Obamacare’s in Trouble as Insurers Tire of Losing Money 

Now, there’s no denying it. The four biggest U.S. health insurers admit they’re each losing hundreds of millions of dollars on their Obamacare plans. Rather than expand coverage, many are pulling out of the exchanges that were set up by the ACA so people can shop for insurance plans, often with the help of government subsidies.

Source: Obamacare’s in Trouble as Insurers Tire of Losing Money – Bloomberg

On Inflation, Prepare for the Unexpected

Inflation levels are low and expected to remain low—but that’s no excuse for not protecting against unexpected moves, according to Meketa Investment Group.The Boston-based consultant advocated for allocations to inflation-protected bonds and real assets to safeguard portfolios against sudden inflation spikes.“Holding assets that do not decline in real value during unexpected inflationary periods enhances the ability of the total portfolio to make payouts while protecting its value on the downside,” the authors wrote. “This diversification reduces the volatility of the total portfolio’s value, even though the inflation-hedging assets may demonstrate considerable volatility when viewed in isolation.”

Source: On Inflation, Prepare for the Unexpected | Chief Investment Officer

Shareholder Yield as a Valuation Metric

Shareholder yield measures the cash paid out both as dividends and as stock buybacks.

Shareholder Yield = Dividend Yield + Buyback Yield

Buyback Yield = Change in Number of Shares Outstanding ÷ Previous Number of Shares Outstanding

Shareholder yield can be looked at in addition to the dividend yield to see what kind of a return the shareholder will receive through the company’s capital allocation policy.  

A study by Wesley Gray and Jack Vogel of Alpha Architect (“Enhancing the Investment Performance of Yield-Based Strategies,” SSRN, 2012) found that stocks with shareholder yields ranking in the top 40% experienced higher annualized returns, particularly those ranking in the top 20%.

The Stock Market Summed Up

The final point is that stock prices reflect a set of expectations for future financial performance. A company’s stock doesn’t generate excess returns solely by the company creating value. The company’s results have to exceed the expectations embedded in the stock market. – Michael Mauboussin

Source: Thirty Years: Reflections on the Ten Attributes of Great Investors

Edward Altman: The Benign Credit Cycle Is in Extra Innings

Edward Altman says the benign credit cycle is in “extra innings,” but the metaphorical relief pitchers — central bankers — are running out of gas.

 

Source: Edward Altman: The Benign Credit Cycle Is in Extra Innings

Empirical Analysis of Warren Buffett’s Returns

Buffett’s returns appear to be neither luck nor magic, but, rather, reward for the use of leverage combined with a focus on cheap, safe, quality stocks.

A good explanation of  how Warren Buffett has generated consistently high returns through his stock picking ability.  His focus on cash generating value stocks coupled with the use of a little leverage have led to an impressive track record and unimaginable wealth.

Source:  Buffett’s Alpha

Day to Day Noise in the Markets – Brexit Edition

“It is easy to confuse day-to-day noise with actual and significant signals. If you are merely reacting to the latest market action, then what you have is not a plan — you have an instinctual, fear-driven reaction, and it’s the makings of a disaster.”

Source: The Big Picture – Macro Perspective on the Capital Markets, Economy, Geopolitics, Technology, and Digital Media