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Building on the dividends thread
Old 05-07-2005, 01:30 PM   #1
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Building on the dividends thread

I have this question that is burning me up. Does it make sense to own value and blend mutual funds or value and growth mutual funds collectively? For example, Vanguard S&P 500 with Vanguard Large Value Index? Both have similar holdings but the Value Index pays more in dividends and some research indicates value outperforms on a risk-adjusted basis. I am sure you can lower the standard dev of a portfolio by holding both but at what cost & is it worth a lower return? Good move or bad move?
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Re: Building on the dividends thread
Old 05-07-2005, 03:32 PM   #2
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Re: Building on the dividends thread

Technical analysis shows that small cap value and to a lesser degree, large and mid cap value outperform growth and blend funds while producing a higher dividend. In some instances (the late 90's for example) growth did beat up on value for a short period of time. It could be said (with some qualifiers) that most of the large cap growth 'runs' werent terribly healthy ones. The tech run in the 90's, the 'nifty 50' etc.

Bernstein covered this phenomena in "the four pillars". Basically good growth stocks dont often remain good growth stocks for long, while good value stocks frequently stay 'value' based, the stock price is beaten down, their prospects are usually better than the stock price indicates, and if all else fails they're paying you to own the stock. His synopsys: good stocks are bad to own, bad stocks are good to own.

You will experience more volatility, higher current income from the dividends (and the tax those represent), but higher longer term (10+ years) growth of your money. You are usually best off owning these in volume (as in a fund) rather than hand picking, although some people like Unclemick like holding a dozen or so value/dividend paying stocks either directly purchased via drips or in a brokerage account. Indexes also beat actively managed in 99% of cases.

For some people, their best bet for long term growth of capital is to dial up large, mid and small cap value in whatever ratios appeal to you, drop in some foreign value (which is also beating foreigh blend/growth), some emerging market (which is ALL 'value'!) with about 20% in bonds and cash to act as ballast.

There are some other strategies to enhance the benefits of value without throwing out the growth. Charlie uses the "coffee house" approach, and he can probably explain it better but it involves buying equal amounts of stocks at all the four corners of the 'style boxes'...equal chunks of large cap value, large cap growth, small cap value and small cap growth. Balance frequently.

A lot of people also tend to throw out mid caps. Note that a lot of the vanguard board members have a signficant, if not majority, of their portfolio in funds like Windsor. They claim that this actively managed, mostly 'large mid cap/small large cap' fund, is still in their pocket because they dont want to incur the tax hit from selling it and moving their money to the well espoused broad indexes. I doubt that...I think they have their money there because the long term numbers are frickin great.
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Re: Building on the dividends thread
Old 05-07-2005, 04:16 PM   #3
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Re: Building on the dividends thread

Very informative reply, thanks TH. You may have earned a T-shirt with the Monty Python guy on it. I have been asking myself why I don't throw all of my money into the value index funds, especially since I have a very long investment horizon. As you said the times when the blend or growth outperform the value seem to be short-lived and unhealthy.
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Re: Building on the dividends thread
Old 05-07-2005, 04:25 PM   #4
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Re: Building on the dividends thread

To get an idea of how Bernstein's value tilted portfolio performed compared to other portfolios in the 1994-2004 period, check out:

http://www.retireearlyhomepage.com/reallife04.html
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