Clients familiar with our investment philosophy understand and appreciate our income-focused, value-driven approach. Many of you may recognize the first chart below, which highlights this approach since the inception of our flagship Global Income strategy in 2003. The portfolio values of our clients certainly fluctuated over the past two decades particularly during the dramatic sell-offs resulting from the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, the oil market sell-off of 2014, and recently the COVID-19 recession. However, despite these fluctuations, our clients have enjoyed a steady and growing stream of income over the past 18 years, as the chart depicts.
If you’ve been tuned in to financial news over the first half of the year, you’ve undoubtedly heard and read about the stream of initial public offerings (IPOs) hitting the markets over the past few months. From ridesharing behemoths to producers of plant-based meat alternatives, the majority of these share offerings have belonged to emerging tech companies which have shown tremendous growth and now seek public investment following multiple rounds of private funding. These companies often see stratospheric returns in their initial days of public trading before cooling and returning to Earth. This post will address the recent IPO craze from our perspective and highlight why we steer clear with our investors’ capital.
On more than one occasion in recent years clients have written us about investing in Starbucks, the trendy coffee chain with locations in seemingly every city and town across the United States. Though Starbucks is the coffee shop of choice for some of us at Altrius, we believe that mistaking a company for the products it sells can trap investors into overpaying for its shares (for more on this, head over to our McDonald's vs. Shake Shack blog post) and have thought it expensive until recently. Previously trading at over 30 times trailing earnings with a dividend yield of around 1.5% - less than half that of our Disciplined Alpha Dividend strategy - Starbucks has remained outside of our value discipline in past years. However, the company caught our attention after a recent selloff and we added it to our portfolios in early August.