Photo by pittaya

Photo by pittaya

Value investing is based on an inherent fundamental assumption: that someday, an asset’s true value (or intrinsic value) would be realized. Hence buying a stock when it is trading significantly below intrinsic value would yield good return bcos they eventually trade back to its intrinsic value (albeit after a long time and only for a short while). But what happens if the stock never reverts to its intrinsic value? Is that likely? Well I don’t have a good answer to that, but let’s explore this topic a bit more broadly first.

Analogous to this the concept that a stock eventually reverts to its intrinsic value are similar logics like: the truth shall prevail, good will triumph over evil, hardwork eventually gets rewarded etc. I would think that these tenets should hold most of the time, if not all the time. The issue in the real world is that it can take generations for them to come true. Think Khmer Rogue, North Korea. Think about why some incompetent managers can stay in the firm for years. Or why some evil deeds never get punished (50% of murder cases are unsolved). Well the stock market is efficient, but the reality may not be as efficient.

Khmer Rogue did get its retribution after killing 6 million Cambodians 30 years later, and one or two ex generals are getting trial. One may say that this is too little too late. But Cambodia is finally thriving now with its Angkor Wat and a few hundred other Tomb Raider ruins. But our beloved tyrant in Pyonyang is still enjoying his tyranny. It’s been about 20 years of hardship perhaps for the North Koreans? Well I hope I can see some resolution in my lifetime. Read more…