Value Investors Must Accept Stretches of Underperformance

Even though value investors have seen lackluster performance over the past ten years, panelists at a last month’s Morningstar Investment Conference argue this isn’t an indication that this approach is “dead.” This according to an article in Financial Advisor.

AQR’s Ronen Israel commented that a value strategy is good over the long term, but an investor will have to accept periods of underperformance. “Ten years,” he said, “isn’t enough time to judge it.” Jared Watts, a portfolio manager at Morningstar, said that while the value premium exists, it can elude investors, the article says. Both Israel and Watts argued that combining other factors with a value approach can “prevent investors from falling into value traps.”

According to Research Affiliates’ John West, the article says, “people are focused on having good short-term returns and less on the big picture, which makes it difficult to embrace value investing.” Watts cites quality as a good factor to complement value.

Financial advisors who use complementary measures will be better able to justify a value approach, according to the article. “Education is important,” argued Israel, adding, “You have to understand what you’re investing in. It’s a good long-term point of return, but you have to stick with it.”