Benjamin Graham, popularly known as the ‘father of value investing’, provided an elaborate framework to identify undervalued stocks. he proposed this in his books ‘Security Analyst’ and ‘The Intelligent Investor’. He also proposed a simple intrinsic value formula to identify these underpriced stocks, now known as the Ben Graham Formula. In this article we will learn about what Ben Graham formula is and how we can use it to measure a company’s intrinsic value.
Ben Graham Formula
The Ben Graham formula is a simple and straightforward formula that investors can use to evaluate a stock’s intrinsic value. The stock’s intrinsic value is the key idea behind it. The belief is that the stock market doesn’t really reflect the intrinsic value of the company. The intrinsic value itself is an estimate of a company’s value and depends on both tangible and intangible aspects of the company. We calculate intrinsic value using fundamental analysis. With this view, if the stock price is below the intrinsic value by a significant margin, then the investors should invest the stock for long-term to gain excess returns.
The Ben Graham Formula is provided below:
There are four key inputs:
- Value is the intrinsic value that we are calculating
- EPS: The trailing 12-month EPS (Earnings per Share). This helps us adjust EPS to a more normalized number
- 8.5: The constant represents the PE ratio of the company with 0% growth as proposed by Graham. It is reasonable to assume this number to be anywhere between 7 and 8.5.
- g: the company’s long-term (5-10 years) earnings growth rate
- 4.4: The minimum required rate of return. The risk-free rate was 4.4% in around 1962, when this model was introduced
- Y: The current 20-year AAA corporate bond rate
Identifying Under-priced Stocks
Using the Ben Graham Formula, we can calculate Relative Graham Value (RGV) by dividing the stock’s intrinsic value by its stock price. If the RGV is above one, as per theory the stock is undervalued and is a good buy. If the RGV is below 1, then the stock is overvalued and is a good sell.
We should note that many modern investors consider the formula to be too simplistic. Also, they doesn’t reflect our learning in the modern financial theory. However, studies have shown that the approach does work. Just like any other value investing approaches, we should not look at the intrinsic value we calculate using the formula as the absolute fair value of the stock, but rather as an indicator of the value.
The Ben graham Formula also has a drawback that it considers growth rate as an important element. It is important for analyst to exercise care while choosing an appropriate growth rate.
Ben Graham Formula in Excel
We have setup an excel template that we can use to calculate the intrinsic value of a stock using the Ben Graham Formula. The excel template is very flexible and we can extend and customize it to value any stock. You can also make assumptions according to your requirements. The spreadsheet makes use of MarketXLS functions to fetch the various inputs such as EPS, and stock prices.
Introducing MarketXLS with ValueSpreadsheet
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Nick Kraakman, is the founder of Value Spreadsheet. He teaches investors how they can consistently earn above average returns on the stock market by using a simple, proven & low-risk strategy called value investing.
Ankur Mohan, is the founder of MarketXLS, which aims to provide flexible software solutions to investors with aim of making the analysis of stocks easier by giving access to analytics, & robust data in a flexible manner in Excel.
Investing in stocks can lead to incredible returns. Today it is easier than ever to open a brokerage account and start investing your hard-earned savings. Unfortunately these great opportunities come with great risks.
The investing world was already a jungle of possibilities in which investors couldn't see the wood for the trees. But today, in 2019, it has truly turned into a web of hypes, quick changes, and clutter. The investing world has really become an ecosystem of distractions.
Investors drown in the never-ending waterfall of financial news and get-rich-quick schemes, they no longer know what works and what doesn't. This is why they miss focus and generally lose money..
And besides knowing what investment strategy to follow, collecting fundamental data from various public websites and then being able to display and use that data in a way that is useful remains a challenge for “non-developer” investors.
For years Nick has been studying the greatest minds in the investment world, like Warren Buffett, Joel Greenblatt, and Peter Lynch, to learn the "science behind profitable investing". He then used this knowledge to constantly improve the formula.
Nick soon realized that other investors could benefit from these "investment laws", which is why Nick has jam-packed all of his knowledge and formulas into one powerful package. The result? Value Spreadsheet.
MarketXLS now powers Nick's Value Spreadsheets to make sure it works with professional quality data with flexible functions using the MarketXLS platform. MarketXLS saves you a lot of time and makes powerful data available in Excel with easy to use and insanely powerful functions that work the way you like in Excel.
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With your MarketXLS Value Spreadsheet solution you are never alone in your value investing journey. Nick has taught thousands on value investing principles and Ankur is an expert in getting the right data, using functions, structuring your spreadsheets etc.
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Educated in Finance, Business and Statistics, Ankur is passionate about finance, investing, trading and programming.