Value Investing Trends

A recent Morningstar article addresses the persistent lackluster performance of value stocks and whether it is a temporary situation or something more permanent.

According to participants in this year’s Morningstar ETF Conference, the article reports, “it’s never easy to be a value investor,” and “value stocks today are behaving just as they should.” John West, managing director at Research Affiliates, shared his view that, “The world is unfolding exactly as it should,” underscoring that most investing styles go through long periods of underperformance. Wes Gray, CEO of Alpha Architect, noted, “Buying cheap stuff that stinks can be the best investment in the world.”

The article also addresses the role that metrics play in determining the best value investments, citing comments by John Ameriks, head of Vanguard’s quantitative equity group: “There’s no right way to be a value investor.” He argues that the integration of too many factors in the evaluation process can “dampen the effectiveness of the value effect over time,” the article says.

A better tack for value investors, it argues, would be to “diversify across a large number of stocks or own bigger rather than smaller companies—though the panelists agreed that, in general, most factors are more effective with small-cap stocks, due to less information and efficiency in that part of the market.”