65 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2013 Last revised: 13 Nov 2015
Date Written: June 19, 2014
We define a quality security as one that has characteristics that, all-else-equal, an investor should be willing to pay a higher price for: stocks that are safe, profitable, growing, and well managed. High-quality stocks do have higher prices on average, but not by a very large margin. Perhaps because of this puzzlingly modest impact of quality on price, high-quality stocks have high risk-adjusted returns. Indeed, a quality-minus-junk (QMJ) factor that goes long high-quality stocks and shorts low-quality stocks earns significant risk-adjusted returns in the U.S. and globally across 24 countries. The price of quality – i.e., how much investors pay extra for higher quality stocks – varies over time, reaching a low during the internet bubble. Further, a low price of quality predicts a high future return of QMJ. Finally, controlling for quality resurrects the otherwise moribund size effect.
Keywords: Quality Investing, Quality Minus Junk, QMJ
JEL Classification: G10, G11, G12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation