Canadian stocks may be undervalued

4 Feb 2012 by Jim Fickett.

Earlier this week Mebane Faber at World Beta published an interesting study comparing Shiller's CAPE for several countries (Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Germany, Italy, Korea, Switzerland, UK, USA). Recall the CAPE (Cyclically Adjusted Price Earnings) measures overall stock market valuation as the ratio of current price to the average of the last 10 years of inflation-adjusted earnings. Canada and Italy have the lowest current valuations (and the US has the highest). Italy, of course, is in a bit of a mess right now, but the Canadian economy is quite healthy, suggesting that perhaps Canada is a good place to look for bargains.

If you look at the detailed graphs on World Beta, note that the time axis is different for different countries. Bear in mind that stock market valuations have tended to be higher in the last few decades, in the era of central bank stimulus policies.