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How to Spot a Value Trap Investment
Over the years we have often cautioned investors to beware of penny stocks, especially those that have seen better days. While investing in a grand old name in hopes of a recovery it is important to learn how to spot a value trap investment. This issue came up recently when we wondered what was wrong at Kraft Heinz. As bargains become harder to find in an aging bull market there is a temptation to go bottom feeding in search of an investment miracle. Here is some advice about what to watch out for.
If you are going to invest in Kraft Heinz today you need to know how to spot a value trap investment.
Kraft Heinz Products
Spotting a Value Trap
A couple of years back Bloomberg published a useful article with 12 signs a cheap stock is a value trap.
The historically high price-to-earnings ratios being placed on equities today make cheap stocks even more alluring. That makes sense, but be advised that the market is littered with “value traps” or stocks that look cheap but never substantially rebound.
Any way you cut it, value is profoundly out of favor, and not just in 2017. Although proponents of these investments typically are patient people, the long-term differential is large enough to be worrisome. Over the last 10 years, growth has outperformed value by more than 100 percent in small caps and by 50 percent in large caps.
Thus, knowing how to spot a value trap is doubly important at this time. Here are dozen suggestions from Bloomberg. The ideas are theirs but rewritten by us for the sake of brevity.
Still Troubled at the Top of Its Operating Cycle
The U.S. economy and the vast majority of stocks have long recovered from the 2008 stock market crash and financial crisis. If the company you are looking at is performing poorly in the best of times it may well be a value trap. Something is wrong as is not being fixed or cannot be repaired.