Why a value investment should be your portfolio’s special ingredient



Kevin Murphy
Co-head Global Value Team

We have a firm belief in the primacy of value as an investment strategy. That belief, however, does not translate into blind faith in its powers- or a conviction that on its own the approach will be suitable for everyone.

For one thing, as we have discussed in articles such as Con air, there is no such thing as an investment strategy that outperforms all the time.

For another, there are risks associated with value with which not all investors will feel comfortable.

Whether that be because they are naturally risk-averse people, or because they are not in a position to tie up their money for the sort of timeframe that would afford a proper chance to make back any losses resulting from short-term market volatility.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket

In short then, we do not seriously argue that every investor should unquestioningly put all their eggs in a single – value-shaped – basket.

After all, as we argued in Uncertainty and risk, creating a portfolio from different types of investment – what is known as diversification – may be one of the more straightforward approaches to investing but it also a tacit acknowledgement nobody can ever predict what is going to happen.

What we would seriously argue, however, is that when you are thinking about creating a portfolio of investments, more than a century of history suggests a value-oriented approach really should be part of the mix. Past performance, of course, should not be considered a guide to the future. 

Some value seasoning

To use food as an analogy, we remember reading somewhere that all innovation in cookery stems from attempts by humanity to make staple foods such as bread, rice and potatoes more palatable.

So, while the portfolio stodge of a bog-standard tracker fund, say, might be enough to provide you with a bog-standard retirement, what should serve to make it far more palatable is the special sauce of the extra returns value investing could offer over time. 


Kevin Murphy
Co-head Global Value Team


The Value Perspective
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