Market Call EP2: Navigating the Difference Between Stock Prices and Valuation

July 08, 2019
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In this Market Call episode, Louis Llanes and Jean-Philippe Tremblay discuss how to navigate the fact that market prices do not coincide with fundamental metrics of value.  The conversation kicks off with a detailed discussion about the risks of making dramatic tactical moves as well as the actual performance of market timing fund managers.  Louis discusses his experience in real time applying tactical asset allocation to manage risk as well as the academic research. JP then discusses the importance of having a scalable, repeatable process when implementing tactical strategies and how only performing the activities that add value in the process should be done and to ignore the rest.  Louis explains how you can be right on your analysis about a market and lose money if you don't have timing strategies that navigate the supply and demand of market participants.  Then he details an example of getting the fundamentals right doesn't necessarily lead to profits.  One must take advantage of real price changes and fundamentals are only important of the market recognizes them.  The conversation moves on to bottom up stock picking and fundamental factors.  JP expands upon the Quality, Valuation, and Technical (QVT) framework that Louis Llanes developed over 20 years ago and how it remains a robust methodology, especially during times of duress because of the emphasis on quality factors that can keep a portfolio out of trouble long run.  JP discusses the changes in factors that have been rewarded during the dotcom bubble and financial crisis.  Louis discusses how the biggest challenge in Quant strategies is the "in-sample" and "out-of-sample" differences and changing market rhythms.  He also explains that decision making can be more reliable long term if they are based on logical fundamental and economic reasoning as well as quantitative, empirical evidence.  JP discusses his concern of low top line growth of U.S. companies and how shareholder returns have been made up of share buybacks and dividends.  The concern is that future growth could perhaps be effected.  Louis brings up the importance of having exposure to innovating companies that are changing the way we do business and live our lives.  JP and Louis review Walgreens from a fundamental and technical perspective as an example of QVT.  The myth of Value and Growth styles is dissected and discusses and much more.