Securities (stocks or bonds) or companies that underperform relative to their benchmarks or industry sector are referred to as laggards. Laggard securities are typically sold out of portfolios if they show consistent underperformance as they will reduce portfolio returns, but investors will occasionally target laggards in certain circumstances on the basis that they are cheap and if there is a perception that they might play catch-up, due to market technicals or company fundamentals.

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