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Paul,

The numbers a 'value' investor needs are no less --and no more-- available than those needed by 'growth' investors, because both come from the same financial statements. Either the company has enough history to calculate ratios and to plot trends, or it doesn't, which is where naïve growth investors get themselves into trouble. Due to lacking hard evidence, they concoct a narrative that "explains" why their darling idea is "the next big thing".

Second, no number has any meaning out of context. A value investor most never heard of, Marty Whitman, makes that point continuously. E.g., a PE of 7 isn't cheap unless its industry peers in normal times average higher numbers, and that lower number isn't an invitation to buy. It's a red flag that needs to be investigated. Ditto higher than average PEs. Ditto "average" PEs. There's nothing about a company's financials that can be accepted at face value.

But the "average" investor doesn't want to do basic due diligence. He/she just wants to be told what to buy, and you know how well that typically ends.

Why might 'growth' investing --currently-- seems easier? Because of the Greenspan put (or the Bernanke put, or the Powell put), not because vetting "growth companies is easier.

Arindam
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