I've seen it a thousand times: Mention value investing, and it's all some people can do to stifle a yawn right then and there. Value investing? Isn't that something you do after you retire?
But just because superinvestors like Warren Buffett use value investing doesn't mean you have to be Buffett's age to profit from it. And even if you like to invest more aggressively, finding great values doesn't have to be boring. Plenty of stocks that have a bright and promising future also carry price tags that should have you jumping all over them.
What value investing isn't
It's not surprising that many investors have the wrong idea about value investing. Perhaps the most misleading division that investors have arbitrarily adopted is the idea that "value stocks" and "growth stocks" are diametrically opposed. Market-tracking companies such as Standard & Poor's divide up stocks into growth and value based solely on metrics such as revenue and earnings growth and price-to-book and price-to-sales ratios.
As a result, you'll often find stocks thrown into the value pile that look pretty unattractive. For instance, with S&P's Pure Value index, you'll find Sprint Nextel
Great values that have room to grow
But value investing doesn't automatically point you to companies that your grandparents know better than you do. Even high-growth stocks can be great values under the right circumstances. Many point to Apple as an example -- it has the second-biggest market cap among U.S. stocks, and it's still growing at gangbuster pace, but it trades at just 16 times trailing earnings.
Here are some other examples of stocks giving shareholders good value along with some potential growth:
1. Retail Opportunity Investments
2. Fidelity National Financial
3. Energizer Holdings
5. Brookfield Infrastructure Partners
Look for value
All of these stocks are relatively small compared to the best-known value stocks, and some of them trade at multiples that many would consider too pricey for true value. But given the potential for growth that they have, they serve as a good reminder to value investors to look beyond simple metrics and instead evaluate stocks according to their true potential. If you do that, then value investing will become anything but boring.
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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger hopes you've gotten this far without falling asleep. He doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Markel, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, Retail Opportunity Investments, Fidelity National Financial, and Apple. The Fool has bought calls on Fidelity National Financial. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, Energizer Holdings, Retail Opportunity Investments, Apple, Fidelity National Financial, Markel, Procter & Gamble, and AT&T; as well as creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool's disclosure policy keeps its alarm clock set year-round.