There’s very strong historical evidence to support the existence of a value premium in equity markets. While there’s no dispute over the existence of the value premium (value stocks have provided an annual average return 5% higher than growth stocks over the long term), there is much debate over the cause of the difference in returns.
In one camp are financial economists who argue that the value premium is a risk story—value stocks are riskier than growth stocks. As a result, investors must be compensated in the form of higher expected returns. Others argue for an alternative explanation—there’s a persistent overvaluation of the earnings prospects for growth stocks. And what’s more, there’s a wealth of evidence on both sides.
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