Factor/Style Investing

That’s It, That’s the Update

Over these past two months, value’s returns, as we measure them, have been incredibly strong. This has killed the value spread. That is, it’s about as high as it was in the tech bubble. Just not as high as a few months ago. Yes, “killed” was sarcasm.

Perspective

That’s It, That’s the Blog

They say a picture is worth 1000 words. I’m embracing the concept in this post, which is just a single graph presenting the value spread constructed using the methodology that most closely reflects how we actually view value at AQR. Spoiler alert: the spread continued to explode higher in 2021. Despite this, we still made some money on value this year, which makes us very excited for 2022 and beyond. Also, if we’re wrong, I think I can make an NFT of this graph and really cash in.

Are Value Stocks Cheap for a Fundamental Reason?

The value spread remains unusually high, which has led investors to be concerned that value may be cheap for a reason. In this short presentation, our Portfolio Solutions Group (PSG) explains how we evaluate this spread and illustrates our view that the current high value spread is forecasting higher expected returns, and not low fundamental growth rates.

Perspective

The Long Run Is Lying to You

Everyone knows the value strategy has been a grave disappointment out-of-sample since, say, 1990, based on realized returns. However, odd as it might sound, the realized average return on a strategy is not necessarily the best estimate of its true long-term expected return. In fact, the right estimate of the true long-term expected return of the value strategy is considerably higher than many might think if they were to just look at simple past returns – especially right now. Why? I explain it in this note (spoiler: it has to do with changes in valuation).

Perspective

Is (Systematic) Value Investing Dead?

When value has underperformed for so long, it’s natural and proper that people wonder if it’s ever going to work again. To test the popular explanations for why value investing is “broken,” Cliff tweaks the value factor’s construction to remove the stocks that best fit these stories. He finds no “this time is different” explanation holds water, affirming our belief that the medium-term odds are rather dramatically on value’s side.

Perspective

It’s Time for a Venial Value-Timing Sin

Cliff discusses how to measure whether a factor, in this case the value factor, is itself rich or cheap versus history. The answer, regardless of the approach taken in measuring cheapness, is that value is currently quite cheap compared to history.

Perspective

Liquid Alt Ragnarök? (Condensed)

As promised, for those looking for a more manageable read, here is a condensed, “medium” length version of my recent much longer post.

Journal Article

How Do Factor Premia Vary Over Time? A Century of Evidence

Winner of a Special Distinction Award in the 2021 Harry M. Markowitz Awards

We examine four prominent factor premia – value, momentum, carry, and defensive – over a century from six asset classes. The results offer support for time-varying risk premia models with important implications for theory seeking to explain the sources of factor returns.

Journal Article

Deep Value

Winner of an Outstanding Article award in the 2022 Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy Awards

We examine the efficacy of a hypothetical deep value strategy—where the valuation spread between cheap and expensive securities is wide relative to its history—across global asset classes and also provide new evidence on competing theories for the value premium.

Journal Article

Fact, Fiction and Value Investing

Value investing has been a part of the investment lexicon for at least the better part of a century, yet confusion about it remains.

Journal Article

Value and Momentum Everywhere

We find consistent value and momentum return premia across eight diverse markets and asset classes, and a strong common factor structure among their returns.