So I went to the SIBL library and looked at actual market caps from 30-years ago.
Unfortunately, I could not get exactly 30-years ago - the Bloomberg terminals at SIBL are there by the largess of the Bloomberg Corporation (ie they're free) - but there's limited functionality; no Excel add-in, no help, no printing (all things I wish I'd known ahead of time).
Instead there was a lot of "XYZ Equity FA GO"-ing and then scribbling down the market cap as early back as I could get. The earliest back I could get was 1988, though for some companies it was even later. (The full data set that I used is at the bottom of this sheet). And I still couldn't figure out the Market Cap of the S&P 500 in 1985.
But I took what I could get, adjusted it for inflation using CPI calculator and here are two bites at the summary data, all again supporting why small cap companies can be more interesting for patient investors.
First, a frequency distribution of the companies and their market caps @ 12/31/15 and ~30-years ago, adjusted for inflation ....
|# of companies||Market Caps in buckets|
|Market Cap||Today||30-yrs ago (inf adj)||like they looked 30-yrs ago||30-yrs ago (inf adj)|
|Under $300M||1||14||Under $50M||4|
|Over $100B||7||0||Over $1B||8|
... this frequency distribution alone tells the story.
Almost half were under $300M in today's dollars. Some might argue that 30-years ago, a $300M mkt cap company wasn't small. Well, four of these companies were under $50M in today's dollars, and another seven were between $50M-$200M.
And then here's again some very basic statistical analysis, which shows how small these were relative to the overall market 30-years ago. All of them together made up just 2% of the (estimated size) of the S&P. If I take out Altria (~$48B market cap in today's money), that falls to under 1%. And incidentally, take AAPL out of today's figures and the sum of all the companies relative to the S&P falls to ~6% ...
Calculated 30-Yrs ago
Actual from "awhile ago"
|Market Caps ($M) of 30 / 30 Stocks||Today|
|~ total market cap of S&P 500||$17,500,000||$2,000,000||$2,000,000||$4,000,000|
|sum as % of S&P 500 market cap||9.15%||0.28%||2.06%||2.03%|
|~S&P 500 price||$2,038||$212||$212||$424|
|max mkt cap as % of S&P mkt cap||2.99%||0.08%||1.21%||1.21%|
... Obviously, small companies - b/c of the law of large numbers - can compound higher growth rates. And obviously, this whole list that Zweig put together suffers from survivorship bias. For each of these 30 companies there are thousands that no longer exist. I mean, just look at the top-10 companies in the S&P from 1985 for an example of survivorship.
Now I'm officially done with this little OCD moment. Though it's still not completely precise, it's good enough and better still, for the first time in long time, I've found a pretty interesting crop of small-cap companies I'd like to analyze! Will share what I can at a later date here.
|name||% return||CAGR||ticker||12/31/2015 ($M)||30-yrs ago||"awhile" ago||Adjusted||Date of M/C|
|Home Depot Inc||67,795||24.27||HD||$169,654.6||$249.9||$808.8||$1,620.0||FYE1988|
|UnitedHealth Group Inc||40,503||22.16||UNH||$113,227.3||$278.9||$71.9||$104.3||FYE1998|
|Kansas City Southern||37,384||21.83||KSU||$7,593.8||$20.3||$409.9||$821.0||FYE1988|
|Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.||36,716||21.76||JKHY||$6,451.1||$17.5||$12.2||$24.4||FYE1988|
|Altria Group Inc||28,432||20.72||MO||$118,564.0||$415.5||$24,100.0||$48,272.3||FYE1988|
|Monster Beverage Corporation||25,323||20.26||MNST||$27,594.5||$108.5||$53.3||$77.3||FYE1998|
|Expeditors International of Washington||20,127||19.34||EXPD||$8,263.7||$40.9||$87.4||$174.8||FYE1988|
|CVB Financial Corp.||16,232||18.49||CVBF||$1,566.0||$9.6||$61.6||$123.2||FYE1988|
|Helen of Troy Limited||16,057||18.45||HELE||$2,500.5||$15.5||$65.3||$124.8||FYE1989|
|St. Jude Medical, Inc.||15,951||18.42||STJ||$14,916.0||$92.9||$452.2||$904.4||FYE1988|
|Raymond James Financial, Inc.||14,588||18.07||RJF||$5,997.9||$40.8||$88.1||$159.7||FYE1990|
|Applied Materials, Inc.||14,082||17.93||AMAT||$19,452.1||$137.2||$328.8||$657.6||FYE1988|
|Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.||13,912||17.88||CBRL||$3,176.1||$22.7||$112.9||$225.8||FYE1988|
|SEI Investments Company||13,256||17.69||SEIC||$6,182.2||$46.3||$205.0||$410.0||FYE1988|
|Precision Castparts Corp.||13,152||17.66||PCP||$32,326.4||$243.9||$563.6||$1,127.2||FYE1988|
|Lowe's Companies, Inc.||13,030||17.62||LOW||$65,768.6||$500.9||$755.8||$1,511.6||FYE1988|
|Dynamic Materials Corporation||11,943||17.28||BOOM||$86.0||$0.7||$5.8||$9.7||FYE1992|
-- END --
THIS IS NOT A SOLICITATION FOR BUSINESS OR A RECOMMENDATION TO BUY OR SELL SECURITIES. IT IS MERELY THE RAMBLINGS OF AN OVER TIRED INVESTOR *SNIFF* WORKING ALONE IN HIS OFFICE *VIOLINS PLAYING SAD SONGS OUT OF TUNE * TRYING TO START A BUSINESS AND RAISE MONEY FROM OUTSIDE INVESTORS *A MIME JUST WALKED BY MY OFFICE AND GAVE ME THE FINGER* I CANNOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY OF THIS INFORMATION *THERE WASN'T REALLY A MIME IT WAS MY 8 YEAR OLD SON* DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK.