It is wise not to be overtly adventurous during a storm, say the wise. This also holds true when the markets are in churn. Ask Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, often referred to as the Warren Buffett of India. The billionaire investor has largely kept his portfolio unchanged in the first quarter of the current financial year, amid the volatility in the market. That was wise: the benchmark indices—the BSE Sensex and the Nifty50—tanked over 9 per cent each because of rising concerns over inflation and heavy foreign outflows, with investors losing around Rs 20 lakh crore.
Watch-to-jewellery maker Titan Company was Jhunjhunwala’s biggest bet in Q1FY23. The big bull (as Jhunjhunwala is often called) and his wife Rekha continue to hold 5.05 per cent stake in the company, according to corporate database ACE Equity. The cumulative value of Titan in their portfolio stands at nearly Rs 10,300 crore as of July 26, 2022. His stake also remained unchanged in Star Health at 14.39 per cent; Fortis Healthcare at 4.23 per cent; Canara Bank at 1.96 per cent; and CRISIL at 2.92 per cent, among others. His wife, too, continued to hold 3.10 per cent in Star Health and 2.56 per cent in CRISIL.
Jhunjhunwala’s only buy in the last quarter was mid-cap company Escorts Kubota, where he picked up 1.39 per cent stake. In contrast, the market maven sold 3 million shares of Tata Motors during the June quarter. He also pruned his stake in Indiabulls Housing Finance to 1.17 per cent from 1.28 per cent. His stake in Delta Corp, Indiabulls Real Estate, Nalco and TV18 Broadcast dropped below 1 per cent. Despite the latest churn, Jhunjhunwala and his spouse together held shares worth over Rs 27,300 crore as of July 26. The couple had stake in over 30 companies as of June 30, 2022, compared to 35 at the end of the fourth quarter of FY22.
So, should you follow the big bull’s investment mantra?
Kolkata-based Abhishek Basumallick, Founder and Chief Equity Advisor of research firm Intelsense Capital, is sceptical about “cloning” his process. “However, we can use the stock names we get from chasing famous investors as a starting point for research. If it makes the cut based on our criteria, then we can decide to buy it.” But, it has to be a “conscious and studied decision,” he cautions.
Kanpur-based Ekansh Mittal, Founder of research firm Katalyst Wealth, agrees. “One should never chase big investors, as complete allocation and investment rationale are not available. There is a considerable delay in the information. Further, every investor has a different objective, horizon and risk appetite. Therefore, investors should do their due diligence or seek professional advice for investment.”
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