2018 was one of the most difficult year for investors as benchmark Nifty gave only 3.2% whereas broader markets like Mid cap and Small caps where down by 15.3% and 23.6% each respectively. Only Bankex, FMCG and IT are closed on a positive note, while rest all indices closed lower. The markets also witnessed major events like NPA clean-up, NBFC re-financing issues, RBI Governor exit, that could fundamentally change the structure of the economy. It is however important to highlight that the government proactively acted on the above issues.
Where do we stand today:
Data throws up a mixed bag when we look at valuations and compare it with December 2007, closer to the previous market peak. On Price/Earnings for Nifty 50, we are valued similar to the last peak at 26.6 in Dec 07 Vs 26.4 in Dec 18, but when we look at other valuation parameters like Market Cap/GDP, we are much lower.
As pointed by Warren Buffett, the percentage of total market cap (TMC) relative to the US GNP is “probably the best single measure of where valuations stand at any given moment.”
//(GDP & GNP Definition and the difference
GDP is the total market value of goods and services produced within the borders of a country.
GNP is the total market value of goods and services produced by the residents of a country, even if they’re living abroad. So, if a U.S. resident earns money from an investment overseas, that value would be included in GNP (but not GDP).
Further, markets have steep falls when they run up significantly and the economy is overheated. Despite the fact that markets have moved up over the last couple of years, this is much muted compared to what you normally see in a bull market. Economic parameters are also muted.
Various Indicators- Current Vs Dec 07
US Markets take a tumble
US markets have seen a large correction since October 2018 with the DowJones was down by 18.8% before recovering some of the losses. Though the US markets have been one of the best performers, we are relatively bearish on US stocks vis-à-vis Indian stocks. In the case of the US, both market and economic performances have been strong over the past few years and we believe US stocks/ESOPs could be impacted over the next year.