High Stock Values and the CAPE

The cyclically adjusted price-earnings ratio (CAPE) should not be a focus around current equity price levels, according to a recent Bloomberg article. The CAPE now stands at 30, the article says, and was higher in only 59 months since 1881. “Investors are understandably concerned if it’s correct to expect the market to revert to a CAPE of about 24 over the next five years”–simple regression analysis shows that it takes an average of five years… Read More

Shiller Tracks Past Bear Markets

In a recent article for MarketWatch, Yale professor and Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller shares insights on past bear markets in the U.S. and how the current market environment resembles the periods preceding them. Citing the “conflicting messages” of “high valuations following a period of strong earnings growth and very low volatility,” Shiller shares data he collected by reviewing 13 U.S. bear markets since 1871 (a drop in the market by at least 20%) regarding each… Read More

The Pros and Cons of the Shiller P/E Ratio

By Jack M. Forehand — The Shiller P/E (CAPE) Ratio has become one of the most widely followed market valuation metrics.  It became popular during the Technology bubble in the late 90s because it provided a unique perspective on how overvalued stocks had become during that high flying period. The Shiller P/E has been popularized by Robert Shiller, a Yale University Professor of Economics and Noble Prize winner. Shiller is the author of a number… Read More

Shiller Says Market Valuations Warrant Caution

Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller writes in a recent New York Times article that “today’s CAPE is sending a troubling message,” noting that the market valuation ratio he developed (which now stands at nearly 30) was higher only in 1929 and around 2000 (when it hit 33 and 44, respectively). In both instances, Shiller writes, “market declines followed those very high readings.” He qualifies his comments, however, by clarifying that the CAPE “suggests a dim outlook… Read More

The Market Valuation Snapshot

In our Hotlist newsletter from last month we took a look at the market’s stretched valuations based on several indicators, and offered insight regarding how actions by the current administration may or may not substantiate them. The market P/E from the beginning of the year, based on trailing 12-month earnings (as of January 9th ,) was 25. We tracked other metrics as follows: Shiller P/E: 28.2, up from 25.7 as of the last update in… Read More

Is Shiller’s CAPE as Scary as it Seems?

In the 1990’s, economists Robert Shiller and John Campbell created a valuation metric called the “cyclically adjusted price-earnings” ratio, or CAPE. A Wall Street Journal article from earlier this month examines whether this metric might be sending a false signal that the market is overheated. The CAPE ratio values shares based on 10 years rather than one year of earnings which, the article explains, “smooths out periods like just prior to the housing bust, when… Read More

There’s a Hole in the CAPE Ratio

When predicting future real returns of stock markets, the cyclically adjusted price/earnings ratio (CAPE) is a good place to start. The formula, first proposed by guru Benjamin Graham, is pretty simple: the current price of a stock market (or single stock) divided by the average earnings of the last 10 years (both adjusted for inflation). An article in this month’s “Enterprising Investor” speaks to how this calculation has recently come under scrutiny. Wharton professor Jeremy… Read More

Comparing CAPE 10 with CAPE 5 or 6 — Market May Not be as Expensive as it Looks

Writing on ETF.com, Larry Swedroe of the BAM Alliance explains that the market looks less overvalued if one uses a period shorter than the commonly used 10-year period in applying the methodology of the Shiller cyclically adjusted P/E ratio (the CAPE 10). The reason for doing this is that “with the Great Recession causing the S&P 500 earnings to not recover to their 2007 level until 2010,” a 10-year period may include distortions created by… Read More

Diversification & Rock Bottom Valuations In the Third Pillar

Rob Arnott and Christopher Brightman of Research Affiliates recently discussed the allocation and performance of PIMCO All Asset Fund, which goes outside mainstream investments into what they describe as the Third Pillar. Arnott explains that a three-year bear market in Third Pillar investments has impacted investors’ outcomes and outlooks. Although the fund’s 7% loss from 2013 to 2015 is significantly better than the relevant benchmarks, it appears disappointing in light of the excellent performance of… Read More

Negative Implications of Falling Corporate Profit Margins

In his MarketWatch column, Mark Hulbert explains the distressing news buried by much of the recent positive reporting on the upward revision of GDP earlier this month. “Though the government’s upward revision of GDP growth looked positive on the surface,” he says, “a deeper look at the data shows the stock market currently is on shaky ground.” The report revealed that corporate profit margins (profits as a percentage of GDP) “experienced one of their largest… Read More