The start of yet another Deep Value strategy (for English readers)

It was quite late in my planning of this strategy that I decided that it too (just like my Consumer Staples portfolio) would be composed of U.S. stocks. I will therefore provide an English summary for this one as well. I am also likely to put out an English version whenever I do a rebalancing of the portfolio.

To sum up my existing quantitative strategies, I have three portfolios investing according to the following:

  • Trending Value, using Value Composite 2, less P/B
  • Magic Formula, with an additional sorting within the top decile, using F-Score
  • Consumer Staples, using Shareholder Yield

My fourth strategy is a Deep Value strategy, using Enterprise Value / Operating Income (just like the Acquirer’s Multiple on the website with the same name). Unlike my previous strategies, this one will consist of 24 holdings. Furthermore, I will hold them for 24 months instead of the significantly more common 12 months.

I have scoured the internet for studies aimed at comparing different holding periods for investment strategies, and come to the conclusion that the rationale behind using a 12-month holding period is not necessarily a value-enhancing one. I will not go into details in this post, instead I aim to make a later post summarizing articles and books discussing this. That post is very likely to be in Swedish, but since all of the studies are written in English you can at least read them for yourself if you would like to know more.

 

After the first 12 months I will even out the 24 holdings, so that they once again make up equal parts of my portfolio. This is done since all evidence points toward the fact that an equal-weighted portfolio outperforms one who gradually becomes unbalanced. The argument can be made that by using this tactic, I do not let my “winners run” and effectively cripple some of the strategy’s (out?)performance. Conversely, one could argue that when I equal-weight the holdings, I “buy low, sell high”, a very common axiom in value investing. Which one is more important? Well, you know as well as I do that no one knows the answer to that question, not even you.

 

The rules for this strategy look a lot like the ones for my Consumer Staples portfolio, with minor differences related to what I discussed above:

  • All sectors, except for Financials and Utilities (according to GICS)
  • Trades on any of the following exchanges: NYSE, NYSE American (former AMEX) or NASDAQ
  • ADRs (American Depository Receipts) are included, OTC stocks are not
  • Minimum market cap at $50 million
  • The 24 companies with the lowest Enterprise Value / Operating Income (TTM) are bought and kept for 24 months
  • Operating Income (TTM) must be positive
  • After the first 12 months the holdings are equally weighted. Savings, dividends and capital from buyouts are distributed equally on the remaining holdings
  • After a total of 24 months, the portfolio is rebalanced using the above mentioned rules

 

This years’ portfolio:

Fortunately, there are a few household names on that list (e.g. Kodak, LG and Bed Bath & Beyond). There are also quite a few other companies there that I normally would not buy if I so got paid for it, which is kind of the point of this strategy. :)

Investing according to the Acquirer’s Multiple (or most Deep Value strategies for that matter), have produced quite poor results in the last couple of years. The last really good year for this kind of strategy was 2013, since then it has struggled to even keep pace with S&P 500, and different Russell indices. I am hoping that it will turn out to be a good thing for me, that a period of lesser returns will be followed by a better one. Regardless, do your own analysis before you invest according to any of these strategies I present here. Blindly following others without thinking things through can easily cause one to abandon quantitative investing when things start to go south.

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