When it comes to evaluating value stocks vs growth stocks, there is pervasive historical evidence that value stocks outperform growth stocks. Logic and data provide the basis for a positive expected value premium, offering a guide for investors targeting higher potential returns. Data covering nearly a century in the US, and nearly five decades of market data outside the US, support the notion that value stocks— those with lower relative prices—have higher expected returns.
Recently, growth stocks have enjoyed a run of outperformance vs. their value counterparts. But while disappointing periods emerge from time to time, the principle that lower relative prices lead to higher expected returns remains the same. On average, value stocks have outperformed growth stocks by 4.54% annually in the US since 1928, as Exhibit 1 shows.
Some historical context is helpful in providing perspective for growth stocks’ recent outperformance. As Exhibit 1 demonstrates, realized premiums are highly volatile. While periods of underperformance are disappointing, they are also within the range of possible outcomes.
We believe investors are best served by making decisions based on sound economic principles supported by a preponderance of evidence. Value investing is based on the premise that paying less for a set of future cash flows is associated with a higher expected return. That’s one of the most fundamental tenets of investing. Combined with the long series of empirical data on the value premium, our research shows that value investing continues to be a reliable way for investors to increase expected returns going forward. For this reason, appreciate the foundational principles, seriously consider investing in value stocks vs growth stocks.
Value Stock: A stock trading at a low price relative to a measure of fundamental value such as book equity.
Growth Stock: A stock trading at a high price relative to a measure of fundamental value such as book equity.
Value Premium: The return difference between stocks with low relative prices (value) and stocks with high relative prices (growth).
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Douglas Finley, MS, CFP, AEP, CDFA founded Finley Wealth Advisors in February of 2006, as a Fiduciary Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisor, with the goal of creating a firm that eliminated the conflicts of interest inherent in the financial planner – advisor/client relationship. The firm specializes in wealth management for the middle-class millionaire.
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