Two interesting charts from The Brandes Institute’s annual Value versus Glamour update for 2013. The first exhibit (2) shows the disappearance of the value premium over the last five years, and its inversion over the last two years. The yellow dotted line shows the average returns to the ten decile portfolios of stocks ranked by price-to-book value from 1968 to 2012. It demonstrates that, historically, the higher the price-to-book value, the lower the returns. The differential between the returns to the stocks in decile 10 (the “value” portfolio) and decile 1 (the “glamour” portfolio) is the value premium. That relationship seems to have broken down since 2007 (shown in blue), and inverted since 2010 (shown in red). The value premium is now a value discount!
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The second exhibit (3) shows the rolling five-year annualized relative performance of value over glamour. In the last two rolling five-year periods, value stocks in the U.S.–marked in yellow–have delivered their worst relative performance in the 32 years of data from 1980. The Non-U.S. value stocks have continued to outperform.
As the second exhibit demonstrates, it’s unusual for value to underperform glamour by so much and for so long. The last period of underperformance occurred in 2000, and it wasn’t as deep or prolonged. One possible explanation is that low p/b value strategies are now so well known and low p/b value stocks are so picked over that value investors have to do something special to outperform. More likely is that this is a brief period of underperformance at the tail end of a bull market and the relative performance of value over subsequent periods will compensate.