Posts tagged ‘Ashton Kutcher’

The Rule of 20 Can Make You Plenty

There is an endless debate over whether the equity markets are overvalued or undervalued, and at some point the discussion eventually transitions to what the market’s appropriate P/E (Price-Earnings) level should be. There are several standard definitions used for P/Es, but typically a 12-month trailing earnings, 12-month forward earnings (using earnings forecasts), and multi-year average earnings (e.g., Shiller 10-year inflation adjusted P/E – see Foggy P/E Rearview Mirror) are used in the calculations. Don Hays at Hays Advisory (www.haysadvisory.com) provides an excellent 30+ year view of the historical P/E ratio on a forward basis (see chart below).

Blue Line: Forward PE - Red Line: Implied Equilibrium PE (Hays Advisory)

If you listen to Peter Lynch, investor extraordinaire, his “Rule of 20” states a market equilibrium P/E ratio should equal 20 minus the inflation rate. This rule would imply an equilibrium P/E ratio of approximately 18x times earnings when the current 2011 P/E multiple implies a value slightly above 11x times earnings. The bears may claim victory if the earnings denominator collapses, but if earnings, on the contrary, continue coming in better than expected, then the sun might break through the clouds in the form of significant price appreciation.

Just because prices have been chopped in half, doesn’t mean they can’t go lower. From 1966 – 1982 the Dow Jones Industrial index traded at around 800 and P/E multiples contracted to single digits. That rubber band eventually snapped and the index catapulted 17-fold from about 800 to almost 14,000 in 25 years. Even though equities have struggled at the start of this century, a few things have changed from the market lows of 30 years ago. For starters, we have not hit an inflation rate of 13% or a Federal Funds rate of 20% (~3.5% and 0% today, respectively), so we have some headroom before the single digit P/E apocalypse descends upon us.

Fed Model Implies Equity Throttle

Hays Advisory exhibits another key valuation measurement of the equity market (the so-called “Fed Model”), which compares the Treasury yield of the 10-year Note with the earnings yield of stocks  (see chart below).

Blue Line: 10-Yr Treasury - Red Line: Forward PE (Hays Advisory)

Regardless of your perspective, the divergence will eventually take care of it in one of three ways:

1.) Bond prices collapse, and Treasury yields spike up to catch up with equity yields.

2.) Forward earnings collapse (e.g., global recession/depression), and equity yields plummet down to the low Treasury yield levels.

AND/OR

3.) Stock prices catapult higher (lower earnings yield) to converge.

At the end of the day, money goes where it is treated best, and at least today, bonds are expected to  treat investors substantially worse than the unfaithful treatment of Demi Moore by Ashton Kutcher. The Super Committee may not have its act together, and Europe is a mess, but the significant earnings yield of the equity markets are factoring in a great deal of pessimism.

The holidays are rapidly approaching. If for some reason the auspice of gifts is looking scarce, then review the Fed Model and Rule of 20, these techniques may make you plenty.

Wade W. Slome, CFA, CFP®

Plan. Invest. Prosper.

www.Sidoxia.com

DISCLOSURE: Sidoxia Capital Management (SCM) and some of its clients own certain exchange traded funds, but at the time of publishing SCM had no direct position in any other security referenced in this article. No information accessed through the Investing Caffeine (IC) website constitutes investment, financial, legal, tax or other advice nor is to be relied on in making an investment or other decision. Please read disclosure language on IC “Contact” page.

November 20, 2011 at 3:01 pm 5 comments

Wealth Creation Using the Demi-Ashton Ratio

Ashton-Demi

Ajay Kapur at Mirae Asset Securities is bullish on the global markets in the short-run (he sees the S&P 500 index reaching 1250 by March 2010), but even more optimistic in the long-run due to a demographic shift occurring in particular markets. According to this Chief Global Strategist, the more Demi Moores and less Ashton Kutchers we have populating the earth, the better our financial markets will perform.

Mr. Kapur’s Demi-Ashton argument is based on the belief that the higher the ratio of middle aged workers in their 40s (Demis) versus those in their 20s (Ashtons) will result in higher stock prices. Basically, those in their 40s generally have accumulated more wealth to invest and are very concerned about their impending retirement, while those in their 20s have little savings to invest and are more concerned about going to clubs and chasing the opposite sex. Seems to make logical sense.

Even though he is bullish in the domestic markets in the short-run, he sees the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe persisting through a secular bear market that began in 2000 and will last through 2015. Mr. Kapur is quick to point out these markets generally maxed-out when the Demi-Ashton ratios peaked in the 2000 timeframe. When these ratios were rising, for example as in Japan in the 1980s and the U.S. in the 1990s, the respective markets went on an upwards tear. Kapur sees emerging markets like Russia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America benefitting from the rising Demi-Ashton ratios in the coming years.

Whether his hypothesis proves correct or not, I admire the strategist’s bold call on the market direction. Typically economists and strategists herd together due to fear of being an outlier. As for Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, they should sleep fine with respect to their retirement plans, as long as they do not go on M.C. Hammer, Michael Jackson, or Mike Tyson spending binges.

Wade W. Slome, CFA, CFP®

Plan. Invest. Prosper.

September 4, 2009 at 4:00 am Leave a comment

Social Media Revolution Taking Over World

poing levé

When I speak of revolution I’m not talking about religion, politics, or wars; rather I am talking about “social media.” Should I care that Ashton Kutcher and Ellen DeGeneres have more twitter followers than the populations of Ireland, Norway, and Panama? Some say social networking is just a fad, but if you blindly sit along the sidelines, the whole world may pass you by in a blink of an eye. Erik Qualman, author of the book and blog Socialnomics, has a must see video that details the revolutionary growth of social media and explains how it is changing the world.

Ever since the early 1900s when the commercialization of radio took hold, millions of people were able to connect all over the world through the spread of technology – in this case the spread of AM (Amplitude Modulation) and FM (Frequency Modulation).  Other technologies, such as the telephone, television, and now the internet, have also allowed people to connect. Mr. Qualman details how social media is spreading faster than ever.

Through a chain of details, Qualman highlights the following facts: the invention of the radio took 38 years to reach 50 million users; the television 13 years; the internet 4 years; and the iPod 3 years.  Pretty staggering figures until you realize it only took less than 1 year – actually 9 months – for Facebook to add 100 million users! We know the trend is real when my mom (in her seventies) asked me last week how she can register on facebook. Currently, the 55-65 year old female segment is the fastest growing member segment on facebook.

Facebook is just one of many social media networks, which includes twitter, orkut, bebo, flickr, digg, myspace, YouTube, and countless others. The networks are expanding at break-neck speed, and the types of networks are becoming more focused and strange (for example, Spot-a-Potty, or Weird Beard).

Regardless of your view – fad or revolution – the younger generation is consuming more of it. It doesn’t take a genius to follow consumers where they are spending more time. The smart advertisers and businesses are moving to where the action is.  As Mr. Qualman notes, Generation Y (the so-called “Echo-Boomers) already outnumbers the Baby Boomers – hmmm,  I think advertisers are slowly getting the picture.  Investors should be paying attention too. I am investing my own money (and my clients’) in areas like these, where I see companies benefitting from technological change. If pushed to make a choice regarding social media, I pick revolution over fad.

Wade W. Slome, CFA, CFP®

Plan. Invest. Prosper.

www.Sidoxia.com

DISCLOSURE: At the time of publishing, Sidoxia Capital Management and some of its clients owned certain exchange traded funds, AAPL, and GOOG, but had no direct positions in twitter, Facebook, orkut, bebo, flickr, digg, myspace, or any other security referenced. No information accessed through the Investing Caffeine (IC) website constitutes investment, financial, legal, tax or other advice nor is to be relied on in making an investment or other decision. Please read disclosure language on IC “Contact” page.

August 25, 2009 at 4:00 am 1 comment


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