I recently read a book on the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. The author thoroughly details the lives of some of the affluent passengers who were aboard the luxury liner’s final voyage. As I was learning about these “high net worth” people who lived one hundred years ago, I kept wondering about how they saved and invested, and how early 20th century investing contrasts with early 21st century investing.
In the fourth-quarter newsletter, we discussed how we think about long-term equity return expectations. The purpose of the article was to explain how fundamental returns (driven by earnings growth) and speculative returns (driven by changes in valuation) collectively impact market prices. While changes in valuation are the overwhelming driver of equity returns in the short run, earnings growth (a proxy for intrinsic value) is what truly matters over the long-term.