Thursday, 15 January 2015

Behaviour of Growth Stocks

A growth stock is identified as such because it has an especially satisfactory past record coupled with the expectation that this will continue.

It is the inherent nature of corporate growth eventually to taper off or to cease entirely.

Thus, if the stock market possessed the penetrating qualities popularly accorded to it, many growth stocks would begin to lose their high price level some time BEFORE any decline in their earning power had become apparent.

What seems to happen, rather, is that the price remains high UNTIL the earnings ACTUALLY show a definite falling off - which invariably seems to take the followers of the issue by surprise.

Then we have the market decline usually associated with a disappointing development - a decline perhaps intensified by the fact that the price level of the growth stock had been dangerously high.

Sometimes, either because of a certain stubbornness or a real insight into the long term future on the part of the investors, the price of such a deteriorated growth stock remains higher than its current performance would justify.

The growth stock principle of investment carries with it a real danger of miscalculations.  The average investor is likely to be most enthusiastic about such companies at the wrong time.  

Past trends are generally an unsound basis for investment decision.

Benjamin Graham

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