Best Trailing Stop Loss

Best Trailing Stop Loss

The Best Trailing Stop Loss is designed to protect gains by enabling a trade to remain open and continue to profit as long as the price is moving in the investor’s favor.

This way you can let the trend continue in your favor but lock in your profits once the stock turns around.

The trailing stop is a very useful exit for traders that simplifies the process of letting winners run but keeping losses small.

The Key To The Best Trailing Stop

The key to the best trailing stop is that it needs to be loose enough that the stock has room to trend upwards. But it cannot be too loose or you will give back too much profit when the trend changes.

For example, in the Tesla chart below, you can see that the 5% trailing stop is too tight. It doesn’t allow the trend to develop and we take too many trades instead of following the trend:

Best Trailing Stop Loss 1
Conversely, the 50% trailing stop below is too loose. We don’t capture enough of the trend and end up taking a loss when we could have had a big gain:
Best Trailing Stop Loss 2
The best trailing stop loss strikes a balance between the two. It depends on the situation but the 20% trailing stop (below) often does a good job:
Best Trailing Stop Loss 3

Which Trailing Stop Loss Should You Use?

I’m going to test a selection of them on historical data going back 30 years across more than 11,000 US stocks. We are going to use a new 252 DAY HIGH as a buy signal and then see which trailing stop produces the most profit while limiting risk. The trailing stop loss options we are going to test are as follows:

  • Percent trailing stop
  • ATR trailing stop (Chandelier)
  • Moving average trailing stop
  • Parabolic SAR trailing stop

1. Percent Trailing Stop

This is the simplest trailing stop. Whenever the stock trades X% below it’s in-trade high then we will exit the stock on the next day open. For example, if we buy Apple at $100 with a 20% trailing stop and it hits a high of $200 we will exit if the stock drops back to $160. The following table shows the effectiveness of the percent trailing stop following a new 252-day high in the Russell 3000 from 7/1990 to 1/2020:

Best Trailing Stop Loss 3

As you can see, the 20% and 25% trailing stop produced the best return-to-risk scores with a reasonable win rate and profit per trade.

2. Chandelier Trailing Stop

The chandelier trailing stop uses the average true range indicator (ATR) to position the stop a certain number of points away from the action. The advantage of this technique is that it takes into account the volatility of the stock and places the stop a certain multiplier away. For example, if Apple is trading at $100 and we use a 5 x ATR(21) stop, the stop will be placed 5 times the ATR(21) below the recent high. If the ATR is $5 then the stop will be placed 25 points away (5 x 5). In this test we are going to use the 21-period ATR and vary the multiplier to test and see if it is Best Trailing Stop Loss:

Best Trailing Stop Loss 3
You can see that the results for the Chandelier stop were pretty consistent when using a multiplier of 5 or more. However, the lowest multipliers saw poor results. ATR(21) and ATR(21) * 2 produced losses.

3. Moving Average Trailing Stop

The moving average trailing stop works like this. Once we enter the trade (a new 252-day high) we will follow it with a simple moving average line. If the trend changes and the stock drops under the moving average line we will then exit the trade on the next day open. The following table shows our results across different moving average lengths:

Best Trailing Stop Loss 6
The moving average trailing stops produced a reasonable return-to-risk score in the 40-60 day range. However, it was not as strong as the percentage stop and the win rate was lower too.

4. Parabolic SAR Trailing Stop

The parabolic SAR indicator rises according to specified parameters. But unlike the usual trailing stop, PSAR continues to move higher even as the stock stays where it is or declines. This means there is an element of time involved so essentially, the stock is penalized for not continuing the trend upwards. The PSAR indicator is made up of two parameters, acceleration factor and max acceleration. These are usually set up as 0.02 and 0.2, however, I found those parameters to be too fast. The following table shows our results for various permutations:

Best Trailing Stop Loss 7

The Parabolic SAR indicator produced some good return-to-risk scores particularly with small parameters (much smaller than most traders use).

Which Trailing Stop Works The Best?

The results shown above provide some answers as to which trailing stop works best in stocks.

  • The best trailing stop by return-to-risk was the 20% trailing stop with a score of 0.57. This was followed by the 25% trailing stop and the 15% trailing stop.
  • The best trailing stop according to average profit per trade was the 50% trailing stop with an average profit of 82.72%.
  • The 50% trailing stop also had the highest win rate at 53.3%. However, the 50% trailing stop naturally has a high drawdown and trade duration.
  • The Chandelier trailing stop did not perform particularly well with low return-to-risk scores across the board.
  • The moving average stop was not particularly effective either.
  • The Parabolic SAR indicator put in some decent scores according to return-to-risk.
  • Overall, the 15%, 20%, 25% and Parabolic SAR trailing stops appear to work the best.


In this Premier Bull & Bear Blog Post, we looked at various types of trailing stops and tested them on 11,000 US stocks back to July 1990.

We found that the best trailing stop loss was the “percentage trailing stop” (particularly the 20% and 25%) does a decent job of capturing upward trends in stocks while limiting risk.

Meanwhile, the Chandelier stop and moving average line produced disappointing results and do not provide much reason to use these methods. These findings support my previous experience and it was no surprise to me that the percentage trailing stops performed strongly.

If there is a surprise in these results, it is the decent scores for the Parabolic SAR indicator. This trailing stop looks like it has some merit and can be effective with all three membership levels.

So, If you wonder how this can help your 401k, IRA, and investment accounts, we have the solution for you. We are offering all new subscribers a 25% Promo codeWealth25 that will lock in for life.

The discount is available immediately through September 2020 and has a 15-DAY FREE TRIAL.  We also include our private member’s blog.

Stocks vs Gold and Silver, Who Wins?

Stocks vs Gold and Silver, Who Wins?

Stocks vs Gold and Silver; Which was the best investment in the past 30, 50, 80, or 100 years?

These charts compare the performance of the S&P 500, the Dow JonesGold, and Silver.

The Dow Jones is a stock index that includes 30 large publicly traded companies based in the United States. It is one of the oldest and most-watched indices in the world.

The S&P 500 consists of 500 large US companies, it is capitalization-weighted, and it captures approximately 80% of available market capitalization. For these reasons, it is more representative of the US stock market than the Dow Jones.

Both versions of these indices are price indices in contrast to total return indices. Therefore, they do not include dividends.

Including dividends leads to a very different picture, which is demonstrated in the charts below:

10 Year Comparison

10 Year Chart

30 Year Comparison

30 Year Chart

50 Year Comparison

50 Year Chart

80 Year Comparison

80 Year Chart

100 Year Comparison

100 Year Chart

Gold and Silver are not an inflation hedge

As for Gold and Silver, they are often seen as an inflation hedge. However, the data challenges this opinion.  That view stems almost entirely from the very fact that gold used to be money, which could not be printed, and due to the experience of the inflationary 70s when the monetary system changed and the price of gold floated freely.

However, we live now in a completely different monetary system, which essentially explains why Gold and Silver are rather poor short-term inflation hedges. Given the opportunity costs, investors should expect only significant and lasting inflation to drive the prices up. In other words, Gold & Silver may serve as an inflation hedge only when there is relatively high inflation,.

Gold and Silver are a hedge against the Government.

The only time gold has rallied significantly is when the CONFIDENCE in government declines.

That was the case during the post-1976 era for people who saw inflation as running away. That was because of OPEC creating STAGFLATION meaning it was cost-push inflation that eventually converted to demand-push inflation by mid-1979.

I understand that all of these gold-bug analysts have been preaching hyperinflation for decades. The whole Quantitative Easing (QE) was supposed to create $10,000 gold years ago. Here, after 15 years of QE, gold still remains trapped in consolidation overall. Only recently have we seen a bump due do the effects of the attempted move to the Great Reset.

Stocks vs Gold and Silver?

Stocks as a whole, specifically the S&P 500 index, performs much better than Gold or Silver.

More importantly, you will be better diversified and can perform substantially better than Buy & Hold.

If you wonder how this can help your 401k, IRA, and investment accounts, we have the solution for you. We are offering all new subscribers a 25% Promo codeWealth25 that will lock in for life. The discount is available immediately through September 2020 and has a 15-DAY FREE TRIAL.  We also include our private member’s blog.

New Housing Bubble

New Housing Bubble

A new housing bubble is clearly visible when the real home price takes into account the effects of inflation and therefore allows for better comparison over time.

The ratio in the chart below divides the Case-Shiller Home Price Index by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The Case-Shiller Home Price Index seeks to measure the price of all existing single-family housing stock.

Based on the pioneering research of Robert J. Shiller and Karl E. Case the index is generally considered the leading measure of U.S. residential real estate prices and reveals a new housing bubble.

Market Cap -GGP Ratio

When inflation is high, prices as measured by the CPI increase, and the purchasing power per unit of currency decreases. The Case-Shiller index has a base of Jan 2000=100 while the CPI has a base of 1983=100. Therefore, it is the trend over time that is significant and not the absolute ratio values.

As you can clearly see in the chart, when the ratio gets near .6 a new housing bubble is achieved and real estate prices head down. The higher the ratio, the faster prices they head down.

Just look at the prices and how they have risen…


The charts above and the one below are clearly telling you that a new housing bubble is closing in on us now and is ready to pop.


Do you remember what hit in 2008, because this one will be much larger with sustained reach?

The Case Shiller Index is now 160% higher than in January of 2008. And as history showed us, since 1890, a decline of biblical proportions is coming.

When you add the New Housing Bubble to the Money Supply Chart, to the Market Cap to GDP chart, to the Dividend Yield Ratio, to the Market Cap to GDP Ratio,  to the Screaming S&P500 Dividend Yield, and to the current S&P500 P/E Ratio, you better be prepared for a long-term sustained deep economic crash. This will be a stock market and real estate crash will dwarf 2008.

No one can afford to live through a 7 to 15-year depression, so please prepare now because the warning signs are now clear.

We are so concerned that is coming or may have already started, that we are offering all new subscribers a 25% Promo codeWealth25” that will lock in for life. The discount is available immediately and includes our private member’s blog.

Money Supply Vs. Inflation

Money Supply Vs. Inflation

The Money Supply Vs. Inflation historical chart below can save your family if you follow its revelation.

The “M2 Money Supply”, also referred to as “M2 Money Stock“, is a measure for the amount of currency in circulation.

M2 includes M1 (physical cash and checkable deposits) as well as “less liquid money”, such as saving bank accounts.

The chart below plots the yearly M2 Growth Rate and the Inflation Rate, which is defined as the yearly change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

When inflation is high, prices for goods and services rise, and thus the purchasing power per unit of currency decreases.

Historically, M2 has grown along with the economy (see in the chart below). However, it has also grown along with Federal Debt to GDP in times of war.

In most recent history, M2 growth surpassed 10 percent in recessions, during which an expansionary monetary policy was deployed by the central bank, including large scale asset purchases. According to Bannister and Forward (2002, page 28), Money supply growth and inflation are inexorably linked.

The chart below is that of the M2 Money Supply Vs. Inflation:

Market Cap -GGP Ratio

The chart above is telling you what is coming very soon.

Inflation is tied to the money supply and every single period of time that the money supply expanded,  inflation soon followed with a market crash.

Now, when you look at the current money supply, on the far right, you can clearly see that it has exploded beyond reason just within the last few years. This is leading to a MASSIVE MARKET CRASH followed by RAPID INFLATION.

However, you have time still to prepare. As of today, inflation has not yet started but it will come soon.

Do you know which assets you should own, hedge, or sell immediately?

As the Money Supply Vs. inflation adjustment appears we will tell our members precisely what assets to buy, keep, and sell within the Members Blog.



Market Cap to GDP Ratio

Market Cap to GDP Ratio

Market Cap to GDP Ratio is a long-term valuation indicator for stocks. It has become popular in recent years, thanks to Warren Buffett.

Back in 2001 he remarked in a Fortune Magazine interview that “it is probably the best single measure of where valuations stand at any given moment.”

The Wilshire 5000 Index is widely accepted as the definitive benchmark for the U.S. equity market and is intended to measure the total market capitalization of most publicly traded companies headquartered in the United States.

The chart below is that of the Wilshire 5000:

Market Cap -GGP Ratio

The S&P 500 to GDP Ratio

For comparison purposes, the S&P 500 to GDP ratio is shown below as well. The S&P 500 consists of 500 large US companies. Just like the Market Cap to GDP Ratio and is a capitalization-weighted index.

It captures approximately 80% of the available total market capitalization. For these reasons, it’s a much better measure for ‘market cap’ than the Dow Jones – however, the two charts look very similar.



S&P500=GDP Bubble

The charts clearly illustrate that the total US Markets are well above their 2000, 2008 and although we have a bit to go, we are quickly reaching the 1929 bubble. Thus, it is safe to assume we are in Market Cap to GDP bubble territory.

Over the next few weeks, we will show you a few more charts that are a bit concerning. Our Wealth Preserver members are protected just in case the Unthinkable occurs.



The S&P 500 Dividend Yield Is Screaming

The S&P 500 Dividend Yield Is Screaming

The S&P 500 is the most widely cited single gauge of large-cap equities on U.S. stock exchanges. Standard & Poor’s estimates that more than $7.8 trillion is benchmarked to the index, making it one of the most influential figures in the world of finance. To be included, a company must be publicly traded in the United States and report a market capitalization of $5.3 billion or greater.

According to Mike Maloney, the S&P 500 Dividend Yield is the second-best way to measure a market value (after the Price Earnings Ratio).

The dividend yield indicates how much a company pays out in dividends each year relative to its share price. In other words, it measures how much “bang for your buck” you are getting from dividends.

In the absence of any capital gains, the dividend yield is effectively the return on investment for a stock. The lower the dividend yield, the less you get for your investment, and hence the more overvalued a stock.

The historic S&P 500 Dividend Yields were deducted by Robert Shiller and published in his book Irrational Exuberance.

S&P 500 Dividend Yield

As you can clearly see in the chart, The S&P 500 Dividend Yield Is Screaming and telling you that it is well into bubble territory and will eventually correct. When it does correct or crash, will you be prepared or warned, or will you just go down with the markets?



S&P500 P/E Ratio

S&P500 P/E Ratio

The S&P500 P/E Ratio shows whether the stock market is overvalued or undervalued. It’s not a matter which Stocks you own in your portfolio because when the P/E Ratio turns EXTREME, VIRTUALLY ALL STOCKS Crash.

The price-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing a company’s stock price by its earnings per share. In other words, the S&P500 P/E ratio shows what the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its current earnings.

Yale professor Robert Shiller, the author of Irrational Exuberance, has reintroduced this adjusted ratio to a wider audience of investors. The P/E Ratio is illustrated below and is extremely simple to understand with a quick view of the chart.

So, is it under or overvalued?

S&P500 P/E Ratio

Today the P/E Ratio is sitting at 28 and is in Extreme Bubble Territory and getting higher!

All you have to understand from the chart is that since 1880,

“Every single time the S&P500 P/E Ratio rose above 20, the stock market crashed; Every Single Time!”

You know what to expect, right?

Tomorrow we will show you an entirely different chart that will simply stun you.

3 Up Gaps That Must Fill

3 Up Gaps That Must Fill

When it comes to the stock market, never say never because every possible market event will happen at least once. Especially events you least expect.

Here’s one that is positive for your portfolio.

There are specific events that have been proven through over 200 years of actual stock market history.

In fact, this one is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt and you can make money with it very soon:

Up & Down Gaps Close 91% Of The Time!

For those of you who do not know what a gap is, and how important it is, here is a simple explanation.

Let’s now look at the current chart below:

As you can see, the  Standard Poor’s 500 chart above reveals 3 Up Gaps in price that, at a better than 91% chance will eventually fill to the downside. The reason that pushes this to the ranks of “it will now LIKELY move sooner than later is the fact that all 3 Up Gaps occurred within 3 months and this is almost unprecedented.

Watch out below. We are not trying to scare you, quite the opposite, we are giving you a kind warning.

So lets add it up:

“A 91% chance of filling every market gap up or down for the last 200 years?” 

Prepare for anything because the last time more than 3 Gaps were closed within only 5 weeks was February 2020! 

What is hard to imagine is that the rise lasted 1,458 days for the 5 Up Gaps to be created between December 2016 and February 2020. It took exactly 22 Corona-Crash days to close (fill all 5) to the downside.

The point is clear. This is not a question of will the current 3 Up Gaps fill, but when will they fill and will you avoid the decline?

You must be ready to avoid the coming decline unless you have 1,458 more days to wait for it to come back to break even.

As we already demonstrated to our members on January 18, 2020 with a market Red Light exit signal, InterAnalyst will warn and protect our members when it turns down again.

P/E Ratio: The Over/Under Value Market Indicator

P/E Ratio: The Over/Under Value Market Indicator

In section 5 of yesterday’s post I quickly introduced an investment topic called the Shiller P/E (CAPE).

This is the most significant, proven, long-term directional indicator that has ever existed for long-term stock market direction.

It is not a daily or weekly trading system but can certainly help you know which direction the market is moving as it reaches a top or bottom.

The Shiller (CAPE) P/E Ratio is now famous, yet forgotten because most Financial Advisors either keep it under wraps or have never been taught its true power. Essentially, a high P/E means Over Priced stocks.

The chart below is the Shiller P/E Ratio dating back to 1880.

As you can see, the median P/E since 1880 is 15.77 and that is enough data to understand that historically investors over the last 140 years have recognized that a share of company stock should be roughly 16 times its earnings.

In clearer terms, if a company made $1, its share price should be $15.77.

Horrible Investor Value

Now, take a look at the chart above to view the Over Valued and Under Valued P/E Levels.

When the Shiller (CAPE) is 20 and above, stock prices are too high for a long-term buy and hold strategy. Performance will likely remain poor for up to 20 years.

Most importantly, any time the P/E rose above 20, it eventually and ALWAYS back down below 10, typically below 7, before it bottomed.

As you can see in the image below, when the Shiller P/E Ratio rises above 20, it can take many years for values to get back down. The year of the great depression brought the P/E back in line within 4 years. However, outside of great depression, it takes up to 20 years or longer to get stocks back to a fair price.

Our current period dating back to the 1999 top is still declining back to fair prices. Here’s the point: Buying the stock market when the CAPE P/E Ratio if the S&P500 index is above 20 is an immense risk of little to no return on your money.

Great Investor Value

Now, when the Shiller (CAPE) hits 10 or below, then it is an amazing time to Buy and Hold the market indexes or any stock of value. Historically, a P/E of 4 – 7 will allow you to to perform extremely well over the next 7 – 20 years. In fact, you will perform 10,000% – 30,000% or better. That is what buying at the right P/E price point will do for you.

For a little clarification, had you invested $10 in the S&P500 on January 1, 1985 (P/E ratio of 10.36), today you would have over $3,500! Not bad for timing with the Shiller P/E!

So lets look to see if this is a great time to be a Buy and Hold Investor like in 1985?

Reviewing the same chart (below) modified to include colors indicating when to invest for optimum Buy and Hold performance.

Avoid Buy & Hold investing if the Shiller P/E value is within the Red area.  This area has proven to deliver returns similar to bank accounts if you deduct inflation from the return. Not good.

However, if the Shiller P/E ratio value is within the Green area, you can buy the S&P 500 Index and make significant long term returns.

Great Investor Value

Now, when the Shiller (CAPE) hits 10 or below, then it is an amazing time to Buy and Hold the market indexes or any stock of value. Historically, a P/E of 4-7 will allow you to to perform extremely well over the next 7 – 20 years. In fact, you will perform 10,000% – 30,000% or better. That is what buying at the right P/E price point will do for you.

For a little clarification, had you invested $10 in the S&P500 on January 1, 1985 (P/E ratio of 10.36), today you would have over $3,500! Not bad for timing with the Shiller P/E!

So lets look to see if this is a great time to be a Buy and Hold Investor like in 1985?

Reviewing the same chart (below) modified to include colors indicating when to invest for optimum Buy and Hold performance.

Avoid Buy & Hold investing if the Shiller P/E value is within the Red area.  This area has proven to deliver returns similar to bank accounts if you deduct inflation from the return. Not good.

However, if the Shiller P/E ratio value is within the Green area, you can buy the S&P 500 Index and make significant long term returns.

The point of this entire article is to let compare where we are today relative to 140 years of real data. 

Significantly, every single time there “was a significant crash or two” associated with the decline back to value. Here is reality:

At a Shiller P/E Ratio of 26.97, we are not nearly as high as 44 in 1999. But, just to get back to a normal Shiller P/E bottoming area below 10, the stock market will have to drop by 62% from here!

27 – 10 = 17

17 / 27 = -62% 

If you are a Buy & Hold Investor, you should know that based on history dating back to 1880, you are NOT  positioned for strong buy and hold returns. In fact, you are dreadfully positioned right now though 2032. 

Can you afford a 45%-60% decline back to value. Its progressing to that as you read this historical lesson.

You must find a strong, well proven, historically accurate system that allows you to invest when the markets are moving up, on the sideline when the markets head down, and back in when they head up again.

You will do vastly better that Buy & Hold if own a Monthly, Weekly, or Daily professional trade signal platform that will help guide you through the next 20 years. Your membership will put you light years ahead of everyone else who is Buying and Holding at precisely the wrong time as history has proven.

We will help get you to where you want starting today following simple Green and Red lights.

The P/E Ratio Is Screaming At You

The P/E Ratio Is Screaming At You

The P/E Ratio Is Screaming At You so today I am laying the groundwork for tomorrows post. So lets get started and learn about the P/E Ratio.

The price-to-earnings ratio (P/E ratio) is the ratio for valuing a company that measures its current share price relative to its per-share earnings. P/E ratios are used by investors and analysts to help determine the relative value of a company’s shares in an apples-to-apples comparison.

It can also be used to compare a company against its own historical record or to compare aggregate markets against one another or over time. The ubiquitous P/E ratio is typically the first metric investors learn on their journey towards financial freedom.

One of the biggest mistakes I see new investors make is their use of the P/E ratio because the P/E ratio has some significant drawbacks that you should be aware of before we teach you the profitable and proven benefits of this indicator.

Today, lets cover 5 points the ratio will not teach us and tomorrow we will learn precisely how it can tell us which direction the markets are going shortly. 

What the P/E Ratio Teaches us is vitally important so first we have to quickly learn what it does not teach us. 

1. Price is not a good measure for what a company is worth

The first issue with the P/E ratio is the ‘P’ part of the formula. Typically, the ‘P’ stands for the share PRICE which corresponds to the market capitalization of the company. But there’s a problem with using only market capitalization. Market cap only represents the contribution of equity shareholders. Which means it doesn’t include any debt or cash on the balance sheet.

If you want to know the true worth of a company surely you need to include debt and cash? To do so, it’s better to use an alternative such as enterprise value which is the market cap, plus total debt, minus cash. Often, the market cap of a company will be similar to the enterprise value but sometimes it can be vastly different. GE, for example, has a market cap of over $52 billion but it’s enterprise value is more than double that at $111 billion. If you use market cap you get a lower P/E ratio than if you used the enterprise value. So by substituting market cap with enterprise value the formula immediately becomes more useful.

2. EPS is not a good measure of company earnings

Just like the ‘P’ in ‘P/E’ is inadequate, the ‘E’ part of the formula is also misleading. Typically, the ‘E’ represents earnings per share which is usually reported as the trailing twelve month EPS or in other words the net profit over the last 12 months.

The problem here is that EPS or net profit contains many different components and is therefore not necessarily a good indication of the real profitability of a company. For example, net profit is reported after accounting procedures such as depreciation and amortization.

These techniques are often used to massage the books, by inflating profits and pushing out losses. On top of that, net profit may include interest and tax payments, both of which are individual to the company and not necessarily useful for observing what profit a business is actually making.

So instead of using EPS or net profit, a better option is to use EBITDA which stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation. In other words, it is the true earnings before all those components have made their mark. And so, instead of using the trusted P/E, which is market cap divided by EPS you can see it’s better to use a more comprehensive formula such as enterprise value divided by EBITDA.

3. P/E ratios are lagging metrics

Now we’ve looked at the limitations of the formula, you should understand that P/E ratios (like most financial metrics) are inherently misleading because they are lagging metrics. To put it plainly, when you plug in the earnings part of the formula you are typically using past data, typically the trailing 12 month EPS (or EBITDA).

Clearly, the problem with this is that the last 12 months of earnings are not necessarily predictive of the next 12 months. For example, consider a company that has a market cap of $1 billion and in the last twelve months reported net profit of $100 million. That would give it a P/E ratio of 10 which historically would make it cheap and an attractive buy.

But consider that the last 12 months were, in fact, a stand out year for the company based on a series of unusual economic events unlikely to occur again. And in fact, the company usually makes only $20 million a year, not $100 million. With a net profit of only $20 million, the P/E ratio would be 50 which is historically a high and unattractive multiple.

In other words, the stock is priced at 10 times last year’s earnings but 50 times next year’s earnings. The stock either needs to decline in price to bring the P/E back to a more realistic level or it needs to grow its earnings in line with last year’s stand-out numbers.

Either way, you can see that buying the stock based on last year’s earnings is a flawed strategy because it doesn’t consider future earnings or the historical earnings average.

4. P/E cannot be used for unprofitable companies

Divide any number by a negative and you end up with another negative. And so is the problem when using the P/E ratio for any company that reports negative earnings (of which there are many!). Consider, for example, the market cap for Uber which is currently $56 billion. And consider the latest 12-month EBITDA which was -$8.2 billion. 56 divided by -8.2 results in a P/E ratio of -6.8. So if low P/E ratios are good then Uber must be outrageously cheap.

But of course, we know it isn’t because the negative P/E doesn’t tell us anything. All it tells us is this company hasn’t reported any profit in the last 12 months. In other words, the P/E ratio for any unprofitable company is meaningless, except perhaps to say that this is a stock that may not provide any return unless it can soon get itself profitable. In a similar vein, the P/E ratio has limited ability when used to compare across industries.

Low growth industries such as conglomerates or utilities typically command lower P/Es which cannot be compared to other industries such as tech stocks which often have high P/Es or negative P/Es. Essentially, the P/E ratio is limited in its ability whenever the main consideration is growth or profitability.  

5. The Shiller P/E Ratio

The cyclically-adjusted price-to-earnings (CAPE) ratio of a stock market is one of the standard metrics used to evaluate whether a market is overvalued, undervalued, or fairly-valued.

This metric was developed by Robert Shiller and popularized during the Dotcom Bubble when he proved (correctly) that equities were highly overvalued. For that reason, it’s also casually referred to as the “Shiller PE”, meaning the Shiller variant of the typical price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of stock.

It’s most commonly applied to the S&P 500, but can be and is applied to any stock index. The main benefit is that it is one of several broad valuation metrics that can help you determine how much of your portfolio should reasonably be invested into equities based on the current relationship between the price you pay for them and the value you get in return in the form of earnings.

Robert Shiller demonstrated using 130 years of backtested data that the returns of the S&P 500 over the next 20 years are strongly inversely correlated with the CAPE ratio at any given time.

In other words, whenever the CAPE ratio of the market is high, it means stocks are overvalued, and returns over the next 20 years will likely be poor. In contrast, whenever the ratio is low, it means the stocks are undervalued, and returns over the next 20 years will likely be good.

Are we under, over, of fairly valued in May 2020?

In tomorrows post we will analyze precisely where we are valued as a market and how InterAnalyst can help you maximize your portfolio growth now.


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