Investing can be extremely psychologically demanding.
Not only are you up against the world’s best investors, but you’re also up against yourself. It’s easy to get caught making irrational decisions based on your own personal blindspots or cognitive biases, and these mistakes can lead to buying when you should sell, and vice versa.
For the above reasons, the most successful investors are often those that have rational and proven systems in place.
Having a method to your madness allows you to have confidence in your decisions, while also taking advantage of the strategies and heuristics that have performed well for the world’s most elite investors.
How to Pick Growth Stocks
Today’s infographic comes to us from Investor’s Business Daily, and it details the basics around the discipline of growth investing, including the differences the school has with value investing.
More importantly, it also provides a framework for choosing growth stocks used by elite investors such as William J. O’Neil.
Growth investing is all about identifying the companies that are exhibiting behavior that suggests that they will be tomorrow’s leaders.
The benefits to this strategy, if successful, are easy to see. Think about buying Microsoft before it dominated the software industry, or Starbucks before it conquered the United States with its new approach to coffee culture.
The question is: how can these stocks be found reliably?
The CAN SLIM Approach
Fantastic growth stocks don’t just grow on trees – instead, you have to have a system to sift through them.
One easy place to start your search for the next growth leader is with an approach pioneered with investing legend William J. O’Neil. Developed in the 1950s, the CAN SLIM strategy identifies seven characteristics that top-performing stocks often share before making their biggest price gains.
Each characteristic is represented by a letter in the CAN SLIM acronym:
C – Current quarterly earnings
A – Annual earnings growth
N – New product, service, management, or price high
S – Supply and demand
L – Leader or laggard
I – Institutional sponsorship
M – Market direction
Importantly, each of these traits can be a catalyst to influence other traits. When they compound, it can lead to big price movements that beat the rest of the market.
Breaking Down the Factors
Let’s look at each characteristic of the CAN SLIM approach in more detail:
Current quarterly earnings
Look for companies with a minimum earnings-per share (EPS) growth of 25% in the most recent quarter, though 50% or higher is even better. These companies should also have 20% sales growth in the quarter, and a 17% ROE to ensure that growth is sustainable.
Annual earnings growth
Look for companies with annual EPS growth of at least 25% to 50% in each of the previous 3-5 years. This helps confirm that the company is showing long-term growth.
New product, service, management, or price high
What is the company doing that is new or game-changing? To be a market winner, a company must constantly reinvent itself to position itself for higher-than-average profits.
Examples: Consider Google’s monetization of search ads, or McDonald’s novel approach to food. These innovations set the companies up for massive profits and success.
Supply and demand
A stock price increases when more investors demand an increasingly limited supply of shares. Spikes in price, along with volume accumulation, mean that demand is increasing. If this is coming from institutional investors, who tend to buy and hold, it’s even better.
Leader or laggard
The leading companies in leading industries – the best of the best – will be the companies that have the most growth potential.
75% of all market activity comes from professional investors, such as mutual funds or pension funds. Not only does the smart money help validate a potential growth stock by being involved, but they can trigger big price increases.
CAN SLIM investors believe you should invest with the market, as opposed to against it. That’s because an individual stock moves with the market 75% of the time.
Putting it Together
Understanding how the different CAN SLIM factors work together – and how they can help bring massive bouts of growth for the underlying stock – is key for the successful growth investor.
Using a rational system like this also helps you in overcoming cognitive biases or making other mistakes that may affect your investments, as well.
Visualizing the Rise of the U.S. Dollar Since the 19th Century
This animated graphic shows the U.S. dollar, the world’s primary reserve currency, as a share of foreign reserves since 1900.
Visualizing the Rise of the U.S. Dollar Since the 19th Century
As the world’s reserve currency, the U.S. dollar made up 58.4% of foreign reserves held by central banks in 2022, falling near 25-year lows.
Today, emerging countries are slowly decoupling from the greenback, with foreign reserves shifting to currencies like the Chinese yuan.
At the same time, the steep appreciation of the U.S. dollar is leading countries to sell their U.S. foreign reserves to help prop up their currencies, in turn buying currencies such as the Australian and Canadian dollars to help generate higher yields.
The above animated graphic from James Eagle shows the rapid ascent of the U.S. dollar over the last century, and its gradual decline in recent years.
Dollar Dominance: A Brief History
In 1944, the U.S. dollar became the world’s reserve currency under the Bretton Woods Agreement. Over the first half of the century, the U.S. ran budget surpluses while increasing trade and economic ties with war-torn countries, expanding its influence as the world’s store of value.
Later through the 1960s, the U.S. dollar share of global foreign reserves rapidly increased as political allies stockpiled the dollar.
By 2000, dollar dominance hit a peak of 71% of global reserves. With the creation of the European Union a year earlier, countries such as China began increasing the share of euros in reserves. Between 2000 and 2005, the share of the dollar in China’s foreign exchange reserves fell by an estimated 15 percentage points.
The dollar began a long rally after the global financial crisis, which drove central banks to cut their dollar reserves to help bolster their currencies.
Fast-forward to today, and dollar reserves have fallen roughly 13 percentage points from their historical peak.
The State of the World’s Reserve Currency
In 2022, 16% of Russia’s export transactions were in yuan, up from almost nothing before the war. Brazil and Argentina have also begun adopting the Chinese currency for trade or reserve purposes. Still, the U.S. dollar makes up 80% of Brazil’s reserves.
Yet while the U.S. dollar has decreased in share of foreign reserves, it still has an immense influence in the world economy.
The majority of trade is invoiced in the U.S. dollar globally, a trend that has stayed fairly consistent over many decades. Between 1999-2019, 74% of trade in Asia was invoiced in dollars and in the Americas, it made up 96% of all invoicing.
Furthermore, almost 90% of foreign exchange transactions involve the U.S. dollar thanks to its liquidity.
However, countries are increasingly finding alternative options than the dollar. Today, Western businesses have begun settling trade with China in renminbi. Looking further ahead, digital currencies could provide options that don’t include the U.S. dollar.
Even more so, if the U.S. share of global GDP continues to shrink, the shift to a multipolar system could progress over this century.
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