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Global Value and Shareholder Yield

August 04, 2014
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Barel Karsan

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This is a 2-in-1 book review, not only because Global Value and Shareholder Yieldwere written by the same author, but also because you could read them both in an evening if you wanted to. It's not that either of these books is short on content; but they are short on fluff! I wish more books were as easy to read and as light on the rambling as these two.

Global Value discusses ways of determining whether the market is overvalued. There is an excellent discussion of various methods that can be employed, and they all generally show that the US market is currently somewhat overvalued.

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to pay off to exit the market when it's deemed to be overvalued, as recently shown by Tobias Carlisle here. Fortunately, that's not what Faber is suggesting. Instead, he suggests shifting one's portfolio towards the countries that are undervalued. Faber demonstrates that such a portfolio is a terrific out-performer.

As a bottom-up investor, I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the macro. However, I think it makes a lot of sense to search for value in the countries where pessimism reigns.

In Shareholder Yield, Faber works his way towards a yield metric that outperforms the others. Stocks with higher dividend yields do tend to outperform the market, but barely, and with a lot of volatility. (This makes sense, as some high-yielders are rather risky thanks to their debt loads.)

Adding in a "buyback yield" in addition to dividend yields results in slightly better performance of sample portfolios. Finally, adding a "net debt reduction yield" to the buyback and dividend yield results in a group of companies that soundly outperform the market. Faber recommends using such metrics, rather than the simple dividend yield metric, to identify undervalued stocks.

I recommend both of these books. The value received versus time expended is difficult to match, in my opinion.

About the author:

Barel Karsan
GuruFocus - Stock Picks and Market Insight of Gurus

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