Now that you have read through this special issue, are you thinking hard which stock to buy? Or still wondering if it is a good idea to buy into equities at all? True, we are entering a year of Great Expectations (uncertainties). As this edition of Outlook Business goes to print, the benchmark Sensex is just 1,558 points away from breaching the record January 8, 2008, closing high of 20,873. It’s quite likely that the momentum seen at the fag end of 2012 will propel the index past its all-time closing high in the new year.
But then, come to think of it, even if the market does not create a new high, will that mean equities as an asset class will be ‘dead’ for the fifth year in running? Certainly not. For, despite the general view that equities did not make any headway over the past four years, there are close to 100 stocks (from the BSE-500 universe) that have more doubled from their 2008 highs and close to 50 stocks that are up 50% and 100% from their 2008 closing highs. Ditto with small caps: around 60 stocks have gained upwards of 100% and around 33 are up between 50% and 100%. Add to this all the new listings since the 2008 crisis that have fetched manifold returns for investors.
That being the case, there’s no point worrying about the big picture. What you need is sound stocks to bet your money on (and a dash of luck, of course). Hopefully, our list has given you a good stockpile to draw from. It would have been great if ‘prominent’ fund managers would have talked about their favourite stocks, but it was not to be. It is not so much about their willingness to share (they lose nothing since they might have already loaded up on their conviction) as it is about ‘compliance’, a word that is often used as a strategic weapon to ward off media. Still, you did read through a great line-up — not all of them might be very familiar names but trust us, they know what they’re talking about. And many of them have indeed put their money where their mouths are. If you have been in the market for long, there’s no better comfort than an investor eating his or her own cooking.