Investing in undervalued securities worldwide

Weekly Update 18 March 2024

Share Article:

With global markets at all-time highs, it is natural to wonder if the market is in a bubble and if it would be a good time to take profits.

Two contrasting takes on this question were recently published.

Jeremy Grantham of asset manager GMO believes that the US market is overvalued.

The valuation of the US market can be assessed with the Shiller P/E ratio, which currently sits at 34.

Grantham warns that there has never been a sustained rally starting from a 34 Shiller P/E. Higher valuations were only reached in the tech bubble in 1999-2000 (the Shiller P/E peaked at 43) and, before that, in the Japanese stock market bubble in the late 1980s (when the Shiller P/E reached almost 100).

Both of those episodes ended badly.

Because of the high valuations of US stocks, Grantham prefers non-US markets, and the Value style within those markets.

A more optimistic take on the US market is offered by Ray Dalio, a hedge fund manager, who asks if US stocks are in a bubble.

Dalio argues that the market is only somewhat expensive, and much cheaper than during the tech bubble 25 years ago. Not too many new buyers have recently entered the market, sentiment is neutral, leverage is low, and companies are not investing heavily. Overall, the market doesn’t look very bubbly.

Where do I stand in this debate?

I would not like to bet against the market at this point.

I agree with Grantham that the US market is expensive and that, as a result, returns for passive investors in the US will be low. But valuations can always become more expensive before they revert lower.

I also agree with Dalio that the traditional signs of a speculative market top are not yet in place.

I thus follow economic momentum, which remains positive, and so stay long economically-sensitive sectors such as Banks and Energy.

I would turn more cautious if economic momentum turned negative, sentiment became euphoric, or valuations went more clearly into bubble territory.

2024 performance
@triangulacapital +12.3%
$SWDA.L +6.4%

Portfolio changes
ING and MetLife were replaced by HSBC and ASR Nederland.

Copy Trading does not amount to investment advice. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.

Share Article:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFD assets.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 51% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

eToro (Europe) Ltd., a Financial Services Company authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySEC) under the license # 109/10.

eToro (UK) Ltd. is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the license FRN 583263.

Your capital is at risk. Other fees may apply. For more information, visit

Pietari Laurila is not a registered investment advisor and does not offer investment advisory, fund management or wealth management services.

Triangula Capital is a brand name, not an incorporated entity.

This page is provided for information purposes only. It is not a recommendation to copy the Triangula Capital strategy or to invest in any fund or security.

2009-2020 performance figures are from Pietari’s personal Interactive Brokers account. They are time-weighted returns calculated in accordance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS).

From 2021, performance is calculated by eToro.

Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Track Record

It is often said that past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

That is true. But there is also some evidence indicating that portfolios that performed better in the past, do perform better in the future.

“[…] top-decile prior-alpha funds produce annual future alphas of about 150 bps, net of fees” Source

Risk warning: That is only one study. In general, past performance is not indicative of future results.

Aligned Incentives

Pietari invests the majority of his net worth in the strategy. This ensures that his interests are aligned with investors who copy the strategy.

“Funds with high-incentive contracts deliver higher risk-adjusted return, and the superior performance remains persistent. The top incentive quintile of funds outperforms the bottom quintile by 2.70% per year” Source

Risk warning: Pietari holds accounts with multiple brokers and may therefore have a conflict of interest when deciding which accounts he should trade in first.

Unconstrained Investments

The strategy has fewer constraints on its investments than traditional mutual funds.

The strategy portfolio can be invested in stocks, bonds or cash and these allocations can vary over time.

Compared to traditional mutual funds, the strategy also:

  • holds fewer securities
  • trades more
  • avoids following the index

Each of these points has been shown to be an important predictor of portfolio performance.

“We […] find that portfolio concentration is directly related to risk-adjusted returns for institutional investors worldwide” Source

“A one-standard-deviation increase in turnover is associated with a 0.65% per year increase in performance for the typical fund” Source

“We find that truly active funds significantly outperform closet indexers. Further, we find that the truly active funds are able to outperform their benchmarks on average by 1.04% per year” Source

Risk warning: Concentrated portfolios with few positions can suffer large losses if bad news arrives about any of the companies in the portfolio.

Cheap Stocks in Cheap Sectors

The strategy invests in geographies and sectors where values have collapsed due to macroeconomic problems.

Within these geographies and sectors, the strategy overweights stocks that trade at low valuations on measures such as price-to-earnings or price-to-net asset value.

Every stock in the strategy portfolio must also be a good company, with no obvious red flags or long-term threats to its business model.

The aim of the strategy is to maximize returns, even if this means taking more risks than usual.

Risk warning: The strategy portfolio tends to be concentrated in risky stocks, which means that its losses in any market downturn will likely exceed those of the market index.