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pattern

Value Investing
Value investors are bargain shoppers. They seek stocks they believe are undervalued. They look for stocks with prices they believe don’t fully reflect the intrinsic value of the security. Value investing is predicated, in part, on the idea that some degree of irrationality exists in the market. This irrationality, in theory, presents opportunities to get a stock at a discounted price and make money from it.

It’s not necessary for value investors to comb through volumes of financial data to find deals. Thousands of value mutual funds give investors the chance to own a basket of stocks thought to be undervalued. The Russell 1000 Value Index, for example, is a popular benchmark for value investors and several mutual funds mimic this index.

Warren Buffet: The Ultimate Value Investor
But if you are a true value investor, you don't need anyone to convince you need to stay in it for the long run because this strategy is designed around the idea that one should buy businesses—not stocks. That means the investor must consider the big picture, not a temporary knockout performance. People often cite legendary investor Warren Buffet as the epitome of a value investor. He does his homework—sometimes for years. But when he’s ready, he goes all in and is committed for the long-term.

Consider Buffett’s words when he made a substantial investment in the airline industry. He explained that airlines "had a bad first century." Then he said, "And they got a bad century out of the way, I hope."2 This thinking exemplifies much of the value investing approach. Choices are based on decades of trends and with decades of future performance in mind.

Value Investing Tools
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For those who don’t have time to perform exhaustive research, the price-earnings ratio (P/E) has become the primary tool for quickly identifying undervalued or cheap stocks. This is a single number that comes from dividing a stock’s share price by its earnings per share (EPS). A lower P/E ratio signifies you’re paying less per $1 of current earnings. Value investors seek companies with a low P/E ratio.

While using the P/E ratio is a good start, some experts warn this measurement alone is not enough to make the strategy work. Research published in the Financial Analysts Journal determined that “Quantitative investment strategies based on such ratios are not good substitutes for value-investing strategies that use a comprehensive approach in identifying underpriced securities.” 3 The reason, according to their work, is that investors are often lured by low P/E ratio stocks based on temporarily inflated accounting numbers. These low figures are, in many instances, the result of a falsely high earnings figure (the denominator). When real earnings are reported (not just forecasted) they’re often lower. This results in a “reversion to the mean.” The P/E ratio goes up and the value the investor pursued is gone.
What's the Message?

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The message here is that value investing can work so long as the investor is in it for the long-term and is prepared to apply some serious effort and research to their stock selection. Those willing to put the work in and stick around stand to gain. One study from Dodge & Cox determined that value strategies nearly always outperform growth strategies “over horizons of a decade or more.” The study goes on to explain that value strategies have

Tips for Diversifying Your Portfolio
Investors are warned to never put all their eggs (investments) in one basket (security or market) which is the central thesis on which the concept of diversification lies.
To achieve a diversified portfolio, look for asset classes that have low or negative correlations so that if one moves down the other tends to counteract it.
ETFs and mutual funds are easy ways to select asset classes that will diversify your portfolio but one must be aware of hidden costs and trading commissions.
What Is Diversification?
Diversification is a battle cry for many financial planners, fund managers, and individual investors alike. It is a management strategy that blends different investments in a single portfolio. The idea behind diversification is that a variety of investments will yield a higher return. It also suggests that investors will face lower risk by investing in different vehicles.
5 Ways to Help Diversify Your Portfolio and Trading Signals
Diversification is not a new concept. With the luxury of hindsight, we can sit back and critique the gyrations and reactions of the markets as they began to stumble during the dotcom crash and again during the Great Recession.
Here are five tips for helping you with diversification:
1. Spread the Wealth
Equities can be wonderful, but don't put all of your money in one stock or one sector. Consider creating your own virtual mutual fund by investing in a handful of companies you know, trust and even use in your day-to-day life.
But stocks aren't just the only thing to consider. You can also invest in commodities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and real estate investment trusts (REITs). And don't just stick to your own home base. Think beyond it and go global. This way, you'll spread your risk around, which can lead to bigger rewards.
People will argue that investing in what you know will leave the average investor too heavily retail-oriented, but knowing a company, or using its goods and services, can be a healthy and wholesome approach to this sector.
Still, don't fall into the trap of going too far. Make sure you keep yourself to a portfolio that's manageable. There's no sense in investing in 100 different vehicles when you really don't have the time or resources to keep up. Try to limit yourself to about 20 to 30 different investments.
2. Consider Index or Bond Funds
You may want to consider adding index funds or fixed-income funds to the mix. Investing in securities that track various indexes makes a wonderful long-term diversification investment for your portfolio. By adding some fixed-income solutions, you are further hedging your portfolio against market volatility and uncertainty. These funds try to match the performance of broad indexes, so rather than investing in a specific sector, they try to reflect the bond market's value.
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These funds are often come with low fees, which is another bonus. It means more money in your pocket. The management and operating costs are minimal because of what it takes to run these funds.

One potential drawback of index funds is their passively managed nature. While hands-off investing is generally inexpensive, it can be suboptimal in inefficient markets. Active management can be very beneficial in fixed income markets, especially during challenging economic periods.

3. Keep Building Your Portfolio
Add to your investments on a regular basis. If you have $10,000 to invest, use dollar-cost averaging. This approach is used to help smooth out the peaks and valleys created by market volatility. The idea behind this strategy is to cut down your investment risk by investing the same amount of money over a period of time.

With dollar-cost averaging, you invest money on a regular basis into a specified portfolio of securities. Using this strategy, you'll buy more shares when prices are low, and fewer when prices are high.

4. Know When to Get Out
Buying and holding and dollar-cost averaging are sound strategies. But just because you have your investments on autopilot doesn't mean you should ignore the forces at work.

Stay current with your investments and stay abreast of any changes in overall market conditions. You'll want to know what is happening to the companies you invest in. By doing so, you'll also be able to tell when it's time to cut your losses, sell and move on to your next investment.

5. Keep a Watchful Eye on Commissions

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