How to Invest in Stock for Value and Growth - dummies

How to Invest in Stock for Value and Growth

By Paul Mladjenovic

A stock is considered a growth stock when it’s growing faster and higher than the overall stock market. Basically, a growth stock performs better than its peers in categories such as sales and earnings.

Value stocks are stocks that are priced lower than the value of the company and its assets — you can identify a value stock by analyzing the company’s fundamentals and looking at key financial ratios, such as the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Growth stocks tend to have better prospects for growth in the immediate future (from one to four years), but value stocks tend to have less risk and steadier growth over a longer term.

Over the years, a debate has quietly raged in the financial community about growth versus value investing. Some people believe that growth and value are mutually exclusive. They maintain that large numbers of people buying stock with growth as the expectation tend to drive up the stock price relative to the company’s current value.

Growth investors, for example, aren’t put off by P/E ratios of 30, 40, or higher. Value investors, meanwhile, are too nervous to buy stocks at those P/E ratio levels.

However, you can have both. A value-oriented approach to growth investing serves you best. Long-term growth stock investors spend time analyzing the company’s fundamentals to make sure that the company’s growth prospects lie on a solid foundation.

But what if you have to choose between a growth stock and a value stock? Which do you choose? Seek value when you’re buying the stock and analyze the company’s prospects for growth. Growth includes but is not limited to the health and growth of the company’s specific industry, the economy at large, and the general political climate.

The bottom line is that growth is much easier to achieve when you seek solid, value-oriented companies in growing industries. It’s also worth emphasizing that time, patience, and discipline are key factors in your success — especially in the tumultuous and uncertain stock investing environment of the current time (2013–2014).

Value-oriented growth investing probably has the longest history of success compared to most stock investing philosophies. The track record for those people who use value-oriented growth investing is enviable. Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, John Templeton, and Peter Lynch are a few of the more well-known practitioners. Each may have his own spin on the concepts, but all have successfully applied the basic principles of value-oriented growth investing over many years.