How To Invest $1000 – 6 Rules For Investing Your First 1000 Dollars

Before discussing the 7 rules to follow when investing $1000 and an example of where I am investing my $1000s, I first want to ask you a question that is extremely important when it comes to making the first steps in the stock market, a question that many stock market beginners overlook.

Do you just want to make a little money on stocks or do you want to create long lasting wealth, become rich?

Let me explain the difference. Making a little money on stocks means buying Tesla’s stock (TSLA) at $178 and selling it a month later at $215.

1 tesla stock

That would give you $200 on your $1000 investment which is a 20% return. Not bad, but that’s not investing, that’s betting. Many did the same in December of 2018 hoping to make 20% on TSLA.

2 tesla stock price

Their loss, as I am writing this, is 43%. If you want to make money trading stocks, I can’t help you as I don’t have a crystal ball. Trading can make you some money, but it is unlikely it will make you rich in the long term.

If you want to invest your first $1000, in a way to develop an investing mindset that is going to create long lasting wealth for you, then I can help as there are some simple rules to follow.

A great book about how to become wealthy, financially independent, live where you want to live and how you wish to live, is the Millionaire next door. The book describes how the real millionaires are not those with flashy cars, expensive clothes, living in Belair etc. The millionaires are those that save their money, let it work for them over time, invest their time and energy to make what they know, own or manage, more efficient, avoid crazy risks and build their wealth over a lifetime.

3 millionaire next door

Source: Millionaire next door

Similar rules can be applied to investing and I am going to share 7 rules that are going to help you create a long-term, wealth-building investing mindset.

7 Rules To Become A Stock Market Millionaire Starting With $1000

These 7 rules will help you on how to invest your first $1000 to develop a long-term wealth building mindset.

  • Make your $1000 work for you

When investing, the key question to ask is what do I get as a return on my investment? Investing is not about buying a stock that goes up and down in value. Investing is about owning a business that creates some kind of value. Over the last 20 years, investors putting their money into Amazon (AMZN), have in return received the best e-commerce ecosystem in the world. Some other businesses pay large dividends like Coca-Cola (KO) has been doing for Buffett over the past 30 years. His dividend now is above 60% per year on what he invested in 1988.

Focus on what are you getting back on your $1000, it could be dividends, buybacks or it could be some new value that is being created. Then, when you know what is the return, you let it compound.

  • Let it compound

When you find something that creates value, you have to let it compound over time. The key when it comes to investing for the long-term to become rich is compound interest.

4 compound interest

Compound interest is extremely powerful, you just need the patience and right mindset to take advantage of it.

$1,000 invested at 15% per year over 40-years becomes $267,863. That is the power of compounding. Now you are going to say that it is hard to get 15% per year and I agree with you. But you will hopefully invest $1000 many times over in your lifetime and some of those $1000 investments might even hit 20% per year, some will hit 5%, but some will definitely do amazingly. Just 4 investments that compound at 20% per year, something Buffett did over 50 years, thus $4,000, would become $5,879,086 in 40 years. And let’s say you invest $1000 one hundred times in a period, 4 of those 100 investments might give you 20% per year or even more. I invest 1000 per month and I must say how I really enjoy the compounding created over time in the form of business development, higher dividends, reinvested dividends.

This is just to show the power of compounding. And I’ll also tell you the only thing that is certain, if you don’t invest you will surely not take advantage of any kind of compounding. Therefore, invest and let compounding interest do the work for you.

  • Even more important than investing is saving, so add up

5 saving money

Source: AZ Quotes

Charlie Munges is a person that says it clearly. Save, thus spend less than you make, invest it and you have nothing to worry. Invest the money in something offering a return, possibly exponential over the long term and that is it. How to find such investments? This is a bit controversial, but I’ll say go into depth.

  • Go in depth versus width

Most financial advisers and talking heads tell you to diversify. They tell you that so that they can make you listen to that talk show for longer as there is more to talk about. However, too much diversification is actually diworsification.

If you understand the risks of an investment, i.e. what can go wrong where the best thing is to think about worst case scenarios, and understand the rewards you will likely get. The rewards in the form of dividends, growth, reinvested earnings, a business model that will compound over time, then it is better to go in depth rather than width.

The key is to specialize in a few areas, I am currently researching REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) and if I find something interesting to follow, I’ll start learning more about the specifics of the business over the next few years. I might invest only once in 10 years in a REIT stock, but I’ll probably know it very well before investing. Knowing something very well allows you to understand the risks and rewards of an investment. This makes it much easier to invest the $1000 you have.

Give yourself time and learn about 5 or 10 things to invest in over the next decade. This is mastering only one thing, sector or investment vehicle per year. I can guarantee that when you become an expert, you will be able to find those 15% investments that others might overlook. This can be in real estate, stocks, commodities, businesses…

Over time I have built my specialism in emerging markets, commodities as from time to time Wall Street doesn’t like commodities nor emerging markets. When Wall Street doesn’t like something, prices are usually cheap. For example, something that is going to be developed over the next 3 years is usually extremely under-priced. Most investors are so focused on stock prices that they omit long-term business developments, something we can take advantage of.

  • Buy businesses, not stocks – a quick example from my portfolio, a stock to buy

The key when it comes to investing is to be a business owner. Let’s say you own a nice hotel in Paris.

6 paris hotel

As an owner, would you constantly watch real estate prices to see whether you made something? Or, as a real owner investors do, you would not have any intention of selling such a property and the only thing you would care about is how to increase prices or occupancy rates and manage costs.

The downside to buying stocks is that there is a price that changes every second. However, what you are buying is a business that develops and grows over time.

Let me give you an example. I am a happy owner of a company called Lundin Mining (TSX: LUN, OTC: LUNMF) because of the following reasons:

  • I am bullish on copper as I see demand for it rising due to all the electrification that awaits us, due to all the Teslas, a growing global population, especially in emerging markets.
  • The company is family owned and the owners are conservative. This means that debt levels are carefully assessed and the goal is to create a vehicle that will grow and increase dividends over time. The current yield is low at 1.78% but a buyback has been announced and they are investing in growth.
  • Large investments in the future is what Wall Street rarely focuses on until those investments start to produce cash. They have invested a lot in 2018 and will invest another $745 million in 2019.

7 2019 investments

Source: Lundin Mining

Plus, they have recently invested another billion into a newly acquired mine.

8 chapada

Source: Lundin Mining

All of the investments will likely significantly increase production over the next few years, increase cash flows and probably lead to higher dividends.

9 production profile

Source: Lundin Mining

Given the 30% expected increase in production over the next few years, I expect a similar increase in the value of the investment, be it through higher dividends or through a higher stock price. Their cash dedicated to investments will significantly decline and therefore there could be much more for dividends or more acquisitions.

I like the management and their style and therefore I am happy holding this for the very long term. My expectations on current prices is for a 12% yearly long-term investing return. I am happy with that and over the past year I have invested $1000 in Lundin twice in my portfolio where I add $1000 on a monthly basis. That is also my plan, I’ll keep buying businesses that I like

  • Invest for the long-term

Lundin Mining, the company discussed above had a market capitalization of $14.5 million in the early 2000s and now has one of $3.7 billion. Both Amazon’s and Apple’s market capitalizations were below $100 billion in 2009 with AMZN’s being below $25 billion.

10 market capitalization

Source: MarketWatch

Their current market capitalizations are around $900 billion and might surpass the trillion for good in the future. This is a perfect example of how Wall Street focuses on what will happen in the next quarter, the longest term analysts might look a few quarters or a year ahead, but few think about how will the business they own look in 10 or more years.

By thinking about how will your investment look like in 10 years, investing becomes easy. You don’t waste time on noise like the current trade war discussions that were about tax breaks a year ago or about going to war with North Korea two years ago. You focus on what is important, the acquisition the management just made, the small but constant increases in dividends, the new facility that is being build etc or you see big structural risks like declining demographics in some countries, piling government debt or trends that take of market share like e-commerce is doing for retail.

By using a long-term common sense perspective, you can eliminate the short term bets from your portfolio and concentrate it on long-term businesses with positive tailwinds. Just think about what will the worlds and the business you own look like in 10 years.

  • Compare the investments you own with the rest of your finances

Do you have credit card debt of 11% or student debt of 8%? Pay that because it is an immediate return of 8% risk free. Investing in stocks, be it just $1000 requires a clean personal balance sheet. By clean personal balance sheet, I mean:

  • You don’t need the money, ever. If you need the money in a few years or something, you might behave irrationally and sell at the wrong moment in time. Unfortunately, most investors sell in fear of seeing their investments decline further. If you know you don’t need the money and you can weather storms, you can let the investments compound over the long term for you.
  • If you have any kind of debt with a high interest rate, pay that first and invest the monthly costs you save in stocks. This gives you an immediate return and gives you also piece of mind.
  • You know your life, income etc. doesn’t depend on your investments. If it does, you are again not able to make rational decisions when investing as there are outside, or better to say personal influences that unable you to buy when others are selling for example.

Summary

If you wish to develop a long-term wealth building investing mindset please subscribe to my channel. In this article I have given you the 7 key mindset tools to use long term and an example of how I do it.

The key is to have a long-term orientation even if investing just $1000 because your long-term financial success depends on the mindset you have. A correct mindset means focusing on investing in various good businesses of which I have given you an example of a business I am invested in and finally, the key is to have your stock market investments detached from your personal finances. Sounds easy when written like this but very few adhere to that. The result of not following such simple rules are terrible investment returns.

The average investor did 1.9% per year over the last 10 years even if all other classes did much better. If you have $1000 to invest, start building a vehicle that will make you rich in the long term by having the correct mindset.

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How to quickly exclude stocks from further research

Welcome to Value Investing School, article 1 – How to quickly exclude stocks from further research.

With this article I wish to show how investing is mostly a game of exclusion if you are a bottom up value investor and you know what to look for. I’ll analyse L’Occitane en Provence as an example.

Things to learn are:

  • Investing is a game of mostly exclusion.
  • Focusing on the business yield, current or future, makes things easy.
  • Don’t be a relative investor, be an absolute investor.

locicitane

Source: L’Occitane

During the week I look at lots of stocks but what makes it easy for me to separate the interesting investments from the other, is the business return or the future potential business return. I look for current or even better, future double-digit yearly business returns and if a business doesn’t show that potential it is quickly skipped.  This makes me an absolute value investor and not a relative investor, a very costly and risky mistake many investors currently make. As would Buffett say, we invest in businesses and not a stock that goes up and down during a day.

I am currently researching a stock list from an Asian Value investing fund with some very interesting names but also some strange decisions like the L’Occitane en Provence stock. On this stock, I wish to explain:

  • 1) the risks of not focusing on the business yield
  • 2) the risks of relative versus absolute investing and,
  • 3) how easy it is to say no to an investment.

The business yield

If you are an investor in businesses, not stocks, all you care about is the yield of the business, the earnings and how the same earnings are reinvested or distributed at the end of the year. The higher the return on equity, your equity, the better. When buying stocks, your equity is the price you pay for the stock and the yield is derived by comparing the price you pay with the earnings. For example, L’Occitane is a growing company with revenues (1) tripling over the last 10 years (FY (fiscal year) 2019 revenue reached 1.42 billion EUR) and net income (2) almost doubling.

2 revenue

Source: Morningstar

However, when I look at the net income, I see that the average over the last 5 years is around 100 million EUR. I compare it to the current market capitalization (the value of all the stocks outstanding) is 20.6 billion HKD or 2.6 billion EUR. This means that the business yield the company currently provides is at 3.84% given the price earnings ratio of 26 (100/26 = 3.84%).

3 stock

That is far too low for me but then I must look at the growth the company promises. I look at the growth and see that same store growth is actually very low at 2%.

4 growth

Source: L’Occitane

And that all of the growth the management hopes for comes from acquisitions and emerging markets. From reading a bit about the company there is a new management, the company is restructuring and it is something Warren Buffett despises, a turnaround. From the conference call transcript:

5 trust

Source: L’Occitane

When you find words like ‘new management, new strategy, build trust’ it could be truth, but it could be also lots of baloney. Not what a value investor gets in to. So, when I see that I am already at ohhhhh.

Just another one for the record. On top of the new management, the company that made about a billion in profits over the last decade, suddenly decides to make an acquisition of a cosmetics brand and pays $900 million for a company with $40 million in EBITDA.

6 acquisition

Source: Elemis acquisition announcement

All of the above is simply too risky, it might work, I hope it works for them, but it might also backfire as that kind of corporate actions often do. The plan is to scale the brand, a totally new brand, in China.

7 skincare

Source: Elemis acquisition announcement

It could happen it might not, too much risk and the actual business yield is below 4%. Enough for a value investor. So, let me finish this with why are other investors investing in this? Well, they do so because they are relative and not absolute investors.

Relative vs. absolute investors

This is a concept well described in Seth Klarman’s book Margin of Safety and L’Occitane is a great example. A relative investor looks at the company and says:

“I have a great global brand growing at double digit rates that just made a potentially transformational acquisition trading at a PE ratio of just 26. A fair valuation in this market should be 40, thus the stock is undervalued by 30%.”

This might be true and the market might revalue the stock, or re-rate it as the lingo goes,  in case it shows faster growth in the future and improving margins. However, as a value investor you want both future growth and good earnings or value already there, not in some future promise. Also, the fact that the stock was much higher in the past, means absolutely nothing. Actually, it confirms that it was overvalued in the past and the market is slowly but surely re-rating it.

Conclusion

That is it, this is how I mostly spend my time, looking at companies that are not that interesting but from time to time, there is something interesting. To finish with a nice quote that summarizes this:

“Whatever you do, do it with all your might. Work at it, early and late, in season and out of season, not leaving a stone unturned, and never deferring for a single hour that which can be done just as well now.”

That is how bottom up value investing is done. You exclude more than 99% of businesses you look at and with time it becomes a fast process. Buffett says how it takes him 5 minutes to read through a business. Therefore, the more stones you turn, the better are the investments you will find.

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To Buy or to Sell Stocks with Crash Coming? Doesn’t Matter for Value Investors – Buy Value

I received this very interesting comment from a subscriber as I bought my 5th stock for my lump sum portfolio which is now 50% invested. So, I invested 50% of my portfolio over the last 3 months that might surprise people scared of the upcoming crash or recession.

stock market crash

I have 3 points to answer this question:

  • I can’t predict the future, nobody can

Nobody knows what will happen with the market, we have the last two crashes in our mind that were close to 50%, but that doesn’t mean it will happen again. Nobody, and I mean nobody knows.

  • A recession is always around the corner

There are recession predictions for 2019 and 2020, but the same could had been said in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and especially 2010 and 2009. There are many out there that have been waiting on the side-lines since 2009 or they just got in in the last few years. No need to mention the missed opportunities.

For example, my largest position in January 2018 was Nevsun Resources.

3 nevsun

In January 2018 there were fears about China slowing down leading to a copper crisis etc., fears of a recession and market crash over the next two years with Ray Dalio saying there is a 70% chance for an U.S. recession. I would have been better in cash than investing in a copper miner, right?

Well, all depends on value, if you find it, even if a recession happens, your returns are delayed by a year to 3. The point is that if you buy value, you will survive those bad years and get ahead after the crash. So, I, as a selective investor, simply buy when I see value and when I am happy owning the business. It has rewarded me very well in the past no matter the possible crashes. And yes, I lost money in 2008, but it is not comparable to what I made from 2009 onward and from 2002 to 2008.

Index fund investors

For those who invest in index funds, just invest on a monthly basis, just dollar cost average and forget about stocks, don’t even think about it, you will get your returns whatever they will be, own your home, invest in another property, diversify and you will be well off. Your wealth doesn’t depend on the market, but mostly on you and you not doing stupid things like most did, I.e. selling in 2009 march.

3) Highest possible return long-term

I know if there is a recession my portfolio will get hit, but I also know that the highest possible return I will get is when I buy value when I see it. So, in good years I will have great returns, in a bad year, I don’t know how I will do. There is a nice passage in the book Margin of safety by Seth Klarman discussing how when you buy value, real value, it often offers downside protection as it is already depressed in price and the price can’t go much lower. All my current 5 stocks trade below book value, mostly tangible book value, have high earnings yield and potential. So whatever happens, I am a happy owner, owning assets and that gives me a margin of safety.

To explain in an easy way what margin of safety investing is, I’ll make the next video article apple.

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$13 Million-Dollar Investment Bank Managed Stock Market And Bond Portfolio Review

A month or something ago, I was contacted by an investor that had just set up a portfolio with an investment bank. He told them that his risk tolerance is minimal and that he would like some capital appreciation in the long term. He asked me to review the portfolio and that is what we are going to do now.

Here is the video version, while those who prefer reading, can find the article below.

The topics:

$13 million-dollar investment bank managed stock market and bond portfolio review:

  • US equity portfolio exposure & issues
  • International equity portfolio exposure
  • Fixed income portfolio

General banking fees and value for money

  • Discussion about fees and risk reward opportunities

Investment strategy

  • Portfolio management
  • Risk and reward
  • What would I do differently?

Stock market and bond portfolio review

Here is how the portfolio has been structured:

US equity is 22.74%, international stocks 25.52% and as the requirement was low risk, 48.5% has been placed into US fixed income. This has been done by putting the money into 3 different bank funds (more about bank fees later). The yearly management fee is 0.9%.

Let’s start with US equity exposure.

US equity portfolio exposure

The portfolio positions are listed from the largest to the smallest. The client automatically replicates the positions held by the 3 funds within his account.

us equity portfolio

The largest position is Advance Auto Parts (AAP). I don’t know whether the fund bought the stock at the bottom in February of 2018 or it was a long term holding as the unrealized gains and losses in the above table go back to when the portfolio investment was made, which is February 2018.

AAP, has had free cash flows between $300 and $500 million per year over the last 10 years on a $10 billion market capitalization. I would expect the return there to be around 4% in the future. Auto parts are a competitive business but can be recession proof.

The next position is Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), a company that recently won its bidding war and acquired Sky Plc for $38.8 billion. The all cash offer will put more pressure on Comcast’s balance sheet that already has $114 billion in liabilities. Plus, Sky Plc has had operating cash flows of around $2 billion per year in the last 10 years. This makes it a stretched acquisition as the interest on the debt will be close to the $2 billion of free cash flow coming from Sky.

Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE) is another stable company with high free cash flows and a potential return of around 4 to 5%. Free cash flows are $2 billion on a $42 billion market cap.

Danaher is the 4th largest US portfolio position (NYSE: DHR) is another stable company with $3 billion in cash flows on a $70 billion market cap.

Progressive Corp Ohio (NYSE: PGR) is an insurer and Kroger (NYSE: KR) is a grocer with similar characteristics as the above businesses. All have dividend yields of around 2%, stable business models, we can call them recession proof business models, and price to cash flow ratios of around 20 that should lead to a return of around 4 to 5%.

If we look at other portfolio positions, those mostly replicate the above. All good companies and fairly priced by the market. The portfolio also holds Google or better to say Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL), American Express (NYSE: AXP), Mastercard (NYSE: MA) and we could easily say that the US equity portfolio reflects the client’s wishes: safety and quality.

US equity portfolio potential issues

I have two issues I want to discuss. The first is the value added in relation to the charged fee and the second is the fund management cost environment and investment process which is possibly even more important than fees.

Investment fees and value added

The first issue with the US equity portfolio part might be that there are 26 positions. If we look at professor and 1990 Economics Nobel prize winner Sharp’s seminal work on risk: Risk, Market Sensitivity, and Diversification, published in the Financial Analysts Journal in 1972, we see that as soon as you pass 20 positions in your portfolio, the risk equals the market’s risk.

Source: Risk, Market Sensitivity, and Diversification – CFA publications

We have seen that the expected returns from a price to cash flow standpoint will be around 4 to 5%. However, if we look at the top positions of the S&P 500, their price to cash flows don’t differ much from the ratios of the analysed portfolio and the businesses in the S&P 500 can be considered of quality too.

Source: iShares S&P 500 ETF

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has a cash flow yield on price of 3.75%, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) of 8%, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) of 1.8% but we might argue that in 10 years, AMZN might have higher cash flows than Kroger. Berkshire (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B) is a diversified portfolio focused on US equity by itself, it holds great businesses and it has a price to free cash flow ratio of around 4%.

This leads me to the question, is the 0.9% yearly fee our friend is paying for the above portfolio justified? One can buy the S&P 500 for a yearly fee of 0.04% which is 22.5 times smaller than what is being paid to the investment bank or there is always the option to simply buy Berkshire and let Buffett and his fellows manage the money at no cost practically.

To conclude on the investment fees, I don’t think that in this case, paying a yearly fee of 0.9% adds any kind of value given that the stocks might look a bit more conservative than the S&P 500 but such bet is based on past performance and not part of a strategy. In this digital era world, one might argue that Amazon is more defensive than Kroger.

Investment fund behavior

The thing when it comes to banks is that there is a lot your bank is not telling you.

Aside from the 0.9% yearly management fee, the bank makes money as they buy and sell through their own broker, perhaps they are even the market maker for the security, they pay for research, marketing costs, administration etc. that might not be included in the first fee you pay but might be included in the costs of the second fund that you actually don’t see. In this case, as the clients owns the positions directly, only the brokerage, custodian and market maker fees come into account, but that is still something extra.

Investment fund management process

Now, there is another thing when it comes to investment funds that is not discussed much. When things go well, all is good, but when things go south, some clients might want their money back. The investment manager is put into a tough spot because he then has to make investment decisions based on external inputs which might not be in the best interest of other clients. For example, if I manage a $1 billion portfolio, there is panic in the markets and clients want to cash in on $300 million. Liquidity usually dries up on the market too at such moments and you cannot sell your positions easily, especially your bond positions. (Remember that the positions discussed above are part of a much bigger fund)

The investment manager has no option than to sell the most liquid assets which might be the best assets to hold in the long term. Further, an investment manager has to be invested 100% all the time. Investment managers, collecting a fee of 0.9%, don’t have the option Buffett has. Buffett has $114 billion dollars practically lying on Berkshire’s bank account waiting for a market panic so that he can buy stocks on the cheap. (Buffett’s cash is invested in short term US Government Treasuries with an average maturity of 4-months – can be considered as cash)

This is something few think about when things go well, but crucial when things go south. Our friend has no influence on that and unfortunately this is where things often go wrong with funds managed by investment banks. An investment manager has to do as ordered, not as he wishes or what would be in the best interest of the client.

International stock portfolio overview

The international part is 25.52% of the whole portfolio and has a total of 68 positions. Since the inception of the portfolio, the performance of the international part has been really bad as almost all the positions are down with some like Ryanair (LON: RYA) down 34%. This is nothing strange given that international stocks and emerging markets have really suffered during 2018.

international stocks 1

international stocks 2

The largest position is Medtronic (MDT), followed by Unilever (UN), Compass Group (CMPGY), Aptiv (APTV) and Ryanair (RYAAY). There is a little bit of everything there with Tencent (TCEHY), BHP Billiton (BHP), the Indian Icici Bank (IBN), the Russian version of Facebook – Yandex (YNDX) and some interesting Chinese stocks like 58.com (WUBA) or South American payment processors like Cielo SA (CIOXY).

Now, Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) – the world’s largest medical device company makes most of its revenues and profits from the U.S. healthcare system but is headquartered in Ireland for tax purposes. Thus, this is not an international stock but goes under the international portfolio. Free yearly cash flows have been around $4 billion over the past 10 years and the market cap is $120 billion.

Nevertheless, holding 69 stocks doesn’t move the needle and we can expect them to perform equally as the market does. Therefore, one can simply buy the Vanguard Total International Stock ETF (VXUS) for a fee of 0.11% per year.

If I compare Vanguard’s top 10 positions and the portfolio we are analysing, I see that Royal Dutch Shell pls (NYSE: RDS) is in both portfolios, same as Tencent (TCEHY), Novartis (NVS), Roche (RHHBY) and Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM).

Source: Vanguard

So, a portfolio I am paying 0.9% to be managed has 5 positions that are also in the Vanguard Total International stock ETF top 10 positions with a management fee of 0.11%.

Let’s see if there is more value added in the bond portfolio.

US fixed income portfolio

48% of the portfolio is placed into a bond fund and the holdings are the following.

bonds 1

bonds 2

The majority of the bond portfolio is in US Treasuries, 18% of it, with maturities ranging from 2021 to 2026. The yield on those is less then 2% or around that. Then there is a bunch of other corporate bonds with yields between 1% and 4% on average and maturities ranging from 2022 to 2028 on average.

Now, the first thing is that if 9% of the total portfolio is in Treasuries, why would you ever have to pay any fees on that as with a $13 million dollar portfolio you can simply buy them yourself. Or, if you want, the Vanguard Treasury ETFs has a fee of 0.07%.

Secondly, the investment grade US corporate bond ETF from Vanguard, offers much higher yields for minimal fees.

Source: Vanguard

On a portfolio of 66 bonds, 60 excluding the Treasuries, I simply don’t see any difference except the huge fees. The intermediate corporate bond ETF, has a yield of 4.35% and is managed by Vanguard.

Conclusion – portfolio management and risk reward

The holder of this portfolio hoped that I can manage part of his portfolio and perhaps create an all-weather portfolio for his holdings. I declined because my current investing focus accepts a little bit more risk as we are focused on long term return maximization which isn’t what the goal of this portfolio is. I am completely devoted to what I do and creating another portfolio alongside building mine would be impossible. On the all-weather portfolio, I am partly working on it, but an all-weather portfolio focuses first on neutralizing risk and not that much on maximizing returns. You cannot get high, Buffett like returns with an all-weather and that is why I cannot focus my whole work around it and this portfolio. I takes at least a year of hard work to build a portfolio.

Secondly, if I would have to manage the money as required, the way explained above would be one way of doing it. I cannot charge $117,000 per year for the above as the investment bank is doing, I simply can’t. Well, you have it above for free.

What we actually did is that we have created a smaller part of the portfolio to follow my portfolio that I manage on my Stock Market Research Platform. This should add a bit more diversification as it is focused on absolute value and not that correlated to markets. Plus, there are some hedges too.

Portfolio risk reward

Now, what we still have to discuss are the risks of the above portfolio in relation to the rewards. We have seen that the yield on Treasuries now should be around 3%, and the return on equities could be at 4%, up to 6% on the international portfolio. Given the 10-year maturity of the bonds, that is what the holder can expect, deduct 2% inflation and you have a real return of about zero on the bond portfolio which would be closer to 2% with Vanguard.

50% of the portfolio is in stocks and given that the number of stocks held is 90, one should expect equal to market returns, US equity markets and international equity markets. The biggest risk here is a contraction in valuations. If global investors start to require a 6% investment yield in place of the current 4%, that could lead to a decline of 50% on global stock markets and a similar decline within the equity portfolio. Also, as bonds are priced in relation to interest rates, I would expect a significant decline in the bond portfolio too.

Thus, the upside is limited but the downside is pretty big. This is because there is no strategy behind the discussed portfolio, it is over diversified, there are no hedges in place, no real diversification as we have seen bonds and stocks move in correlation during the turmoil of the last few months.

What makes me sad is that most pension funds are managed in the above way with outrageous fees. In a video on Canadian pension funds I discussed how fees go up to 2% per year for practically nothing. This is outrageous and the first thing I would tell people to do is to start educating themselves about what can be done when it comes to investing their hard-earned money.

Perhaps, individual stock picking the way I do it will not be for most, but lowering a management fee from 2% per year to 0.1% makes a hack of a big difference within a portfolio. Actually, it makes almost a 100% difference on a long-term portfolio over 30 years based on current market return expectations.

If all that you change in your financial life and investment portfolio is that you get a lower fee or even eliminate fees, the above is how much it affects a $1 million portfolio over a 30-year period and 4% market returns per year. The differences are staggering.

Investment strategy

From a general perspective, an approach like the one discussed above offers no strategy, it is a purely market following and extremely diversified investment. Thus, such a general approach certainly doesn’t deserve to charge a 0.9% fee. The lack of alpha, the lack of an investment strategy, a portfolio that resembles an index is just part of what is not good in story we discussed up till now.

The following chart shows how there are different investment strategies and the one discussed today is probably the most obsolete. However, banks still manage to sell it to clients due to a lack of financial education.

My opinion would be that the investor should first create a clear strategy about what is the goal for his funds and then put that goal into a risk and reward perspective within a well-diversified portfolio based on a well-balanced strategy.

Such a strategy is what we focus on so if you enjoyed this kind of investment educational content shared above please follow, subscribe, like and share.

About the author: Sven Carlin, Ph.D. is passionate about investment research and value investing. He also manages the Sven Carlin Stock Market Research Platform based on long term value and business investing principles.

How to invest in businesses with dr. Per Jenster

I recently had the privilege to interview dr. Per Jenster. He is a Fullbright scolar, author of many books, former dean of the Kopenhagen Business school, entrepreneur with more than 20 ventures of which many went public for hundreds of millions and he is an investor that has his own hedge fund. A person from whom we can learn very much. Enjoy the interview.

In case you want to reach Prof Jenster or know more about how he invests, please go to … http://nichemastersfund.com

Here is the video and you can find the discussion topics below the video.

0:27 Who is Per Jenster

1:33 What to look when investing in a business

3:59 Fund based on a niche strategy

6:01 Companies we are investing in

8:30 Management

10:00 HIGHER PE for HIGH ROIC

10:44 Index funds

13:10 Trading

14:24 Strategic focus

15:57 Current stock market

18:25 Diversification

20:31 Investing education

21:36 Modern investing

23:32 Learn to be better at investing

 

How To Invest In Stocks

Investing in stocks requires answering the following questions:

How to invest money in stocks?

How much money to invest in stocks?

What are the best stocks to buy?

How to find the best stocks to buy?

How do I protect myself from a stock market crash?

What are the best stocks to invest in?

Should I invest in penny stocks? Should I invest in bitcoin? Should I invest in blockchain?

How to invest in stocks on your own?

Hi, my name is Sven Carlin, Ph.D, and I am an independent stock market investor and researcher. Before researching and analysing stocks full time, I was an Assistant Professor of Finance and Accounting at the Amsterdam School of international business and before that a researcher at Bloomberg in London. I am also a book author – Modern Value Investing – where I describe 25 tools to apply when looking at a stocks and other interesting modern value investing topics.

I want to explain what I do and how I go about these questions.

How to invest money in stocks? How much to invest in stocks?

I invest money in my stock market portfolio on a month by month basis. I have a model stock portfolio that I started with $10 thousand and I add $1 thousand every month no matter what. I do not necessarily buy with all the money that I add every month, that depends on the opportunities in the market, more about how I find opportunities and track them later.

My goal is for my stock market portfolio to be at $1 million in 20 years. This will be achieved if I reach an investment return of 12% per year. I believe, this can be achieved with proper research, good risk reward analysis and proper portfolio diversification. Investors that I admire like Seth Klarman, Warren Buffett, Schloss, have achieved even higher returns than 12% over the very long term. Other value investors are steadily above 15% which shows that this can be done over the long term with a smart value investment strategy.

The stock market portfolio is just one component of my investment portfolio that includes real estate, businesses, cash, and a separate option portfolio in the future, when the time comes for that. When I think stocks are generally cheap I might transfer some of my money from other asset classes to stocks.

As for you, see what your financial goals are, how many of those goals can be reached through the stock market, what is the long term return you can expect. Your long-term returns depend on the earnings the businesses you own deliver. This also answers the following question.

What are the best stocks to buy?

The best stocks to buy are those with good businesses that lead to growing earnings, cash flows and dividends over time no matter what is going on with the economy or stock market. The higher are the cash flows those companies make, the higher will be their stock price. For example, NIKE’s earnings in 2008 were $0.95 per share. In 2017 the earnings were $2.51, thus almost 3 times higher.

The stock price reacted similarly, or even a bit more as valuations expanded but you get the picture, the more earnings grow, the higher will your returns be. So, the key is to buy great businesses that will grow over time.

The market is now a bit overvalued from a historical perspective, so a fair price for NKE should be around $40 or $50, and that is exactly when I recommended it last summer.

nike stock priceSo, the focus for the investor should be in finding the best business earnings. This will also be the best stock to buy. So, how do you find such / best stocks to buy?

How to find the best stocks to buy?

Here it all boils down to research, looking for the best businesses, following sectors that are cheap at the moment due to temporary reasons. I was following the shoe sector last year because it was down due to fears about American retail, but for companies like NIKE it doesn’t matter if you buy in a shop or online, it is even better to buy online for them as their margins are bigger. I made my money relatively quickly in that sector last year. So, the key is to do constant research, keep the value models on lots of companies updated, research new sectors and keep an eye on the stocks you find interesting with a good business. By having a fair value model of many stocks, you know when something becomes a buy or no.

An overview of my research platform will give you a good indication of how this works. Please check the platform and the curriculum: Sven Carlin Research Platform

We have been looking at Argentina lately because those stocks are down 50% in the last few months, but many business have their revenue in US dollars, so not really affected by the Argentinian peso which creates an opportunity for those who follow such a situation. Solar stocks are also down, and there are other opportunities in current market.

But, this doesn’t mean a stock has to be down for me to buy it, positive structural long-term trends are also extremely attractive. For example, the electric vehicle revolution or 5G might really create great opportunities and there are too amazing value investments to be found because there are several ways to get exposure (nickel for batteries and copper but also the technology for 5g through stocks that have other good business segments too. I have found that the more research I do, the better are the risk reward opportunities I find, it takes a lot of time and I do this full time, but it pays with high returns of investment. My amatorial (unfortunately no audited track record yet) return since 2002 is around 18% per year on average.

You will be thinking that 18% returns sound nice but how do I protect myself from a crash?

How do I protect myself from a stock market crash?

Another question all would like an answer too is how to prevent your stock portfolio from crashing during a stock market crash.

Well, you can’t, let me tell it to you immediately. Peter Lynch, had seen his Magellan portfolio crash more than the S&P 500 each time the S&P 500 crashed 10% or more. That happened more than a dozen times while he was the manager.

However, in case of a crisis I like to be hedged against more money printing by owning gold miners. I like to be hedged against stupidity by owning stocks that produce things all people need and will need in the future, with good management, with a long term orientation.

Further, on stock market crash protections, you have to see when you need the money and then balance between cash and investing. Stocks to expensive? Have more cash and then balance as the market always fluctuates. The best protection is to invest in the best stocks.

What are the best stocks to invest in?

This is a bit different from the best stocks to buy because you sometimes buy on a merger arbitrage, or there are some catalysts that crate a positive risk reward situation. The best stocks to invest in are the best businesses at a fair price. When you see NIKE at a PE ratio of 15, you know your long term returns will be at first 7%, but those will grow by 10% per year over the next two decades and you will have 10%, 15% in time from a great business.

So, when you invest in stocks for the long term you simply buy the best businesses and forget about them. The returns will come.

Should I invest in penny stocks or bitcoin or blockchain?

Penny stocks and cryptocurrencies attract lots of people because big money can be made there fast due to the high volatility. However, that is speculation and you depend on someone paying more than what you paid. There might be penny stocks that are worth something but that requires huge research analysis of an investigative type that usually costs a lot and you don’t have much volume to make money on that. So be careful there and usually what you make here you lose somewhere else. Fortunately, those who tell you how much money they made on a penny stock or cryptocurrency don’t have to tell you how much they lost on something else.

On cryptocurrencies and blockchain, there is a big difference between investing in cryptocurrency scams or investing in the blockchain technology.

How to invest in blockchain?

To invest in the blockchain technology you are looking at long term investments in companies like IBM. There is even an IBM blockchain page.

ibm blockchain

This is something completely different than buying bitcoincash or other. The key is to know as much as possible about any form of investment assets, which will give us the answer to the final question.

How to invest in stocks on your own?

The first thing to know is to understand all the terms related to stocks and investing, all the accounting factors (I have to make a course accounting for investors, will come but I can’t promise when), read as many books as you can (we have made a summary of the intelligent investor here) and there is also my book, and give yourself time to learn. Invest the money you can afford to lose as tuition, you learn much better with real money.

Secondly, when you understand what is what, when you find your investment style you will also find what works best for you. If you like value investing, emerging markets, commodities, and pure common sense investing but don’t know how to do the research yourself or simply prefer to use your time in different ways, please check my research platform.