Buckingham on Growth, Value, and Expectations

While stocks have had a great year and growth stocks have had a long run of success, John Buckingham says to be careful of chasing performance.

“I caution you … to tread carefully before being swept away by the current of the market, as it is important to stay grounded in performance measures and valuations as opposed to excitement and popularity,” Buckingham writes in a recent Forbes column. He notes that, over the long term, value stocks have a better track record than growth plays. In fact, over the past 35 years or so, value stocks have on average returned about 1.7% more per year than their growth counterparts, despite the success growth plays have had in recent years.

Buckingham cites Facebook as an example of a hot growth play that investors should thick twice about before buying. The issue isn’t that Facebook, or growth companies in general, are bad firms, “but rather to say that Facebook’s substantial rise over the previous few months has already priced in the potential for significant future top- and bottom-line growth, which makes the upside limited and the downside much greater at current price levels,” he says.

While it lacks the sex appeal of a stock like Facebook, Buckingham says a stock like Corning may be a better bet right now, thanks to its attractive valuation.