Investing: "valuation is our North Star"

Next up for stocks: Bubble or Bust.

As I’ve always written, valuation is our North Star. I will never purchase an asset that I believe to be uneconomically priced just because I think it’s “going higher.” I believe that this is the only responsible way to invest. We’ll keep navigating towards that North Star even if others drift off in another current, because we know that this is the only way for us to navigate our ship soundly so that we reach our long term objectives.
Comment: Image Source. The above is not taken out of context but is but a small part of a longer blog post. It's worth a read about the various "phases" of the market. The author fears we are nearing a "bubble phase" (defined in the Wiki article as "when market participants drive stock prices above their value in relation to some system of stock valuation."). I am far, far from being an investing expert, but one must be an investor. I ask myself these questions:

  • What will a stock (or equity) do for me today (is there some yield returned to the investor in the form of a dividend)?
  • Is there a strong probability that that yield will be returned to me in the future? I've made some mistakes here where I chased high yields that a firm was unable to sustain.
  • Am I comfortable with the risk? There is upside potential and downside risk. 
  • Example: A stock that I have a small position in but am probably to expand is IBM. The yield is 2.8%. 100 shares would provide me $ 440 per year of income for an investment of $ 16,000. Filtered though my above criteria: Is there a yield? Yes! Is there a strong probability that that yield is sustainable? My take is "yes". Am I comfortable with the risk? In the case of IBM, I personally am.
  • Further I use the slipperly stones analogy. I am walking on wet stones. I know one of them will be slippery. As I walk I spread my steps as wide as possible to make sure that if one stone slips, there will be a stone that doesn't so I will not fall. Of course this is all about  diversification. I will not risk all on one investment. Image source of below.


  1. Other factors: What is the transaction cost to buy ... to sell? If the market goes down (the particular equity or the whole), can I hold onto without needed to sell?

  2. Not a huge fan if IBM--most of my coworkers are former Big Blue and have a dismal view of the company--but the point about valuation is huge. Isn't that a big part of how Buffett (Warren, not Jimmy) got where he is today?


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