Fisher: Look to Large-Cap Growth

Top investor Kenneth Fisher says that the bull market has a ways to go — and that large-cap growth stocks will be the place to be during the rest of the bull run.

In a column for Interactive Investor, Fisher notes that in the early stages of bull markets, small-cap value picks usually lead the way. They are more economically sensitive and get pounded when fears crescendo at the end of bear markets, and then bounce back when fears subside and the bulls start running, he says. Then things change.

“Later, after the bull market’s early phases, a new phase starts, where people are less myopic,” Fisher writes. “They aren’t quite so fearful and start thinking a bit longer term. Those small, economically sensitive cyclical firms don’t have long-term growth prospects, no long-term vision. But big, growth-oriented firms do. Quality and growth. They have vision, deep product pipelines, quality management. That’s what investors want then — so they move away from small value to the polar opposite — and large growth takes over leadership.”

Fisher says the switch doesn’t happen overnight. “But when it does, it lasts a long time,” he says. “Large cap growth started beating small value fairly regularly early in 2012 — it’s early still. What’s more, as bull markets end, breadth typically falls to less than a third of the broad market (measured using the longer history of US stocks — but it’s the same globally). We aren’t even close yet — there’s room for this bull to run.”

Fisher says to focus on high-quality firms that have market capitalizations around $100 billion or more. “There aren’t many stocks there to pick from; but do it,” he says. “The longer the bull market runs, the bigger you should go.”



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