamin Graham –The Intelligent Investor; Security Analysis Growth The Motley Fool –Rule Breaker / Rule Maker Geoffrey Moore –The Gorilla Game George Gilder –Telecosm Paradigm Quantitative Robert A. Haugen – The Inefficient Stock Market Technical Analysis Martin Zweig; Martin J. Pring; John J. Murphy


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