Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Welcome, everyone. A "Forbes" article about Meb Faber's book begins with the question, how does an investment manager reconcile all of the various prognostications he hears on a daily basis? His curt and brief response was, ignore them. Over 70 years ago, Ben Graham and David Dodd proposed valuing stocks with earnings smoothed across multiple years. Robert Shiller later popularized this method with his version of the cyclically adjusted price to earnings, or the cape ratio, in the late 1990s and correctly issued a timely warning of poor stock returns to follow in the coming years. Our speaker today Mr. Faber applies this valuation metric across his global investments. He's a co-founder and CIO of Cambria Investment Management and has authored numerous white papers and three books-- "Shareholder Yield," "The Ivy Portfolio," and "Global Value." A frequent speaker and writer on investment strategies who has been featured in the "Barons," "The New York Times," and "The New Yorker," he is here today to speak about his investing philosophy. So without further ado, friends, let's welcome Mebane Faber. MEBANE FABER: It's great to be here today. This is a nice, intimate audience. So I usually fly through this pretty quick. So if I'm going too fast, I say something you don't understand, just raise your hand and wave at me. This is interesting. Because this is probably the first time in my entire life I've been the most dressed up person in the room. You know, suits for me, it's normally weddings, funerals. I live down in So Cal. So casual is kind of our normal entire anyway. So it's a bit humorous. Anyway, all right. So we're going to get started real fast. Since I don't see too many familiar faces, quick introduction. Again, my name is Mebane Faber, although I go by Meb. Mebs lately have had a lot of great press. This is the Meb who just won the Boston Marathon. And as one of my friends' moms on social media said when I posted a link to this, said I didn't even know you ran, I said, well, I know if you've seen any photos, but he's in much better shape, much skinnier than I am. I grew up in Colorado before spending some time in North Carolina. I went to college at University of Virginia. So if anybody is watching the College World Series tonight, go Hoos. We're playing Vanderbilt. So pretty excited about that. May have to make a last minute trip to Omaha here if we win one of the first two games. Actually studied engineering in biology so. I feel like I'm in good company today. Probably a lot of engineers here. My first job out of college was in Washington, DC. Worked as a biotech analyst for biotech stocks and was going to grad school at the time before moving to San Fransisco. So I lived in the Bay Area for about a year and a half and then a brief-- and actually lived with an early Google employee. So I was gravitating more towards the quant side of the business of the time. So moved away from the bench, from the science-- I was always really terrible at it anyway-- but more towards quantitative investing. A brief stop in Lake Tahoe, where I can get away in most of the country saying that I actually had gainful employment there. But most to you can see through that and say, you're probably a ski bum. As you know, there's probably not a lot of high investment companies going on in Tahoe. But an interesting side story was that when I did live there, I managed to sneak my way into a really, really great Google party. And if any of you all have been around long enough-- this is probably 2004-- anybody here that used to go to the parties they had at Squaw-- wow, OK. We got a couple. So, I mean, we're talking six stages-- this is probably pre-IPO days. You could still get away with this. Six stages and ice sculptures and fire. And they flew almost everybody in from around the world. And of course, I wasn't working at Google but had a number of friends did. So I managed to sneak my way in. And I remembered as I was walking today. I'd completely forgotten about this. But they gave every Google employee two drink tickets and then I think you had to buy the rest or something. But the good news is, most of my friends worked in travel employment up there. So I had it from friends working the hotel front desk setting up the tents with the guys. One of the guy says, here, you want some drink tickets? You know, because we're all obviously sneaking into the parties. And he said, sure. You know, you only get one or two. He goes, here's 50. Needless to say, I managed to get kicked out of the party later that night, or the after party, but really had a great time there. It was really a lot of fun. Moved down to LA. I guess this should be a Kings photo now. But I've been in Manhattan Beach for the past seven years. When I started my company Cambria Investment Adviser, spent a lot of time learning how to surf. But I'm pretty terrible. Look like this and this. And if you've see the videos on YouTube lately, one of the benefits of having technology, of course, the go pros of the world, is you get amazing footage, right? But also, you learn some things you really probably didn't want to know. So being a surfer in Manhattan beach and all of a sudden realizing that, yes, underwater there's a lot of great white sharks. So you've been seeing a lot of these videos coming out lately where stand up paddleboarders are just watching these great whites swim through the line up. I would rather just not know, of course, that our friends are there. But they're harmless, right? A bit about my company-- we started in 2006. We manage about 430 million, maybe 440 million now. We do individual accounts. We manage public funds. The goal-- and I feel like this try to include a Silicon Valley term-- disrupt traditional high fee investing. I have 100% of my net worth invested in our public fund. So this isn't a theoretical exercise we're going to talk about today. But this is what I do with all my own money. Now, before we start, this is a fun little quiz we're going to pass around. It's anonymous. So don't worry. Nobody's going to see what you wrote down. But asked a simple question is for those of you invest in stocks-- so ignore bonds. Ignore real estate. Ignore commodities or whatever else you may trade-- currencies. And you have to be US resident. Otherwise, you'll bias the data. How much do you put in the US? So let's say you have 80% in the US, 20% in Japan. Write down 80%. So there's a little piece of paper that's going to go around. Just write down a number. And then when it gets to the end, raise your hand. And we'll get back to this a little bit later. You can find a lot of information that we write about and publish. Again, I have a blog-- Mebfabor.com. My company's website-- Cambria Funds. There's a third site called The Idea Farm, but all of which we publish. Most of it is free. There's 1,500 articles I've written on the blog, about a dozen white papers, three books. And as a benefit of sitting here during a lunch break or taking the time out today or if you're watching the webcast, I'm more than happy to send you a free book. You can only pick one, though. But the topic of this one today is a book we put out a couple months ago called "Global Value." But we've also published two others. But I'll have more than happy to send you one. Shoot me an email. My personal email address-- mebane@gmail. I tried to get meb@gmail in the early days, but they said, no three letter Gmail addresses when it first came out, sadly. But anyway, shoot me one. "Ivy Portfolio" is best in harder paperback. It came out at a time when the Kindle software wasn't that great yet. So I would recommend reading that one in a hard cover or paper back. The other two, I would be happy to send you a free copy. All right, so we're going to get started on the talk now. And it's interesting. Because a lot of people, when you talk about investing, it's an interesting science. And it's interesting because so many people have such widely held beliefs, right? And so, talking about it, in many ways, to certain people, especially that aren't as open minded, it's like talking about politics. It's like talking about religion, right? Trying to convince a buy and hold indexer that you should be tactical is just as difficult as trying to convince a Republican to be a Democrat or someone to switch religions. It's really difficult. But we're going to talk about some interesting stuff today that probably goes against a lot of conventional wisdom. So keep an open mind. You may agree with some of it, may not. But it should be interesting. I was going to name this chart or this topic You Suck at Investing. And when I say this, I don't mean any of you specifically. I'm not pointing out any one of you, although most of you do. But you're terrible at investing. This is the broad investing public. This is an example of a study that comes out by Dow Bar that shows investor returns, dollar weighted returns. As you can see, typically, everything did good except for the average investor. Morningstar replicates this study for funds, right? So the average investment fund-- when the money comes in, when the money comes out. And typically, what happens-- people are emotional. They have a behavioral bias or they rush into stocks or performance of a fund at the top and then sell at the bottom. And they do it over and over and over again. That costs you roughly about 2% a year typically, right? So all you that are getting really excited about stocks again after the fifth year of this bull market but weren't investing in 2008 or 2009, you maybe want to take a little bit of pause, think about it. But it's important to come up with a systematic investment approach to avoid some of these genetic behavioral biases we have. A good visual representation of this is, there's an American Association of Individual Investors-- polls their readers and says, simple question. Are you bullish on the stock market, bearish, or neutral? This goes back to late '80s. So the red is kind of average values. The green triangle is where we are now. So kind of average. What you can see, though, is a little bit of complacency. The neutral is a little higher than normal, right? And that kind of reflects what's going on the market. There's low volatility. A lot of people haven't really participated. They got out in '08, '09, and have never really gotten back in. Don't really know what to do.