Before the start of last year, we thought investing in 2011 would be hard.
Turns out we had no idea just how hard.
The good news is last year’s market behaviour is set to repeat this year. Now, saying that’s “good news” may seem strange considering the poor performance of shares in 2011.
But that’s exactly why it’s good news.
Share market volatility and a falling market is what any cashed-up speculator dreams of. Simply because volatility and falling markets scare investors away. And when investors are scared, share prices fall…
If you’re cashed-up, you’re in a great position to benefit from the coming year of volatility.
The only question that remains unanswered is how you’ll profit.
Of course, investing in small-cap stocks is a risky business. To give you a comparison, the S&P/ASX Emerging Companies Index is down 11.11% since January 2011. And the S&P/ASX 200 Index is down 9.21% in the same time.
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That gives you a clue about the risks of investing in the market.
But it also shows you something else… that diversifying a portfolio for the sake of it doesn’t work.
That’s why it’s more important to focus on good business ideas rather than just buying any old stock or sector that moves….
Understanding why these are important and the role they play in the economy will be vital to making money from small-cap stocks in 2012. But in case you’re not familiar with these themes or you need a refresher, here’s a quick rundown…
Creative destruction is a term coined by early 20th century economist, Joseph Schumpeter. In simple terms it’s the idea that new ideas and ways of doing business emerge to replace old or inefficient ways of doing business.
An example we like to use is the typewriter. Functionally, there was nothing wrong with the typewriter. But as technology developed with the invention of computers, it became obvious personal computers could replicate and improve on anything a typewriter could do.
Another example is music players. Over time technology has seen the arrival and departure of the gramophone, record players and cassette players. And one day CDs will disappear too, as music buyers shift to MP3 players.
The important point is that creative destruction is a positive process. It results in consumers getting a better or more efficient product.
As for disruptive technology, well, that’s slightly different.
Rather than destroying one thing and replacing it with something new, disruptive technology shifts the market in a new direction.
For instance, catalytic convertors didn’t destroy anything. And they didn’t replace anything. They simply shifted the auto industry in a new direction, away from leaded petrol and towards unleaded petrol.
Again, disruptive technology is a positive process. It’s about innovation… new ideas.
And ultimately, that’s what small-cap investing is all about.
It’s identifying companies that could change the shape of their industries.
But, creative destruction and disruptive technologies don’t just happen. They’re only possible if they contain a key ingredient -
Entrepreneurs are the driving force behind any economy.
Without them, there’s no progress.
Economies need men and women who forego the safety of 9-to-5 jobs. Those who prefer to borrow, scrimp and save to see their ideas through to completion.
But remember this: most entrepreneurs fail.
Either they get their timing wrong on what the market wants or they’ve just got a bad idea.
But that’s what makes small-cap investing so rewarding. Because if you back the right idea at the right time, the payback can more than make up for the risk.
The thing is, which ideas should you invest in and how do you find them?
Over the last few weeks we’ve been working on a brand new presentation that explains exactly that. In it, we also reveal our top five speculative ideas for 2012 and 2013.
Each of these tiny companies is run by true innovators in their industry. Of course, they could fail. But these guys are not after safety. They are after success. And if they succeed, they’ll make a fortune.
More importantly for you, so will the shareholders in their companies.
The market was rubbish in 2011. And right now there a whole raft of brilliant companies like these trading for prices we haven’t seen since the lows of 2009.
For speculative investors, it truly is a paradise to play in. And in our new presentation we aim to show you how to best profit from it.
So keep an eye on your inbox over the next couple of days.
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Written by Kris Sayce
Kris Sayce is Editor in Chief of Australia’s biggest circulation daily financial email — Money Morning. (You can subscribe to Money Morning for free here).
Kris is also editor of Australian Small-Cap Investigator, his small-cap stock research service, where he provides detailed analysis on some the brightest, smallest listed companies on the ASX.
If you’re already a subscriber to these publications, or want to follow his financial world view more closely, then we recommend you join Kris on Google+. It’s where he shares investment insight, commentary and ideas that he can’t always fit into his regular Money Morning essays.