If we know one thing about investing, it’s that time and the power of compounding make stocks an essential holding for savers, right?
Well, maybe not, at least when the choice is to hold bonds with a reasonable yield instead and the excess returns from stocks have been on a long term downward trend, something suggested by this presentation from Claude Erb, the West Coast based manager of TR.
Which is going to take us on a mostly chart based and, we hope, relatively painless tour of a wonky concept — the equity risk premium. But it’s also a way to come at those arguments about long term measures of stock market valuation, the Cape ratio and Shiller PE, from another direction. Read more
About that European bull market. Enthusiasm is there, but the earnings not so much yet.
With little support from earnings, European equities continue to be re-rated in P/E and price/book terms. From 10x in late 2011 to 17x now, European equities trade above both post-1980 and post-1990 average P/Es.
Citi strategist Jonathan Stubbs finds that it’s not just the average, value stocks no longer offer great value either. So, look for places where corporate earnings are actually, y’know, growing. Read more
In addition to John Authers… please welcome James Mackintosh, the FT’s Investment Editor, as an Alphaville blogger. Like John, James has written for us before, on everything from fair value accounting to EM hot money.
Economists have been worrying about Europe turning Japanese. Investors seem to be more concerned about Japan turning European: for the first time since IBES started compiling forward price/earnings ratios in the 1980s, Japan is cheaper on this widely-used measure than Europe (as this chart shows): Read more
The battle to claim the long term is in full force, focused on the use, interpretation and adjustment of the Cape Ratio to value the US stock market.
Pessimists hold dear the Cyclically Adjusted Price Earnings ratio, a value calculation using average annual profits over 10 years, as a signal that equities have been overpriced pretty much since since the first Bush administration. Damn you irrational exuberance, the day of reckoning will come, just you wait… Read more
Goldman Sachs have found a new way to show us that the European stock market is not cheap at all any more — although we’re not sure that was entirely their intention.
Indeed, their European strategists would have you buy the GSSTDMGR. That sounds like the plea for one last merger from a dying banker, but it means Goldman like companies which will grow as the European economy recovers. Read more
In case you hadn’t noticed, European stocks are no longer cheap. Word reaches us from Morgan Stanley this morning that valuations are starting to look “somewhat full”.
Indeed, the median stock in Europe trades on 14.5x forward PE and 18% above the 5-year average – which is the top of the last 20 years range. Read more
China is cheap — at least on a price-to-book basis.
At 1.58x the P/BV of the MSCI China is still below the 2008/09 lows of 1.64x. At this level China is among the cheapest countries in the MSCI universe (Russia and Hungary are the cheapest) . Read more
FT Alphaville has been on a history kick lately, and thanks to James Montier — founder of the Behavioural Investing blog and a member of GMO’s asset allocation team — we can indulge it a bit longer.
Montier has just penned a new paper titled “A Man from a Different Time”, which he begins by looking into the historical importance of dividends to stock returns (emphasis ours): Read more