By Jim Wiandt
With growth stocks creaming value, one might ask the question.
I find myself agreeing with Matt Hougan on at least one thing two days in a row, which is truly astonishing. And the point of agreement? It's that nearly everyone's instinct is wrong on value in crisis. Your intuition may say to go to the "safer" value company in crisis. But the truth of the matter is that there's a reason that these companies are "value" and that is that they're subject, like small-cap, to more credit, economy, etc., risk in times of crisis. And you see it now.
So for those of you who thought all of these value-focused tilts were ripe after a long rough patch, you will need some patience.
I do absolutely think the time will come (it always does) when value will have its run as the market and then the economy start to turn around. But your guess is as good as mine as to when that will be. I honestly have no strong feeling at all for that, and those who do are either soothsayers or self-deluded.
The main thing I can say about the current environment, Matt, is though I can't tell you what is running when or if we're stuck in a 1-year rut or a 5-year rut, what I do know is that the general area we're in is a historical buying opportunity: a once-in-your-lifetime chance to get your asset allocation plans squared away and really make sure you're saving what you need to be.
Because we may go down more... we may not even have hit a bottom (though I, like Matt, do think we have), but anyone coming in anywhere down here is not going to be hurting at the current cost basis, if you've got a 10- or 20-year horizon, and I don't care if you've got a value tilt, a growth tilt or are 50/50 on your U.S./international weighting.
Just don't put it all in alternative energy and China, no matter what your gambler's instincts tell you.