Stock Market Guide: Understand Market Capitalization & Market Value

Building a profitable stock portfolio is, of course, the main goal of any investor. If you are a beginner on trading, a big part of your path to success is knowledge.

Today we’ll cover two of the key indicators to consider when choosing the right stocks: the difference between Market Capitalization and Market Value, and how it influences on your investment choices. Before we jump in, you need to know that there are:

Two types of commonly used analysis:

  1. Technical analysis focuses on market price variations and the search for patterns of these movements.
  2. Fundamental analysis focuses on the company’s fundamentals, that is, on financial and marketing indicators.

Both are complementary and could help at the time of allocation of resources and generate returns.

Market Capitalization or Market Cap

His is a recurring theme when analyzing companies to invest in. Simply put, market cap is the amount of money it would take to buy every stock of a company for the current market value.

For example, if a company has 2 million stocks on the market and each one is worth $ 50, then it would cost $ 100 million to buy them all. This number is considered the company’s market cap.

This is an important concept because it allows investors to understand a company’s value when compared to others.

The most important factor investors should consider about market cap:

It’s evolution! This indicator/index reveals if the company is growing or shrinking over time. Good companies tend to grow their market cap over the years and decades, while others tend to decrease it on the long run.

So, following up the market cap of a company may give investors a good indication if such company is adding value for shareholders or not.

Market Value

It takes numerous factors into account to create a broader picture of a company’s financial standing. It measures the company’s monetary value based on a number of valuations and ratios, such as price to earnings, return on equity, long-term growth potential and the company assets and liabilities.

It gives a clearer perspective of the company, other than Market Cap that shows some inadequacies in applying this concept to evaluate the size of a company. The most important one is that market cap doesn’t take the company’s debts into consideration. For example, that company could be worth $100 million, but it has $20 million in debts, so the real worth would be $80 million.

How to Use the Market Cap to Build a Healthy Portfolio

Many professional investors allocate their assets based on companies’ market cap. They believe such approach allows them to take advantage of the fact that small companies have, historically, grown faster, while the big ones pay more dividends.

Market Cap Categories:

  • Micro Cap: Companies with market cap bellow $ 300 million.
  • Small Cap: Companies with market cap between $ 300 million and $ 2 billion.
  • Mid Cap: Companies with market cap between $ 2 billion and $ 10 billion.
  • Big Cap: Companies with market cap between $ 10 billion and$ 50 billion.
  • Mega Cap: Companies with market cap over $ 50 billion.

Of course, this is not the only classification and the range of values is not standardized, but how should it inform your asset allocation strategy?

Market Capitalization and its Importance to Investment Strategy

Generally, market capitalization corresponds to a company’s stage in its business development. Typically, investments in large-cap companies are considered more conservative than investments is small-cap or midcap stocks.

Midcap companies may be in the process of increasing market share and improving overall competitiveness. This stage of growth is likely to determine if a company will live to its full potential, so midcaps offer more growth potential than large caps.

Small Caps, on the other hand, are more susceptible to a business or economic downturn and could also be vulnerable to competition and untried markets. However, they may offer significant growth potential to long-term investors, who can tolerate some more risk.

Selecting the Right Combination

Although diversification doesn’t eliminate risk or the risk of potential loss, a diversified portfolio that contains a variety of market caps help reduce investment risk in any area and support the pursuit of your long-term financial goals.

Analyse your financial goals, risk tolerance and time horizon to build a portfolio with the proper mix of small-cap, mid cap and large-cap stocks.