Buckingham: Time for Value

Recently, we highlighted a study performed by Russell Investments that found value stocks typically begin to overtake growth stocks “almost immediately” when the economy bottoms. Today, John Buckingham of Al Frank Asset Management provides some additional evidence that good times may be in store for value investors, who were hit particularly hard in the recent downturn.

In an interview with InvestmentNews.com, Buckingham says that in the previous five instances (before the current one) in which the total value-weighted stock market declined by more than 20% in a year, large-cap value stocks dropped by an average of 25.6%, and large-cap growth stocks by 19.2%. But following those five one-year periods, value more than made up for it, returning an average of 117% over the next three years vs. 29% for growth stocks.

We’re currently coming off one of the worst periods in history for value stocks — the five-year period ending in February was only the third such period in which value has underperformed growth over the past 31 years, Buckingham says. “The extremes do not bode well for value stocks on the way down, writes InvestmentNews.com’s Jeff Benjamin. “On the way up, however, it is value, not growth, that historically has outperformed. Part of the reason that value does so much better after severe downturns is because value stocks tend to bear the brunt of market downturns.” But as prices fall, opportunities rise. “The upside, particularly for value investors, is that drastic stock price declines tend to establish a stock price floor,” Benjamin writes.

In less severe down periods (those in which the market has dropped between 10% and 20%), value stocks outperform growth stocks, according to Buckingham. Nevertheless, following the eight one-year 10%-20% declines since 1927, value has also outperformed growth over the next three years, with value stocks gaining an average of 41% over and growth stocks 20%.

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