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巴菲特《通货膨胀如何欺诈股票投资者》续三  

2011-06-13 13:01:46|  分类: 双语新闻 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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The good old days

This characteristic of stocks - the reinvestment of part of the coupon - can be good or bad news, depending on the relative attractiveness of that 12 percent. The news was very good indeed in, the 1950's and early 1960's. With bonds yielding only 3 or 4 percent, the right to reinvest automatically a portion of the equity coupon at 12 percent vias of enormous value. Note that investors could not just invest their own money and get that 12 percent return. Stock prices in this period ranged far above book value, and investors were prevented by the premium prices they had to pay from directly extracting out of the underlying corporate universe whatever rate that universe was earning. You can't pay far above par for a 12 percent bond and earn 12 percent for yourself.

But on their retained earnings, investors could earn 12 percent. In effect, earnings retention allowed investors to buy at book value part of an enterprise that, in the economic environment than existing, was worth a great deal more than book value.

It was a situation that left very little to be said for cash dividends and a lot to be said for earnings retention. Indeed, the more money that investors thought likely to be reinvested at the 12 percent rate, the more valuable they considered their reinvestment privilege, and the more they were willing to pay for it. In the early 1960's, investors eagerly paid top-scale prices for electric utilities situated in growth areas, knowing that these companies had the ability to reinvest very large proportions of their earnings. Utilities whose operating environment dictated a larger cash payout rated lower prices.

If, during this period, a high-grade, noncallable, long-term bond with a 12 percent coupon had existed, it would have sold far above par. And if it were a bond with a further unusual characteristic - which was that most of the coupon payments could be automatically reinvested at par in similar bonds - the issue would have commanded an even greater premium. In essence, growth stocks retaining most of their earnings represented just such a security. When their reinvestment rate on the added equity capital was 12 percent while interest rates generally were around 4 percent, investors became very happy - and, of course, they paid happy prices.

美好的往昔岁月

将股票盈利的一部分重新再投入的特性,既是好消息也是坏消息,这取决于那12%的回报到底有多诱人。在1950年代和60年代早期,这的确是好消息。那时候债券收益率只有百分之三或四,有权能够自动把股票盈利的一部分再投入,并取得12%的回报,具有极大的价值。注意,这时投资人无法把自己的资金投资其他的东西而取得那12%的回报。在这个时期,股票价格远超过净资产价格。由于股票价格高涨,无论公司内在的回报率是多少,投资者都无法直接从公司的收益中获得回报。这就好比一份年息12%的债券,如果你以远远超过票面价值的价格购买,是无法获得12%的回报的。

但是,投资者的存留收益可以获得12%的回报。实际上,在当时的经济环境下,存留收益让投资者以净资产价格购买价值远超出净资产价格的企业。

这种情况让现金股利与收益存留相比没有任何吸引力。确实,能有更多的盈利再投入赚取12%回报,投资者就更加认为他们的投资有价值。他们就愿意付更高的价格。在60年代早期,投资者热衷于高价购买增长区域的电力公司股票。因为他们知道这些成长型公司有能力再投入大量的盈利来赚取更多回报。而由于运营环境的原因付出更多现金股利的电力公司则股价很低。

如果在这一时期,存在一个高等级,无法回购的年息12%的长期债券,也会卖的远远超过票面价值的。如果这样一个债券再有另外一个不寻常的特性 - 能够把利息收入的大部分再以票面价值投入到类似的债券中去,那它还会卖得更高。实际上成长型股票把大部分盈利存留下来再投入,就好像前面提到的债券。当资本再投入的回报是12%而银行利息只有4%左右时,投资者非常高兴。当然,他们也付出了高的价格。

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