Growth Versus Value: A Balanced View
- Although the performance of growth and value stocks has been widely bifurcated, we maintain a balanced view.
- Trends driving growth outperformance may endure long term, while value stocks could offer more upside potential near term should economic activity normalize.
As summer draws to an end, stock performance has been widely bifurcated on a growth-versus-value basis (see performance chart below). Given the large divergence, value seems to offer more near‑term upside potential than growth—particularly if the development of a coronavirus vaccine normalizes economic activity.
Although value stocks could narrow the performance gap considerably, we remain cautious. In our view, the long‑term trends driving the outperformance of growth stocks relative to value will endure in a post‑pandemic world and may strengthen further.
One notable trend is the shift from brick-and-mortar retail to online. We believe the magnitude and long‑term implications of this shift may be underappreciated, and we do not see a catalyst for a sustained reversal. Between 2009 and 2019, the share of online commerce as a percentage of all retail sales increased from 6% to 11%. By April 2020, that percentage leapt to 18%, exceeding the total increase experienced over the previous decade.
Although the trend has reversed somewhat with the easing of lockdown measures, the move toward e-commerce—which was already in progress—will likely continue. Furthermore, while the power of this trend is already largely reflected in the market, online penetration remains relatively low, with significant room for increased adoption. Similarly, the ongoing shifts in media consumption and to cloud software are also likely to persist.
Given these trends and the expectation that the financials sector—a meaningful segment of value stocks—will be burdened by low interest rates for a while, our outlook for growth and value is balanced, despite value’s large underperformance year‑to‑date.
Evaluating Growth and Value Stocks
Stock performance has been bifurcated, with secular trends driving growth outperformance
Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Index performance is for illustrative purposes only and is not indicative of any specific investment. Investors cannot invest directly in an index.
Sources: Standard & Poor’s (See Additional Disclosure) and U.S. Census Bureau/Haver Analytics. T. Rowe Price analysis using data from FactSet Research Systems Inc. All rights reserved.
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The views contained herein are those of the authors as of September 2020 and are subject to change without notice; these views may differ from those of other T. Rowe Price associates.
This information is not intended to reflect a current or past recommendation concerning investments, investment strategies, or account types, advice of any kind, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities or investment services. The opinions and commentary provided do not take into account the investment objectives or financial situation of any particular investor or class of investor. Please consider your own circumstances before making an investment decision.
Information and opinions presented, including any forward-looking statements, have been obtained or derived from sources believed to be reliable and current; however, we cannot guarantee the sources’ accuracy or completeness. Actual outcomes may differ from any forward-looking statements made.
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. All investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal. The value approach to investing carries the risk that the market will not recognize a security’s intrinsic value for a long time or that a stock judged to be undervalued may actually be appropriately priced. Growth stocks are subject to the volatility inherent in common stock investing, and their share price may fluctuate more than that of income-oriented stocks. All charts and tables are shown for illustrative purposes only.
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