O'Shaughnessy: Major Opportunities in Dividend Stocks

Even after the market’s recent rally, Jim O’Shaughnessy is continuing to see a myriad of values in the market, he recently told CNBC.

“I think it’s very sustainable,” O’Shaughnessy, the fund manager and author whose study of quantitative strategies and historical stock market returns is one of the most extensive in history, said of the rally. “I think what happened is we priced a Great Depression and we got a deep recession. And I think the difference between that makes this a very sustainable market. … It’s absolutely … one of the best markets for finding stocks with all of the factors that we find work very well over long periods of time.”

O’Shaughnessy says that focusing on stocks with high dividend yields is a good way to get back in the market. He recommends looking for market leaders — those with market caps greater than the market average, a high number of shares outstanding, sales 50% greater than the market average, and good EBITDA/enterprise value ratios — and then selecting from them those with the best dividend yields.

“This is really once in a generation opportunity to get in at prices that haven’t been as good since 1982,” O’Shaughnessy adds.

In the interview, two other strategists also weigh in, with somewhat different opinions. Peter Navarro, a finance professor at the University of California-Irvine, says that problems in Europe and the Obama Administration’s policies — which he says “contain the seeds of our own destruction” — will lead to problems down the road. The country got into this mess because of a decade of overconsumption and the loss of manufacturing jobs, and Obama’s policies haven’t done anything to address those problems. He says that, while the near-term market outlook could be good, we’ll get a wave of inflation and high interest rates down the line.

Donald Marron of Lightyear Capital, meanwhile, thinks the amount of money sitting on the sidelines won’t stay there forever. He estimates that money market funds have doubled as the crisis has worn on — rising from $2 trillion to $4 trillion — and a lot of those funds are from institutions managing pension funds or 401ks that will need to earn higher returns, and thus get back into stocks. He thinks that as long as earnings are okay, “then you’ve got a good market”.

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