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8 superstar investors everyone wants to copy

May 21, 2019 08:30 IST

These investors are not only betting on little-known stocks, but also sectors that the market participants are not paying much heed to. Some of these stocks can be potential multi-baggers, while others may not live up to the expectations of these stock-pickers, says Jash Kriplani.

Illustrations: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com

A small number of individual investors has managed to make successful investments in stock markets over the years.

These investors are always on the radar of retail investors as they try to copy investment calls made by these savvy investors.

We look at portfolios of some of India’s largest individual investors.

 

The compilation is on the basis of disclosures of shareholders with more than one per cent stake in listed companies.

Sometimes copycat strategy can work wonders as following the right investor could lead smaller investors into a multi-bagger story.

However, on other occasions the retail investor could end up losing most of his investment.

Investing is not an easy art to perfect and learning from the bad investment decisions is an even tougher feat.

However, most of these top investors believe in the mantra that some of the best investment lessons are learnt from the worst mistakes.

In the investing world, the shareholding pattern of companies, the data which is made public at the end of every quarter, is watched quite closely to see what savvy investors are buying and selling.

Companies have to disclose the names of shareholders of investors having more than 1 per cent stake in a company.

Several high net worth individual investors get captured under this disclosure, which is seen as a cue by other investors to piggyback.

This analysis tracks the investment portfolios of some famous stock-pickers on Dalal Street, who have a large fan following.

As this compilation shows, these investors are not only betting on little-known stocks, but also sectors that the market participants are not paying much heed to.

Some of these stocks can be potential multi-baggers, while others may not live up to the expectations of these stock-pickers.

However, experts say that retail investors can still take some calculated risks by tracking some of these investments.

“Even after doing a bit of preliminary research, a retail investor can start with small bets on stocks that appeal to his sentiment and fit in with his risk appetite.

"If the stock price moves in his favour, he can slowly build up his bet. Typically, when the lesser-known stocks run up, they have long legs to the rally,” said an analyst, requesting anonymity.

Today, the Indian stock market commands a market capitalisation  of Rs 153 trillion.

Of this the top-200 companies account for Rs 126 trillion, or 80 per cent of the market capitalisation.

These 200 companies are well-researched and price discovery is quick.

The incidence of finding multi-baggers in this universe is lower than in the remaining stocks, which are under-researched but are also riskier.

One note of caution for investors who want to mimic the stars: there is a chance that these big investors may change their positions before the  disclosures are made public.

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

Big Bull Rakesh Jhunjhunwala has one of the largest portfolios for any individual investor in the country.

The total value of his investments are estimated to be over Rs 13,000 crore on the basis of the exchange disclosures.

What the ace investor does becomes market moving as he has a large set of followers.

In March quarter, Jhunjhunwala made small, but interesting changes in his portfolio.

He trimmed his stake in his largest bet Titan valued at Rs 7,113 crore, by 4 basis points (bps).

He raised his stake in pharma major Lupin by 16 bps.

He has turned bullish on pharma sector in recent times for its long-term growth outlook.

The biggest move in Jhunjhunwala's portfolio has come in luggage maker VIP Industries, where his stake is up 130 bps.

He also added to his Dewan Housing Finance position, where his stake is up 73 bps.

Akash Bhanshali

Akash Bhanshali is the nephew of Vallabh Bhanshali, co-founder of one of the country's largest home-grown investment bank Enam Securities, which was sold to Axis Bank.

The investment bug seems to run in the family as Akash has built a large-sized investment portfolio as an individual investor, which spreads across more than a dozen listed companies.

Akash's biggest bet is in the colour and pigment manufacturer Sudarshan Chemicals.

His 8 per cent stake in the small-cap company is currently valued at Rs 186 crore.

The other top bets in value-terms include IDFC (Rs 111 crore), Welspun Corp (Rs 105 crore), building material company Prism Johnson (Rs 72 crore) and Balrampur Chini (Rs 71 crore).

Bhanshali is currently leading the principal investment unit at Enam Holdings, an investments firm that makes long-term investments in listed companies.

He also backs entrepreneurs in the unlisted space.

R K Damani

Radhakishan Damani is another investor widely followed in the markets.

The stellar listing of Damani-led Avenue Supermarts (D-Mart), which he has founded,  has only added to the cult following for this investor.

While largely staying away from media glare, Damani has built a portfolio of limited stocks, but has placed bets with high conviction.

Excluding the value of Damani's holdings in D-Mart, his portfolio is riding on seven stocks.

In March quarter, Damani has not made any major changes in his stock positions.

The only change in his positions is in TV18 Broadcast, where he has reduced his stake by 128 bps to just over one per cent.

Damani's biggest bet remains in cigarette manufacturer VST Industries, where he holds 25 per cent  stake (holdings valued at Rs 1,363 crore).

This is followed by United Breweries, 3M India and Sundaram Finance.

Anil Kumar Goel

Having a sweet tooth can land you in trouble. However, not for Anil Kumar Goel, who has a knack for making profits from his investments in sugar stocks.

Even in his current portfolio, four of the top five stocks in value terms are sugar stocks, which include Dhampur Sugar,Triveni Engineering, Uttam Sugar Mills and Avadh Sugar.

All these stocks have given returns of 27-45 per cent in March quarter.

The sugar sector is not an easy space to be in as stocks tend to be volatile and vulnerable to policy decisions.

Currently, his largest bet is in KRBL, producer of India Gate basmati rice.

Other top holdings include micro-caps such as Vardhman Special Steels, Majestic Auto and Amarjothi Spinning Mills.

Ashish Dhawan

Ashish Dhawan founded one of India's leading private equity firm ChrysCapital before he turned 30.

While Dhawan now pursues his interests in philanthropic work in education, his interest in investing remains alive as can be seen from his Rs 800 crore worth of stock holdings.

As an entrepreneur himself, Dhawan has been quite successful in identifying well-run businesses backed by savvy entrepreneurs.

His largest investment is in IDFC, where he holds 3.5 per cent stake valued at  Rs 241 crore.

The other large bets include Greenlam Industries (Rs 129 crore) and Karur Vysya Bank (Rs 108 crore).

Dish TV and Equitas Holdings are the other top bets.

He has 60 per cent of his investments in banking and financial services space.

Ashish Kacholia

Ashish Kacholia is widely regarded for his ability to spot hidden mid- and small-stocks.

As can be seen in his portfolio, he holds several stocks which are still not covered by brokerages or analysts.

For instance, Kacholia has Rs 48 crore of investments in Birlasoft.

The other IT firms which are also among Kacholia’s top holdings include insurance technology provider Majesco and the enterprise solutions provider Mastek.

Besides these mid- and small-sized IT names, Kacholia's top holdings include the consumer durables player IFB Industries and Hikal, an intermediates and active ingredients player.

Nocil is Kacholia's largest bet at Rs 192 crore --  he raised his stake in the rubber chemicals player by 436 bps to 8.6 per cent at the end of March quarter.

Rajiv & Dolly Khanna

The city of Chennai has found itself on the investing map of India, thanks to Rajiv Khanna.

Khanna, who hails from the southern metro, has got a cult-like following.

His investments in stocks such as Nilkamal and Hawkins Cookers have proved to be multi-baggers and stuff of Dalal Street lore.

Khanna, who invests in his wife's name Dolly Khanna, still ­­­holds 1.8 per cent stake in Nilkamal.

The plastic home and office furniture company is among Khanna’s top holdings.

His largest investment includes Nocil, industrial products player Rain Industries  and liquor maker Radico Khaitan.

Liquor stocks seem to be attracting Khanna's attention right now as Som Distilleries is also among his top bets.

Vijay Kedia

Vijay Kedia's passion for yoga may not be widely known, but his ability to shut out market noise and focus on fundamentals of a company has found many followers.

His top bets include Sudarshan Chemicals, jewellery manufacturer Vaibhav Global, publishing player Repro India and asbestos sheets maker Everest Industries.

As can be seen from Kedia's portfolio, he has a knack of spotting opportunities in sectors, which markets are largely ignorant of.

While Kedia's portfolio has been under a bit of pressure in the March quarter due to his large exposure to mid-caps, the portfolio could see a recovery after market volatility subsides.

Jash Kriplani in Mumbai
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