If you had to invest money in stocks anytime in the last two years, you would have probably been a frustrated person.
The Sensex is still languishing at almost the same levels it was two years ago. Individual stocks have taken a beating including blue chips names like ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, L&T, Vedanta, Tata Steel Tata Motors, Bank of Baroda, ONGC and the list is endless.
Eternal favourites like Just Dial, Eros Entertainment have become one third of their values from 52-week peaks. There is no point in discussing about PSU banks, metal and oil and gas stocks. The lesser said the better.
Infosys is perhaps the only stock one can think about that has given some decent returns in the last 2 year from the large cap ones. Perhaps, also select pockets in the pharma sector.
Fixed deposit holders two years back have made a pretty decent return of 18-20 per cent in the last 2 years (9-10 per cent per year).
Should investors really buy Indian stocks?
From the last 7-8 quarters, we have been hearing the same story from analysts, that they see earnings recovery. But, that has never happened. In fact, earnings have gotten worse. Indian stock markets are not cheap by any stretch of imagination. They are trading at 15 times one year forward earnings, as against a multiple of 10.8 times for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index
Why should somebody pay a premium of 40-50 per cent, when there is no growth at all in corporate earnings in India.
You normally pay a premium when earnings growth are more robust. In fact, the Sensex is down 7 per cent in Feb and it is one of the worst months for the Sensex in 4 years.
Unless the Union Budget 2016, ignites a spark on Feb 29, the stock markets are going to remain in a slumber.
It would be interesting to see what is in store for the markets on Feb 29 and if Arun Jaitley fires the imagination of investors.