RIP Book Value?

If you’re familiar with factor investing, you’re likely aware that value investing, particularly in the U.S. market, has had a challenging stretch over the last 10 years. If you dig deeper into the darker recesses of factor investing nerdery, you’ll also find that the validity of book value — one of the traditional measures of quantitative value — as a measure of a company’s intrinsic value is under assault. The basic claim is that intangible assets (research and development expenses, brand name, intellectual capital, etc.) have become such a large fraction of intrinsic value for many companies that book value, which doesn’t generally account for intangible > SEE MORE

Emerging Markets Need Time

The April 26, 2019 column by John Rekenthaler, vice president of research at Morningstar, called the experiment of investing in emerging markets a failure. He drew this conclusion after presenting the following evidence.

He began by showing the correlation between the Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index (VEIEX) and the S&P 500 Index over the last 25 years was a fairly low 0.25, demonstrating that, “On paper, emerging-markets stock funds did do some zigging while U.S. equities zagged.”

However, he then noted that it was “useless diversification. The only two times during the GREAT BULL MARKET (the results warrant the capitalization) in which U.S. equity investors needed protection was the New Era technology-stock meltdown and, of course, 2008. Emerging-markets stocks dropped 25% during the first instance—better than the S&P > SEE MORE