Category Archives: Contrarian Investing Strategies

The low P/E, P/CF, P/D and P/BV Strategy

Contrarian Investing Strategy One

Findings show that companies in which the market has high expectations, as measured by the above ratios, have consistently performed the worst.  The reason is, that a market premium is paid for near term ‘visibility’ on earning prospects.    To evaluate the value of a company, forecasts must be made with extreme accuracy into the future.  We have already discussed this earlier – this is very difficult to do.  Investors and analysts also have confidence and optimism that earnings expectations will be met.  Over-confidence about information and forecasts, a reliance on ‘experts’, and over-optimism leads to a deadly combination. This is something …Read more »

The Forecasting Pitfall of Fundamental Analysis

The Association methodology is ‘contrarian’ because it is quite different than most applications of fundamental analysis. The fundamental analysis technique is generally used by banks, pension funds and the majority of security analysts.  There are different styles of fundamental investing which range from momentum and growth investing to value and contrarian investing. In general, a fundamentalist believes that a company’s true value can be determined by analyzing financial indicators such as sales, inventory etc.  A fundamentalist believes that a stock price can diverge from the company’s true value and he is convinced that the market must recognize this discrepancy over time. Momentum and growth …Read more »

Taking advantage of Irrational Behavior Strategy

Contrarian Investing Strategy Three

This strategy is a variation of strategy #1. It looks at relative industry strength and investor sentiment. Indicators Down by 50% off 52 week low Bottom of cycle “Maximum market pessimism” Low relative Price/Earning Low relative Price/Sales Low relative Price/Book Low relative debt-to-equity Interest coverage ratio Cash flow A Contrarian stock  Down by 50% off 52 week high. We talked earlier about how the media over focuses daily on individual companies and sectors. One thing that can be done is to listen to the popular press with an ear tuned for these extremes. Phrases such as “disaster”, “doomed” and “dead” …Read more »

Defensive Investing Strategy

Contrarian Investing Strategy Four

There seems to be a lot of talk about stock dividends and other fixed income investments.  Dividend paying equities have always been core components of any contrarian’s portfolio.  Contrarians by nature are part-active and part-passive. Before making a stock selection, the intelligent investor should keep two key concepts in mind.  First they should question, whether they are investing or speculating with regards to a purchase that is made.  Secondly they should question, whether a stock selection is good value by fully understanding the concept of margin of safety – the difference in market price versus underlying value. The single most important intellectual development of …Read more »

Contrarian Investing is a Rational Approach to Investing

Contrarian Strategies

Contrarian Investing uses an investing methodology that is based on the principle of ‘rationality’.  To be a rational investor, there is a need to be realistic about both the upside and downside to any investment.  An investor must first recognize the tendency to be both over-optimistic and over-confident in his or her investment decisions. An investor must also recognize the tendency to over-rely on so called ‘experts’ for investment decision making. The Contrarian methodology is rational because it attempts to determine if an individual company, industry or even an entire market is over-priced (irrational exuberance) or under-priced.  A contrarian remembers that there were large periods of time …Read more »

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