by Charles Cheng, CFA
Why do stocks and other securities move? The quick answer is, it’s complicated due to the different behaviors and motivations of the people who trade them day to day. There are a multitude of reasons, some specific to the company, some due to external macroeconomic and market factors, and some due to the behavior of investors themselves. At any given time, it is often impossible to break down exactly what impact each of these factors have had on the security’s movement. Many movements are random and temporary in nature, and don’t have any bearing on the ultimate returns of the security. However, in order to plan one’s security selection strategy, it is important to understand what kind of events signal a real change in value of the underlying company.
為什麼股票和其他證券價格一直變動？ 最直接的答案是：由於每天交易它們的人的行為與動機都不同所以是很複雜的。 原因是來自多個層面的，有些是公司特有的，有些是外部宏觀經濟和市場因素造成的，還有一些是投資者自身行為造成的。 在任何給定時間，通常不可能準確分解這些因素中的每一個對證券走勢的影響。 許多變動本質上是隨機和暫時的，與證券的最終回報沒有任何關係。 然而，為了規劃一個投資者的證券選擇策略，瞭解什麼樣的事件標誌著公司價值的真正變化是很重要的。
Let’s start with the example of an equity security or stock, which is a claim of ownership on the company and its future cash flows. The basic math behind the valuation of the stock is that the value is equal to the sum of the cash flow (or for simplicity, earnings or dividends) in each future period, discounted by a discount rate (which is the risk-free interest rate plus a premium for risk) to translate them back to present value.
讓我們從股權證券或股票的例子開始，這些代表了對公司及其未來現金流的所有權。 股票估值背後的基本數學計算是：價值等於未來每個時期的現金流 (或為簡單起見，收益或股息) 的總和，按貼現率 (即無風險利率) 貼現加上風險溢價將它們轉換回現值。
This doesn’t mean that investors and traders are all actually making detailed estimates of the components of this equation. Market participants will often rely on simplifying measures such as valuation ratios to approximate value or ignore valuation altogether, but this formula does illustrate how changes to anticipated cash flows or interest rates can cause big swings in the value of the company.
This is the reason why there is such an intense focus on interest rate policy and earnings reports among investors. The discount rate and the growth rate of cash flows have the biggest impact on the computed valuation of the company and stock. Near term earnings performance can give signals regarding future earnings. One might think they would only need to estimate these two factors accurately in order to pick stocks well. However, it’s not that simple.
這就是為什麼投資者如此關注利率政策和收益報告的原因。 現金流量的折現率和增長率對公司和股票的計算估值影響最大。 近期的收益表現可以提供有關未來收益的信號。 人們可能會認為，只要準確估計這兩個因素，就可以選好股票。 然而，事情並沒有那麼簡單。
As an investor, you are competing against many different market participants with varying levels of sophistication and resources. It’s not just your estimations that matter but also theirs. If, in the short term, your expectations are priced into the stock because others have had a similar analysis, then there will be no room for the stock price to move and no catalyst to help you realize your investment thesis. It’s only when 1) because of your research or insight, you understand something that the rest of the market does not and 2) something, like a positive earnings report, will happen to move others towards your viewpoint, will you be able to be “right” on your investment call and make money off your thesis.
作為投資者，您要與許多具有不同複雜程度和資源水準的不同市場參與者競爭。 重要的不僅是你的估值，還有他們的估值。 如果在短期內，由於其他人進行了類似的分析，您的預期已被計入股票價格中，那麼該支股票價格將沒有漲跌的空間，也沒有催化劑可以幫助您實現投資想法。 只有當 1) 由於您的研究或洞察力，您瞭解其他市場所不瞭解的東西，並且 2) 某些東西，例如高出預期成長的收益報告，會碰巧讓其他人轉向您的觀點時，您的投資想法才是 “正確” 的。
Unfortunately, this is an extraordinarily difficult game for individual investors to play, as larger institutional investors can get direct access to company management, early access to sell-side research analysts, and teams building detailed models on company performance. They also may have visibility into the positioning and expectations of a broad range of market participants while the general public does not. While an individual working alone can have insights into how a particular company is performing at certain times, that is different from maintaining an edge consistently year over year over an entire portfolio of companies, while at an information disadvantage.
The good news is that long term investors can play a different game. Well-run companies with sustainable advantages can sustain a steady or growing cash flow over many years, meaning that their actual value tends to be well beyond what can be justified by looking at near term earnings or price ratios. There is no need for time sensitive information in order to make good decisions. What is needed is only an understanding of the company management and long-term industry dynamics, which can be built up over time. For the rest of portfolio, maintaining exposure to broad market indices has proven historically, to meet most investment objectives.
好消息是長期投資者可以有不同的玩法。 具有可持續優勢的經營良好的公司可以在多年內維持穩定或不斷增長的現金流，這意味著它們的實際價值往往遠遠超出通過查看近期收益或價格比率所能判斷的價值。 不需要對時間敏感的資訊就可做出正確的決定。 所需要的只是對公司管理和長期行業動態的瞭解，這可以隨著時間的推移而建立。 對於投資組合的其餘部分，歷史證明保持對廣泛市場指數的參與通常可以滿足大多數投資目標。
This article reflects the personal views of the author and not any firm’s and should not be viewed as an investment recommendation.