"Growth and value investing are joined at the hip."

You think that's crazy? Tell Warren Buffett -- he said it.

Of course, we think he's right. We're writing today because the largely semantic differences between value and growth often get lost, even here at The Fool.

Head to head
It's tempting to equate growth investing with speculation, as fellow Fool Chuck Saletta did. But that's just wrong.

Real growth investors don't bet on companies whose "sky-high" expectations make it nearly impossible to produce meaningful returns. More often, funds like Baron iOpportunity invest in firms whose superior growth characteristics haven't been fully recognized or rewarded by the stock market.

Value investors, on the other hand, look for stocks that trade for less than their intrinsic value, or that the market has unfairly undervalued. Often, these firms are experiencing problems that investors believe will be temporary.

Both strategies, although seemingly different on the surface, operate on the premise that the market has mispriced a stock.

The obvious won't help you
History proves that you'll need more than math to discern what, exactly, makes a stock mispriced. Take a look at some of the market's best performers over the past 10 years: Asta Funding (NASDAQ:ASFI) didn't have any earnings to report in 1998. Neither did Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG). Investors longing for a below-market P/E would have missed out on the 18-bagger and 77-bagger, respectively, to come.

The very best value stocks
Stock market myth says that only value investors zig as others zag. Hogwash. Baron iOpportunity owns shares of CME Group (NYSE:CME), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX), none of which look "cheap" by the numbers. Yet the fund, by investing where others won't, has outperformed the S&P 500 by 25% during the last four years.

Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner can also claim some success, despite the current market malaise. Five stocks in David's Motley Fool Rule Breakers portfolio have at least doubled, including Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG). No surprises there. It was misunderstood. It was cheap relative to its growth potential. In short -- it was a value stock.

Rules breaking, fortunes in the making
So, please, don't make the mistake of confusing growth investing with speculation. You'll miss out on just about all of the market's best value stocks -- the misunderstood multibaggers in the making -- if you do.

Our Rule Breakers team will soon visit Silicon Valley. Want updates on the companies they visit, and what they discover? Sign up now, absolutely free.

Google and Intuitive Surgical are Rule Breakers picks. You can join our search for the market's next great growth stocks with a free 30-day all-access pass.

Prashant Rathore updated this article, originally written by Tim Beyers and published on Jan 31, 2007. Prashant does not have any financial interest in the companies mentioned above. The Fool has a disclosure policy.