I think the majority opinion among value investors is that it isn't worth the time to pay attention to macroeconomics, and that it is better to just focus on individual companies and ignore the bigger picture. I think that's probably mostly true, most of the time, but not all of the time. And while paying attention to the macro picture may not lead one to invest or not invest in a particular stock one thinks is undervalued, I do think it can help one identify potential risks, bubbles, and potential areas where there may be "value traps" due to things happening on a macro level. I also think those who favor the value philosophy tend to have a curiosity about understanding how things work, whether it's the economy, human nature, or the universe, among many other topics, and whether or not that knowledge directly leads to making an investment decision.
Richard Duncan's book, The New Depression, is one of the best things I've read when it comes to taking a complex topic and simplifying it down to its key variables. His explanation of the role credit plays in our economic world today is the best I've seen so far. And like most people who follow Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger closely, I remain skeptical about the ability to forecast the macro economy with any consistency. Richard has been pretty good so far in his predictions, but I pay attention to him more to help me understand what's going on in the present and how things work than I do to act on any forecasts about the future.
Which is also why I'm happy to announce that Richard has been kind enough to offer readers of this blog a 50% discount to his video newsletter, Macro Watch, using the coupon code 'valueinvestingworld'. While still an expensive service, the discount knocks the first year price from $500 down to $250. When you sign up (using PayPal), you enter into a recurring payment, so if you decide you don't want to keep the subscription after the first year, you can easily cancel the service before your first year ends and not be charged any further.
I signed up this week and look forward to spending plenty of time with the videos this year. If you're interested in signing up, go to the Macro Watch subscription page (HERE) and enter the code 'valueinvestingworld' during the checkout process. Below is the introduction to the First Quarter video which was just released if you're interested in seeing what the service is like.