Below is the table illustrating the % returns delivered by Sensex as well as BSE Small Cap Index every calendar year since 1st April 2003.
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.
Looking at current scenario, Sensex has made all time high of 40,312 recently on 4th June and closed at 38,961 today. However, Small Cap Index closed at 14,173 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 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.
There are a lot of reasons why investors should not directly get into small cap stocks as some of them can be illiquid and concerns may arise about the way the company is being professionally managed. Moreover, these companies have limited media coverage and they are largely unknown among investors, which means the information in public domain will be very limited.
Investors who want to invest in small cap stocks should go by advise of professionals who have the expertise to spot these hidden gems. We believe that with BSE Small Cap Index trading nearly 30% below its all time high, this is the right time to get into small cap stocks. However, this category is recommended only to investors who are ready to take the extra risk to get the additional upside in their portfolio and also have the patience to wait to reap the benefits.
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