Value Investing

A bargain shopper that is always hunting for a deal on quality items can easily identify with the principles of value investing.

A value investor evaluates stocks based on their evaluation of a company’s fundamental worth. After a careful analysis, value investors buy stocks they believe are currently underpriced by the market.

The value investing strategy has worked for many investors throughout the decades, including celebrity investors like Warren Buffett. Could it be the right fit for your investment portfolio? We’ll take a closer look to help you decide.

What Is Value Investing?

Value investing is a type of investment strategy in which investors act like bargain hunters looking for a deal. Value investors actively look for companies that are undervalued by the stock market.

When an investor finds a company they feel is undervalued by the market, they make their move to invest. But, to get to that point, the investor must be confident that the company will provide returns that outperform their current market valuation over the long-term.

Finding The Intrinsic Value Of A Stock

Value investing may sound like a great strategy. After all, who wouldn’t want to buy undervalued companies for substantial investment returns?

But knowing what to look for in an undervalued stock is an important piece of the puzzle. As a value investor, you aren’t looking at the media when making your valuation decision. Instead you’re drilling down into the financials of a company to determine its intrinsic value. 

Fundamental analysis of the company’s finances can illuminate the intrinsic value of a stock to investors that are willing to dig into the information. Although this will require some effort, it’s a key component of successful value investing. 

How To Get Started With Value Investing

Value investing can feel like bargain hunting in the stock market. If you can determine the true value of a company, you’ll know whether or not the current market price is accurate. Essentially, this presents the opportunity to buy stocks on sale.

But finding a good deal will require time and energy. If you’ve decided that value investing should have a place in your investment portfolio, here’s how to get started.

Do Your Research

First and foremost, you’ll need to get comfortable researching individual companies. You’ll need to look at several factors surrounding the company, including:

  • The current finances of the company
  • The long-term plans of the business
  • The company’s guiding principles
  •  The management team’s experience and track record
  •  The financial structure of the company (including whether or not it pays dividends).

When conducting your fundamental analysis of a company’s value, don’t forget to include a margin of safety in your estimated value. You can create a margin of safety that fits within your risk tolerance.

Of course, it will take time to learn the ropes and effectively conduct a fundamental analysis of various companies. But over time, you’ll become more comfortable with the research.

Practice Patience

Value investing requires a patient approach to achieving your investment goals. Although value investors can be successful over the long-term, you may not find useful stocks immediately. It may take some time to learn the ins and outs of the market before you find your first great deal.

Don’t despair if you don’t find the perfect stock immediately! Instead, continue to look for an undervalued stock that will fit within your investment portfolio.

Aim For Diversification And Steady Returns

Any investment portfolio should not place too much emphasis on any particular company. Instead, you should spread out your investment portfolio among a diverse assortment of assets. With that, you should look for undervalued companies across a wide range of sectors and industries.

Beyond a diverse portfolio, you should seek out companies with reliable returns. For example, investing in stocks that have a long history of paying dividends (or consistently raising them) could be a smart move.

Don’t chase speculative, high-risk stocks, even if they may offer out-sized short-term returns. Instead, find stocks that could provide capital appreciation and/or dividends for years to come.

Ignore The Herd

Often, stocks become overvalued or undervalued during mass-market movements by stockholders. When investors overreact to the market’s climate, it can lead to an unbalanced marketplace with many companies being overvalued or undervalued.

To be a successful value investor, you’ll need to ignore the moves of the masses. Although many investors fall into a herd mentality when stock prices rise or fall, a value investor relies on their own fundamental analysis when deciding to buy or sell.

If you have a consistent method to determine the intrinsic value of a company, you can decide whether or not you want to buy without consulting the whims of the masses.

Final Thoughts

Value investing can be a useful way to maximize the profits of your investment portfolio. However, it will require a substantial amount of time and effort to execute this strategy effectively. 

If you want to try value investing in individual stocks, you’ll likely want to test it out on a dedicated portion of your investment portfolio. That way you can still keep another portion of your portfolio in baskets of securities such as index funds and ETFs.

Whether you want to invest in individual stocks or diversified funds, you’ll first need to open an account with a stock broker. To compare your options, check out our favorite brokers for 2021.

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