Saturday, August 26, 2017

114,000 Words

Having finished my series on The Cult of the Luxury Brand, I wanted to look back at my investment writing and see how I've done:

Since January 2014, I've written over 114,000 words for Seeking Alpha. (For comparison, the average novel is 80,000 to 100,000 words long).

Thank you to all of my readers, as well as everyone else who's supported me in my writing!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Conclusions And Final Thoughts On 'The Cult Of The Luxury Brand'

For the past two months, I have been writing a series of articles for the investing site Seeking Alpha about The Cult of the Luxury Brand, a book about the luxury industry’s rise in Asia. In those articles, I have used a model from the book, the “Spread of Luxury” model, to estimate the future growth of three of the industry’s largest companies: LVMH group, Compagnie Financière Richemont, and Kering SA. Using those growth estimates, I have projected the annualized returns a long term investor in those companies might be able to look forward to.

However, there is much more to Chadha and Husband’s book than the “Spread of Luxury” model. The book offers many interesting insights about the Asian luxury market, drawing upon fields as diverse as history, philosophy, and psychology to do so. Moreover, though the long term returns I have projected for the major companies in the industry have been fairly uninspiring, I feel the underlying reasons behind those returns provide interesting lessons about how the market views those companies and the industry as a whole. (Read More)

Friday, August 18, 2017

Valuing Kering Through 'The Cult Of The Luxury Brand,' Part 2

In a recent article written for the investing site Seeking Alpha, I described how The Cult of the Luxury Brand, Radha Chadha and Paul Husband’s book on the luxury industry in Asia, could be used to predict the industry’s growth on that continent.

Since then, I have been using a model from that book, the "Spread of Luxury" model, to calculate the future growth of luxury conglomerates such as LVMH group and Compagnie Financière Richemont. LVMH, the owner of such brands as Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, and Marc Jacobs, is the world’s largest luxury goods company. I projected that the company would grow at around 4.6% per year for the next 33 years for a total annualized return of 5.24% taking into account dividends and changes in valuation. Similarly, I calculated that Richemont, the owner of such brands as Cartier, Dunhill, and Piaget, would grow at around 5.13% annually, for a total annual return of 5.76%.

Having calculated the future growth of LVMH and Richemont, I will now do the same with Kering SA. Along with LVMH and Richemont, Kering is the third of the three major luxury conglomerates profiled in Chadha and Husband’s book. Kering is also roughly tied with Richemont for the position of the world’s second largest luxury conglomerate. In my last article, I laid the groundwork for these calculations by estimating Kering's sales to customers from each of its major sales regions. In this one, I calculate how those sales will evolve and contribute to Kering's overall growth over the next several decades. (Read More)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Valuing Kering Through 'The Cult Of The Luxury Brand,' Part 1

In several recent articles, I have described how Paul Husband and Radha Chadha's book The Cult of the Luxury Brand offers us a model for estimating the growth of luxury goods companies in Asia.

That model, the “Spread of Luxury” model, describes how countries advance through several stages of luxury goods consumption. Each stage corresponds to not only a different level of economic development, but also a different level of consumption. Those stages range from “Start of Money,” in which few consumers purchase luxury goods, to “Way of Life,” in which a country’s luxury market is fully saturated. According to Chadha and Husband, the "Way of Life" stage is the end stage for Asian markets as they become fully developed.

I have applied this model to estimate the future growth of two of the world's largest luxury companies, LVMH group and Compagnie Financiere Richemont. I will now apply that model to Kering, the third of the three major luxury conglomerates profiled in Chadha and Husband's book and the owner of fashion brands such as Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent as well as sports brands such as Puma.

To do this, we first need to calculate where Kering's customers come from. This requires us to apply global trends in personal luxury goods sales to the company's sales around the world. Once we have done so, the next step is to predict the company's growth by forecasting the development of its per capita sales in each region. (Read More)