TL;DR - this is quite an interesting article on moats. Essentially tells startups to think about moats as early as possible. And cautions why founded must not rely on uncertainty of any sector before building moats because once a product is out there, there will be more folks ideating and thinking about how to better it - and it is always better to put as much distance as possible from competitors.
Discount rates are crucial for estimating fair market value and potential returns. For most investors, DCFs are a research tool rather than a precise valuation method, helping to assess the plausibility of returns based on fundamental assumptions. The key takeaway is that while DCFs are valuable for understanding potential returns and testing investment hypotheses, the precision of the valuation may not always be crucial, and the process of analysis is more important. Cue podcasts of Aswath Damodaran - https://podcasts.apple.com/se/podcast/aswath-damodaran-making-sense-of-the-market/id1154105909?i=1000564650213
@Bhuvan shared this last week and this was quite a nice listen. Speaks of how inequality manifests itself into conflicts and what can be some things that can help these situations, mostly in the context of US. But applies to any country.
The article reflects on past market sentiments and contrasts them with the current investor enthusiasm for stocks. It discusses the market sentiment in the late 1970s, where many believed that equities were dead due to a decade-long dismal stretch in the stock market and high inflation. Investors favored investments like gold, real estate, and diamonds, shunning stocks as mere “paper assets.” The article emphasizes the importance of considering historical data and estimating expected future returns when evaluating investment options. It cautions against being unduly influenced by recent short-term returns and highlights the difficulty of buying at market bottoms due to human empathy, uncertainty about the true bottom, and alarming narratives that accompany market declines. The author encourages long-term and disciplined investing, holding safe assets to provide courage during turbulent times. Ultimately, the article advises investors to adhere to the math of investing and manage emotions with patience, cash, and courage.
The what happened in 1971 is quite famous for how trends reversed and various economic sectors performed. And we wont know if eventually there could be a website about what happened in 2023, but this piece makes a case for it. Optimism is always overblown anyway, so please take this with a pinch of salt.
Apologies Dinesh, I couldn’t resist myself from sharing this brilliant essay in your thread, as I have read this 3 times. Also, do not want to create another topic as this thread contains an amazing list.
This lecture was priceless. While most of the things Aswath talks about has been repeated across some of his blogs, the delivery of this lecture is class apart.
Here are some of the mental notes I made to myself -
Stories trump numbers any day. And valuation is more about stories than numbers.
The way to value a company must be to first understand the company, build a story around it, and then take it through the is it possible, is it plausible and is it probable test. (You will get this reference if you listen to the lecture)
Humility needed to value businesses is also quite amazing. Every valuation story needs to be vetted, verified and re-vetted. The lecture also asks you to question your own assumptions every step of the way.
Always look at business from a simple lens - speak to employees, speak to customers, speak to anyone who is dealing with the company to find out what the company is all about. Also, do not miss trying out the product before valuing the company.
In summary - valuation is always a story in motion.