How to value the stock market using the Equity Q ratio

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How to value the stock market using the Equity Q ratio
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How to value the stock market using the Equity Q ratio

By: greenbackd

Mark Spitznagel, CIO of Universa, released in May a prescient white paper called “The Austrians and the Swan: Birds of a Different Feather” in which he discussed the theory behind the “Equity Q Ratio,” a variation of Tobin’s Q ratio, and the expected returns to the market from various levels of Equity Q Ratio.

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Tobin’s Q ratio is the ratio between the market value of the stock market and against the aggregate net worth of the constituent stocks measured at replacement cost.

It can be defined to include or exclude debt. We exclude debt for ease of calculation, and refer to it in this form as “Equity Q”.

Spitznagel observes that the aggregate US stock market has suffered very few sizeable annual losses (which Spitznagel defines as “20% or more”). By definition, we can categorize such extreme stock market losses “tail events.”

However, when the Equity Q ratio is high, large losses are “no longer a tail event, but become an expected event.”

Equity Q ratios over 0.9 lead to some very ugly results. So where are we now?

Ugly.

H/T Zero Hedge.

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My name is Tobias Carlisle. I am the founder and managing member of Eyquem Investment Management LLC, and portfolio manager of Eyquem Fund LP. Eyquem Fund LP pursues a deep value, contrarian, Grahamite investment strategy based on the research featured in Quantitative Value: A Practitioner’s Guide to Automating Intelligent Investment and Eliminating Behavioral Errors (hardcover, 288 pages, Wiley Finance, December 26, 2012), and discussed on Greenbackd. I have extensive experience in activist investment, company valuation, public company corporate governance, and mergers and acquisitions law. Prior to founding Eyquem, I was an analyst at an activist hedge fund, general counsel of a company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, and a corporate advisory lawyer. As a lawyer specializing in mergers and acquisitions I have advised on transactions across a variety of industries in the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Australia, Singapore, Bermuda, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and Guam, ranging in value from $50 million to $2.5 billion. I am a graduate of the University of Queensland in Australia with degrees in law and business (management). Contact me I can be contacted at greenbackd [at] gmail [dot] com. I welcome all feedback. Connect on LinkedIn, where we’re Friends.

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