Last week, we wrote about the riskiest stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. We thought we’d be remiss to not mention our favorite stocks in the index as well. Not all of the blue chips are created equal, and the following are what we consider to be the most attractive investment opportunities in the Dow at the moment.
In this podcast, CEO David Trainer provides a pair trade for 2015 with two technology stocks that could not be more different from one another.
The stock market is ignoring the message from junk bond traders
For most companies, we estimate the required amount of cash for normal business operations to be around 5% of sales. However, many companies hold cash or other liquid investments above and beyond this amount. We refer to this extra amount as excess cash. This surplus cash can be used for any number of purposes, including acquisitions, research and development, and cushioning the company against economic downturns. Excess cash is immediately available for distribution to shareholders, so we add a company’s excess cash to our calculation of shareholder value.
Most companies hold some cash—or cash equivalents in the form of investments—above this required amount. Companies hold excess cash in order to cushion against economic downturns, prepare for acquisitions, or any number of other reasons. Sometimes, past profits pile up on balance sheets and are a form of excess cash. Excess cash is not needed for the operations of a company. It is removed from our calculation of invested capital.
The word “index” in an ETF label does not always mean that investors are getting the specific exposure they seek. Diligence on ETF holdings is necessary despite what the providers might have you believe. Below I dispel the following myths concerning index ETFs.
If you bought Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO) last August when I recommended it to investors, or when I recommended it again in January, or any time between May 10, 2012 and now when the stock has had my Very Attractive rating, then today has been a good day for you.
Everyone wants diligence. The problem is that diligence is expensive. I make diligence cost-effective. See how my research paid off for clients last year.
At the beginning of the first quarter of 2013, only the Consumer Staples Sector earns an Attractive rating.
Seldom do value investors get a chance to have their cake and eat it too. And that is exactly what we have with Cisco (CSCO) stock.
None of the fund styles earn a rating better than Neutral. See Figure 1 for my rankings on all twelve investment styles. My style ratings are based on the aggregation of my fund ratings for every ETF and mutual fund in each style.
Note that the attractive-or-better Predictive ratings do not always correlate with attractive-or-better total annual costs. This fact underscores that (1) low fees can dupe investors and (2) investors should invest only in funds with good stocks and low fees.