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Expensive Junk Stocks are Killing High-Quality Value Stocks, YTD

In general, investors focused on affordable stocks with strong fundamentals have been taken to the cleaners year-to-date.

Meanwhile, expensive stocks with poor fundamentals have been rocking!

Some Basic Statistics:

Below we document some core performance figures using Ken French's data on value/growth portfolios (proxy for cheap/expensive) and high profitability/low profitability portfolios (proxy for high quality/low quality).

We look at the value-weight returns for the top and bottom decile portfolios. The monthly returns runs from 1/1/2015 to 6/30/2015. Results are gross of fees. All returns are total returns and include the reinvestment of distributions (e.g., dividends).

Specifically, here are the four portfolios:

  1. Expensive = Value-weight returns to the bottom decile formed on B/M.
  2. Cheap = Value-weight returns to the top decile formed on B/M.
  3. Low Quality = Value-weight returns to the bottom decile formed on profitability.
  4. High Quality = Value-weight returns to the top decile formed on profitability.

Here are the month-by-month results–a nasty year for cheap value stocks (as proxied by B/M) and high quality stocks (as proxied by profitability):

MonthExpensiveCheap OutcomeLow QualityHigh...

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