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Disciplined Value Investing in Volatile Times
In my nearly 30-year investing career, I have been through a number of stock market routs. This one ranks up there as one of the worst—if not for its depth (which remains as yet undetermined), then certainly for its intensity. The market has sold off faster than ever in history, and I have never seen more days of double-digits or nearly double-digits declines in such a short time period. This makes sense, as it’s probably the fastest drop-off in economic activity we’ve ever seen—one day, everyone’s at work; the next, everyone’s at home and all the restaurants are closed. The panic and fear are extreme, with emotion filling the void where information and analysis normally exist. Yet in every instance during my career, periods of fear and panic have presented incredible bargains; I believe this one is no different. I have learned that when it feels really bad, it’s usually the best time to allocate capital. It is painful and ugly right now, but our goal is buying the long-term survivors and compounders to position the portfolio for strong multi-year gains later.
The Impact of Negative Rates and Passive Investing
Global Value team portfolio manager Dan O’Keefe discusses the impact of passive investing on price discovery.
Not All PEs Are Created Equal
Value investing is out of favor. That may be a gross understatement. Growth has outperformed value in 8 of the past 10 years—2011 was a dead heat, and value bested growth in 2016 only to trail by a relative 14% over the next 2 years. According to some measures, growth stocks trade at a nearly 50% premium to their value counterparts. That should be cause for some optimism from the value crowd as such extreme disparities tend to sow the seeds of their own undoing. That said, we saw growth premiums stretch as high as 100% during the dot-com era.
We must admit we don’t spend much time worrying about this. We focus on the economics, not the machinations of the market per se or which way the winds of popularity blow. Economics endure and ultimately prevail.
So in this market of massive growth premiums, what is for sale in the value bin?