Recent geopolitical and economic turmoil have been a stark reminder of how unpredictable events can leave stock market investors feeling sucker-punched. Over time, researchers have strived to strike out these risks by pinpointing the drivers that can insulate investors from the very worst drawdowns...
Their answer is what we call 'factor investing' - and it's something that investors with an interest in Hargreaves Services LON:HSP might be interested in.
In recent decades, finance academics and market professionals have broadly agreed that stock market outperformance is influenced by a handful of important 'factors'. Using these ideas could put you on the right path to finding shares with the above-average chances of beating the market...
Choose high quality over junk
Some of the most influential stock market studies have found that Quality is an important factor that tends to show up time and time again...
Companies with a track record of profitable growth, high efficiency and solid finances, have been shown to be better bets on average than low quality, loss-making firms.
By our calculations (which use a range of financial quality metrics) Hargreaves Services has a Quality Rank of 73 (where zero is poor and 100 is excellent).
Opt for cheap over expensive
Another well-research observation is that attractively valued shares tend to outperform expensive shares on average over time. So it's important to look at Value and whether a company is being fairly priced relative to what it earns, owns and what it pays out.
By our calculations (which look at several valuation metrics) Hargreaves Services has a Value Rank of 71.
Look for a positive trend
It's easy to think that Momentum is only a measure for technical traders, but research once again shows that recent trends in both price and fundamentals can be a strong hint about the future. In the market, trends tend to persist, so it makes sense to look for stocks that are on an upward trajectory.
By our calculations (which look at both price and earnings momentum) Hargreaves Services has a Momentum Rank of 94.
Overall, there are signs here that Hargreaves Services has above-average exposure to three very important drivers of stock market profits...
What does this mean for potential investors?
Good quality shares that are well priced and rising in the market have very broad appeal. But there are no guarantees. Finding bullet-proof shares is difficult - and we've identified some areas of concern with Hargreaves Services, which you can find here. Knowing the warning signs and being aware of weakness is essential if you're going to preserve your wealth.