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The Stingy News Weekly (09/15/02)

The Markets This Week

DOW 30: 8,313 -1.35% with a median P/E of 23.4
S&P/TSX: 6,495 +0.23% with a median P/E of 28.1

The Value View

Dow at a P/E of 20: 7,105 (-14.5%) Poor Value
Dow at a P/E of 15: 5,329 (-35.9%) Fair Value
Dow at a P/E of 10: 3,553 (-57.3%) Good Value

S&P/TSX at a P/E of 20: 4,623 (-28.8%) Poor Value
S&P/TSX at a P/E of 15: 3,467 (-46.6%) Fair Value
S&P/TSX at a P/E of 10: 2,311 (-64.4%) Good Value

Stingy Links

Schools of higher earning
"University grads love to gripe about their student loans, but they've got nothing on their alma maters. Over the past 15 months, four Canadian universities have issued unsecured debt totaling three-quarters of a billion dollars."

Are Value Stocks Riskier than Growth Stocks?
"And so, without mangling syllogistic logic, must it not follow that because they have higher returns, a portfolio of value stocks must indeed have higher risk? The problem is that this risk is not readily apparent."

The mystery of the blood red ledger
"Even before he could tour all the restaurants and shake the hands of his managers, the California State Board of Equalization froze the company's bank accounts, seeking $225,000 -- about three months' worth of overdue sales tax. Unable to write checks to suppliers on the frozen accounts, Louise's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It was LeFranc's ninth day on the job."

The talent myth
"The management of Enron, in other words, did exactly what the consultants at McKinsey said that companies ought to do in order to succeed in the modern economy. It hired and rewarded the very best and the very brightest-and it is now in bankruptcy. The reasons for its collapse are complex, needless to say. But what if Enron failed not in spite of its talent mind-set but because of it? What if smart people are overrated?"

The pitchman
"The extraordinary story of the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ begins with Nathan Morris, the son of the shoemaker and cantor Kidders Morris, who came over from the Old Country in the eighteen-eighties, and settled in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Nathan Morris was a pitchman. He worked the boardwalk and the five-and-dimes and county fairs up and down the Atlantic coast, selling kitchen gadgets made by Acme Metal, out of Newark."

One of the boys
"Stratospheric pay, legal leniency and low expectations-how hard can becoming a CEO really be?"

Buffett the bargain-hunter returns
"Buffett is back. Of course, the billionaire Oracle of Omaha, Nebraska, never went away. But Warren Buffett, the world's second richest man -- and probably the most successful investor this century -- is showing a new generation a thing or two about value."

Unfinished business
"Certainly we are witnessing bubble deflation in the equity markets. After one of the most incredible equity bull markets in our financial history, set against the backdrop of possibly the greatest credit boom this country has ever seen, a period of significant reconciliation is only to be expected. Where are we in the process?"

A reply to Bill Gross
"Bill Gross, the brilliant portfolio manager of PIMCO (Pacific Investment Management Co.) just put out an investment outlook entitled, "Dow 5,000" (can be found at www.pimco.com). In his commentary, he analyzes major works that have been written in the field of stock returns, including my Stocks for the Long Run. His conclusions about stocks are very pessimistic."

Conseco's colorful crash
"Devine says that like Hilbert before him, Wendt pressured senior Salomon executives to muzzle him. (Conseco denies the charge.) But his bosses didn't cave. Which in this day and age of compromised analysts--let's not forget that Jack Grubman also worked at SSB--is a refreshing tale indeed. It's perhaps the only heartening part of the Conseco story."

Market Trivia

This week's trivia questions are:

Q1. What was the value premium for large cap stocks from July 1963 through April 2002.
Q2. What was the value premium for small cap stocks from July 1963 through April 2002.
Q3. What was the growth deficit for small cap stocks from July 1963 through April 2002.

The answers to last week's trivia questions are:

Q1. From 1926 to 2001 what was the probability of outperforming the S&P500 by switching to T-Bills each month?
A1. On average 41.3%.
Q2. How much did U.S. fund investors loose by market timing from 1998 to 2001?
A2. An average of 4.7% annually.
Q3. Who said "Unfortunately, for the activist investor, history teaches that in investing patience and fortitude - or benign neglect - are more beneficial than activity."?
A3. Charles Ellis

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Bullishly Yours,
Norman Rothery
ISSN 1499-2795

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