What is the Difference Between a Growth and Value Stock?

Growth stocks tend to be younger companies focused on using capital to fuel more growth, whereas Value stocks have perceived safety through consistent earnings, cash on balance sheets, and dividends.

Neither growth nor value stocks are the best performers for all time, and the reality is that over long stretches of time, performance tends to revert to the mean.

Categorically, growth stocks tend to be younger companies that focus capital on investing in expanding operations - hiring new personnel, hiring more employees, entering new markets.

Today, the technology and biotech sectors have perhaps the most growth companies, as start-ups pursue disruptive technology and new treatments, respectively. In some cases these companies have negative cash flow, little cash on hand, and do not pay a dividend.

Value companies represent the other end of the spectrum, typically characterized by more stable earnings and better debt-to-asset ratios. Relative to growth companies, there is perceived safety in being more mature companies that are primarily using their earnings to increase cash balances, buyback shares, or to pay dividends.

Growth stocks may offer a higher-risk/higher-reward quality, but value stocks may perform better during more difficult economic times. Investors often seek to strike the right balance.

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