Don’t miss the wood for the trees - Views on News from Equitymaster

Helping You Build Wealth With Honest Research
Since 1996. Try Now

  • MyStocks

MEMBER'S LOGINX

     
Login Failure
   
     
   
     
 
 
 
(Please do not use this option on a public machine)
 
     
 
 
 
  Sign Up | Forgot Password?  

Don’t miss the wood for the trees

Mar 29, 2001

We have often heard market experts say India is a ‘stock pickers’ market. That’s actually quite true – as a long-term investor if you had picked Infosys, Hero Honda, Cipla or Britannia or even Zee for that matter (Zee now trades post split 10 for 1), you should be congratulating yourself. As a stock picker, one did the right thing if one bought Hero Honda instead of Bajaj Auto five years ago because it took some astute judgement then to figure out the huge trend away from scooters to motorcycles and with it the fact that Hero Honda with its 4-stroke motorcycle technology was very well positioned to capitalize on that boom. Over this period, Hero Honda has made handsome returns for its shareholders while Bajaj Auto shareholders have to rue the fact that they were poorer despite investing in one of India’s cash-rich ‘solid-as-a-bank’ company. For a moment, I am not suggesting that ‘stock-picking’ is unimportant but equally important if not more is ‘asset allocation’ especially in these exciting times of high market volatility. Simplistically, on a very broad level, one decides what amount of money is to be parked in real assets and financial assets. Going down a notch, one decides how much of the financial assets portfolio should be in fixed-income and equity. Equity obviously has with it a greater variability of returns, which all the more underlines the need for diversification in a successful equity portfolio. So as an investor, before you start wearing your thinking hat and picking up the stocks you want in your equity portfolio, you first have to decide how much of your hard earned money should be in IT, pharma, consumer, cement or any other sector. Asset allocation basically imparts a discipline to the investment process and is a good risk control measure.

Simple as it sounds, but asset allocation is not something which many lay investors, or for that matter, even high profile (and highly paid) fund managers paid much heed to in recent times. So while your neighbour, Mrs. Sharma is telling you about the huge losses in her portfolio, she is only telling you half the story – what she probably missed telling you is those huge losses were mainly because of her following her broker’s great idea of putting all the money in a few ‘hot’ momentum stocks (‘momentum’ for the better part of the last year meant IT). Some consolation for her though - many fund managers did the same not-so-bright thing. So we had equity funds which had at some times over 60-70% invested in the TMT sector, balanced funds which to start with itself were unbalanced with close to 70-75% invested in equities and a major portion of those equities invested in the TMT sector. Some enterprising funds even tweaked definitions to get TMT stocks into so-called broad-based equity funds. The huge sell off in the TMT sector has seen many of the fund NAVs dropping steeply and causing the unit holders much pain and disillusionment. Investors henceforth would do well to closely study a mutual fund’s sectoral composition before investing.

In my opinion, the key lesson for investors and fund managers alike, is to first get the asset allocation right and then go about picking stocks.

Equitymaster requests your view! Post a comment on "Don’t miss the wood for the trees ". Click here!

  

More Views on News

6 Popular Stocks that Turned into Penny Stocks (Views On News)

Nov 27, 2021

A look at popular stocks that crashed big time and never recovered, i.e. which went from 'Multibaggers to Multibeggers'.

ONGC to NMDC: Here are 5 Stocks Value Investors Should Closely Track (Views On News)

Nov 26, 2021

Before investing in value stocks, research the company and gain insight into why the market is discounting it.

Top 5 Stocks FIIs Bought and Sold Recently (Views On News)

Nov 25, 2021

FIIs have largely stayed on sidelines for the past few months, withdrawing money across emerging markets.

Everything to Know About the Upcoming Tega Industries IPO (Views On News)

Nov 27, 2021

Are you looking to apply for the Tega Industries IPO? You must ensure that you know specific details.

3 Charts on Why the Indian Bull Looks Tired podcast (Views On News)

Nov 27, 2021

Rahul Shah explains the key reasons behind his pessimistic outlook on the stock market.

More Views on News

Most Popular

Infosys vs TCS: Which is Better? (Views On News)

Nov 26, 2021

In the post pandemic era, the top two IT companies in India are fighting to capture the growing demand for IT.

This Multibagger Stock Zooms 20% After Dolly Khanna Buys Stake (Views On News)

Nov 24, 2021

Shares of this edible oil company zoomed over 50% in three days after ace investor bought around 1% stake.

How to Hit Rs 100 Crore Wealth in Your Lifetime (Equitymaster Wealth)

Nov 15, 2021

This is how you can achieve the ambitious goal of a net worth of Rs 100 crore.

Don't Sell these Stocks if the Market Falls (Profit Hunter)

Nov 17, 2021

These are the 3 types of stocks that you should not sell in a market crash.

MobiKwik IPO Opens for Subscription Soon. Key Things to Know Before Subscribing. (Views On News)

Nov 20, 2021

The Rs 19 bn issue is set to hit the market soon.

More

Become A Smarter Investor
In Just 5 Minutes

Multibagger Stock Guide 2022
Get our special report Multibagger Stocks Guide (2022 Edition) Now!
We will never sell or rent your email id.
Please read our Terms

S&P BSE SENSEX


Nov 26, 2021 (Close)

MARKET STATS