What Is Value Investing?
Value investing is an investment strategy that involves picking stocks that appear to be trading for less than their intrinsic or book value. Value investors actively ferret out stocks they think the stock market is underestimating. They believe the market overreacts to good and bad news, resulting in stock price movements that do not correspond to a company’s long-term fundamentals. The overreaction offers an opportunity to profit by buying stocks at discounted prices—on sale.
How Value Investing Works
Stocks work in a similar manner, meaning the company’s stock price can change even when the company’s value or valuation has remained the same. Stocks, like TVs, go through periods of higher and lower demand leading to price fluctuations—but that doesn’t change what you’re getting for your money.
Value investing is the process of doing detective work to find these secret sales on stocks and buying them at a discount compared to how the market values them. In return for buying and holding these value stocks for the long-term, investors can be rewarded handsomely.
Financial independence should be our number priority in life. To achieve this goal one must invest in profitable assets. A variety of assets will provide an advantage of portfolio diversification.
The stock market mostly trades at overvalued levels. In such a situation investors should not buy stocks. If one knows an alternative, money can be parked there (instead of stocks).
Generally, people invest in stocks, mutual funds, real estate, or gold. But there are hosts of other ways to invest money. I agree that it is not easy to convince people to invest elsewhere. But such a comprehensive list in one place may help.
Value Investing Strategies
The key to buying an undervalued stock is to thoroughly research the company and make common-sense decisions. Value investor Christopher H. Browne recommends asking if a company is likely to increase its revenue via the following methods:
- Raising prices on products
- Increasing sales figures
- Decreasing expenses
- Selling off or closing down unprofitable divisions
Browne also suggests studying a company’s competitors to evaluate its future growth prospects. But the answers to all of these questions tend to be speculative, without any real supportive numerical data. Simply put: There are no quantitative software programs yet available to help achieve these answers, which makes value stock investing somewhat of a grand guessing game. For this reason, Warren Buffett recommends investing only in industries you have personally worked in, or whose consumer goods you are familiar with, like cars, clothes, appliances, and food.
One thing investors can do is choose the stocks of companies that sell high-demand products and services. While it’s difficult to predict when innovative new products will capture market share, it’s easy to gauge how long a company has been in business and study how it has adapted to challenges over time.
The Bottom Line
Value investing is a long-term strategy. Warren Buffett, for example, buys stocks with the intention of holding them almost indefinitely. He once said, “I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.” You will probably want to sell your stocks when it comes time to make a major purchase or retire, but by holding a variety of stocks and maintaining a long-term outlook, you can sell your stocks only when their price exceeds their fair market value (and the price you paid for them).
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