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Value vs. Growth Investing: What’s the Key Difference? Thumbnail

Value vs. Growth Investing: What’s the Key Difference?

Investment Advising

Throughout different periods of time, the stock market appears to favor one of two stock types - value stocks or growth stocks. Since the 2008 market downturn, the market has primarily favored growth stocks, as many industries such as Technology have boomed. More recently, as market changes start to occur, there is speculation that value stocks could be making a comeback due mostly to the pandemic. Here at GuideSpring Wealth Strategies, we focus on value stocks that provide clients with real returns based off company profits, rather than growth stock speculation.  

As you watch what’s happening in the future markets, it’s important to know what the difference is between value stocks and growth stocks.

What Is Value Investing?

The idea behind value investing is that investors are, essentially, bargain hunting. They’re looking for stocks that they believe are being undervalued by the market. If they consider a stock to be under priced, it’s an opportunity to buy. If they consider it overpriced, it’s an opportunity to sell. Once they purchase a stock, value investors seek to ride the price upward as the security returns to its “fair market” price – selling it when this price objective is reached.

To determine a value investment, investors may examine the company’s balance sheet, financial statements, and cash flow statements to get a clear picture of its assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses.

A popular term for value stocks is P/E ratio. This ratio describes the price to earnings ratio of a company’s profits vs. value. A low P/E ratio indicates that a company has a competitive stock price for the company’s actual earnings. A high P/E ratio indicates a stock could be overvalued as the price per stock is rather high for their actual earnings.

At GuideSpring Wealth Strategies, we hunt for stocks that provide our clients with a rather low P/E ratio that is either undervalued or valued, but also includes a dividend rate to give our client’s portfolios passive income flow.

Risks of Value Investing

There’s no guarantee that a stock will appreciate in value as much as an investor expects it to. A stock an investor believes to be undervalued may remain undervalued, or even drop in value.

What Is Growth Investing?

Growth investing essentially uses today’s information to identify tomorrow’s strongest stocks. The idea is to look for “winners” - stocks of companies within industries that are expected to experience substantial growth. Industries that provide a large amount of growth stocks include the technology, industrials, and communication.

Growth investors seek companies in a position to generate revenues or earnings greater than what the market expects. When growth investors find a promising stock, they buy it, even if it has already experienced rapid price appreciation, in the hope that its price will continue to rise as the company grows and attracts more investors.

Where value investors may use analysis, growth investors use criteria. Growth investors are more concerned about whether a company is exhibiting behavior that suggests it will be one of tomorrow’s leaders; they are less focused on the value of the underlying company.

For example, growth investors may favor companies with a sustainable competitive advantage that are expected to experience rapid revenue growth, that are effective at containing cost and that have an experienced management team in place.

Risks of Growth Investing

Growth investments may have an above-average price-to-earnings ratio (PE ratio), but they may in some cases be prone to higher volatility than value investments. These investments are typically bought at an already high price, and there’s always a risk that the price will fall or cease to rise any further. These stocks tend to also not pay dividends and will not plan to soon.

Key Differences

Value investing and growth investing follow the same general purpose - to buy low and sell high. While they can often overlap in criteria, the key difference between these two guiding principles is this: value investments have generally already proven their worth, while growth investments show potential for future worth. In other words, both investment types are banking on the assumption that the value will rise, but for different reasons.

Keeping this information in mind will help you determine the right investment type for you. But remember, this information is not meant to replace the personalized advice and recommendations you may receive when working with a financial advisor. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out using the link below. We’d be happy to provide more information on your business plans.

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