A recent paper published by the Man Group’s quantitative investment unit (Man Numeric) suggests that while the value strategy may not be permanently broken, investors should not expect an impressive comeback. This according to an article in Institutional Investor.
“While there is no debate over the recent difficulties of value, and it is true that historically value has recovered strongly following periods of poor performance, that is a fairly weak intellectual argument,” writes Daniel Taylor of Man Numeric. In an interview with II, he said, “My base case for value is that it can and should start working again. It just may not be at levels that are historically normal.” He argues that many of the arguments favoring a comeback are “coming from a possibly biased portion of the buy-side community.”
Taylor examined several of the trends that have been used to gauge the opportunity for value investors in an effort to provide an “intellectually honest and balanced view.” Although the wider-than-usual gap in pricing between value and growth stocks makes a compelling argument, Taylor notes that the size of the gap depends on how it is measured—if based on book-to-price ratio, the gap is extremely wide, but other value metrics reveal a much more moderate story.
Taylor writes, “Looking at the totality of the evidence, the outlook for value may not be quite as rosy as many investors expect.” He notes that a “massive” rebound would require a significant boost in interest rates since, in his view, low rates, economic growth and inflation have contributed to value’s underperformance.