Small Cap stocks are known to deliver impressive performance when bulls rule the markets, but they get battered during a bearish regime. For instance in 2009, Sensex was one of the best performing markets vis-a-vis its peers. This was on account of the positive impact of the stimulus released by the Government and the election results, which led to confidence among investors and corporate India that a stable government at the centre will be able to bring in a lot of reforms. This saw the index posting a superb return of 81% while the BSE Small Cap Index actually delivered an impressive 123% during the same time horizon.
This could be attributed to the fact that during market upturns small cap companies normally outperform their larger peers, since the latter would have already reached their peak in terms of the potential to grow in the future, while the former actually gets to unlock its growth potential as there is a long way for them to reach the maturity stage.
Similarly, if we look at performance of various indices in 2014, Sensex has given returns of 29.9%, however BSE Small Cap Index has given whopping returns of 68.8% during the same period. In fact, 2014 was one of the best year for small cap companies after 2009 as many little known companies with good fundamentals turned multibagger during this year itself. In fact, many of our recommended stocks in 2011, 2012 and 2013 like Cera Sanitaryware, Wim Plast, Acrysil, Kovai Medical, Mayur Uniquoters, TCPL Packaging, Camlin Fine Sciences etc turned 4-Bagger to 10-Bagger stocks during 2014 and 2015.
Looking at current scenario, Sensex has made all time high of 40,312 recently on 4th June and closed at 39,435 today. However, Small Cap Index closed at 14,109 today and is still down by almost -30% from its all time high of 20,183 made on 15th Jan 2018. Money has moved from small caps to very selected large caps during last 1.5 years, this has pushed the Sensex to life time high leaving small cap companies to their 52 week lows. Negative sentiments towards small caps have not only brought down companies with poor fundamentals down but also the fundamentally good businesses at historically low valuations. Hence, buying right set of small caps with robust business fundamentals now can be an excellent wealth creating multibagger opportunity in long run.
Those who wish to invest in small-cap stocks should do so only if they have a long investment horizon and tolerance for volatility. Small-cap stocks suffer the steepest falls in a bear market and rise the most in a bull market. An investor should stay invested for at least three-five years to allow their portfolio to gain from at least one bull run. If you are looking for multibaggers, stock must have high growth rates along with expanding PE ratios. The price we pay for the stock is important as it will determine whether there is enough scope left for a PE expansion to take place.
Moreover, whenever BSE Small Cap Index has delivered significantly high negative returns in a particular year during last 16 years, it has delivered double digit positive returns the very next year. The divergence between Sensex / Nifty and BSE Small Cap & Mid Cap Index will not last for long going forward considering valuations gap emerging between large caps in comparison to mid & small cap stocks.
Greed which was seen in broader market (small & mid caps) in the year 2016 and 2017 has turned to fear these days. This is the time to do opposite of the herd, its time to be greedy when others are fearful. If you are not investing in equities during these opportune times and taking the back seat, you are making a bigger mistake.
Remember, in the long run, you do not make decent returns on your investments by following the herd i.e. when everyone is buying stocks; instead you get handsome returns on our investments by investing in stocks at significantly low prices as no one else is buying, and by selling to them when they come back in herd due to greed in future.
Be a disciplined investor who keep on investing in systematic way irrespective of market conditions and not an emotional investor who usually buy stocks during bull phase when stock prices are moving higher because of greed and sell them in panic during bear phase due to severe fall in stock prices, making mistake of buying high and selling low.