The Problem with High Stock Valuations | Summary and Q&A

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January 23, 2024
by
Ben Felix
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The Problem with High Stock Valuations

TL;DR

US stock market valuations are high, but not all stocks are overvalued, and international markets offer better opportunities.

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Key Insights

  • ✋ Stock market valuations are high, but not all stocks and markets are equally overvalued.
  • 😘 High valuations can lead to lower future returns and have preceded major crashes in the past.
  • 😘 Value stocks, with low prices relative to fundamentals, have historically performed better during periods of poor performance for high-priced stocks.
  • 👥 The US market's expensiveness is influenced by a small group of large stocks, while overall market valuations are not as concerning.
  • ✋ International and emerging market stocks offer more attractive valuations and higher expected returns compared to the US market.
  • 🥳 Timing stock exposure based on valuation ratios is challenging and often ineffective compared to staying invested in a diversified portfolio.

Transcript

I'm noticing investors worrying about stock market valuations being too high when stock market valuations are higher expected future returns are lower lower future returns can show up slowly over long periods of time or they can show up quickly with a stock market correction either way high valuations are not great for long term investors so to an ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Is the current concern about high stock market valuations warranted?

Yes, high valuations can lead to lower future returns and have preceded major crashes in the past, but it's important to consider which stocks and markets we're talking about.

Q: Which stocks are driving the expensiveness of the US market?

The so-called "Magnificent Seven" stocks (Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Nvidia, Tesla, and Meta) contribute significantly to the expensiveness of the US market.

Q: Do value stocks outperform high-priced stocks in the long run?

Historical data suggests that value stocks, which have low prices compared to fundamentals, tend to perform better during periods when high-priced stocks underperform.

Q: Are international and emerging market stocks more attractive than the US market?

Yes, international developed and emerging market stocks have lower valuations and higher expected returns compared to the US market, making them potentially more attractive for investors.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • High stock market valuations are concerning for long-term investors, as they often lead to lower future returns and can precede major crashes.

  • The Shiller cyclically adjusted price earnings ratio (CAPE) suggests lower expected returns for US stocks, but it's not the whole story.

  • The expensiveness of the US market is driven by a few large stocks, while value stocks with low prices compared to fundamentals are not as expensive.

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