Case Study: Peak Earnings, Value Traps, Cyclical Industries, and Chevron

peak earnings value traps cyclical industries 3As I was running and making zero forward progress on the treadmill last night (as part of the marathon training we are going through at the moment), I had the Nightly Business Report playing on PBS as I usually do when I run on the treadmill and a light bulb in my brain suddenly clicked – a file cabinet in my brain sprung open, information coalesced, and the problem I had been thinking about on and off for several months made crystal clear sense. I had been chewing over the problem of cyclical industries and the dangers of peak earnings and investing value traps. What was puzzling me was that, although it made perfect theoretical sense to me at an instinctual level when I read about it, I just couldn’t fully master it, if that makes any sense. I was missing a vivid example that resonated with me, an example that would make it all come together in a clear, coherent picture. Running, pondering about our energy holdings, and the Nightly Business Report segment on oil last night made it all come together.

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