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OTCQB versus S&P 500

08 Sep

A funny happened in the last couple of weeks – the global weaknesses in the economies around the world have shone through.  China, the powerhouse economy growing at over seven percent (7%) a year (see the World Bank’s numbers at 7.7% in 2013, 7.8% in 2012 and so on on their website) has stumbled.  Our own Federal Reserve doesn’t know if it will raise the rate it lends to banks.  Europe is in the midst of a crisis of immigration and other issues. To steal a line from Ghostbusters

…real wrath of God type stuff.
…, dogs and cast living together… mass hysteria…

SO what does this mean for us, the micro-cap investors who believe in the little guy and who work in and around entrepreneurs who aren’t part of the S&P 500 index?

A little notoriety

An article in the New York Business Journal entitled “Early – stag companies fair better on the OTCQB than S&P 500 during these turbulent days” is an interesting view of what is happening right now.  Of course, OTC Markets loves the exposure and they have shared this article with many of us who follow them (I would recommend joining their mailing list).  In essence, the OTCQB hasn’t seen the decline that the S&P has (take a look at the OTCQB index on the OTC Markets’ website).  The OTCQB index has only declined by 3.31% in the two week period ending August 28th, 2015 versus the S&P 500 dropping by 5.46%. Why?

First, why are the S&P 500 companies highly sought after by investors?  Because they are big enough to ride out ups and downs.  They are big enough to have robust operations.

Secondly, why are all the globe’s markets down?  China is a harbinger of the global economy being a slump / recession that is deeper than we expected.  Our economy really hasn’t rebounded that much from the 2007 debacle.  Now the rest of the world sees that.

Lastly, the OTCQB is a “venture” marketplace.  The risk is already figured into the stock price since investing in these stocks are smaller and don’t have the resources that the S&P companies do.  But therein is where they fair better in down markets – we’re placing a bet that these guys will graduate to the S&P 500 someday.  That risk isn’t greater because the world’s markets are basket cases.  In fact, that means that innovation and risk takers will be rewarded to an even greater extent.

My conclusions

2015 through 2020 will probably be sideways markets – giving up as much as they give.  Including some up and coming stocks in your portfolio is how I’m mitigating the risk that my portfolio does absolutely no growing during that time.  Of course, I am focused on bonds for current income, but that is pitiful right now.  All in all, it’s a good time to ensure that your business operations yield lots of cash and worry about where you’re going to put it all.  Happy hunting…

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Posted by on September 8, 2015 in Business, Public markets

 

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