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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Facts of Investing in Small & Micro Cap Companies

Value investor Warren Buffett also falls in the inefficiency camp, claiming that individual investors should be able to earn 50% annual returns with small amounts of money because they have access to high-return small-cap stocks that he can no longer buy because of Berkshire’s huge asset size

Facts about Small Cap Companies

1.If you want outsized returns, you must invest in small-cap value stocks.

2.All ten of the top-performing stocks of the past decade were small caps and most were value stocks. We can almost guarantee that the top-performing stocks of the next decade will be small caps as well.

3.Most small caps underperform, so the key is either finding the few small caps that will produce the 50, 60, and 70-baggers, or instead buying the entire small-cap universe to insure that you won’t miss out on the big winners.

4.Small caps have above-average volatility and can underperform for long periods, so their outsized returns may require a long timeframe to be realized.

5.Whether small caps are inherently more risky or just inefficiently priced is undecided, but investment prudence dictates that you normally limit your small cap allocation to less than half (some say 35%) of your total equity portfolio and avoid them altogether during incipient periods of severe economic distress.

For a stock market investor, it is financial information of the company which guides him whether he should buy or sell the company’s stock. For a micro cap stock, this information is sometimes not available since some micro cap companies do not even file their financial reports to stock exchanges. Therefore, it is hard to evaluate a micro cap company using normal technical analysis methods.

What is a micro cap stock?

A micro cap company is a company having low or micro market capitalization. The term micro-cap stock (also micro-cap) is used to describe publicly traded companies which have a market capitalization of roughly Rs. 100 crore or less. Micro cap stocks are usually not able to satisfy the eligibility criteria of being listed on major exchanges.

Micro-cap companies are known for their volatility and many such companies are involved in fraud. Since the institutional investors are rarely involved in these stocks, the stock price can be manipulated by the investors. Even though these stocks come in high risk category, investors can’t turn their eyes away from them since these can be highly profitable as well. These stocks have given higher returns than large cap stocks since last 10 years. This is the reason there are a few indices specially track the performance of micro cap stocks globally. Some of these indices are Russell Micro-cap Index, the Dow Jones Select Micro-cap Indexes, and the Dow Jones Wilshire U.S. Micro-Cap Index.

In India, BSE Small Cap is a well known index. Its good to point out that most of the fortune investors invested in small/micro cap stocks in early stage of their lives, hence a small pie of your portfolio could be of small cap stocks, which can have the potential to change your forturne in years to come.
 
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