Long-term value is the underlying worth of a commodity, while the price is the quoted amount for that commodity, usually based on sentiments and not the actual worth of the commodity.
A Brief History
Long before stock exchanges became digitized, trading floors were usually very chaotic and quite rough. These days, the chaos has shifted from the floors to the charts; so nothing has actually changed, just the location of the chaos.
Despite this consistent chaos, many have had their fingers burnt with little or nothing to show for their struggles. They end up with returns coming in trickles that amount to nothing close to their committed efforts.
In his classic book, “How to Think Like Benjamin Graham and Invest Like Warren Buffet”, Lawrence A. Cunningham posits that the major reason for those losses is found in a culture known as the “Q Culture”. Stocks on the exchange, have quoted prices that they are purchased at. The choice of what stock to purchase is motivated by these prices. Lawrence argues that the focus on these quotes leads people to disregard value as they place prices on a higher pedestal. So, what exactly is the difference between price and value? Why is this difference important?
Price versus Value
As humans, we have goals and tend to make plans toward achieving those goals. One way we do that is by saving up for these goals, as many do with Cowrywise. Hence, we can consider savings towards these goals as investments, particularly when they attract great interest rates.
Inasmuch as all goals are valid, we must seek to understand the value of a goal before investing saved-up cash in them. Value outlives the quoted price of a product or service. That the price of a product or service is low today does not mean the long-term value of that product is of low quality and vice-versa. So also does it not mean that a higher-priced product or service is overvalued?
Lawrence suggests that a good investor should focus on long-term value first and then compare it to the price and not the other way round. Your goals are similar to investments and they come at a price. Do not focus on the market noise to inform your opinions but take out time to carry out your research.
For instance, if getting a certain phone in the next six months is your goal; have you taken out time to understand the underlying value of that phone? Beyond the price does it actually have any intrinsic value that would positively impact how you live daily? Can its value withstand the test of time, such that if you plan to resell it you would do so at a good second-hand value? These are the key questions you need to answer.
The shift of focus from price to value would help you create a margin of safety between the price you pay and the value you are paying for. You should not visit that holiday destination because it’s at the top of the search list but because it would actually align with the values you desire in a holiday destination.
Final Words on Long-Term Value
You might still have a long way to go with your goals. Notwithstanding, with a value-driven commitment you can make every day count. So, we invite you to abandon the quote-driven path and join us on the value-driven path.