Bubbles can go on for a long time. Canada’s real estate, especially in Vancouver and Toronto, have been bubbling for quite some time; many years in fact. I don’t possess a crystal ball that will tell me the future. So I have no idea when it pops. All I have is common sense.
So I was perusing Google Trends recently and decided to plug in a few terms related to Canada’s real estate bubble and bankruptcy. Oh, hi. It’s been awhile. The nose is at 99% healed since the surgery in December – nose is great, life changing. The eyes are at around 95% healed since the laser eye surgery in March – eyes are great, life changing. Finished the pilot Valuation online certificate through NYU – spectacularly imploded and failed the final exam but redeemed myself on the valuation project to pass the program with high honours in the 60ish percentish final grade range. Since the course ended in May, I have had very little interest in any type of learning outside of casual reading. Time’s been filled with outdoor fun since June. Alright, with the little life update out of the way, let’s dive into some interesting data.
I feel like I’m going through metamorphosis as I enter the third decade of my life. I had surgery on my nose 4 months ago and just 5 days ago, I went through laser eye surgery. Before the nose surgery, the last time I was in the hospital for any length of time was two and a half decades prior – it really does pour when it rains. The nose has recovered nicely and I think I’m at 99% recovery on the nose. Anyways, I’m in the 5th day of recovery from the laser eye surgery. This is more for a personal account of what the first five days felt like as I want to remember what it felt like post-op as I seemed to have already erased the memory of what the pain felt like during my nose surgery recovery. I have this fantastic ability to literally erase memories of things I don’t like, which is both extremely useful and sometimes a hindrance.
First, the series on Valuation will fire back up shortly: I ended up going to NYC for 5 days last week and the wheels fell off the study wagon… meaning I fell rapidly behind on my actual homework in the Valuation course so I’ve been frantically trying to catch up, thus no update since the last post on the Risk Free Rate. I came across this English translation of the foreword to the Chinese version of Poor Charlie’s Almanack by Li Lu. You can find it on this link through the internet archives, but I thought I’d post it here in case it ends up disappearing. Everything below is a copy and paste from the original article. Enjoy!
Now that we’ve introduced ourselves to the concept of Valuation and reviewed the idea of Intrinsic Valuation yesterday, we’re finally at the point we move into deriving a discount rate. Just like the term “Intrinsic Value” the concept of the “Discount Rate” is tossed around in finance/investing circles like a hot potato: everyone seems to mention how important it is, but are opaque about just how you go about deriving one. You’ve heard Warren Buffett proclaim that the intrinsic value of an asset is the cash flow that an asset will generate between now and Judgement Day, discounted back to the present at an appropriate discount rate. While this is all fine and dandy, it’s never revealed to us mere mortals what the discount rate is. I think these next few sections on Valuation in the coming days might shed light on that for you. Today, we focus on one component of the discount rate: the Risk Free Rate.
Now that we have the introduction to valuation out of the way (and the random thoughts on mean reversion and R&D capitalization), it’s time to move onto the concept of intrinsic value. Intrinsic value is a concept that is thrown around a lot in finance, especially the value investing niche. However, while the concept is thrown around like a frat bro yelling out YOLO every 5 minutes, it’s never clearly defined for those who are new to the game. Hopefully this session clarifies it a little bit and gives you an idea of what intrinsic value means and how you start going about calculating it. The actual calculating will come in later sessions and this one will just give you an idea of how to go about setting up the framework to estimating intrinsic value later on.
So the way the Valuation course works is that all materials are available online – lecture videos and slides – and it’s an entirely self-driven process. Every couple weeks, however, we are able to get an hour of one-on-one with Professor Damodaran and ask him any questions that might be on our minds regarding the course. This week, there were 2 interesting points that caught my attention: the notion of mean reversion in the markets and why you should capitalize R&D expenses.