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Is momentum investing in doubt?

Momentum and defensive investing have for years done well. It's not so obvious, though, that momentum will continue doing so
Is momentum investing in doubt?
  • Momentum investing has done badly recently, raising the possibility that investors have finally wised up to it
  • Defensive investing does well over time; high-beta investing does not

Have investors wised up? This is the question posed by the recent underperformance of my momentum portfolio, which comprises the 20 shares that had risen most in the 12 months to June.

Granted, the underperformance is small – the result of losses on Halfords (HFD), Royal Mail (RMG) and Ferrexpo (FXPO) offsetting profits on Entain (ENT) and Reach (RCH) – and could easily be just statistical noise. And it’s exacerbated by the fact that the FTSE 350’s performance has been flattered by the oil majors: BP (BP.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) alone account for almost all the index’s small gain in the third quarter.

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