Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The Five Rules for Successful Stock Investing 11

Valuation – Intrinsic Value

The value of a stock is equal to the present value of its future cash flows.

Companies create economic value by investing capital and generating a return. Some of that return pays operating expenses, some gets reinvested in the business, and the rest is free cash flow. We care about free cash flow because that's the amount of money that could be taken out of the business each year without harming its operations. A firm can use free cash flow to benefit shareholders in a number of ways. It can pay a dividend, which essentially converts a portion of each investor's interest in the firm to cash. It can buy back stock, which reduces the number of shares outstanding and thus increases the percentage ownership of each shareholder. Or, the firm can retain the free cash flow and reinvest it in the business.

These free cash flows are what give the firm its investment value.present value calculation simply adjusts those future cash flows to reflect the fact that money we plan to receive in the future is worth less than the money we receive today. Why are future cash flows worth less than current ones? First, money that we receive today can be invested to generate some kind of return, whereas we can't invest future cash flows until we receive them. This is the time value of money. Second, there's a chance we may never receive those future cash flows, and we need to be compensated for that risk, called the "risk premium".

Value is determined by the amounttiming, and riskiness of a firm's future cash flows, and these are the three items you should always be thinking about when deciding how much to pay for a stock.
[...] the present value of a future cash flow in year n equals CFn/(1 + discount rate)^n.

If you really want to succeed as an investor, you should seek to buy companies at a discount to your estimate of their intrinsic value. Any valuation and any analysis is subject to error, and we can minimize the effect of these errors by buying stocks only at a significant discount to our estimated intrinsic value. This discount is called the margin of safety [...].

Putting It All Together


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