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Valuable Information for Tax-Deferred Investment Accounts, May 24, 2005
Anyone who enjoyed Stocks for the Long Run will find this book to be a very valuable addition to his or her knowledge about stock investing for tax-deferred investment accounts.
Professor Siegel has checked history again. This time he has looked for ways to do stock investing that have performed better than indexed mutual funds for tax-deferred accounts.
Much of what he finds is counter to the conventional wisdom, but makes sense when examined objectively.
Here are some key findings:
1. High dividend yields, when reinvested in the same stock, provide superior returns. That's only true in a tax-deferred account, of course.
2. Buying stocks with low multiples that grow faster than expected is much easier and more profitable to do than simply choosing companies in fast growing industries.
3. Exciting new companies make lots of money for founders, employees and venture capitalists . . . but not enough for investors.
4. Avoid capital intensive businesses.
5. The most productive companies are those who develop new business models (something I discuss in The Ultimate Competitive Advantage) regardless of how bad the industry is.
6. Beware of excessive valuations . . . no matter how good the future looks.
7. If a company has neither a high dividend nor any cash, assume something's wrong with the accounting.
8. Indexed stocks in slower-growing emerging markets have high potential to deliver huge gains in the future due to demographic influences.
From these findings, Professor Siegel suggests a model portfolio for equities that will intrigue you (see page 254) with high-dividend ideas, global firms, attractive sectors and interesting value plays.
In addition, Professor Siegel addresses the question of what to do about paying for the retirements of all those Baby Boomers around the world. His proposal is to encourage young emerging market workers to purchase the assets of older workers in the developed world. You'll find the argument to be intriguing and compelling.
I cannot remember reading a more stimulating and original book about investing. I was particularly impressed by his historical research that shows the superiority of sticking with companies that have been around a long time rather than searching out newer companies to buy. I think the exception to the latter comes in those cases where the management has proven to be adept at improving upon their business models to provide more value to customers.
Almost every investor would benefit from reading and thinking about this book.