Views on Life & on Equity Investing

Wonder, Wealth & Abundance

Microcaps: 1-10-100 Rule

with 3 comments


Had written few bullet points on investing here, thought of listing something for small/micro caps now.

You may have seen various matrices showing historic returns for microcaps exceeding that of mid and large caps. Similarly market returns for lowest quintile PE are the best relative to highest PE.

These simple metrics such as above give a toss to the fact that Microcaps are laden with landmines. One out of 50 or fewer succeeds. While people are busy searching for the next 10-20 or 100 baggers being deluded by the jackpot seeking lottery mentality, the process over outcome model is given a blind eye. So, if one wants to become an instant multi millionaire, then the chances are stock market is a wrong place. That said, micro caps are more volatile and if they move in favourable direction, then money is made quickly (or lost if the direction is unfavourable).

Also, one needs to build up several years of experience before becoming comfortable with microcaps.

1:10:100 rule

You may have read Thomas Phelps and thought its quite easy to score 100 bags every now and then. The rule 1-10-100 that I made up means you should have turned over / researched at least 100 companies to find a single one with a 10 bagger potential. I have been rummaging through a pile of poo every week for the past 10 years to find that lucky one. Now, as Charles Duhigg says in the Power of Habit, its easy to form good and bad habits, so its my habit and I like going through the poo in more than one way, that is because I am an expert in changing nappies that have poo too.

Paradigm shifts and large opportunity

Do not invest in companies which may be market leaders but they provide goods, services to a very professional and specialized audience eg: equipment to professional biochemistry research labs, stethoscope (Littman) to doctors. They do not create 10+ baggers in any short time frame.

Invest Before the Institutions

Rob the train before it arrives at the station 🙂

I want companies that have less than 5% institutional ownership.

Measure the company and value it

Ignore stock prices, understand the industry and market forces operating.

Minimise RISC

Refer to

Growth is a must

You could be set up for failure in the absence of revenue and profit growth, profitless growth is not growth, its grostitution (new word I made) addiction to growth [derived from postitution].

Validate product acceptance

Check the deals, stores, competitors and industry announcements.

Concentrate on best ideas

Rather than falling for the next novel idea in the heat, try to maximise from what you already know more than most and have a stronger conviction on.

Run mental checklist

Excel spreadsheets are not for everyone 🙂 so run through what can go wrong and briefly write the thesis for investing in 4-5 bullet points.

Invest in superior firms

Invest in high quality companies, while mean reversion is strong theme and one can make money in mining companies or commodities but its harder for an average Jo to spot cycle reversals.

Don’t fall for sexy story

Almost always avoid companies trying to over reach like Algae, cleantech, biotech, revolutionary drug etc. Finding a life partner may be better in a library or other boring setting than a sexy bar or disco.

Size position according to conviction

The greater the conviction the bigger the position.

Other important factors are downside and time to play out.

Alignment of interests

Management should value shares like gold, and own a considerable chunk.

Disclosure: Views are personal notions and do not represent any organisation or company. Investment in stock market can (and many a times do) result in loss of principal capital.

Written by amitdipsite

October 1, 2016 at 11:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Wow, Sir. Thats a great one. Seems like you have been doing some real good readings.


    October 1, 2016 at 3:04 pm

  2. Good One Amit.. Pearls of wisdom…

    Eternal Seeker

    October 4, 2016 at 5:52 pm

  3. Nice article, practically its a repetition of message for me, the deep the message is imbibed into you, you would benefit from this message

    Ram Arvin

    January 10, 2017 at 7:01 am

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