The Exact Details of the Power Gauge

Dear Wall Street Daily Reader,

Today, I’m sharing exactly how my investment model – the Power Gauge – works.

I’ll give you the full details. And considering that this is a quantitative model, that might seem crazy…

The Power Gauge looks at 20 factors to determine which stocks are buys and which are sells. Who would spend years developing a system like that and then give away exactly how it works?

I understand that thinking. But it misses the point…

You see, while building the Power Gauge, I learned that the 20 different factors matter… but their weighting in the process is much more important. That’s the proprietary information that lets me share the Power Gauge “ingredients” safely with anyone who asks.

It’s also why the key to investment success is much bigger than any one measure or signal. Let me give you an example, so you can see what I mean…

Say I make you dinner and give you a list of all the ingredients I used. The made-from-scratch pasta had flour, eggs, and salt. The sauce included tomatoes, garlic, onions, and oregano.

That’s all I tell you, though… I don’t give any further instructions on how to make it.

Do you think you could recreate the meal exactly as I did? I’m not talking about making something close to what I made… I’m talking about getting every detail exactly right.

If you’re a trained chef, maybe you could do that. But we all know there’s a lot more to creating a final product than simply knowing the list of ingredients that go into it.

This is why I say investors need to have a plan. It’s not enough to know what you’re looking for… you need to know how important each ingredient is. And you need to look at it as part of the whole. That’s also what makes my Power Gauge model work as well as it does.

So, what are the ingredients of this model?

We break the 20 factors in the Power Gauge into four main groups…

  • Financials
  • Earnings
  • Technicals
  • Experts

These four groups allow us to look at a company through multiple lenses. We see where it’s strong and where it’s weak… and most important, where it’s likely headed.

Here are the five factors that make up the Financials category…

Power Gauge group

We don’t have time to dig deeply into all these factors. But you can see that we’re looking at valuations, debt load, return on equity, and cash flow to get a feel for a company’s financial strength.

Longtime readers know how useful these measures are – especially free cash flow. My friends at Stansberry Research call it “the number that doesn’t lie”… which is exactly right.

It only looks at cash that comes in versus cash that goes out – and that’s one of the few items that accountants can’t mess with. If a company has a lot of free cash flow, it’s likely in a strong financial position.

Next, we take a look at the company’s earnings…

Power Gauge group

We want to see consistent profits from a company. And ideally, those profits are growing. Strong earnings performance is crucial for a stock to succeed. We also want to invest in companies that are beating Wall Street’s expectations (which is called an “earnings surprise”).

These factors home in on how a company is really performing over time.

The next factors give us the technical picture for a stock. After all, we only want to buy when prices are moving in our favor. Take a look…

Power Gauge group

Not only do we need to see a strong uptrend, we also like to see outperformance versus the overall market.

The trend should also be escalating on strong volume – that is, we want to see more activity in the stock than in the past. This shows us prices are moving higher in a healthy way.

If all that’s happening, the technical picture shows that we could have a great buying opportunity.

The last set of factors is the experts. This is a piece of the puzzle most investors overlook. It looks at what the folks that know a company best think today…

Power Gauge group

Here, we look at insider activity. We love to see company executives buying shares… because they only do it when they expect higher share prices.

We also watch analysts closely for changes in their ratings and earnings estimates. When these folks get more bullish, more upside is often ahead. Finally, we don’t want to see a lot of investors shorting the stock. That can be a warning sign.

This is a brief look at the Power Gauge. It would take a lot more time to cover all of the factors in detail. But the complete list is in these images.

Again, it might seem crazy to share this information… But it’s just an ingredient list. Turning it into the final meal isn’t so simple.

I personally use the Power Gauge as my investment process. It guides my decisions. And I want to share it with as many individual investors as I can.

I understand if it’s not for you. But if that’s the case, you need to make sure you’ve got a process and plan of your own. It’s the only way to survive the tough times the market throws our way.

Good investing,

Marc Chaikin
Stansberry Research

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Marc Chaikin

Marc Chaikin has done it all on Wall Street... He started as a broker more than five decades ago. He's worked as an analyst. And he's built quantitative models that the financial elite use to make buy and sell decisions every day.

Eventually, Marc decided he was done helping the rich folks on the Street...

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