Market Shifting Toward Intrinsic Value

“The playbook changed this year,” says Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Investors, in an interview with Bloomberg earlier this month. He said the market is shifting toward intrinsic value over pure growth. “What you would have had to own over the last seven years,” Lee quips, “this year would have gotten you fired.”

Specifically, he says that the healthcare and consumer sectors would have been preferred years ago, but that now you would look toward laggards such as industrial tech and energy. “We still like the idea of being value-oriented,” Lee says, specifying small-caps, tech and financials as preferred sectors.

Bloomberg’s Mike McKee asked about the current situation in which we are facing all-time highs in the markets but no one “seems to believe it.” Lee said a similar confluence of conditions occurred in 1952, when “the market had gone nowhere for 20 years, inflation was non-existent and investment spending in the U.S. was near Great Depression lows, and the Fed had suppressed interest rates for almost a decade. That was resolved with a 17-year bull market, quadrupling the S&P and going from 15 times earnings to 25.”

When asked if this market can continue in a higher interest rate environment, Lee advised to “think of it from the economy side…a pickup in inflation and interest rates really changes the math behind long term spending, and that’s what is not happening in the U.S.”