Category Archives: market valuations

7/5/20: No Value in Them, Stonks

No, folks, the markets are still not in line with fundamentals:

And that applies to all three sets of fundamentals: pre-COVID19 conditions in the underlying economy (secular stagnation), during-COVID19 collapse of the economy, and post-COVID19 expectations for the economy.

Which, of course, explains why Buffett sees no opportunities for buying, given the above chart is one of his favourite indicators of value.

2/7/19: Earnings and Market Valuations: Equity PEs

While P/E ratios are gamable and informationally highly restrictive, the metric is still a useful one when considering as to how expensive/cheap equity can be. Here is the latest chart via @topdowncharts showing P/E ratios based on 10 year average earnings (smoother series, but the long average is even less informationally rich than pure P/Es):

Which makes:

  1. U.S. markets overvalued in excess of 2006-2007 peaks, but less than in the blowout bubble of the era;
  2. Developed markets (ex-US) and Emerging markets relatively moderately priced.
Given the fact that U.S. equities earnings are probably the most susceptible to strategic manipulation, e,.g. shares buybacks, M&As and earnings/cash management, the U.S. markets are in heading for trouble.

5/3/18: Rational Valuations Meet a Parody Cowboy

There is one word that explains the latest Bloomberg musings on the markets pricing in the impact of Trump's aluminium & steel tariffs: ambiguity. Here is the original article:
"The good Donald, the bad Donald and the ugly market" via @gadfly

With its cool imagery:

And here is my analysis: tariffs pricing by the markets reflects three VUCA factors. Factor 1: Ambiguity. This relates to ambiguous nature of Trump's policies, with tariffs seemingly laying waste to the idea that Trump Administration can be deemed to be 'maturing' into the office. Factor 2: Complexity. This relates to the nature of the global economy and its dependence on international cooperation agreements and frameworks, the very same institutions that Factor 1 puts into question without providing any certainty as to the exact direction of future change or, indeed, the metrics by which policy successes will be measured. Factor 3: Second Order Ambiguity. This arises from the interaction between Factors 1 and 2 above: as Trump Administration bites chunks out of international structures and treaties, ambiguity and complexity arise not only within the context of the Administration tenure itself. Trump's actions drive unpredictable, uncertain and ambiguous changes into the post-Trump era responses from the future U.S. Presidents. If you are running a business or investing in a company, you need to think beyond November 2020 (which is just over 2.5 years away) and that thinking is virtually impossible under current policy volatility and uncertainty.

In Hollywood, falling out of the second story window, while showering the town around you in bullets is a fun game. In the real world, you just might end up being killed. Companies and investments are not run like an Indiana Jones' movie set. Even when a 'Western' parody cowboy is sitting in the White House.

9/9/15: MSCI World EV/EBITDA ratio: Happy Bubbly

In the lightness of being inhabited by the world's investors, no valuation is a bubble, until it is officially declared to not be a bubble. And so it has been since the start of the year, just as EV/EBITDA (Enterprise Value ratio to Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) ratio of MSCI World Index for 23 Developed Markets economies peaked at levels ahead of all previously recorded ones:

Source: @zerohedge

But never mind, for that promised growth rebound is just around the corner... where it has been for the last seven and a half years... just one period ahead forecast from today...

Note: h/t and thanks to Rouben Indjikian for spotting EBITDA definition missing reference to interest.