Now it’s time for small-cap stocks to get in their big innings.
After small-cap stocks were beat up in a market correction earlier this fall, it’s a good time for value investing, with lots of bargains now available.
That’s what two Delaware Investments portfolio managers, Christopher Beck and Francis Morris, said at a Manhattan luncheon meeting on Wednesday.
The investing environment -- an economy growing gradually, with interest rates expected to slowly rise and with neither high inflation rates nor a recession on the horizon -- is a good one for small-cap investing.
“Small caps don’t do well in recessions,” said Beck, Delaware’s chief investment officer of small- and mid-cap value equity, who runs the Delaware Small Cap Value Fund. In part, the reason is that small-cap investing is often a bet on the American economy. Some 97 percent of the Delaware Small Cap Value Fund was recently invested in domestic equities. But small caps, earlier this year, were pricey, he and Morris said.
“We came into this year, frankly, with valuations that were fairly high and that caused us some concern,” noted Morris, one of Delaware’s chief investment officers, who runs the firm’s Small Cap Core Fund.
By this fall, the market started to correct small-cap stocks, and Delaware funds were feeling it.
For example, Delaware Small Cap Value’s Class A fund shares lost 5.29 percent in the third quarter.
And recently, for the year, large cap has outperformed small-cap stocks by some 10 percent, Morris noted. The sister Small Cap Core Fund was also hammered in the third quarter; its Class A shares lost 5.36 percent. It was down about 1 percent for the year through the third quarter.
But Morris said this small-cap drubbing “has corrected a lot of the imbalance from an evaluation standpoint. So that makes us much more attractive than we were from an evaluation viewpoint a year ago at this time.”