Morningstar posted a great video overview of the five kinds of moats they use in analysis. It runs around 20 minutes and its well worth your time to listen in to hear from the analysts describes the moat types and how they use them to identify investment opportunities.
For me, the moat concept goes together with dividend investing like curry and chutney. Dividends require long term holding periods to maximize their effectiveness. You cannot assume a long term holding period unless the company has some kind of moat, the wider the better.
How can you assess a company's value for a quality income strategy? Quantitatively, dividend metrics like FCF are essential, but those quantitative factors only matter if there is a moat that can defend them over the long haul. So a hybrid solution is in order, the qualitative moat assessment matters, too, to ensure that the moat is sustainable over, say, a ten year time period.
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