How risky are small and mid caps, really?

Synthetics & Chemicals, SOL Pharmaceuticals, Prime Securities, Mardia Chemicals, Industrial Oxygen, FGP ltd, Asian Coffee, Rico Auto Industries, Modiluft…What do these companies mean to you? How about these: Value Industries, Crest Animation Studios, Chettinad Cement, Agro Dutch Industries, Matrix Laboratories, Aztecsoft, Salora International, Golden Tobacco…Do they ring a bell? Unless you were an active stock picker two decades ago, you probably didn’t recognise the first set. Or a decade ago, for the second set. Now take a look at this chart. You’ve probably seen it before. The NIFTY 500 (the index made up of the largest 500 companies by market

Read more

Go ahead, time the market

8th Jan 2008: NIFTY closes at a lifetime high of 6,288. 27th Oct 2008: NIFTY closes at 2,524. Down 60% from the January high. Till date, this remains the largest drawdown in its history. What would a simple and implementable system that warned you to get out of the market before impending declines look like? Yes, I know. It can’t be done. All the “market timing does not work” literature categorically proves it. But isn’t the truism “Buy low, Sell high”, an attempt to time the market? So let’s consider this in the safe confines of an academic study and

Read more

The complete list of 2019 stock recommendations

Deep sector expertise, vast networks of industry insiders, sophisticated spreadsheet models. The professionals have all these to do what every investor wants. To Beat the market. But do they? The equity research departments of AMCs, investment banks, wealth managers have already given their 2019 stock recommendations. Some foresee volatility in macro factors and therefore recommend staying with defensive sectors like FMCG, while others expect a capital goods revival, while some expect stocks with rural exposure to do well in an election year. This page tracks the 2019 stock picks of the major institutional investors along with their starting prices to

Read more

The 2018 professional stock picker’s report card

A positive 3% return on the benchmark NIFTY index for the calendar year sounds like a sleepy year for the markets. But any investor will tell you it was anything but sleepy. In fact, it felt a lot like one of those Hollywood horror-thrillers which starts with a group of attractive college-kids partying in a remote cabin in the woods. Everyone’s having the time of their lives. No one notices when the first one or two of them mysteriously disappear about 20 minutes into the movie. But soon they realise something is terribly wrong. Until the panic-stricken surviving few wish

Read more

Mountain, meet Molehill

ILFS default. Yes Bank succession disaster. Housing Finance Company Books Cooked. Jet Airways on the verge of default. It is carnage. If you have been following financial media over the last two weeks, we’re already at 2008-level crisis-alert levels. The wheels are coming off the India equities growth story and there are many obvious reasons why, we are being told, by patient experts. The problem is, they only started explaining how a combination of trade wars, impending elections and bond defaults explain the correction after it has been well underway. Now, I have no idea whether this is a complete reversal in

Read more

The TCI Momentum Portfolio

Labels On clothes, they are a shortcut to understanding everything of significance. Where and from what it was made, its dimensions, and most importantly, what it should and should not be exposed to in its ongoing wear and maintenance. For instance, did you know the five icons on the above label mean: Wash at below 40 C, Do not bleach, Do not tumble dry, Iron at medium temperature (two dots for medium) and Do not dry clean. On investors too, labels are a short-cut to understanding everything of significance. Where they come from, time they have spent being an investor,

Read more

Tough times don’t last, High ROC Companies do

Does an investing strategy that invests in high Return on Capital companies deliver better returns than the market? This post backtests the strategy by simulating investment in deciles of companies with varying ROCs. The results support the hypothesis that a strategy that invests in high ROC companies does better.

Read more

The most profitable industries in India

This post presents aggregated analysis of the most and least profitable industries in India in 2018. Profitability is described by different accounting metrics, each one with its own merits and drawbacks. EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) is useful when comparing companies within a sector where some participants might have made recent investments compared to others who been around a long time. It inflates profitability for companies that aggressively capitalise costs. EBIT (Earnings before Interest and Taxes) ignores the composition of capital structure i.e. extent of Debt involved (like EBITDA). Useful in comparing across industries which might have different tax

Read more

What is the KPIT Birlasoft (de)merger about?

Did you know KPIT Technologies is one of the earliest Indian IT Software companies to go public way back in 1999? After Infosys listed in June 1993, it took a while for the other companies in the sector to start going public. The current flagbearer for the Indian IT sector, TCS, did not list until 11 years later, in 2004. By then, KPIT had already been a publicly listed company for nearly five years. In January 2018, management of KPIT proposed a merger and demerger with the C.K.Birla groups privately held IT Services company, Birlasoft. Wait, merger and demerger? The

Read more

Fundamental Analysis Tools for Investors in India

In the course of finding the most time-efficient way of analyzing companies shortlisted for investment, I’ve come across various tools available to Indian investors. This post compiles a list of some of the tools that I’ve tried either briefly or extensively along with some of their key strengths and weaknesses. Note that this list is far from comprehensive and also that digested analysis from any source is typically only a starting point and not a substitute for diving into past annual reports to gain context of the fundamentals. Overall note of caution on using any tool that aggregates data is to assume

Read more