Hulbert: Large Caps Now and Small Caps in January

Small-cap stocks outperform large caps, on average, over the long term, but almost all the small-cap advantage occurs in the early part of the year. This according to a recent MarketWatch article by Mark Hulbert. “As you can see from the chart below,” he writes, “their advantage gradually diminishes as the year progresses, and is actually negative by the last quarter of the year.” The widely-accepted theory on the relative performance of these two asset classes, says Hulbert, is that the small-cap advantage represents compensation for higher risk. However, he adds, a study published more than ten years ago traces […]

Hulbert: Value vs. Growth Valuation Spread Widest Since 2000

Earlier this month, price spread between value and growth stocks was the largest it has been since 2000, writes Mark Hulbert in a recent MarketWatch article. Hulbert offers data from Columbia University finance professor Kent Daniel showing that the average large-cap value stock’s price-book ratio is “barely half that of the average among large-cap growth stocks. Among small-cap stocks, value is even cheaper relative to growth.” The only time value has been relatively cheaper, according to Daniel, was when the internet bubble peaked. “Researchers have found,” writes Hulbert, “that value stocks tend to perform particularly well over the ensuing 15 […]

Hulbert: Small Cap Sector Shockingly Overvalued

In a recent MarketWatch article, Mark Hulbert reveals a revised calculation that the small-cap sector is currently valued at a whopping 78.7 times earnings. He writes, “the Russell 2000’s true P/E today is higher than it was at either the top of the internet bubble or the 2007 bull market peak.” Hulbert describes the calculation, which he credits to financial services firm INTL FCStone’s Vincent Deluard, who told him that nearly a third of the companies in the Russell 2000 index are losing money. This omission, writes Hulbert, “has huge consequences.” Neither the FTSE Russell (the company that created the […]

Hulbert on How to Boost Returns with Lower Risk

The founder of The Hulbert Financial Digest calls into question the idea that lower risk leads to lower returns, according to a recent MarketWatch article. “I know, I know” Hulbert writes, “That’s directly contrary to what financial planners have always insisted. But this conventional wisdom does not fit the data.” In his review of nearly 300 investment newsletter portfolios, Hulbert found that the “riskiest services have regularly produced some of the very worst returns.” Hulbert explains that the riskiest newsletter portfolio monitored (shown at the bottom right corner of the chart) has the “dubious distinction” of being the worst performer […]

Hulbert: Study Shows Rise in Short-Selling a Bearish Sign

A study recently published in the Journal of Financial Economics found that short sellers “on balance are right more than they’re wrong” writes Mark Hulbert for MarketWatch, arguing “it’s worrisome that the volume of short selling has risen so steadily this year.” According to University of Utah finance professor Matthew Ringgenberg, the reason that short sellers tend to do better is that it’s more challenging to sell a stock short than to buy it—that is, says Ringgenberg, “the markets place a number of hurdles in front of the short seller that don’t exist for investors on the long side” (i.e. […]