Value investing is long on virtue but has been short on reward

IN A COMEDY sketch from the 1980s, Rowan Atkinson plays the devil as a cross between a package-holiday guide and a louche English bureaucrat. Dressed in a smoking jacket, he welcomes the damned to Hell and, consulting his clipboard, sorts them into groups. Lawyers? Join the thieves and murderers over there. The French? Come down here with the Germans. Atheists? You must be feeling pretty silly. And finally, Christians? I’m sorry, your faith was an error.

Even if they are not confronted by hard evidence, everyone is occasionally troubled by the thought that their beliefs are misplaced. A bad run of stockmarket returns is such a test of faith. Investors who favour “value” stocks—those with a low price relative to the book value of a firm’s assets—have had to wrestle more than most with doubt. If you buy value, and are patient, your reward should be superior returns. But for much of the past decade, value has seemed a...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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