Margin of safety

 

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Margin of safety

The term given by Benjamin Graham, 'the father of value investing', to the idea that if you buy shares for less than two thirds of their net asset value, you automatically have a cushion against any deterioration in the company's trading position in the future. Put another way, 'buy cheap'.Graham's view was that it is extremely difficult to accurately predict a company's future earnings. For an investment to be 'safe', therefore, he liked to see a margin between the value of its net current assets and its share price. If the share price was below the net current assets divided by the number of shares in issue, he would consider buying it.One of the problems with Graham's approach is that in bull markets it is very difficult to find companies that fulfil his criteria. A second problem is that many of the fastest growing companies in modern economies are those whose assets are intangible - for instance, the value of their intellectual property. Under the Graham rubric, these sorts of assets would be excluded.

Margin of safety

With respect to working capital management, the difference between (1) the amount of long-term financing and (2) the sum of fixed assets and the permanent component of current assets.



Margin of safety

Similar Matches

Effective margin (EM)

Effective margin (EM)

Used with SAT performance measures, the amount equal to the net earned spread, or margin of income, on assets in excess of financing costs for a given interest rate and prepayment rate scenario.


Unmargined account

Unmargined account

A cash account held at a brokerage firm.


Operating profit margin

Operating profit margin

The ratio of operating profit to net sales.


Margin security

Margin security

A security that may be bought or sold in a margin account as defined in Regulation T.


Margin account (stocks)

Margin account (stocks)

A leverageable account in which stocks can be purchased for a combination of cash and a loan. The loan in the margin account is collateralized by the stock; if the value of the stock drops sufficiently, the owner will be asked to either put in more cash, or sell a portion of the stock. Margin rules are federally regulated, but margin requirements and interest may vary among broker/dealers.


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