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Shareholder Yield: A Better Approach to Dividend Investing Paperback – May 15, 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 58 pages
  • Publisher: Mebane Faber; 1 edition (May 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0988679906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988679900
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #466,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm just an average retail investor, not the sophisticated financial analyst that the author is, so I might have some things wrong here. But, here goes..

The book is a fairly quick read though I did take the time to think about things as I went along and re-read sections to make sure I thought I understood it. The author's main point is that companies return value to shareholders through multiple means: dividends, share buybacks, debt paydown, and investments and aquisitions. He concentrates on the first three, but mentions and then drops the last one. He makes note that due to changes in a 1982 law, more companies are returning value to shareholders by share buybacks, which needs to be taken into account to get a fuller picture. Also, value is returned to shareholders in the paying down of debt, which increases shareholder claims on future earnings. I think I'm getting this right. I found this discussion to be quite illuminating and I started feeling that I really needed to be taking those aspects into account when choosing my purchases. I don't know why he first mentions shareholder returns due to investments and aquisitions and then goes completely silent about those. It left me wondering.

By the end of the book, I was looking forward to trying some of the screens that he suggested in the last chapter. I visited 3 of the, I believe, 4 websites that he said screened for shareholder yield (dividend yield + net buyback yield + net debt paydown yield.) First I went to the Turnkey Analyst website. They have a screener but it is completely opaque and certainly does not screen for Shareholder Yield by itself. Then I went to ValueInvesting.eu. That does have a Shareholder Yield (in name) screener but doesn't include the Net Debt Paydown Yield component.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a review of Shareholder Yield: A Better Approach to Dividend Investing by Mebane Faber, a well-written book packed with information, more of a White Paper really, which took me less than an hour to finish.

It starts with a hilarious poem about the six wise men from Indostan, each of whom perceives one aspect of the elephant & mistakes it for the whole. (A very minor quibble: the story comes from the Jain tradition, not Hindu or Buddhist.)

The main conclusion of the book is that a portfolio consisting of stocks screened for high "Shareholder Yield" outperforms the markets (has a positive Alpha, in industry parlance) - without taking on additional risk (at least as measured by standard deviation of returns). Shareholder Yield is defined as the sum of three factors: dividend yield, net share buybacks (buybacks minus new stock issuance) and net debt pay-down. The author systematically walks us through each of these three factors and presents evidence that each factor individually adds Alpha to the portfolio. And to top it off, he presents evidence that combining the three factors outperforms each of the three individual factors.

The introduction quotes Warren Buffett that the main financial job of a CEO is allocating capital. That is the whole idea behind this book as well, from the perspective of an investor looking to outperform the market. The three aforementioned factors are the levers that a CEO has to return value to the shareholder by way of allocating capital.

The data presented are only from 1982 to 2012, a relatively short time-period for measuring the success of an investment strategy. This is mainly because a key law was changed in 1982, which led to share buybacks becoming more and more popular tools for capital allocators.

Overall the book is highly recommended for a short and concise presentation of a focused investment strategy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Meb Faber is definitely continuing his fresh views on ways to invest. The Ivy Portfolio changed my views on long-term investing and this book has also made me see things in a new light. I'd always known that dividends make up the majority of returns over time, but it was interesting to see how this can be improved upon by adding share buybacks and other metrics. Definitely worth a read as shareholder yield is a subject gaining momentum on Wall Street as an "up and coming" strategy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good and thorough explanation of fairly complex topic. I highly recommend this book both for individual investors and investment professionals. Great supporting documentation and links to other research.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I try to read everything Meb Faber writes. He is a tireless researcher of asset allocation strategies and extremely generous at sharing his findings. Shareholder yield is a way of modifying dividend strategies to include the tendency of companies to buy back their own shares instead of or in addition to paying dividends. Faber demonstrates how useful it is to use this measure for evaluation of stock performance. My only complaint is I wish the book was bigger and could go much further. But the price is almost nothing and cheap at that price.
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This is just a short article packaged as a book. It's interesting what passes for a book in today's 'self publishing' era. I've read the book and heard the author speak, which I enjoyed. My problem is the book has very little data and is not robust in the least. The whole idea is buy stocks that have the best Shareholder Yield = Dividend yield + Net Buyback Yield + Net Debt Paydown Yield. When speaking the author waffles on the Net Debt Paydown and focuses on the first two.

The approach can likely be better explained by a more empirical, factor-based approach that would like show a high exposure to 'momentum' and 'value.' Any out-performance of a shareholder yield strategy would likely vanish and perhaps go negative when screened for these factors. Value strategies have been around for a long time. Momentum strategies are more recent and have implementation issues, as it is a higher turnover, higher cost strategy to implement.
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