Is the Value Stocks Rally Over?

Value stocks have outperformed growth stocks in recent months as inflation returned to markets - but this trade may be shortlived says Architas' Sheldon MacDonald

Emma Wall 28 April, 2017 | 2:02PM
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Emma Wall: Hello and welcome to the Morningstar series, 'Why Should I Invest With You?' I'm Emma wall and I'm joined today by Sheldon MacDonald, Manager of the Architas Multi-Asset Blended Range.

Hello, Sheldon.

Sheldon MacDonald: Good morning. Hi.

Wall: So, you are here today to say something quite controversial, I think, and that is that we've already come to the end of the value rally. The value seemed to resurge at a midpoint last year. Perhaps we could backtrack and talk about what led upto that point and why there was that shift from growth to value?

MacDonald: Sure. So, tracking back even further, after the financial crisis we got used to terms like financial repression, lower for longer, the hunt for yield. In that environment, stocks which could deliver steady, stable earnings and ultimately steady, stable growing dividends were the ones that were in favor. That was all very well and good and that led to the more economically sensitive stocks being ignored, they lag behind.

Now, towards the end of last year, we had this resurgence, suddenly global reflation was the buzzword. Now, Trump has probably got a lot to do with that. We're not necessarily saying, Trump was responsible for the global reflation. But what he did was really ignite sentiment with the promise of these policies that he was going to bring in.

Business friendly, he's going to cut taxes, he's going to increase infrastructure spending, he's going to reduce regulations. All of this business-friendly stuff got everyone really excited that actually maybe now we are on the cusp of something special. And what that did was to spur interest in these more economically sensitive stocks, which had previously lagged, there's a valuation argument for them or value stocks clearly.

So, investors started piling into these stocks and there was, as you said, this massive rotation out of the previously advantaged stocks, the growth areas, those steady growers into value to the extent of something like a 15% differential in about a quarter, which is massive really. Since then, we've – that trade has kind of rebounded a little. I think from the start of the year, we've started to see some pushback on Trump on the policies that he's wanting to bring in, the flagship really was the health care policy. We've seen the scale of the pushback on him.

Now, most presidents probably only get through about 10% of what they want to do. Given the scale of pushback and the controversy that Trump seems to court, maybe 10% even is asking a lot. So, given the scale of the pushback and the difficulties it might have to push through some of those policies, investors are starting to reevaluate whether really this – it will work out, whether we will get the massive resurgence in growth that we'd started to believe in. So, on the back of that, things have started to turn around.

Wall: Now, is this a minor setback or is this really the end of the value rally, because value for managers unsurprisingly because one does talk up, one shop, said when the reflection change started to come through and value stocks began to – this 15% upsurge, they said this is it, this is the beginning of perhaps a full year market rotation, finally this is our time to shine. And less than six months later, you're saying it's over.

MacDonald: So, never say never. Value stocks underperformed for probably the best part of seven years, with a couple of small corrections within that. And so, yes, there probably is a long way to go. The trouble is, I guess, that it's predicated on this whole global reflation story. And maybe we do get to that sort of situation again at some point in the future, maybe in the near future. But at the moment, we're just seeing some of the initial promise rewinding. People just drawing back their expectations.

It was only a little while ago, probably less than a year ago, we were all worried about deflation. Yes, inflation is now rising, but we're past the main point of – the main impetus from energy stocks – energy prices and so on. Inflation now starting to taper off a little. So, people are just starting to reassess their views about things going forward. Never say never, though. I do accept the argument that value did underperform for a long time and there probably is at some point quite a long way for it to recover.

Wall: Sheldon, thank you very much.

MacDonald: Thanks.

Wall: This is Emma Wall for Morningstar. Thank you for watching.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
Liontrust MA Blended Moderate R Inc139.81 GBP0.00Rating

About Author

Emma Wall  is former Senior International Editor for Morningstar