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NEW YORK — The tortoise is running laps around the hare when it comes to investing in mutual funds.

Investors have been embracing stocks and pushed stocks into record territory.

But investors are focusing on mutual funds that buy cheap or underappreciated stocks, ones called value funds. Funds that specialize in more glamorous, high-growth stocks, meanwhile, are still getting the snub.

A net $7.9 billion flowed into domestic value stock funds through April of this year.

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Over the same time, investors withdrew $8.2 billion from their growth counterparts, according to Morningstar.

The bias toward value stock funds began last year. As recently as 2012, investors were pulling out of both growth and value funds, still scarred from the financial crisis.

To be sure, value and growth stock funds aren’t the only options available.

Broad index funds are even more popular, with many investors choosing to own the entire market.

One challenge for value investors is that the stock market’s surge has made cheap stocks tougher to find. But managers say it’s not impossible.

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