James P. O'Shaughnessy  |  Growth/Value Investor

Research guru and money manager James O'Shaughnessy forced many professional and amateur investors alike to rethink their investment beliefs when he published his 1996 bestseller, What Works on Wall Street. O'Shaughnessy back-tested 44 years of stock market data from the comprehensive Standard & Poor's Compustat database to find out which strategies work and which don't. To the surprise of many, he concluded that price-to-earnings ratios aren't the best indicator of a stock's value, and that small-company stocks, contrary to popular wisdom, don't as a group have an edge on large-company stocks.

Based on his research, O'Shaughnessy developed two key investment strategies: "Cornerstone Growth" and "Cornerstone Value." Cornerstone Growth favors companies with a market value of at least $150 million and a price-to-sales ratio below 1.5. To avoid outright dogs, it also looks for companies with persistent earnings growth and shares that have been among the market's best performers over the prior 12 months. This strategy makes sense for value-oriented growth investors who have the patience and personality to stick with a purely quantitative investment approach. Cornerstone Value looks for large companies with strong sales and cash flows, and from those that meet that profile (as measured by four relevant criteria) it selects the 50 with the highest dividend yield. It is appropriate for income-oriented investors.

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