Investors Map Their Course In 2021 Using Validea

Investors Map Their Course In 2021 Using Validea

By Justin Carbonneau (@jjcarbonneau) —

In 2021, over 320,000 investors from 190 different countries visited in search of information that they believed could help in their investing journey. While the vast majority of these investors may have visited just a page or two on the site, a handful of investors dug in and realized that our tools and research could improve in their investing outcomes and help them reach their investing destination. Using our analytics, we can see where investors went and what sections of the site they used the most. In this post we’ll look at the most popular gurus, portfolios, stocks and more on what went on at Validea throughout the year – maybe this will give you ideas on how you can best use Validea’s investment research in the future.

No two investors use Validea in the exact same way. Some use the site to validate existing or new stock positions, while others access the investment idea generation tools (like our Guru Stock Screener or predefined screens) or follow our stock and ETF model portfolios. Many just read our blog or access non-premium features (we have a “Freemium” model with some free content but most of the value is for subscribers only), but the highlights below shows where investors interests were in terms of strategies and stocks.

Most Popular Guru: Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett Guru Page

The very first section in Validea’s header is the list of gurus we emulate at Validea. On top of that list is perhaps the greatest investor of all time, Warren Buffett. The Guru page highlighting Buffett and our model, which is based on the book Buffettology is the most popular page out of all the gurus on the site. Some may not know this but our Buffett-based model was scoring Apple (AAPL) 90-100% in 2015, two full years before Buffett bought the stock. Our model continues to score it very highly and Apple is by far Berkshire Hathaway’s largest holding. It’s nice when a model lines up with what is happening in the real-world.

Most Popular Guru Portfolio: Twin Momentum based on Dashan Huang

Twin Momentum Model Portfolio

The most viewed model portfolio throughout the year is also the very best long-term performer, and it’s a strategy called Twin Momentum based on the academic paper written by Dashan Huang and a few other researchers. Because Twin Momentum sits at the very top of the portfolio table with such stellar returns, its no wonder the portfolio is the most popular, but investors should take stock in how the stocks are being selected for this model. The strategy combines an improving trend in fundamentals with strong price momentum. Momentum as a factor is very robust, but pure momentum often lacks a fundamental reason for the what is driving it. This model fixes that problem because fundamentals are incorporated into the stock selection process.

Most Popular Value-Based Guru Portfolio: Value Investor based on Ben Graham

Value Investor Model Portfolio

Of all the value models we run, investors still are attracted to Ben Graham and his classic style of value investing. As we know, investing has (and will continue to) evolve since the days of Graham and the Intelligent Investor, but identifying cheap stocks based on book value and earnings can still lead to some excellent investment opportunities. There is a wide gap between the most expensive stocks and the cheapest stocks in the market today, and this valuation gap presents an opportunity for those value investors looking to buy things that are cheap. The changing interest rate and inflation environment could be a tailwind for value stocks and the Graham model certainly has its fair share of stocks that look super cheap based on simple valuation multiples.

TickerNameLatest PriceP/E Ratio
BIGBIG LOTS, INC.$41.526.7

Most Researched Stocks

Apple, one of the most valuable and widely followed stocks, ranked #1 based traffic to our Guru Analysis engine and Factor Report. Guru Analysis scores stocks through the 20+ guru models we run, while the Factor Report looks at the major investing factors (size, value, quality, momentum and low volatility) and scores stocks on a relative basis vs others in the market. I was surprised to see Alibaba is also in both lists. Tesla is also on the list and is less surprising given its rise and the attention Elon Musk gets. You can use the links to see both of the tools, and the factor report is completely free to use.

Guru Analysis – view tool

  1. Apple
  2. Alibaba
  3. Tesla

Factor Report view tool

  1. Apple
  2. Amazon
  3. Alibaba

Most Viewed ETF Model Portfolios

We also run ETF model portfolios on Validea, and while not as popular as our guru model portfolios, these strategies serve a different purpose in that they tend to be less risky than concentrated stock portfolios. Our risk-managed portfolios are there for those investors who are looking to balance risk and return in a systematic way and are seeking lower risk approaches. The most viewed equity ETF portfolio is our factor rotation model with trend following. This portfolio uses ETFs to rotate into the factor-based funds that are performing best and also incorporates a trend following model to move out of the market in an attempt to manage major market declines. Of our risk-managed models, our Protective Asset Allocation was most popular with investors. You can click on the links below to learn more about each of these.

Most Read Blog Post

My partner, Jack Forehand and I often kid around with each other on whose original investing commentary is more popular and widely read. Jack can take a victory lap this year because his piece, Put Down the Dividends – And Slowly Walk Away, was the most popular original post this year. Dividends are loved by many investors, but Jack takes a different view and offers up some thoughts on why investors may be paying too much attention to dividends.

Most Watched Podcast

Jack and had the privilege to interview lots of smart investors over the past year on the Excess Returns podcast. We’ve learned a ton and I hope the thousands of investors who have listened/watched our episodes have also learned alongside with us. The most popular podcast, using views on YouTube, was our interview with Rob Arnott, founder of Research Affiliates. Rob is one of the most prolific researchers in the investment industry and we talk to him about inflation, market bubbles, the future of traditional value investing and much more.

Rob Arnott, founder of Research Affiliates, on Inflation, Bubbles and the Future of Value Investing

So, there you have it, that is our year in review for Validea. To all of those who trust what we’ve built here and incorporate our models, research and writing in their investing activities and continuous learning on the markets, we just want to say — Thank You! We look forward to doing it again next year.  

Justin J. Carbonneau is VP at Validea & Partner at Validea Capital Management.
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