Going by the Oracle of Omaha’s success story, value investment is one of the most tempting strategies to bet on even amid uncertain market conditions. As per data provided by a Forbes article, shares of Berkshire Hathaway, owned by Warren Buffett, increased 20% in 2016, boosting the Oracle of Omaha’s personal fortune by $12.3 billion (more than any other billionaire in the U.S.) to $74.2 billion.
While searching for a suitable value investment option, investors are unlikely to consider price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio among a number of other popular value metrics like price/earnings (P/E), price/sales (P/S) or price/book value (P/B). This is because they often find this ratio complicated, considering the limitations in calculating the future earnings growth potential of a stock.
However, at a time when volatility strikes every second day, it is pointless to ponder on methods, which don’t consider a stock’s future growth rate while calculating its intrinsic merit. Yardsticks such as dividend yield, P/E or P/B are most commonly used to single out whether a stock is trading at a discount.
However, these ratios, while not taking into account the future growth potential of a stock, may end up convincing us to invest in stocks that are at a discount just because of their poor show. This may often lead to “value traps” — a situation when these value picks start to underperform over the long run as the temporary problems, which once drove the share price down turn out to be persistent.