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The Stingy News Weekly (03/15/02)

The Markets This Week

DOW 30: 10,607.2 +0.33% to a P/E of 30.2
TSE 300: 7,871.7 -0.49% with a negative P/E

The Value View

Dow at a P/E of 20: 7,025 (-33.8%) Poor Value
Dow at a P/E of 15: 5,268 (-50.3%) Fair Value
Dow at a P/E of 10: 3,512 (-66.9%) Good Value

New @ StingyInvestor.com

Down with the dogs
Investors seeking income often buy stocks that pay a healthy dividend. Canadian dividends are taxed more favourably than interest from GICs but dividends may be reduced and the initial investment is not guaranteed. Dividend investors employ a variety of popular approaches to pick stocks including dividend growth, relative dividend yield and the Dogs of the Dow. In this article I focus on the Dogs of the Dow which is wildly popular in both Canada and the U.S. but has its flaws.

Stingy Links

How debt triggers can sink a stock
"You may not know they exist. But these debt deals can force companies to cough up a load of cash--immediately. And that could prove fatal to your portfolio."

Beating the market, until the expenses pile up
"Devastating as the conclusions may be for the fund industry, they contain a silver lining for the rest of us. In contrast to previous studies that found that it was impossible to consistently pick stocks that outperform the market, Professor Wermers shows that not only is it possible, but also that it is not particularly unusual. By creating our own portfolios -- and assuming that we can pick stocks as well as the average fund manager -- we stand a good chance of saving the bulk of the 2.3 annual percentage points spent on fund inefficiencies -- and a betting chance of actually outperforming the market."

Buffett lashes out at options
"Warren Buffett, using the forum that Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s annual report provides, has renewed his attack on the widespread use of stock options and the ways corporations find to ensure that executives will profit from options even if the company's share price declines."

Has Warren Buffett lost his touch?
"Berkshire wasn't the only insurance company hit by the terrorist attacks that destroyed airplanes, buildings, and thousands of lives. But Berkshire's insurance losses, combined with declines in a vast stock portfolio that includes Coca-Cola and American Express, was a blow to Berkshire, which has a sparkling reputation for providing dependable gains to investors." - Time to load up on some Berkshire?

Missing the plate
"Buffett's considerable cheering section, the millions of investors who were taught by Buffett that stocks can be a safe investment, will now be wondering if his famous buy-and-hold strategy no longer holds." - More evidence of a BRK buying opportunity.

Fool me twice, shame on me
"On this scale (as of December 31, 2001), the P/E of the S&P 500 is the highest in all of recorded U.S. history back to 1871. Stocks cheap? I think not."

The 101 dumbest moments in business
"In a perfect world, a list like this would not exist. In a perfect world, businesses would be run with the utmost integrity and competence. But ours is, alas, an imperfect world, and if we must live in one where Enron, Geraldo Rivera, and Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes exist, the least we can do is catalog the absurdities."

Gains from past losses
"The bear that mauled stock market investors in 2001 can now help them get back some taxes they shelled out in prior years. Indeed, the bear and the tax man have teamed up to make a limited-time offer that lets your clients recoup capital gains tax paid as far back as 1998, when market values and tax rates were much higher."

Market Trivia

The trivia questions this week are:
Q1. Who said "So there is only one way of escaping taxation and that is to make a fortune."?
Q2. In 1916 the U.S. tax rate on incomes over $300,000 was 7%. How much tax was paid?
Q3. In 1921 the U.S. tax rate on incomes over $300,000 was 77%. How much tax was paid?

The answers for last week's trivia questions are:
Q1. Who said "Volatility is not risk. Avoid investment advice based on volatility."?
A1. David Dreman
Q2. Who said "To their shame, these business leaders view shareholders as patsies, not partners."?
A2. Warren Buffett
Q3. Who said "Do not make an investment decision based on correlations. All correlations in the market, whether real or illusory, will shift and soon disappear."?
A3. David Dreman

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Bullishly Yours,
Norman Rothery
ISSN 1499-2795

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