🔑 Key Takeaways
- Sticking with a long-term investment strategy and maintaining strict rules is crucial for successful stock market investments, even in times of market uncertainty and volatility.
- Remain unbiased, rebalance, analyze management and sector factors before investing. Diversification and a long-term perspective with informed decisions can yield positive results in equity investing.
- Eddy Elfenbein's investment strategy involves analyzing the performance and earnings reports of companies. He looks for those with good operating income growth and sold Middleby during a rally but bought back when the numbers looked good. He did not focus on building a defensive portfolio but instead let the market's response to Covid-19 inform his returns, resulting in profitable investments in risky areas like Peloton, Zoom, and cryptocurrencies.
- In 2022, with the market returning to some sanity, high-quality ETFs saw growth, while high-risk areas like Facebook meta platforms and Tesla fell. Also, long-term investments often yield greater returns, as seen with Hershey.
- When it comes to valuing stocks, it's important to consider a company's business model and product demand rather than being solely tech-oriented. Immediate gains may not always be possible, and it's crucial to take into account bigger losers in the market.
- When analyzing a company, it's important to identify whether problems stem from within the business or external factors. Don't base investment decisions solely on conventional metrics, also consider cyclical industry factors.
- Investing in smaller companies with growth potential can yield high returns even during economic downturns. Research and invest in micro-cap stocks for unique opportunities and diversify your portfolio for long-term success.
- Look beyond traditionally followed companies and consider undervalued stocks like Celanese. Invest in mergers and acquisitions to potentially achieve significant growth in both the short and long term.
- Despite short-term market fluctuations, focus on long-term trends and consider inflation rate, interest rates, and unemployment rates as indicators of the economy's health before making investment decisions.
- Investors should focus on a company's ability to perform well instead of the general interest in the industry. Choosing stable and reliable companies like American Waterworks over unstable ones like Celanese is crucial, even if they seem dull. Additionally, the impact of rising unemployment rates on the market cannot be ignored.
- Approach stock selection as a business, evaluate company's longevity and market position, read annual reports, evaluate management's trustworthiness, focus on long-term growth potential, and avoid panicking during tough times.
- Investors can trust management, like the Ammos family of Aflac, when choosing to invest. The successful Crossing Wall Street strategy can be followed through CWS ETF, featuring a unique fulcrum fee and excellent ratings from Morningstar.
📝 Podcast Summary
Eddy Elfenbein's Buy List Strategies: Sticking to the Plan and the Importance of Long-term Investment Vision.
Eddy Elfenbein's Buy List has proven to outperform when compared to the S&P 500 for the past 17 years. However, during 2022, it faced a difficult year where the stock market turned out to be one of the worst on record. Eddy held onto his investments and stuck with his game plan, which forced him to stay with the stocks he liked rather than panicking. The Buy List performed well versus the S&P 500, with an outperformance of nearly 9%. Eddy's ETF, the CWS, had a flat year, which was a good thing considering the market performance for the year. This highlights the importance of sticking to strict rules and maintaining a long-term vision when investing in the stock market.
Rationality and informed decisions are crucial for long-term equity investing success
Investing in equities can result in long-term outperformance but requires rational decision-making and periodic rebalancing. While difficult years may yield better returns, it is important to remain unbiased towards stocks and make informed decisions. Annual changes to one's portfolio can mitigate human bias and improve performance. It is essential to analyze not just the product but also the management before investing in a company. Macroeconomic factors and competition can affect a sector's sales and expenses, thus impacting the profitability of a company. A diversified approach and a long-term perspective with well-informed decisions can yield positive results in equity investing.
Eddy Elfenbein's Investment Strategy and Approach to the Market
Eddy Elfenbein's investment strategy involves buying and selling stocks based on their performance. He analyses earnings reports and looks for companies with good operating income growth. He sold Middleby in 2020 during its spectacular rally but re-entered its stock in 2021 when the numbers continued to look good, and the price went down. Elfenbein did not seek to build a defensive portfolio going into 2022, leaving the market's lockdown response and the government's massive response following the onset of Covid-19 to inform returns. The government's efforts to nationalize risks led to risky areas like Peloton, Zoom, and cryptocurrencies taking off to the moon and experiencing enormous rallies.
Resurgence in the Market: Winners and Losers of 2022
2022 was a year of resurgence with valuations coming back and some sanity being restored to the market. Interest rates being at three or 4% made people worry about things like valuation. Stocks that did surprisingly well include Aflac with 23.21% returns, Hershey with 19.69% returns, and FICO with a little over 38% returns. Investors should note that often the best year to own a stock, gains are not seen until the third or fourth year, as seen with Hershey. The value, high quality ETFs did well, while the high risk areas like Facebook meta platforms and Tesla fell. The winners of the lockdowns felt significant, and the market saw a rotation into growth, momentum, and value.
Focused Stock Picking: The Importance of Business Models, Product Demand, and Patience
Immediate gains in focused stock picking are not always possible and may require some patience. Hershey's growth problems were public knowledge and the company was managing growth by increasing capacity. Silgan Holdings is a profitable business with production facilities all over and a strong presence in the container industry. Despite supply chain issues, they managed to balance higher prices and getting to their customers. Revenue growth does not always equal volume growth. It is important to focus on the company's business model and product demand when valuing stocks rather than being tech-oriented. Bigger losers in the market should also be taken into account.
Evaluating Companies: Internal vs External Factors
When evaluating a company, it is important to consider whether problems are internal or external. External factors, such as exchange rates, can come and go, but internal problems can be a bigger issue. For example, Trex was affected by the weakness in the housing sector, but this was not due to their failings as a business. Once the housing sector revives, Trex is expected to get better. It's important to sell a stock when it is no longer the company that fits your original thesis. Companies like Polaris have recently experienced a significant fall in free cash flow, but it's important to consider cyclical factors in the industry before making a decision based on conventional metrics.
Investing in Micro-Cap Stocks: Opportunities for High Returns.
Investing in smaller companies with potential for long-term growth, even during economic downturns, can provide opportunities for high returns. Polaris and Miller are two companies with low market caps that have the potential for growth and are not widely followed by analysts. While Miller had a tough year in 2020, the company is recovering strongly, and holding onto this stock is a good example of the benefits of having a well-diversified portfolio that includes one off-road stock. Researching and investing in micro-cap stocks that have not been widely discovered yet can provide investors with unique opportunities to find hidden gems that can lead to big payouts in the long run.
Identifying Undervalued Stocks and Taking Calculated Risks.
To find undervalued stocks, one should look for companies that are not traditionally followed, such as off-road companies. The key is to turn over rocks and look for diamonds. A company like Celanese, which has a strong position in the market, can be a game changer if a good bargain is perceived. While it does produce industrial chemicals, it also produces acidic acid which goes into food and beverage products, making it a diverse option. Not only should one look for undervalued stocks, but also take calculated risks by investing in mergers and acquisitions. This could potentially lead to significant growth in both the short and long term.
Eddy Elfenbein's market insights and investment areas
Eddy Elfenbein writes a free and a premium newsletter every week, discussing the markets and the economy, along with suggestions on investment areas. Inflation rate has been decreasing trend-wise, and Fed is expecting to decrease interest rates before the end of this year, as it becomes difficult for the Fed to follow through on issuing tough talk. The unemployment rate, at 3.5%, is the lowest peacetime rate since 1960. While the stock market seems to be panicking with the COVID-19 pandemic, it's important to look at a broader picture, focus on trends, and not get swayed by the short-term fluctuations in the market.
The Impact of Unemployment and the Importance of Boring Stocks in Investing
Unemployment and the housing sector are the collateral damage between the Federal Reserve and its goals for inflation. Rising unemployment rates could impact the Fed's response. American Waterworks is a great example of how boring stocks can be great investments and companies that nobody has any interest in. The most important question for investors is how well the company does what it does, not what it does. It's important to look for companies with nice and smooth operating earnings, as seen in American Waterworks. Investing in pricey yet unstable companies like Celanese can be unwise. It's always possible to find good stocks, and investors need to pay attention to them, regardless of how dull they seem.
The Benefits of a Buy List and Eddy Abe's Stock Selection System
The Buy List, with its artificial rules, is a benefit as it forces investors to approach stock selection as a business and make business-like decisions. This helps in evaluating stocks as to their longevity and their ability to perform in the long-term. Eddy Abe's system for finding undervalued picks is dependent on his reading of annual reports, 10 Qs and 10 Ks, while also evaluating the company's competitors and its market position. He also pays attention to the management, their trustworthiness, and their ability to give reasonably accurate earnings forecasts. The key to this system is to evaluate companies based on their long-term growth potential and not panic during tough times.
Trusting Management and Investing in CWS ETF
Investors should place a high level of trust in management when investing. The Ammos family that runs Aflac is an example of management who investors can have faith in, as demonstrated by their response to the earthquake in Japan. Those who are interested can follow the Crossing Wall Street strategy through their ETF, ticker symbol CWS. The ETF has had a successful seven-year run and has received a five-star rating from Morningstar. Additionally, it is the first ETF in the world to have a fulcrum fee. Eddy Elfenbein, who is part of the Crossing Wall Street team, can be followed on Twitter and through his newsletters on cws.substack.com.