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Investment Evidence Based Investing Dimensional

When It’s Value vs. Growth, History Is on Value’s Side

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Guest Post: Dimensional Fund Advisors

There is pervasive historical evidence of value stocks outperforming growth stocks. Data covering nearly a century in the US, and nearly five decades of market data outside the US, support the notion that value stocks—those with lower relative prices—have higher expected returns. Recently, growth stocks have enjoyed a run of outperformance vs. their value counterparts. But while disappointing periods emerge from time to time, the principle that lower relative prices lead to higher expected returns remains the same. On average, value stocks have outperformed growth stocks by 4.1% annually in the US since 1928, as Exhibit 1 shows.

Value premiums have often shown up quickly and in large magnitudes. For example, while the average annual value premium since 1927 has been 4.1%, in years when value outperformed growth, the average premium was over 14%.


EXHIBIT 1

Value Add

Yearly observations of premiums: value minus growth in US markets, 1928–Jun 2021



We believe investors are best served by making decisions based on sound economic principles supported by a preponderance of evidence. Value investing is based on the premise that paying less for a set of future cash flows is associated with a higher expected return. That’s one of the most fundamental tenets of investing. Combined with the long series of empirical data on the value premium, our research shows that value investing continues to be a reliable way for investors to increase expected returns going forward.

Conclusion: There is no evidence investors can reliably predict when value premiums will show up. Rather, a consistent focus on value stocks is essential to capturing these outsize value premiums when they do appear.


1. Year-to-date return for 2021 through June 30.

Disclaimer: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investing risks include loss of principal and fluctuating value. There is no guarantee an investment strategy will be successful. Indices are not available for direct investment. Their performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio.

In US dollars. Yearly premiums are calculated as the difference in one-year returns between the two indices described. Value minus growth: Fama/French US Value Research Index minus the Fama/French US Growth Research Index. Fama/French US Value Research Index: Provided by Fama/French from CRSP securities data. Includes the lower 30% in price-to-book of NYSE securities (plus NYSE Amex equivalents since July 1962 and Nasdaq equivalents since 1973). Fama/French US Growth Research Index: Provided by Fama/French from CRSP securities data. Includes the higher 30% in price-to-book of NYSE securities (plus NYSE Amex equivalents since July 1962 and Nasdaq equivalents since 1973). Eugene Fama and Ken French are members of the Board of Directors of the general partner of, and provide consulting services to, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP. October 4, 2021 Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Unless otherwise noted, any indicated total rates of return reflect the historical annual compounded total returns including changes in share or unit value and reinvestment of all dividends or other distributions and do not take into account sales, redemption, distribution, or optional charges or income taxes payable by any security holder that would have reduced returns. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. These materials have been prepared by Dimensional Fund Advisors Canada ULC.

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