SEPTICS Are Flushing the FAANGs

Head of Equity Strategy
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Last summer, we wrote “Time to Move from FAANGs to SEPTICS?” Let’s revisit the topic.


The FAANG pack consists of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google’s parent, Alphabet, which were knocking the lights out of virtually everything else in the stock market at the time.


SEPTICS is our tongue-in-cheek acronym for a handful of unloved S&P 500 industry groups.


Quite different from the FAANGs, they are a hodgepodge of industries—including packaged foods, tobacco and chemicals—that I threw together just because it made a funny acronym.


The relentless multiyear FAANG trend ended in June, though the group has bounced sharply higher in recent weeks.


Figure 1 speaks for itself.


Figure 1: Cumulative FAANG Outperformance vs. SEPTICS

Cumulative FAANG Outperformance vs. SEPTICS


Figure 2 shows the return of the two groups since we published the first SEPTICS blog post mentioned earlier. Netflix and Facebook started to buckle shortly after the post went online.


Figure 2: FAANGs vs. SEPTICS, 6/11/18–1/9/19

FAANGs vs SEPTICS 611181919


It Was Never About the SEPTICS


What was the genius of the SEPTICS? There was no genius. Those industry groups were selected for no reason in particular. The great thing about the SEPTICS in 2018’s second half was simply that they were not FAANGs.


Remember the first chart that showed the FAANGs outperforming by 867 percentage points before collapsing? Figure 3 shows the FAANGs against two other ridiculous, unscientifically bunched groups: the RAWFISH and DOGS.


Figure 3: FAANGs vs. a Randomly Selected S&P Industry Hodgepodge

FAANGs vs. a Randomly Selected S&P Industry Hodgepodge


It is basically the same chart. That’s because the FAANGs walloped just about everything over the last five years.


Figure 4 repeats the table above, only this time it has the FAANGs against the RAWFISH and the DOGS.


Figure 4: FAANGs vs. Other Industry Hodgepodge, 6/11/18–1/9/19

FAANGs vs Other Industry Hodgepodge 611191919 


With the FAANGs still up by hundreds of percentage points relative to…well, relative to just about everything…fortunes in 2019 are again going to depend on whether those five stocks are working or not, and whether investors are in or out.


If the tide is going out once and for all on the high fliers, then SEPTICS, RAWFISH and DOGS—anything that populates value indexes—may finally catch some prolonged outperformance.

For more investing insights, check out our Economic & Market Outlook


About the Contributor
Head of Equity Strategy
Follow Jeff Weniger
Jeff Weniger, CFA serves as Head of Equity Strategy at WisdomTree. In his role, Weniger helps to formulate the firm’s stock market outlook by assessing macro and fundamental trends. Prior to joining WisdomTree, he was Director, Senior Strategist at BMO, where he worked in the office of the CIO from 2006 to 2017. He served on the firm’s Asset Allocation Committee and co-managed the firm’s ETF model portfolios for both the U.S. and Canada. In 2013, at the age of 32, Jeff was chosen as the youngest member of BMO’s Global Investment Forum, which collected the firm’s top global strategists to formulate the firm’s official long-term outlook for investment trends and markets. Jeff has a B.S. in Finance from the University of Florida and an MBA from Notre Dame. He has been a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA Society of Chicago since 2006. He has appeared in various financial publications such as Barron’s and the Wall Street Journal and makes regular appearances on Canada’s Business News Network (BNN) and Wharton Business Radio.