Why You should Calculate Intrinsic Value

Simply because, you don't buy any stock at any price, do you? Do you know why? Because you want as much return as possible!

The price you are paying is the ultimate determinant for the rate of return that you'll be earning. The higher the price you pay for it, you'll be getting lower rate of return. This is why, you need to know how much a stock worth. Once you know its value, you can identify which stocks are traded at discounted price.

However, buying a stock simply because it is cheap is not the right approach either. This is another reason to calculate intrinsic value. To buy quality stocks at discounted price, value for money right?

How to Calculate Intrinsic Value

The way to go is, search for stocks whose prospects you believe in ( with good stock pick method ) and then use a valuation technique to ensure the purchase price is acceptable. Here, I use net present value (NPV) formula.

How to do it? Let say you are valuing stock ABC,

From 13 years historical data, you get the information as above. To proceed, you also need to firm up your expectation based on your risk profile. In this example:

* I set my investment horizon as long as ten years from 2007. So that in 2018 I can use the fund to finance my children's study

* I am confident stock ABC will continue growing 13 per cent per year for the next ten years (13 years records prove this stock able to grow 13 per cent EPS per year)

* I assume stock ABC will be having the same PER and dividend payout by end of 2017 (or early in 2018)

# I am expecting 12 per cent return on investment (ROI) so that my initial investment able to cover my children's tuition costs in ten years time.

Let's start calculating intrinsic value of stock ABC.

Step One: Forecast Share Price

First of all, you need to forecast its share price ten years down the road. In this case, I project the price for the next ten years using 13 per cent per year growth.

Step Two: Forecast Total Future Value

Secondly, you need to calculate the total future value. This must include the potential dividend as well.

Look, some investors doesn't care much about dividend. To them, dividend is just too small to be considered. But as it has effect to the total future value, it should be taken into consideration.

By the end of the day, you can compare the stock's profitability to others; which may not pay any dividend at all.

Step Three: Calculate Intrinsic Value

After having all these data, then only you can calculate the intrinsic value for stock ABC.

Step Four: Compare with Current Stock Price

The intrinsic value above is because my goal is to get 12 per cent per annum from this stock. If so, current stock's price, which is $33.50, is acceptable indeed (stock price is below the intrinsic value).

But if your goal is about getting 25 per cent per annum return on investment, the intrinsic value will be $22. In this case, the current stock price will no longer acceptable for you.

For this same reason, you can say that current stock price is suit to those who are aiming for 15 per cent return per annum (in economics, this called as Internal Rate of Return or IRR)

What's Next?

As you can see, intrinsic value can be relatively different from one investor to another depending on the expected return. Expecting very high return will limit your investment options. On the other hand, having very low expected return may as well better keep the cash in fixed deposit.

As an investor, it is crucial to set a realistic target on the expected profits.

It is better if before you calculate intrinsic value of your selected stock, assess your own risk profile first. This will help you to determine your realistic preferred return based on your need, ability and investing habits.

Eager to buy stock? Hang on first! You need to have the fair value as another comparison. This is what mention by Warren Buffet's guru, the margin of safety