Rob Arnott is All in On Value

In a recent interview with CityWire, Research Affiliates chairman and founder Rob Arnott explains why value investing has suffered from the coronavirus pandemic but says it isn’t time to run away from value stocks.

“We’re in one of the few industries in the global macroeconomy where customers hate a bargain,” quips Arnott, describing how depressed stock prices are not drawing investors, adding, “That’s the nature of the investing world.”

Arnott explains that value stocks have understandably taken a hit during the coronavirus pandemic because the underlying businesses—consumer products, energy, and banking businesses, for example–are much more susceptible to supply chain issues than the growth, “FAANG-type” stocks. “It’s hard to conduct these businesses from home,” he says.

But Arnott also points out that value stocks are priced cheaper than ever: “Do I think this is a time to run away from value? No. I think this is a time to at least average into a deeper value tilt,” he says, adding that he’s “all in on value” in his personal portfolio.

Regarding the higher valuations of growth stocks, Arnott says, “Pick any one and you can make a plausible argument in favor of their valuation. Take all of them collectively, and it’s a lot harder to make that argument because many of these tech darlings are competing with each other.”