June 29, 2005

Average International P/E Ratios by Country

I recently sent the following inquiry to Vanguard:

I currently hold a position in the Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index (VEIEX). I notice that on the research portion of your site, you do not prominently display the average weighted P/E ratio for this fund, as you do many of your domestic funds.

If possible, I would like to know this information. Is there a reason why it is not available?

To which Suzanne from Vanguard replied:

We do not provide P/E Ratios for our international funds. There are a couple of reasons involved in not reporting these characteristics for international funds. One is a matter of operation. These statistics are not available in time for disclosure in our regularly scheduled reports. The second reason and the more important issue is that these aggregate statistics for international funds can be difficult to interpret and often misleading. These statistics should be looked at on a country-per-country basis. For example, the Japanese market usually has a much higher P/E than that of the UK. If a portfolio's aggregate P/E is high, that could simply mean that it has a large exposure to Japan-- and not that it has a growth bias. In other words, an international fund's aggregate characteristics sometimes are more attributable to its country selection than to its investment style.

I don't buy the fact that a fund company that manages billions of dollars of assets has difficulty gathering this data, but beyond that this answer still struck me as odd. Is the average P/E ratio for the Japanese market really that much higher than the rest of the world?

After plenty of digging (I assure you, information on this topic is not readily available), I managed to find this article, from which I pulled the following numbers:

Country Price/earnings ratio
of major stock
index (2004 est.)
Hong Kong 17.580
Thailand 10.624
Brazil 10.942
Korea , Rep. 11.415
China 39.397
Indonesia 12.559
Russia 6.344
Italy 17.866
Malaysia 15.165
Singapore 13.776
USA 17.499
Netherlands 11.926
Taiwan 12.827
Japan 31.606
Germany 15.064
UK 18.711
France 14.518
Mexico 13.889
Canada 16.727
South Africa 11.602
Spain 15.043
Portugal 19.700
Switzerland 15.717

It appears that Suzanne was right. We can see that both the Japanese and (particularly) the Chinese markets are trading at very high multiples compared to the rest of the world.

At first I thought I was missing something here. How is it that a dollar of profit is worth nearly twice as much when it comes from Japan as it is when it comes from the US?

However, when we consider that the Japanese economy is overweighed with growth (technology) companies, combined with the explosive growth potential of Asia, this does not seem terribly unreasonable.

And obviously China is a huge orgy right now.

So this brings us back to the Efficient Market Hypothesis, and we can continue to go about our business.

In Investing

Posted at 09:39 PM | Permanent link

June 27, 2005

Selling Out


Back when I was young and naive I told myself that I would not pollute the atmosphere of my site with advertisements so long as I was not generating enough traffic to surpass the base-level bandwidth allotment of my hosting plan.

Today this era comes to an end.

Given that Dreamhost now hands out 120GB of bandwidth per month at the low end, I cannot ever foresee exceeding this...but I've decided to run some ads anyway.

Why? Because money is the only thing that really matters.

Actually, while that may be true, I doubt that I'm going to make enough money off advertisements to buy a Starbucks Latte each month, but I am awfully curious to see how Google AdSense works, so I'm giving it a shot.

For now ads are only going on my blog archive pages and a select few project pages where I think they make sense. This should keep them mostly hidden from my regular readers and keep the Feng Shui of joshstaiger.org intact.

In Site News

Posted at 10:18 PM | Permanent link

June 24, 2005

A businessman, a physicist, and a mathematician...

Three foreigners: a businessman, physicist, and mathematician, are talking about the country they're all visiting for the first time.

Suddenly, the businessman points out the window in surprise. "Look at that! The sheep in Scotland are black!"

Amused at how readily his new friend jumps to conclusions, the physicist corrects him: "No, all we can be certain of is that some of the sheep in Scotland are black."

The mathematician looks out the window himself, and corrects the both of them: "We know there exists a sheep in Scotland which is black on at least one side."

In General

Posted at 12:12 AM | Permanent link

June 22, 2005

6/21 Raleigh Bloggers Meetup Notes

More excellent conversation was had at Tuesday's Raleigh Bloggers Meetup.

In addition to myself, attendees included:

Despite good intentions, after two beers my interest in taking detailed meeting notes waned considerably, but we touched on your run-of-the-mill pop-culture topics: Java, J2EE Architecture, Open Source, Blogging Software, Google, ontology (or lack thereof), tags, and IT Conversations.

As per the usual first and third Tuesday schedule, our next meetup would be scheduled for July 5th. I, for one, will be out of town that day, and given the proximity to the holiday I'm guessing that others may be busy as well. Therefore I propose that we skip this meeting and reconvene on Tuesday, July 19th. If I'm way off base here, please feel free to pickup this football and run with it!


In Blogging

Posted at 11:03 PM | Permanent link

Amy Chan's Visit

More Photos

In General

Posted at 01:03 AM | Permanent link

June 20, 2005

Raleigh Blog Meetup, Tuesday June 21st, 2005

Join us tomorrow (Tuesday, June 21st) for the second Raleigh/Cary Bloggers meetup of the month.

What: An open meeting to talk about blogging, podcasting & whatever's on your mind
When: Tues @ 6:30 p.m.
Where: Cafe Cyclo, in Cameron Village

2020 Cameron St
Raleigh, NC 27605 (map)
(919) 829-3773

Bill has the details from our last meetup.

Hope to see you there!

In Blogging

Posted at 08:33 PM | Permanent link

June 17, 2005

Dreamhost now on Rails!

Although this has not been officially announced yet, Dreamhost now has support for Ruby on Rails!

Thanks to wwight for alerting me of this by posting a comment in my Dreamhost Rails complaint.

See this discussion for the unofficial announcement.

Indeed, logging into my Dreamhost shell and running rails returns a friendly Rails usage message.

Thanks to all who pestered Dreamhost by requesting Rails and thanks to Dreamhost to being responsive to our whining :)

Technorati Tags: ,

In Technology and Software

Posted at 08:49 AM | Permanent link

June 14, 2005

Steve Jobs Quote

"When I was 17 I read a quote that went something like, "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "no" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."

--Steve Jobs

In General

Posted at 11:34 PM | Permanent link

June 11, 2005

Chapel Hill Blog Teach-in

Today I'm participating as a tutor at the Chapel Hill Blog Teach-in.

If you live in the Triangle and would like to learn about blogging, please join us 12 noon-2pm at the UNC Health Sciences Library Biogen Idec Classroom.

See the wiki page for details.

In Blogging

Posted at 09:56 AM | Permanent link

June 10, 2005

On Sherbe(r)t

9:49:28 PM joshstaiger: wtf
9:49:36 PM joshstaiger: since when is sherbert spelled sherbet
9:49:47 PM edawg1701: since always
9:49:56 PM joshstaiger: no r at the end?
9:49:59 PM joshstaiger: wtf is up with that?
9:50:29 PM edawg1701: I think it can have the r in the alternative
9:51:28 PM joshstaiger: yeah according to wikipedia both variants are used
9:51:46 PM joshstaiger: supposedly sherbet is british
9:51:51 PM joshstaiger: sherbert is australian
9:51:57 PM joshstaiger: and either one is used in the US
9:52:43 PM edawg1701: don't forget about sorbet
9:52:59 PM joshstaiger: yeah but sorbet is different
9:53:08 PM edawg1701: no milk
9:53:19 PM joshstaiger: yeah but sherbert doesn't have milk either
9:53:28 PM joshstaiger: but I think the sorbet is icier
9:53:47 PM edawg1701: sherbert can have milk
9:53:51 PM joshstaiger: oh yeah I guess you're right
9:53:57 PM joshstaiger: it can but not necessarily
9:54:03 PM edawg1701: yea

In General

Posted at 08:49 PM | Permanent link

June 06, 2005

Raleigh Blog Meetup, Tuesday June 7th, 2005

Join us tomorrow (Tuesday, June 7th) for the first Raleigh/Cary Bloggers meetup of the month.

What: An open meeting to talk about blogging, podcasting & whatever's on your mind
When: Tues @ 6:30 p.m.
Where: Cafe Cyclo, in Cameron Village

2020 Cameron St
Raleigh, NC 27605 (map)
(919) 829-3773

Who: Bloggers & people who want to blog (Podcasters welcome!)

Hope to see you there!

In Blogging

Posted at 08:29 PM | Permanent link