QAV 439, Tony. Monday, the 27th of September, 2021. What’s going on in your world buddy?
Well, I have to stop and think because there’s not much going on in lockdown. That’s for sure. Oh God, no.
Come on you’re almost out of lock down now. You can do stuff. You can go out. The numbers are down. Gladys is celebrating.
Yes, it’s looking better but we’re not going to be out until November. I don’t think.
Is she doing press conferences this week or she given up like she said she was going to?
I don’t know. She said she was going to give up and not actually funded a press conference every day since. Maybe she’s taking a break. I don’t know.
Well, lots of talk about today coming up a little bit later on. We’ve got to Brett Fisher, the inventor of the Brettalator who’s coming on to talk us through the Brettalator. The hard to write Brettalator. I like the name that it’s a little bit clumsy to type it. I might have to change his name to something else. This is a shame because I like Brettalator. People have been enjoying that this week. I’ve been getting lots of good feedback. Everyone really loves it. There’s a tool so that’s great. Well done to you and Brett for putting that together.
Oh, it’s all Brett.
Well, you helped with some of the things.
No, it’s all Brett.
He did the code thing. Before I forget, this is particularly to our QAV club members. Every now and again, if you want to do us a favor, share the latest episode on Facebook. Let people know, not that I want to tell you what to do or what to say but if you just want to go hey, this is really great investing podcast that I like and Cameron’s very handsome and Tony’s very smart and the combination of the two works really well. You could write that but I don’t want to leave the witnesses but something like that’d help. Let people know about us. Do us a favor. Get the– Get help spread the word. That’s all I’m saying.
Yes, I agree. Yes, I think it’s a– I think most of our new members come from word of mouth. It’d be good if people could do that.
Yes, for sure. All right. Well, let’s get stuck into the stock picks of the week. Tony, something a little bit different. When I talk about your small cap stock of the week, what do you like this week?
I like the retailers this weekend. Michael Hill jewelers (MHJ) and Myer (MYR) are my two picks of the week and I thought I’d do a pulled pork on Myer so get ready if you own it. You may need to sell given the curse that’s been happening.
Oh, well, I do own it. Let’s not do that.
Yes, let’s not do that. It’s been good. It’s up like 90% since I bought into Myer.
Don’t jinx it on me. TK.
Well, I prepared Myer so I’m going to go ahead with it. Sorry.
I think I also Michael Hill jeweler. I don’t have. Anyway, to turn this week. All right. Which one you want to talk about first? Myer?
Yes, I’m going to do a stock of the week on Myer. That’s what I got prepped for.
Yes, OK, go. Stock of the week, Myer. Most people will be familiar with it, especially Australians. First thing I wanted to call out was that Myer has a January to July reporting period. Just be aware of that and the figures have just come into Stock Doctor in the last week and the reason for that is that retailers don’t like having to rule off their financial years at Christmas time. That just puts too much burden on the business so they leave it till January to get through Christmas and then get all the numbers together. A bit unusual but that’s what they are.
The share price that I’m using is 63.5 cents which was the share price yesterday being Sunday, 26th of September and that’s the basis for all the numbers I’m talking about here. The health of the company is quite good, strong and steady, strong financial health in Stock Doctor and it’s been strong for a while which I find quite interesting because Myer is a bit of a turnaround story. It flat line– There was a falling knife for a long time and it flat lined and now it’s on its way back under new management. It’s surprising that it’s got strong financial health but guess that shows the strength of the underlying business.
ROE is high for this kind of business again, 25%. Not that that feeds into our calculations but I know some people monitor it but the big driver for us is this is a value play. It’s price to operating cash flow is 1.9 times which is very low and its PE is 10 times which is funnily enough not a record low PE score so it doesn’t get a score for that in our manually entered data but it’s still a pretty good price to be paying for a business with was about 500 million market cap and a well-known brand and quite a high turnover. $1.6 million traded on average each day which makes it a fairly decent size for people who want to invest.
The other thing I noticed when I was going through this was the prices has increased over the last six months by 76%. It’s really turned itself around. I think this is the first half where it’s been profitable for a while but it does have a call out some of the negatives. It does have negative net tangible assets. We tend to focus on net equity per share and call that book value which is only slightly above zero. Slightly positive.
I think I haven’t drilled down into that any big detail but I think it’s probably due to the fact that Myer have sold off all the property. I did use the owner’s big flagship stores in Sydney and Melbourne. Potentially in Brisbane and over the years, it’s been selling those off whenever it’s needed cash, its net assets is obviously declined quite a bit.
What else can I say about it? It’s rather than it’s the share price is currently greater than IV1, Intrinsic Value Number One, which is 32 cents per share but less than IV2 which is 97 cents per share but it’s not higher than two times IV2. We don’t get a score for that. It’s also greater than its book value plus 30%. No score for that and its forecast earnings per share is to decrease by 5%. It doesn’t get a growth score for us as well.
This is certainly not a quality type company, it’s got chance– The chance of being it again and it has been in the past but not at the moment.
The next thing I want to talk about with Myer is director’s holding. The current board hold around 2% of shares. It doesn’t have a founder holder which is not surprising given that Myer has been around for such a long time and Sidney Myer was the founder holder who passed away quite a while ago.
The interesting thing now is that Solomon Lew who was a retail heavyweight premier investment amongst other companies. He has a 10% stake or 10% plus stake in Myer now and I guess the question that begs the question, what will happen with that? Will there be a takeover? My thought is, I don’t see one coming near term anyway and that’s a prediction. I could be proved wrong tomorrow but if he was going to take over the company, why wouldn’t he buy that 30 cents a share and not its current share price which is more twice what it was in the past. I think he’ll be patient. He has a history of sitting on boards and agitating for change– Or sorry, sitting on company holdings and agitating for change. He doesn’t have a board seat yet. One of the things he’s been agitating for which is being resisted by the current board.
I think we’re going through a phase where Mr. Lewis tried to take over the company by stealth, by criticizing management until he gets some seats on the board. I think that might possibly be coming to a close given that the current management has kicked some goals now and the share price is re-rating but who knows, he may want to be forced to launch a takeover quickly or he may sit there for years as he did with his shareholding in country road which he held for 10 to 15 years and then made all his money back when the takeover offer came from a South African retailer who bought that country road from memory and they actually, I think took it over up to something like the high 80s in terms of the percentage they took over but Solomon loose stuck, sat on his shares and blocked the complete takeover and eventually the South Africans got or had enough of that and wanted to consolidate the PnL onto their own balance sheet and they bought him out at a very high price.
He may also be playing that game. I don’t know but it was worth exploring a little bit. All up the quality score for Myer is 36%, the QAV score is 0.19 which is not overly high but for this kind of larger cap, it’s high up on the buy list and it’s definitely more of a value situation than a quality stock and that’s mile.
Yes, well, thank God for Solly Lew. That’s all I can say. He’s helped those of us that have owned Myer out in the last few months. It’s been great. What’s– Was he– Did he ever run Myer? What was his background? He had his own company and bought in or something?
What’s history with Myer?
He took it over. He was a rag trader in Melbourne.
And then for a while he was the chairman of Coles Myer and then there were ructions about related party transactions and corporate governance around being a big supplier to Myer and then but also being chairman of Myer and whether it was in the best interest of shareholders etc.
He stay on the board of Coles Myer and stepped down as chair and yes, he basically engineered the takeover of Coles Myer by, first of all, KKR, the big American takeover firm and eventually Wesfarmers. It was a big bidding war which kicked off my share portfolio big time because I had options that tripled in value during the last couple of weeks in the takeover.
Yes, very nice. Yes. Well, that’s the large cap and the small cap stock this week was Michael Hill jewelers. It’s MHJ.
Yes. I have another [Crosstalk 00:09:56] to pulled pork on them. It’s enough.
Yes. Another well-known retailer though.
Yes, Michael Hill Jewels. People will know of them. New Zealand based originally and then owner founder is obviously there with them because Michael Hill was still involved on the board and as far as I know, still holds a chunk of the company but he has handed over the reins to to an independent CEO. I want to say independent new CEO who has expanded the company. Michael Hill himself expanded into Australia.
In fact, I used to live near him. He was back when I was working for Shell and living in Brisbane. I was living in some apartments in dockside and he was he was a couple of apartments over from me. I used to see him about the place and he was quite well known because he fronted all the advertising for Michael Hill jewelers or TV commercials.
Right. Covered in bling.
No, he wasn’t.
It just sells a bling. Doesn’t win.
Sells a bling. That’s right. Yes.
All right. Well, people might want to check out those two stocks this week. MHJ, which I think had a QAV score of 0.35 this week and Myer with a QAV score of 0.19. All right, well, let’s move on with the notes, Tony. Live Cattle futures. What do you want to tell us about that?
Yes, there’s a company on our buy list called Wellard. It’s WLD for memory is the code and they got into a lot of trouble because they’re essentially a Live Cattle exported from Australia overseas. They’ve got into a lot of trouble. We’re now exporting cattle to the Middle East and it was shut down, I think by the Gillard government but maybe more recently than that as well. Maybe it was only recently lifted after being shut down by the Gillard government who protests about the unsavory conditions that the cattles were being shipped in.
Wellard has since, I think pivoted to being still involved in that industry but I think they don’t own the ships anymore, they lease them. Could have that wrong but that was my take on it but what I found when I was going through the commodities available for us to graph that there is one on Live Cattle and it’s just become a three-point trend line buy. I suspect that might bode well for Wellard which is back when they’re biased.
They had a qualified audit last year and we had a good QAV score but wasn’t on the buy list but it came on just recently.
God, I remember talking to some farmers a couple of years ago about that whole Live Cattle exporting thing and a lot of anger, a lot of conspiracy theories in the farming community over that.
Trying to tell me it was a big conspiracy between the pre-packaged meat industry and the live beef export industry and the Gillard government was all in on it because there RE a bunch of labor ratbags and they shut it all down. It was– It’s really fascinating.
Yes, well, it could be. Who knows? But yes, it was certainly a very polarizing time.
Alright, let’s talk about our old friends, FMG.
Yes. Someone asked the question, I think it was last week or recently anyway about, am I still doing my top 20 stocks download and then looking at the current share price and the biggest difference to the future IV? And I did one last week. I’d like to do them when reporting seasons come to an end and funnily enough, the biggest gap was now FMG which it has been for the last year or so, I think and Rio, I think was the stock before that. Iron’s always playing a big part in that. Even though I think people are generally now downgrading their forecasts for earnings per share for Fortescue Metals. It’s still coming up as the biggest gap to IV2 at the moment.
Right. That would be your– One of your challenges strategies.
Yes, that’s right. That was the step on the investment ladder. It’s a good midway point between becoming an index investor and moving on to being your own investor. If you can start to have reasons to favor or value one stock over another. That’s an important step to make.
And if new listeners want to know more about the thinking behind that you can go to the Bible if you’re a QAV club member and read up on it in the investment ladder section in the Bible and there’s some other podcasts we’ve done in the past where you’ll be able to listen to Tony talk more about that.
Terremoto, Tony. Terremoto.
Earthquake. Like the 1980s film that brought sense around in the cinemas. Shook the seats. Yes, there wasn’t that people would know there was an earthquake in Mansfield last week but we felt it up here in the sky palace.
Really? Sydney? Wow.
Yes. I think about 9 – 9:30 in the morning, we were– Judy and I both sitting working and then she jumped up and said, did you feel that? And I said, yes, and we shook side to side a few centimeters for about 30 seconds but it was quite noticeable and then about a second later we got a text from Alex, dad there’s been an earthquake in Melbourne. I was like, yes, in Sydney too.
I was talking to our Italian coach on Friday afternoon who’s down in Melbourne. An Italian guy and we were talking about the earthquake. That’s why I know it’s Terremoto. Earth motion in Italian, Terremoto and he was like, yes, you Australians, it was nothing we get like in Italy. You just– You wake up and there’s an earthquake and there’s seven points and you go, whatever, go back to sleep. He said that his flat mates were all scared. He was like, yes, it’s nothing.
[Inaudible 00:15:43] was bounced around in the bedroom. It must have been something.
Wow. Yes, I saw some of the footage down there. There’s quite a little bit of damage to some buildings.
Yes. Not used to speaking of earthquakes in Italy. Have you caught up with that series? Right around the world yet?
With Richard E. Grant. Excellent. Yes, so good but he did a– It’s a series where he goes to parts of Europe. Richard E. Grant, the actor takes a whole heap of books with him. Not travel books but books that were written and set in that area and then finds local people who can– Who know about the book and can take him through the local area with reference to scenes from the book or important places the author visited and I think Episode Two maybe was on Pompeii and
Richard Harris spoke about Pompeii.
Oh, right . Not talking about Pliny the Elder’s death. They come up?
They did. They didn’t. I think they touched on that but it was mainly about Richard Harris. Yes. Anyway, great series if anyone is looking for something to watch.
I think I interviewed Richard Harris. I really with him on the Caesar show.
That’s right. Yes.
Nice guy. Let’s talk about Excel’s CAGR formula.
Yes, we’ve been talking about valuing portfolios and I happen to come across the formula in Excel which does the compound growth formula in a very simple way and it’s called RRI. Romeo, Romeo India, and you just plug in the period you want to value and the starting value of the portfolio and the end value and it works out the compound growth rate for you very quickly.
We can do that as an alternative to this thing that the Navexa guys are doing. The AYI.
- I’ll do that at the end of the month and just see how it compares.
You’ve been doing some cool stuff in Excel with this stock history function that it has. You want to tell people a little bit about that?
Yes. I guess I’ve been motivated by Brett’s good work and Brettalator spreadsheet and in his spreadsheet, he has color coded the stock price if it’s lower than the closing price for the prior month which tells us it’s a Juliet at least for the current month.
Josephine. Sorry Juliet. Josephine. Thank you.
Now I’m going to have to find something to call it Juliet. Yes, the challenge has been laid down. Yes.
This is like learning a new language. Isn’t it? We have to publish a translation guide.
We do. It’s called the Bible.
Right. What I did was in Excel– Brett’s Spreadsheet is written in Google Finance but in Excel there’s a similar formula called stock history and it gives you the current price and you can also code in for other things like the closing price from the prior month. Yes, I put that into Excel onto the buy list sheet and it’s a bit– I’m not that familiar with the formula but the way I had to do it was just copy the codes from column A into a separate column and then change their data format to be stock history and they’re all stocks, I think, and then use the stock history formula on those codes and you get– You can calculate for the whole balance quickly what were the Josephine’s are based on the current share price and the closing share price from last month?
I tried to implement it in the Flitman model this morning and I got stuck and I was spending too much time on it. I gave up but I’m going to beg Andrew to have a look at it. An Excel guru, like Andrew will probably know a way to streamline that whole exercise.
Yes. It’s a great one.
I’m sure. Yes. That’s good and yes, I mean, I think, well, I started to try and also then do a five-year graph based on that because you can get five years’ worth of monthly closing in prices from that stock history function but like you I ran out of time. Again, someone might listen to this and know exactly how to do it but I’ll fiddle around with it and see if we can do it based on Brett’s formulas and the stock history data.
Yes, one of our very smart club members who are Excel gurus will how to do this.
Let’s talk about ATL.
Oh, I just threw this in here because we often have bad news about ATL but the curse might be broken because the share price went up quite a bit last week. It’s not brought up since we buy it’ll go down.
Anyway, I still think it’s an aggressive buy at the moment given up it’s based on the premise of everything reopening for COVID but we’ll see.
You just put it in there to upset me. I know.
Speaking of things that are back up, I noticed MWI was in the scorecard this morning. We took them off the list. We’re good to go because you said the Lumber commodity price broken through its sell line but it’s back up. Why is Lumber back up?
No, I haven’t seen it. The Lumber underlying is or midway?
Well, both. Midway we had is a commodity sells a week or two ago. We talked about it then it was back on your list today. I thought you must have gone into [Crossover 00:20:57].
No, commodity [Inaudible 00:20:58] I think.
Well, I went and checked the commodity price and it has gone back up.
Has it gone up to the buy?
Well, it’s– Yes, I think so it’s got above its sell line. I think so it’s picked back up. Yes. I thought you might be able to tell me why Lumber’s back up all of a sudden.
I don’t know but it’s been jumping around a lot lately. Got really expensive in post COVID mainly because of problems in getting Lumber from overseas.
And residential property prices are just going through the roof. People are renovating places a lot more. That could be the reason but yes, it did drop off again. Just recently,
While I was looking at Lumber Futures, LB#, taking March 2020 as the low point and then, I guess taking August 21 as the– As L2.
I’ve got October 2020 as L2. Oh, you’re going– OK, got you. Sorry. Yes.
Well, it’s got a new trough now to the right.
Yes, but I think using October is the last time it gives me it was a sell before the current buy.
Right, but then it will have a new buy, right? Well, I was going to say so if you use L2– If you use October 2020 is L2, that would give you a sell around about June 21.
And then how would you draw the– Draw a new buy line with an h2 coming after that?
Yes, I’m using the h1 as the highest point of April.
And then h2 was May 2021.
Right and it’s hasn’t quite crossed that. You don’t think?
No, and it’s a bit hard to tell on Stock Doctor. It looks like that is going across around 700, maybe 720 but it’s the current price is 643.
And what I would normally do is you could certainly use the L1, L2 as the lowest and next lowest which is fair and it’s above the sell line but it hasn’t crossed the buy line yet. What Brett and I have been coding into the Brettalator. What Brett’s been coding but I’ve been– We’ve been debating is if you use buy line follows the sell line iteration and you go back to L2 as October 2020, L2 only moves then down to August 2021. After the buy line crosses all the share graph, the share graph crosses the buy line. That’s how it will unfold. It won’t make much difference in this case because it’s a sell. It’s been a sell. It’s not a buy until it’s a buy again, if that makes sense.
Yes, until it crosses over. OK.
I probably shouldn’t have been on the list this morning then.
Yes, I’m just looking at it now. It’s still maybe $60 I think below its buy.
Right. It will be by the time the show goes out it’ll be up I’m sure. We’ll be good. We’ll be safe.
Speaking of things at an all-time high. We sold off the banks last week including Commonwealth Bank that was at an all-time high. That was tough.
Oh, yes, it was tough. Rules are rules we went through and had a look at the share price deducted the dividend adding back the franking credit and it was a sell. By the way, it’s back in– Back to being a buy today. This afternoon.
Yes, I was speaking to one of our club members last week– Late last week and he was like, yes, I’m not selling. I’m holding on those. That’s bullshit. I’m just going to hold on cause it’s coming back I’m pretty sure.
Well, look, I think that’s wise I mean, I think this is one of those examples again of the relatively steep upturn in price but also a steep sell line and it’s been– All the way up it’s been crossing over and coming back into from buy to sell by crossing the sell line. It’s probably not a bad thing to do that and also too, I think dividend season has dropped it back below the sell line. That’s now coming back above the buy line as the dividend flows through the system.
Well, now you can sell– You can buy back Commonwealth Bank.
There’s $100 in brokerage that I didn’t need. OK, that was fun. Oh, speaking of.
Look, I mean, I don’t want to make a lot. It’s– I don’t want make too much either but it’s an issue with the three-point trend line like–
I think you need to be flexible during dividend season but I think we– I sold mine coming off the 2% drop in the share market last Monday when the Commonwealth Bank price went way below its sell line which could be a case of selling low but I still made a profit. If I need to, I can buy back in. Yes, apart from the fact I paid a bit of commission, I pay a bit of CGT going forward. Yes, it’s– I can buy back in there which is still good.
Rules are rules. I mean, that’s another good point, Cam. You reminded me of some of the other stocks that have gone this way and I’m thinking of Supercheap Auto and it also has a steep buy line for being closely tracked by steep sell line but when it did cross back, it kept on going and I’ll just call up. SUA is the code for Supercheap Auto was the one that got away there for a while but if you look at it now, it’s come back off its peak and it’s definitely a sell and that’s the way that CBA was heading last week. It’s turned around again though which is good, people held it.
But rules are rules.
The other one that also follows this pattern is Nick Scali, NCK was only on the buy list for about a minute during the year, wasn’t on for very long. One of those ones that comes on as 0.1 and then disappears again quickly as a share price keeps going up and again, that traced up it sell line, traced up the share price graph and then crossed and recrossed and became a sell and a buy and a sell and a buy but the last one, it crossed and it just kept going down. Even though CBA has gone back up, that’s one out of three for these three which are for that same picture.
Yes. That’s the way I figure it. It’s like you’re going to win some, going to lose some with these calls but hopefully over the long haul, we get more right than we get wrong when we obey the rules.
Correct. Yes and that sell line’s there to stop us from taking heavy losses.
Yes, that’s right. You got to keep your QAV moist by following the recipe and if you don’t and it ends up crunchy. Well, that’s on you.
Yes, speaking of everything’s on you. Do your own research.
Keep your own mind up.
Yes. Speaking of do your own research and us screwing up KRM last week was a Josephine as a whole bunch of people picked up very quickly on Facebook when I said it was the stock of the week.
Yes, thanks. Thank you for that. I don’t know what happened. Now, all I can say is that I think it may have been– I did the analysis on the weekend. That may have been a flat compared to the week before. Sorry, closing month before but yes, definitely Josephine’s a could pick up.
The thing that amused me about it is we spent a good couple of hours that morning debating all the Josephine’s in the buy list. The one we missed was the stock of the week. The– Yes.
Well, now it is time for a chat with a very special guest and a QAV club member, the inventor of the Brettalator himself, Brett Fisher. Welcome to the QAV show. I think this is your first time on the show. Am I right Brett?
Brett Fisher 28:41
It is, Cameron. Apart from when we had the dinner and you pass the microphone around the table. Yes. First official experience on the show. Thank you for having me.
I forgot I did that. Yes, that’s right. Well, before we get into talking about the Brettalator, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, Brett?
Sure. Thanks, Cameron and Tony. I am based in Melbourne. Part of Melbourne crew. I live just outside of Melbourne in a town called Kinglake or just outside of. Similar to yourself, Cam, about the same age, same color here. I think I’m about a year younger than you and yes, I’ve been doing QAV now for– I actually went and looked it up in preparation for this interview and I joined at the end of August last year. I missed my one-year anniversary. I didn’t realize it that I made my first purchase at the towards the end of October. I still got that one lined up as my anniversary. That’s the one I’ll stick to I think.
It’s been– I really appreciate what God has done for us. I heard about you on a different podcast and you’re actually spruiking marketing the Messiah. That’s how I actually got in contact with or found out about QAV and followed some.
Oh, yes, right.
Yes, and found out that– Yes, I enjoyed that and I got on to QAV. I was listening to these podcasts. It was a US podcast thinking I would love an Australian type podcast. I liked it. I listened to it, didn’t really apply to Australia and I wasn’t fully on board but I’ve always had an interest in finance. It doubled in things here and there but nothing too serious, probably more speculating than anything and then QAV come on board and I started listening and it really struck a chord with me. I really, I guess, when we get into the spreadsheet but I’m a bit of a process maths type person. The QAV process really hit a chord with me and yes, I really enjoy it. Yes, I’d like to say it’s life changing. Probably 11 months in. Probably a bit too early but I’m hopeful. It’s looking good.
And tell us about your day job, Brett.
Yes, right. I work for a company, a global company based out of Melbourne called Orica. It’s an explosives company. It’s in the mining industry. I mean, in IT. I work in IT department. Yes, I’ll be moving on from there soon but that’s what I’ve been working for quite a while now. IT infrastructure is my background. Been playing with spreadsheets for as long as I can remember, probably since– Well, since early 20s, I guess for at least 20-30 years. Since your latest 1, 2, 3 days, I guess before– Maybe before Excel was even a thing and now I’m into Google Sheets and play around with that a bit too.
And what inspired the creation of the Brettalator?
Yes, that’s a good question. I was trying to remember, I think it’s a problem I always had floating around in my head to start a QAV of just ideas of how I would do it in a spreadsheet and it was just something I was churning away in the head for a while and one of the things that was holding me up is I’ve been using the Google Finance and it doesn’t give monthly data and it only gives daily or weekly. I was letting that hold me up because we need a monthly data and then I think one day, it was a miserable day in winter on a weekend and we’re in lockdown and nothing to do but looking for something to do and I thought, oh, I had this brainwave, I can make my own monthly data by the daily data. It wasn’t really a road blocker. I was just letting it be a road blocker.
I just got stuck into it. No. I developed the sheet on a Saturday and did bug checking, fixing it up on a Sunday and it was done in two days, really. Apart from fixing up issues and then without a great Melbourne crew I was testing it out with them for a bit. Fixing up bugs here and there and then share it with Tony and then Tony picked up a few things that I’ve misinterpreted, how we do the flat top version, the flat bottom fudge, and I guess in developing the chart you make– Really make sure you know everything really well. You can’t teach it unless you know it and I guess that’s where maybe you and Tony are going through is teaching people that it forces you to make sure you’ve got everything spot on and saying we’re trying to program it you think you know something and then when you try and program it if you don’t have it spot on you miss out.
Trying to get all those nuances correct with particularly the fudging was the key. Initially, I was only fudging that the very top and the very bottom but Tony pointed out the flood would apply to each each of the steps as we go, buy line follows the sell line. That took a– I think I took a bit of time off that three or four weeks before I fixed that up. Got that fixed up and I’m pretty happy with it now. I’m happy with the sheet now. Just the data I guess is the– My concern is it does rely on Google data and we’ve come up– I think probably now most of the issues Tony raises to do with the data which we don’t have control of.
In this case, you probably do get what you pay for. The Google finance is a free service but we found they don’t. One of the issues is they don’t unless I go through them now if you like. The issue we’ve found with the data is Google doesn’t go past the second decimal point, cents. If we have the number of cents in $1. I think the standard for the ASX is up to 10 cents. I think they’ll take it in 0.1 cent increments, add up to $2, they’ll go half cents, whereas Google has done everything in cents. You look at something like oh, yes, or I was even tracking BCN which was around three cents, I think. It’s tracking in 0.1 of a cent and when Google rounds it off to the nearest cent, it’s virtually useless but once you get above $2, it works quite well.
I’ve also noticed it doesn’t fix historical data, I don’t believe. Where you might have a consolidation, it doesn’t go back and fix the historical dates. I guess the lesson is there. Yes, it’s really good if you want to change your heap of charts quickly but people are going to be making a decision. Make sure you double check your profit chart before you start making any decisions based on it because it’s not 100% reliable and maybe people– We can’t– I can’t adapt it to use different data feeds. I haven’t found one yet. I’ve looked what we need is a data feed where we can scrape off a website either monthly or daily data and the ones that I found.
The stock history in Excel works. Have you tried that?
Yes. I haven’t tried it yet. I haven’t exported it into Excel and I think I could get that to work. My issue with that is that’s also a paid service. What I was trying to do is keep it available to everyone. The stock history in Excel is only available to Office 365 subscribers.
For the average person who– I’m not sure what’s average to be honest but for the person who’s just using Excel, it’s not available to them. I think it’s something we’ll probably do, maybe it’s when the to do list is to convert it to Excel. Planning on doing that once, we’ve got it really, I guess ironed out. We don’t keep having to reconvert it every time we make updates but we probably will do an Excel version but it will still be only in reach of people who are subscribed to Office 365.
I was trying to find a service and Yahoo Finance is maybe an example where they do have that information on their website but they block you from scraping it. I can’t. I haven’t yet found a reliable data source it’s free to use. Yes.
Yes, I used to use that data scraping on Yahoo Finance for many years and they blocked it.
Yes, I guess their idea is they want you to go to their website. Don’t they?
They do. Yes. There are– Yes, those data issues. There’s probably some other ones we haven’t talked about now that may come up. People should watch out for particularly graphs that look square. They don’t have peaks necessarily or curves. They have very square looking saw tooth patterns. That’s often a sign that there’s a data issue that I found anyway but yes, you’re right. Definitely feed them back but they’re probably issues with Google and its data but you’re definitely check it in yahoo finance or Stock Doctor before you make any purchasing decisions or sell decisions.
Cam, just on that, where should people feedback, any suggestions for enhancements or potential errors or any other feedback? Through you?
I’ve told them all to knock on your front door, Tony and just–
Not leave until you give them an audience.
Send me an email. Yes, send me an email [Crossover 00:36:30]. Yes, collate them and send them through to Brett but I have to say, so far Brett, the feedback, it’s only been– We only soft launched it in beta or a week ago but the feedback has been tremendous. People are very excited, loving it, and very appreciative for all the work that you’ve done.
Yes, it’s really made my life easier too to use it. I have it open all the time. It’s great.
Well, that’s great, Tony. It wants you to think you’re using something that I’ve developed.
Oh, it’s fantastic. I mean, I– Just again, highlights how great the hive mind is with the QAV. There’s just so much talent out there, Flitman model and this is fantastic.
Yes, I think if we can do with it is to play around. We can enter different fudge factors because sometimes you look at it, might say, it looks like it should fudge further. It might be all 5%, it might be nine or 10%, and then work out where it is for that particular chart then you can make an informed decision, do I want to push the boundary a bit to make it look like it fits better?
Some other ones I’ve played with is a date. I don’t know if people have played with a date but there’s a few ways you can enter a date. You can either put a past date, if you want to look at what did the chart look like when I bought it six months ago. You can put the date of six months ago and it will will draw the chart for you then or future date. You could put a future date to see, obviously, hopefully, the next version will actually predict where the charts going to go. That would be really good but right now, it just draws it flat. It’ll assume that these price stays current but you can see when will it hit the sell line, for example, if the price stay current, it might be one month or it could be five years depending how steep the line is. I found those are few handy things to play with also.
Yes, that’s great. Now, is it the thought that I had playing around with it today is, is it possible somehow to code this in the master spreadsheet or the fitting model so we can do a download and then get all the buy signals or sell signals straightaway?
Good question. I was going to answer your question but my personal copy of the portfolio that we share with our Melbourne group which is fantastic. We keep a database in there of all the high points and low points. Whenever we do a fresh download, it tells us whether it’s in a buy or sell position and it tells us when those buy points or sell points expire. If they go past 60 months, for example. I have that whether we can have it in there, too. You’re saying if we automatically do a download, it will [Crossover 00:38:54].
Well, what I did today, when I started doing work on was, it’s n Excel. Stock history is the function in Excel but I’ve coded it so you can get five years’ worth of monthly closes in a column and then I just wondered whether you could take your algorithm against that data set and come up with a recommendation.
Oh, yes. If you can get the list of data into a column, either monthly or daily data, we could easily– We could adapt it for that. Yes. I think converting this to Excel would just be a matter of export into Excel and changing all the Google. Well, it’s only one rule apart where the Google finances to get the data that then feeds into the rest of the calculator. I can talk to you about.
Yes, that’d be excellent. I guess the one issue might be timing because it can take a while to refresh but yes, stock history is probably the same refresh speed as Google Finance but we can check that out.
Yes, I haven’t actually Stock Doctor– I’ve only used that when you highlighted to me that it existed. I got in and had a quick look. I think it looks a lot more accurate. I think it goes to four decimal places, not two. That’s a bonus but I haven’t played around with it much to see whether it’s reliable or not. It’s a paid service, hopefully it is.
Well, it has all usual disclaimers that rely on the data. Maybe, yes.
Yes. Good stuff. I think it’s a great step forward for us. Really good. It’s always the area that we probably get the most questions on. Isn’t it, Cam? How do we draw the lines?
Yes, it always has been and it’s really great to have a tool that can help us. Even if it’s not 100% accurate right now, it gives us an indication of where things are at. I love it. Well done, mate.
Welcome. [Crossover 00:40:36]. The algorithm behind it, I think early on are the days when I first started with QAV, I think I mentioned to you before, I always used to listen to it with a computer in front of me, with the charts in front of me and as you were describing them, I’d go through them and run through them on the screen at the same time. I felt I got a good handle on them initially and I think you must have described it early on in the piece Tony where not so much the second-high point was more you drop a ruler on the first point and then for a buy line, for example, you let it just lower until it touched the next point which might not be the next highest point which is the next one it touches.
When I was developing it, I did it more on the angle. I pictured myself sitting on that peak and then looking down– You’re on Mount Everest, you’re looking down and what’s the next line of sight, the going down mountain you can see, that’s just how I coded it. It’s not trying to find the height of the next high point. It’s more of an angle to the next high point where it how we calculate it.
Yes, I think that was the brilliant insight that was a really, that was the breakthrough for coding. I think.
I got that from you.
Dylan and I went through for months trying to work out how to code it with the peak finders and trough finders and applying the rules on what to do next and was doing it.
I remember when Brett sent me the first version of it and I sent it to Tony and I was like, holy shit. Look at this. You’ve been– You and Dylan had been working on it for months and all out of nowhere. We didn’t even know Brett was [Crossover 00:42:02]. He just goes, oh look. Here it is. It’s already done. We’re like, oh shit, look at that. That’s brilliant. Yes, it’s great.
Probably the difference with what you’re doing with Dylan, if– I mean if Dylan’s coding it into a program, it’s probably much easier to use that as like a back test robot. This–
You have to go through one by one manually. It’s not like a standard program where you could. Probably not good for back testing. You could use it for back testing but it’s still a one by one, case by case basis.
Correct. Yes, that’s what we found is it’s quite slow to doing, especially over 10 years of data, it’s [Inaudible 00:42:34].
We haven’t yet cracked it by getting somewhere that uses your code and works fast but we’ll get there.
Oh, yes, maybe we can work on that.
Brett, just finally after 12 months almost doing QAV, any tips or insights you want to share with the listeners that are new on their QAV journey, anything that you’ve– Any wisdom that you’ve gathered in the last year?
Oh, look, one tip I have with the spreadsheet is just personally use a bigger monitor, always use an external monitor, get a big one. I find it’s really helpful particularly when we’re doing all these buy list and sell list. I see people trying to do on a laptop and I struggle with that but in general with QAV, like I said, I’ve got some my portfolio up here. My first purchase was ECX on 20th of October and I made a few purchases in October and by the end of October, I was down 3.4% so it was within 10 days I crashed, to speak but since then it’s just looked up fantastic. I mean the last two months hasn’t been flash but still.
Yes, I’m not a year into it yet and I’m still sitting at about 40% up.
Yes, it’s not double the market but it’s maybe 50% above the market and it’s 40% higher than what I was getting before I started QAV. Yes, I’m not even concerned with against the market. It’s great to double a market but compared to where I was, I knew that yes, I’m middle aged, most my house paid off money sitting there basically. Yes, such low interest rates doing nothing, it was really eating away at me that I knew I should be doing something. I just didn’t know what it was and QAV gave me that answer. Yes, it’s been fantastic.
I think stick with it, stick with the process. I find it interesting. We’ve got our Melbourne group that is some guys they’re just really good at getting into doing the research. Everyone’s testing and trying different things. I’ve even, I guess seen Tony over the last year. I guess we’re thinking how some things he does and looking to improve also. I think it’s great to–
Not just this is it guys and that we’re– They’re always looking to improve and eat out a few percent which is great but yes, I like it. It seems my somehow just the process and the mathematical nature of it. Some of our groups are really interested getting in and studying the companies personally that doesn’t– I find it interesting but it’s not probably separate to my investing. I like the investing to be more cut and dry.
I went through– I’ve gone through different phases of how I sell using stop losses and then not using stop losses and now back to using stop losses but maybe with a bit of breathing space. I’ve had some that would hit the stop loss and then that could bounce back and you’re buying straight back in but I think that’s been resolved a bit by a more recently– Ton’s probably been doing this the whole time but I’ve only picked up recently about making sure you– Josephine concept, making sure it’s got a recent uptrend. I think that eliminates the selling and buying straight back in again because if you sell then you’re picking something else on the list, not the same thing you just sold.
Also, when I look at my portfolio, there’s probably a few that dominate the positive performances and I guess, Tony over history just as you say it, in any period of time you might have everything’s taken along nicely but you big gain one particular stock this month and next month, it’s a different stock. Like Myer has killed it for me lately. I got into Myer quite early. I remember emailing Cameron when it was really close to it sell line. Cameron and because you said you wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole and I was arguing well, that’s the best time to get in because there’s no– You got nothing to lose, right? And I did get in and it’s done really well.
JR– GRR did really well. My fault I guess on that is I wasn’t as quick to jump off with the iron prices so I lost some of my savings here. I was– I wanted to hold on to it. I haven’t been in it for a year, I want some of mine to get to the one-year-old that capital gains but I guess I’ve realized that–
Yes, right [Crossover 00:46:41].
Isn’t worth losing money over. You better off taking the price where it’s that if you get the capital gains, that’s a bonus. Yes, I find AIS has done really well. In some months, it’s dropped back a little recently but that’s still done well but I found each month or each period of a couple months, there’s been a high flyer that’s it’s driving the performance. Not that the others are doing badly. They might be doing as the market but the above market comes from those gems I guess within it. There always seems to be a gem here. Is that how you’ve seen it, Tony?
Yes, absolutely. Yes, I know definitely. That’s exactly how it works and that’s– The lesson I think there is to always be fully invested because you don’t know which part of the portfolio is going to shoot the lights out next. If you start to try and pick winners invariably you’ll miss them and if you aren’t fully invested, then you’re not going to again be exposed to the one that goes up.
Yes, I have– I’ve got right now. I think I’m 95%. I’ve got one, probably one opening there. I’ve got to jump in on but been a bit busy.
Yes, that’s great. Tell me more about this famous Melbourne group. Seems to have taken off down there and the way it hasn’t necessarily taken off in some other areas. What are the learnings there?
Yes, it’s fantastic. We got together in January when we had the– You were there Tony when we had the first Melbourne–
Dinner. Unfortunately, Cameron couldn’t make it and we hit it off. I guess we had some pre dinner drinks and I went to dinner and we kept in contact. Since then, we have a WhatsApp group where we keep in contact and it’s really good because everyone has different skills, we complement each other. I do a lot of the spreadsheet work about the spreadsheets but like I mentioned before, I’m not as into doing the deep dives. We’ve got some guys who are fantastic at doing a deep dive into the different companies or even the industries.
Yes, we’ve got a few entrepreneurs on the group, We’ve got our auditor, our famous James in the group. I think the strength of the group is the cross skill under the different personalities of the people and we just support and help each other.
Yes, it’s– That’s how it gels I think. Just the different people and everyone brings what they can to the group and everyone else can then then feed off it– Feed off what your weaknesses are.
Is it like the Facebook group or do you actually formally sit down every week and discuss what you’re thinking of buying and selling?
No, it’s continuous, to be honest. It’s a WhatsApp group that’s going off every hour of the day. It’s really quite social now. It’s not for– We have had catch ups, we’ve had a second dinner with when Cameron was able to make it down and we’ve had a couple online catch ups but mostly it’s just, we’re always online with the group chat together. I feel sorry for the people who aren’t as active on it because I’d be going off and driving them nuts. That’s often I’ve got to and I’ve got 30 or 40 unread messages, just fly through them and some of them, they’ll be sharing documents or sharing news articles or it could just be support, I just saw this, share, hit the stop line or often it might be it’s wanting each other is getting something near a sell line or it’s getting near my personal rule one line where it might not be near the sell line and give each other support but yes, we’ve come quite a close group. It’s great.
No, it’s good. Fantastic.
It’s really great. All right mate. Well, thanks again for all the work that you’ve done on behalf of Tony and myself and the rest of the QAV community. Top marks mate. We really appreciate it.
Thanks Cameron. Thanks Tony. Yes, and any feedback through you’d be great to hear. If there’s any problems with it, we want to iron them out and if anyone has an idea for a better data feed, you pass them on and I’ll see if I can get it to work.
Good stuff. Thanks mate. Take care.
See you later.
OK, well, John has been doing some interesting thinking prompted in part by Brett’s great work. He posted some stuff in the Facebook group. He said once a QAV scores are calculated, checking sentiment can be time consuming. I find Brett’s spark lines are a way of speeding this up. They show the shape of the chart against the shared ticker code in Google Sheets. This is actioned by copying and pasting your tickers and scores onto sheets, then pasting the Sparkline chart formula in the next column and he put an example there in Facebook, this is very useful once you’re familiar with the three-point trend lines and see a trend on a chart without the lines. The lines are only used as a means of spotting a trend. Have you played around with the Sparkline stuff at all, Tony?
Just today after you sent me this question and I saw it on Facebook last week. I agree wholeheartedly with John’s comments. It’s for people who don’t know it’s a mini graph you can put into a cell in Excel. John’s described how you do it in Google Finance and again, people with Excel can do it using the data history formula and pulling out the live use of monthly closing prices and then doing a spark graph based on those. Keep playing around with it. If we can get to a stage where we can release it either as part of Brett’s or as part of the spreadsheets we put out. It’ll be useful.
Yes, but it’s good and it’s a good point John makes as I’ve said before on the show, generally if I just have a grain to the graph, I can tell whether it’s a buy or sell. Most of them get eyeballed that way. I mean, some of the tricky so you’ve got to draw lines but John’s right, if you look at it, even a very small sparkline graph, you can often pretty much tell whether it’s going up or going down.
And is that showing you five year monthly points just in the very small zone?
Correct. It’s a very small chart. Yes, in Google financial download using the data feed there and just put it into a stock history. I put it into a column and then there was Sparkline over that five years’ worth of data.
Well, it sounds really cool. Just run your eyes down the list and see. John also said, I’m at the stage where sentiment QAV score audit average daily trade are all checked from my latest download but I have one further check in I want to share with fellow QAVias, the check is to judge if operating cash flow in the QAV score is a one-off event or recurring. With practice it takes about 15 minutes to do. If there are two shares with similar QAV scores and sentiment, I always pick the one where operating cash flow is likely to increase or be maintained in 2022 against the one with a one-off high. Tony determine that operating cash flow is the metric that has the biggest impact on investment success in his work with Dylan.
KPT, Kangaroo Island Plantation Timber shows two years of operating cash flow in his cash flow statement on the financial report. Looking at the figures, insurance recoveries jumps out is an insurance claim and normal operating cash flow item.
Another find which is insurance recoveries yields more without much effort. A fire destroyed more than 80% of the mature wood assets of the business and most of the insurance claim has already passed through the bank is cash flow. The replacement trees are going to have to grow pretty quickly to create another mature timber to generate the same cash flow in 2022. My KPT shares were sold. There’s been plenty of other one-off increases recently, especially from job keeper grants, some of which have been discussed on the podcast. In contrast, the figures from GR engineering, GNG, give me more confidence of recurring cash flow at least over the next 12 months. The stock is a potential buy for me next week. No recommendations or advice for me though.
There are no one-off phonies in the cash flow statement. Sells are increasing as shown in the second snippet generating more customer seats and payments to suppliers. Historic year on year cash flow has increased from 11 million to 2020 to 49 million in 2021. The FY 22 outlook statement shows expected sales revenues are better than FY 21. This is likely to lead to better cash flow unless the directors are planning on leaving before the 22 results are announced. The sales targets in the outlook statement will be achievable because this is what makes directors look good. This is backed up by the forward order book which is building up nicely as the business is involved in mining oil, gas, and gold. It is less affected by the commodities route. What do you think of all that, Tony?
It’s great. I think John’s forgot our request to have short questions though for the podcast.
Well, to be fair, it wasn’t a question. He just threw it into Facebook. I stole it and throw it in. It’s on me.
Yes. What’s the breakdown there? Well, the first question I have for John is, his, I guess statement that he’s looking for one-off high cash flows, is this based on evidence or is it the hypothesis on? Guessing it’s a hypothesis, if John has evidence for these one-off cash flows not performing, it’d be great to see it.
You mean evidence that one-off events are a bad thing for the share price?
Yes, or not necessarily a bad thing but underperform the other. There’s two parts of the data. One is one-off high cash flows and one is regular cash flows and the question I guess John’s posing is there’s one outperforms the other. I mean, I guess regression testing would help us there. It might be hard. We certainly couldn’t trawl through the text and look for insurance claims and job keeper and stuff like that in the annual reports to see what was causing that one-off.
It’s probably possible to do some regression tests based on a one-off really high number appearing in the operating cash flow and then disappearing again the following six months. That might be possible but certainly, if John does this going forward, I’d love to hear what his results are because if he’s onto something here, it’d be great to feed it back into the checklist.
The question in my mind is, there’s something here and the reason why it’s a question in my mind is that oftentimes, what I found in the share market and something that Charlie Munger highlights a lot is it’s easy to see the issues but it’s not easy to see the secondary effects and the tertiary effects and the quaternary effects on these issues. As soon as I read this, the question in my mind was, OK, if you look at Millennium services (MIL) which we spoke about a few weeks ago, it received a lot of job keeper, it had a one-off high operating cash flow and it got that coming in but it was able to pay down debt and restructure the business. It’s not so much that the cash flow in my mind is a high one-off event. It’s how it’s being deployed. That’s the secondary effect of it. How good is management at making, how while the sun shines, I guess and Millennium services from memory, I think he’s back on our buy list again, this half, even though the job keeper payments were made last half.
Perhaps they have been able to restructure the business and done a good thing with that. Obviously, sometimes management are up to it and the money flows in and it flows out again.
Yes, I’d like to see John’s results going forward. Just one thing on Kangaroo Island, plantation timbers, it was a timber company, the plantation was burnt down in the bushfires at the start of 2020 but they have called out that they’re not going back into the timber business, they’re not going to wait decades for a new plantation to occur. They’re pivoting and going back into normal agricultural type businesses which didn’t really spell out but I think is farming. Whether it’s dairy or crop, I’m not sure. They had a dock that burnt down and I think they apply to have it rebuilt and they’ve got knocked back. There’s a few things going on with KPT but I suspect they’re going to take the insurance money and position themselves into a different industry which looks like it’s going to be an agricultural industry of some kind but not plantation timber.
Again, if they’ve used the money wisely and they can set themselves up as a farm based type business, they may well do well going forward. We need to get data to back these hypotheses up.
It’s a bit like a lotto win.
You can take a lotto in and piss it all away on coke and hookers and you’ll have a good year or you could take it invested in QAV portfolio and you’ll have many good years. It depends on what you do with that one-off bump to the p&l.
Yes, exactly. It’s not always a bad thing that you’re the one-off bump and maybe lifesaving in the case of some of the shopkeeper recipients and if they can continue, you might be onwards and upwards but the question I don’t know is, how does those one-off recipients of cash compared to the likes of GNG. I think was John’s example of how– It’s got increasing cash flow but maybe slowly, steadily increasing cash flow and maybe I could easily see a case where that underperforms a company which has had the cash riding on it for a year and they’ve been able to restructure and keep a few goals.
Really good points he’s made. I love the analysis, but we’d love to see some data to back it up.
Good stuff. Yes. Well, thanks for sharing all that, John and if you have some more thoughts on it, share them with us.
Before we get into questions, I just wanted to talk about our new book club that I inaugurated late last week. I was going over the transcript of an episode we did a while back where it was Brent Sweeney suggested we should have a book club and we both said it was a good idea and then I never did anything about it. I plugged it on the Facebook group. A lot of people suggested a lot of great books. Brent, though suggested what works on Wall Street by James P. O. Shaughnessy and I thought, A) Brent should get two picks as it was his idea and B) That’s a good Irish name and I like the sound of that.
By the way, I did look him up O’Shaughnessy and he was only Born in 1960. If he’s still around, runs a firm. I think it looks like one of his sons is the CEO of the firm– A fund that they run. I am going to try and get him on the show. I bought the book as an EBook and I bought it on Audible as well so I could listen to it on the drive up to Bundaberg which is where I am today and I was listening to it in the car on the way up here and I had to turn it off after 10 minutes because it was so good. It was driving me nuts that I couldn’t write down all the quotes. The first chance I got when I got to my mom’s house in Bondi is I pulled out the EBook version and started to grab these quotes that I heard. It was like listening to your brain, Tony and I was sure that you had read this book and you just ripped it off and you told me earlier today that you’d never heard of it before.
Here are some of the quotes. This is from the preface of the book, “Investors can do much better than the market if they consistently use time tested strategies that are based on sensible, rational methods for selecting stocks.” I thought, oh well, that sounds familiar. He starts off in the preface by saying, he’s gone back, I think the first edition of this which came out in like 96 or 97, he went back over 52 years of S&P data and looking at funds and stocks and all this stuff, deep dive data analysis on it and he said, what we have talked about before but it’s always good to be reminded that 80% of actively managed funds underperform the index over long periods of time and he says, why is that so? These people are highly paid professionals that are very smart, they can’t even beat the index consistently. Why is that? And he said, it comes down to two things.
Number one is, they either have the wrong strategy or they chop and change strategies all the time. He said, in fact, even after the first edition of the book came out where he talked about what the correct strategy was based on data to beat the index long term, he got a lot of feedback from the fund managers saying, well, I tried that and it worked well for a while but then it stopped working. I dumped it and I changed to a different strategy and he makes the point, no strategy works consistently all of the time. All strategies are going to underperform the market at different points in time but over the long haul, they will outperform if you just stick with them. He goes on to say that out of all of the data he’d analyzed, price to sales ratio is the best value ratio to use for buying market beating stocks. This is in the preface of the book.
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that the same thing as saying price to operating cash flow?
It’s close. It’s not exactly the same. There’s no costs involved. You could be buying a afterpay which has good price to sales maybe but isn’t making money but yes, the point’s valid.
I remember the quote that someone gave us that, “Sales have a vanity and profit is for sanity but cash is king.”
Right. OK, sales is just what’s coming in doesn’t take into account what’s going out
The cost of getting them to come in here, right. I expect there to be a reasonable correlation between price to up cash flow and price to sales.
I think we’ve talked about it on the show before price to sales. Have you ever done any comparison like regression analysis on that versus off cash flow?
No, sorry, I haven’t. I worked the other way. I worked from P backwards up to cash flow which is how I came about cash flow.
Trying to take out the things that had discretion in them before they’re allocated. Yes.
Well, based on what he says we should maybe have a look at that. See what the correlation is and just one more quote from this book that this is on page five of the eBook version, “Finding exploitable investment opportunities does not mean it’s easy to make money. However, to do so requires an ability to consistently, patiently, and slavishly stick with a strategy, even when it’s performing poorly relative to other methods. Few are capable of such action. Successful investors do not comply with nature, they defy it. In the next chapter, I argue that the reason traditional management doesn’t work well, is that human decision making is systematically flawed and unreliable. The door is open to those who use a rational, disciplined method to buy and sell stocks on the basis of time tested methods. Wow, that’s just an ad for QAV right there.
He goes on the third or fourth edition of the book which is what I was listening to in the audible version. He said, since the first version of this came out, this whole field of behavioral economics has come out, basically reinforced what he wrote in the first edition which is that humans don’t make logical decisions all the time. They are emotional. All of the theories on the stock market which had assumed that the market was rational and made rational decisions was just nonsense.
Of course, it is. If the market was completely rational, who makes money?
That’s right. Yes. Anyway, for the book club– Like you asked me this morning, how does this really work? And I don’t really know, but I’m guessing that it’s just– We all read the same book for a month and talk about it. Share what we learned, talk about on Facebook, and I’ll throw some quotes on the podcast but if anyone’s got any other ideas for how we use a book club, let me know but good one, Brett haven’t got any further into it but already, I love it. It’s good stuff.
All right. Let’s get into the questions. Here’s one from MANTLS STEVE / LEIGH: Given the newest process of selling miners on the three-point sell breach of their main commodity, what will be the process of for getting back in take iron ore as the example? Are we looking at a one or two-month upturn in the commodity price again? And then a miner still scoring well at that point or is it a three-point trend line? By on the commodity price? Good question.
Yes, great question. The way I normally do it is wait for a three-point trend line buy on either the miner itself or the commodity price. I suspect the three-point trend line buy will come on the miner itself because the market is a bit forward looking and if it sees the commodity price starting to trend up for a month or two, then it’ll send the stock prices up for the miners and I’ll come back into a buy territory for us.
I guess the example which disproves that was Santos which I bought last week and declared and that was before it’s three-point buy. I think the three-point price is around $6 at which Santos is getting close to now. I bought it at around $6.20 but I was struggling to find large cap stocks to buy when I was selling my banking stocks. I did go a bit early on cantos but yes, the rule is to wait for the buy signal from you to the mining stock or the commodity.
But either one would be fine. Yes, no, exactly. Good stuff. It’s like we were talking about Lumber. We’re talking about midway and Lumber. Well, half of the MANTLS duo Leigh has another question. How does Tony think about finding quality and value in industries dominated by businesses with mostly intangible assets? He doesn’t, would have to be my answer to that question. Move on next.
Yes, same way.
Yes, look at the same things.
It may not pass the book plus 30 above book value but that’s OK.
The rest of Leigh’s question is, whilst we are not growth investors, “if done correctly,” in inverted commas, all investing is value investing according to the Oracle. At some point, as secular trends continue to shift businesses towards digital online cloud, etc. There surely must be opportunities to find value the way we do. Not all tech businesses are debt laden and unprofitable speculative bets. For example, Facebook is an established business and a cash flow machine. Are there ways to score these businesses who do not make QAV cents on a price to book ratio basis?
If there are, I haven’t found it and I’ve been trying because I’d love to buy some of these businesses. I think the issue in most cases is not that they’re debt laden or unprofitable speculative bets. It’s just expensive by any value metric and Facebook fits that category.
The only thing I’ve come closest to scoring for this companies came out of the book richer, wiser happier, which I think Leigh or Steve recommended on the Facebook group. I just wanted to do a quote from page 156 of richer, wiser, happier. I guess, a roundabout way of answering the question comes from a section on a guy called, I think it’s Nick sleep. This book, richer, wiser happier is chapter by chapter interviews with famous investors. I hadn’t heard of Nick before reading it. It’s a great book. It’s a good chapter.
What they came up with Nick and his partners, Zack was a term called scale economies shared and that was their way of looking at these businesses that look like they’re expensive on a valuation metric until you look into the long term and can see how they’re going to grow and then discount that those future cash flows back but just the read from the book, the company have introduced Nick to this model was Costco Wholesale, an American discount retailer that embodied everything they sought in the business.
“When they first invested in Costco in 2002. Its stock had tumbled from $55 to $30 amid concerns about the company’s low profit margins but sleep and Zachariah as his partner, surrender appreciated strength in Costco’s fanatical focus on delivering value to shoppers at a time as customers pay the $45 annual membership fee which gave them access to warehouses filled with dependable products sold at the lowest possible prices. Costco marked up its goods by no more than 15% above cost. While a typical supermarket market prices by 30%. Members had no need to forage elsewhere for bargains because Costco treated them so fairly. The company could have jacked up its prices and boosted margins but that would have jeopardized its members trust to the skeptics on Wall Street. This generosity seems soft and uncompetitive, the corporate equivalent of collectivism but Sleep and Zacharias or the long term logic of Costco’s largest satisfied customers kept returning and spending more money at stores, thereby generating enormous revenues.
As the company grew and negotiated better deals with suppliers and kept driving down its famously low costs. Costco then share these economies of scale with consumers by lowering its price even further. Sleep and Zachariah estimated that its members saved $5 for every $1 that Costco kept for itself. The effect of this policy of self-restraint was a virtuous cycle that Sleep sums up like this. increased revenues begets scale savings begets lower costs begets lower prices begets increased revenues.
Most big successful corporations eventually lapse into mediocrity but Costco’s readiness to share the benefits of at scale with customers meant that size became an advantage not a burden, enabling the company to extend its age over rivals that boosted higher margins. Costco which was founded 93 kept growing by giving back instead of grabbing all the spoils for itself, it’s low margins reflected patients not weakness. Writing to nomads, which is the fund that Sleep founded.
Writing to nomads’ investors, Sleep explained, the firm has differing profits today in order to extend the life of the franchise. Of course, Wall Street would love profits today but that’s just Wall Street’s obsession with short term outcomes. Sleep and Zachariah kept adding to their investment as their reverence for Costco grew. By 2005, it accounted for 1/6 of nomads’ assets. Today, it remains one of the lynchpins in their personal portfolios.
During the 18 years, they’ve owned the stock, it’s risen from about from $30 to about $390, while also paying rich dividends. Still, they have no intention of selling anytime soon, given the likelihood that Costco will continue to advance towards a desirable destination.
I guess the question I’ve asked for a couple of years now at least is how do we find a way of quantifying that long term investment in a growing company? And I think the answer is in that chapter of the book somehow and in fact, to follow on from that Munger has declared he owns four stocks. One of them is Costco, one is Berkshire Hathaway’s, and this Costco model, I think, was also used by Amazon, famously and it’s the whole idea of, we don’t want to make profits, we want to give the profits back in the way of lower prices and in r&d and when you do that, you don’t pay tax on the profits but we continue to grow the company.
If you look at these companies, any normal value investor metrics, they’re hellishly expensive, right? Because they’re not making a profit and people are overpaying them because of the future growth potential but I think there’s something in that and I guess the question for the brains trust out there is, what’s the Australian version of Costco or Amazon? There might be one out there that if we can break it down into metrics which allows to quantify that maybe we cracked the nut on how to value these companies.
I haven’t come across anyone who’s fanatical as giving money back to customers as Costco or Amazon, perhaps Bunnings Warehouse which is part of Wesfarmers might be that one but I’ll throw it out there as a thought puzzle for people, what’s the Australian version of Costco that we can break down into some metrics and then put together a checklist for these kinds of cross stocks that are still going to be valuable and value investing but just on a longer time horizon?
Yes, we had Steven Mab on talking to us a while back about analysis. That he and one of his folks at the HSA had done. The challenge for us apart from how to value them is, how do you know which you’re going to be successful at of the growth stocks and which aren’t? Have you thought more about the work that he did back then and whether or not we can apply that?
Yes, I have and I’ve set up a couple of portfolios to track it. Again, I haven’t regression tests but I’m looking at going forward. I can report back after we get enough data. It’ll take a while a year or so to get some data to look at it, while I’m tracking us is if I introduce these metric into the QAV checklist. There was a bit of an overlap between some of our QAV buy list stocks and the stocks that were appearing on Steve’s analysis, which was around the future growth and growth in sales, I think was his metric from memory.
Wasn’t the differential between sales growth and price growth looking for the stocks with the biggest differential between the two?
Yes, it was something like that. I can’t recall exactly what it was and I’ve set up a portfolio to watch that going forward but yes, I’ll report back if we have any meaningful differences from the QAV numbers.
When you say that these stocks really expensive, you’re talking about in terms of a normal value based analysis, right? When you’re looking at things like price top cash flow.
If you look the metrics on one year or one six-month period for these stocks, yes, you come up with a ridiculously high number in terms of price to operating cash flow in particular and I’m not that familiar with Costco. I don’t mean with Amazon, it’s a very high number. If you do it for Amazon., I suspect Costco will be the same. The point that these people make is that these are companies which are going to win over the longer term by playing their profits back into discounts for customers and therefore, you need to look at the metrics of their worth over a long period of time, 5, 10 years, 15 years going forward. Tell us what period they use. They just say long term.
If someone has a theory like that, you should be able to reduce it to numbers and then apply it to the other stocks in the market. That’s the trick that we have to do and the checklist I think for stocks like that will be something like, what’s his profit margins? How much is going back into price? What’s his price competitiveness is like? And then the quality metrics. Both Amazon and Costco will probably have some owner founder, certainly with Amazon there is, again, I’m not familiar with Costco.
These things have been called out by Munger in particular and they’ve not given as much prominence as the traditional crime and dot value investing stick because there’s a lot more written about those but certainly Munger in particular is spoken about taking a longer term view and then discounting it back and finding good business models which work by giving back to their customers in creating that virtuous cycle. He’s been on tour for quite a while and so it’s next slide. We just need to put some checklists in place that we can find the next one.
Have you ever been to a Costco?
No, I haven’t. I’ve been to a Walmart Sam’s Club in the States but not at Costco.
We’re members of Costco in Brisbane. Chris, he goes there. Once a month. I go there as rarely as possible because it’s like going to IKEA it’s a day long thing. You come out of it. You feel like you’ve been in the trenches and World War One man, you’ve got I’ve got gangrene. I got PTSD. Whenever I come out of there. It’s just horrible.
How does Chrissy feel about it because most Americans I speak to, Costco is just part of their life.
She loves it. She was so excited when they opened their Costco in Brisbane. It’s like her little slice of America. She goes there, it’s just– Oh, she knows all the products. I think their headquarters is in Kirkland in Washington. It’s a Seattle based company and she lived in Seattle for 10 years. It’s like, oh, I know this and I know that I’ve missed this and all that stuff which is great for her. It’s exciting little taste to home. For me, it’s horrifying.
But it has become very cultural, a big thing in American culture you like talk about what they bought from Costco and what the price was and all that and Kirkland is a brand. It’s even gotten into golf. I don’t know if Australians will be familiar with it and certainly Americans buy the golf balls from Costco, the Kirkland golf balls which are cheap but still good quality.
Yes, but the thing with Costco is you buy stuff in bulk so we always leave there with like an entire boot full of three months’ supply of hand towels and stuff like that.
Michael: Tony has occasionally commented on the latest figures for a stock being out but not yet in Stock Doctor. How do you quickly tell if Stock Doctor reflects the latest figures? Good question, Michael.
Yes, if you’re doing a download that one of the first columns is the last period analyzed and if that’s not the current period and you know it hasn’t been updated. If it is recent, it’s been updated. You can also look at it in Stock Doctor across the top of the screen, it has usually about five or six columns of figures. If the last one isn’t a recent one, it hasn’t been downloaded into Stock Doctor and also too if you want to check for it, you can set up a stock alert for latest financials loaded that’s available in Stock Doctor in the tool section and also to in the tool section is a click through you can use to look at the latest updates and if you go into that and select company financials, you’ll get all the ones updated today or the ones updated in the last week etc. and you can search for your company there and see if it’s been updated recently.
How do you know if it’s one of these companies with a weird reporting period though?
Yes, what I tend to do is I mean. I guess I knows I’m sure experience but I’ll set up stock alerts for them to say when the last company’s financials are updated, send them through. Stocks like Myer, stocks like Katmandu are on that January, July reporting period but also stocks coming out on March, December so the banks and stocks like Eclipse which are important to me as a shareholder. Obviously, just set up stock alerts for them to let me know when they’ve been updated but also to really anything review they’ll have an article about the latest results and usually that’s a day or two before the number six Stock Doctor.
Right. Trent. I think this may have been mentioned a little bit with the QAV process which I am transitioning to slowly. Congratulations on your transition, Trent. I’m doing a lot more trades than previously, was a bit more cumbersome tax wise than usual which is not a big issue. Just thought a bit of a chat about the most effective ways to manage this may be useful. Does Tony’s full service broker helping with that. I guess I’m just weighing up manual versus a paid service if there’s something suitable.
I was surprised when we got this question because I think of QAV as being a very low trading strategy but of course, early on with rule one sells that creates a lot of trading I found. What are your thoughts on Trent’s question?
I think we turn the portfolio over or nearly all of it once a year so it’s not like an ETF where you might buy and hold for many years. Certainly my stock broker Baillieu’s helps me with this. I can download from their website I think quite quickly up to three years’ worth of stock trades and with just a bit of fiddling around and get longer than that when I put the dates in. That’s useful at tax time but also I use Xero which is linked to Sharesight and I can mark rod my accountant pulls reports out of Sharesight and certainly Xero which are almost pre-package tax return items, at least as far as dividends and capital gains tax goes.
Maybe check out Xero.
Check out Sharesight and Xero is associated with it. Full service broker like values but they all come at a cost.
And give Mark Rudd a call. Send Mark more business.
He loves some more work at the moment buddy.
Well, if you need I’m just kidding. He’s very busy.
Last question from James, can you ask TK if he was measuring himself by after tax returns, would he do anything differently? Some managers provide after tax reporting, for example, Warrakiri. If he was measuring himself by after tax returns? But you did measure yourself by after tax return.
I do. The answer is no. I don’t do anything differently.
Because that’s what you do. Right?
The 19 and a half percent is after tax and fees. We’ve said that before.
Correct. It’s also after only the last couple of years has to be living expenses but it’s also the ins and outs in terms of stamp duty on house purchases, paying debt on mortgages, all that stuff. Yes, it’s after tax.
Well, that was an easy one. Thanks, James.
OK, I guess the flip it invert, always invert. If you were measuring yourself by pre tax returns, would you do anything differently?
No. It’s the same thing. Probably a bit simpler and probably the returns would be higher, but yes, no, I do after tax return.
Yes. Well, that’s a wrap of that.
Now, we’re into after hours. I started watching happen Leonard. Last week I re-watched the first episode which I’d seen before and your recommendation is good. I enjoyed it, particularly with the now confirmed overdose death of Michael K. Williams, heroin and coke and fentanyl in his system but they’ve ruled as an accidental OD but yes, no, I enjoyed it.
He tripped over and his nose fell on a pile of cocaine.
Yes. That’s how it always works.
You’re on there.
Yes. What else? What have you been watching, reading, listening to, Tony?
Well, it’s been there’s Roy and HG, the Festival of the boot this last weekend with the grand final for the AFL and preliminary finals for the NRL. Lots of football. Lots of the Ryder Cup was on this weekend. Unfortunately, one of the very few times the US has tranced Europe but they did.
What sport is that, the Ryder Cup?
Golf. Every two years Europe place the US in golf. Usually, it’s a case of proving the maximum that a team of champions could loses to a champion team because generally the US players are higher rated than the Europeans but the Europeans tend to win, usually through camaraderie and having the crowd support and all that stuff but this time with COVID they was almost entirely us crowd. The US won, the team of champions won.
How does camaraderie matter in golf? Like they’re passing the ball to each other?
But they seem to really rise to the occasion and get geared up by the crowd support and its usually really funny crowd support. I mean, it’s usually guys dressed in costumes and singing funny songs and it’s quite a lot of fun to watch.
OK, what else? Anything else?
Billions and billions second half of series five is now being released and it’s a lot of fun to.
That’s about Buffett and Munger?
No, it’s about Wall Street and Paul Giamatta plays the New York Attorney General keeps trying to catch ex capital out as twists and turns and subverts the financial system. It’s lots of fun.
Any investing wisdom? Did– You learning any new tricks out of it?
It probably isn’t far from reality but it’s all about how they try and catch each other route and rip each other off basically but yes, good fun.
Good stuff. I watched something that hunter recommended to me, the lighthouse this week. Have you heard of that?
Came out a year or so ago. Got a lot of critical acclaim its stars Willem Defoe and Robert Pattinson, black and white, shot in four three ratio and it’s on Netflix. It’s about just set in the early 20th century. Two guys stranded in a lighthouse on a little island off Nova Scotia or something like that and it a psychological thriller thing. Very lynchy Orson Welle-y thing. Really well done. I mean I’m a huge Willem Dafoe fan. It’s like Nicolas Cage for me like he makes everything better. In this he’s got this big beard and he talks in a sea captain thing and with this old timey yee [Inaudible 01:24:37], these nuts and it’s really.
Yes, really like a Nova Scotia accent.
It’s really good. I thought a little bit surreal a little bit creepy. Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
But first time I went to Nova Scotia, we got a bit lost trying to find the golf course and my Canadian mate says, go over and ask that guy where the golf course is? I did. He was pissing himself. I came back and I said, I couldn’t understand what he was saying and he said, he couldn’t understand what you were saying though with the Australian accent.
Good stuff. Well, that’s the show for this week. Thanks, everybody. Thanks, Tony. Good luck. Talk to you next week.
The QAV Podcast is a production of space craft publishing propriety limited authorized representative of AFSL 520442 HFS representative number 001292718. Please don’t make any investment decisions based solely on listening to this podcast. This is presented as general advice only, not personal financial advice. We don’t know your personal financial circumstances. Please see a financial planner before making any investing decisions.