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It’s a long time since I’ve heard anyone mention dividend yields in polite company. I guess they’re only still published in newspapers’ market data pages to appease the old people. Yield has to take a back seat in the who’s who and what’s new of the investment world. Capital growth and speculative promises of future earnings are the essential ingredients of aspiring billionaires’ supper club conversations nowadays.

When I was still involved in the business of valuations, the tools of the trade were fairly simple, standard and, well, basic. We focused on earnings yields (or price-earnings multiples — same thing — for you youngsters who’ve never heard of this stuff), net asset values, discounted cash flows and then, as a polite checkpoint, market price...

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