3 core principles of value investing for beginners

DDerek January 8, 2024 7:02 AM

Are you new to the investing world and curious about value investing? Then, you're in the right place. Value investing is a strategic approach to investing where rather than following market trends, you look for stocks that you believe are undervalued. This approach is often associated with long-term investing and has been popularized by some of the most successful investors, such as Warren Buffet. So, let's dive in and uncover the 3 core principles of value investing for beginners.

What is Value Investing?

Value investing is a strategy where you look for stocks that appear to be cheaper than their intrinsic or book value. Value investors actively seek out companies they believe the market has undervalued. They consider stocks from these companies good buys under the assumption that the market will eventually realize the true value of these underrated assets and push their prices higher.

Principle 1: Intrinsic Value over Market Price

The first principle of value investing involves considering the intrinsic value of a stock over its market price. Intrinsic value refers to what you believe a stock is really worth, regardless of its current market price. This principle forces you to analyze a company's fundamentals such as earnings, revenue, assets, and liabilities, rather than just looking at its stock price. By doing so, you'll be able to identify stocks that are underpriced by the market, providing an opportunity for potential profit when the market corrects this pricing error.

Principle 2: Long-term Investment

The second principle of value investing is that it's a long-term strategy. Value investors aren't in the game for quick wins. Instead, they invest in companies they believe in and hold onto their investments for a long period. This strategy requires patience and the ability to ignore short-term market volatility. It's a principle that aligns well with the famous quote from Warren Buffet, 'Our favorite holding period is forever.'

Principle 3: Margin of Safety

The third principle is the concept of a margin of safety. This means buying stocks at a price significantly below their calculated intrinsic value to allow for a cushion in case your calculations are off, or unexpected issues arise. This principle is all about reducing risk. The larger the margin of safety, the lower the risk. It's a principle heavily emphasized by Benjamin Graham, the 'father of value investing'.

To put these principles into practice, here's a simple step-by-step guide to value investing:

  1. Analyze the company's fundamentals: Look at the company's earnings, debt, revenue, and other key financials.
  2. Calculate the intrinsic value: Use these information to estimate what you believe the company is truly worth.
  3. Compare the intrinsic value to the market price: If the market price is significantly lower than the intrinsic value, it could be a good investment.
  4. Consider the margin of safety: Aim to buy at a price that's significantly lower than the intrinsic value to reduce your risk.
  5. Invest for the long term: Hold onto your investments for a long period and ignore short-term market fluctuations.

Value investing doesn't guarantee success, and like any investment strategy, it has its risks. However, by understanding and applying these three core principles, you give yourself a solid foundation for investing success.

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