Value Investing: Digging Manager Graveyards Since 1963.

Value Investing: Digging Manager Graveyards Since 1963.

December 12, 2014 Architect Academic Insights, Value Investing
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Following value strategies can be hazardous to one’s wealth in the short run.

Oil stocks are a great example of the challenge value investors face:

The stocks are down big–and getting cheaper–but could go down even further!

Successful value investors are able to buy and hold cheap stocks for a number of years and avoid short-run noise.

However, if you are an emotional and impatient investor, you should think twice before you invest in a value strategy.

Here is an article we wrote on this subject:

We dig a bit deeper into this concept in this post.

Preliminary Details

Here we construct a value portfolio of mid/large cap stocks (formally above the 40th percentile for NYSE market capitalization). We select the top 10% of stocks in the universe based on EBIT/TEV, and rebalance the portfolio annually. The portfolio parameters specifics are similar to those outlined in our valuation horse race paper. We want to examine, at a monthly level, how much a value strategy can outperform as well as underperform.

So What Do the Monthly Spreads Look Like?

This graph shows the spread in returns between our value portfolio and the SP500. Monthly spreads can be huge!!!

2014-11-25 09_29_32-Microsoft Excel (Product Activation Failed) - tracking error.xlsx
The results are hypothetical results and are NOT an indicator of future results and do NOT represent returns that any investor actually attained. Indexes are unmanaged, do not reflect management or trading fees, and one cannot invest directly in an index. Additional information regarding the construction of these results is available upon request.

Below is a table showing the top 20 best and worst spreads:

2014-11-25 09_33_13-Microsoft Excel (Product Activation Failed) - tracking error.xlsx

2014-11-25 09_34_34-Microsoft Excel (Product Activation Failed) - tracking error.xlsx

Tracking error:

The annualized “Tracking Error” for the value portfolio (Top 10% EBIT/TEV) with the S&P 500 is about 9.38%. “Tracking Error” here is calculated as the Standard Deviation of the difference of the returns between value stocks and the S&P500 benchmark. Compared with many passive ETFs, which have ~zero tracking error, 9.38% is large. Roughly translated, this implies that in any given year, the value portfolio will be all over the map relative to the S&P 500.

Can you imagine a month where your portfolio gets beat by over 5% relative to the benchmark?

As a value investor, this isn’t abnormal, you can expect it!

Taking on tracking error is a great way to get fired as an asset manager. As an individual, it is a great way to break your confidence and sell your hated value stocks.

Yuck!

But what is the Upside of Tracking Error Pain?

In a nutshell, the benefit of taking on the pain of tracking error is higher expected performance.

But expect a crazy ride! The markets are generally efficient and there is always a catch: Value investing can work, but it requires a serious commitment!

2014-11-24 14_48_09-Microsoft Excel (Product Activation Failed) - Book1
The results are hypothetical results and are NOT an indicator of future results and do NOT represent returns that any investor actually attained. Indexes are unmanaged, do not reflect management or trading fees, and one cannot invest directly in an index. Additional information regarding the construction of these results is available upon request.

 

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Note: This site provides no information on our value investing ETFs or our momentum investing ETFs. Please refer to this site.

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About the Author

Wesley R. Gray, Ph.D.

After serving as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, Dr. Gray received a PhD, and was a finance professor at Drexel University. Dr. Gray’s interest in entrepreneurship and behavioral finance led him to found Alpha Architect. Dr. Gray has published three books: EMBEDDED: A Marine Corps Adviser Inside the Iraqi Army, QUANTITATIVE VALUE: A Practitioner’s Guide to Automating Intelligent Investment and Eliminating Behavioral Errors, and DIY FINANCIAL ADVISOR: A Simple Solution to Build and Protect Your Wealth. His numerous published works has been highlighted on CBNC, CNN, NPR, Motley Fool, WSJ Market Watch, CFA Institute, Institutional Investor, and CBS News. Dr. Gray earned an MBA and a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago and graduated magna cum laude with a BS from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.