What are the different types of stock – Peter Lynch’s Categories

Peter Lynch is regarded as one of the most successful fund managers of all time. He was able to generate a mind-boggling 29.2% annualized return from 1977-1990. His brilliant book, One Up on Wall Street encapsulates his experiences and learnings. The book is a marvel. It describes the advantages the common man has as an investor over institutions and how that advantage can be leveraged. Furthermore, it even explains questions such as ”what are the different types of stock?” to newcomers. He also drops various nuggets of wisdom in every chapter laced with humor. The most valuable part of his book though is in the chapter ‘I’ve got it, I’ve got it- What is it?’ where he segregated different companies under 6 broad categories. Those are:

1) Sluggards

Aged companies with a large market share but stagnant sales and earnings. These companies have run their course and even though they have large earnings, most of them are allocated towards dividends as the segments for growth are limited. These companies usually grow at 2-4%.

2) Stalwarts

Established companies with steady earnings and growth. These are mature companies that have gained considerable market share. They are popular brands and companies which have stood the test of time while delivering growth and profits. These companies grow from 8-12%.

3) Fast Growers

Companies aggressively gaining market share with a galloping earnings rate. These are the large-cap companies of tomorrow. They have started to accelerate their business and possess a solid future. These companies have a growth rate from 15-25%. While these seem attractive, they also may run out of steam. All fast growers don’t go the distance.

4) Cyclicals

Companies with established market share but whose sales and profits rise and fall regularly. These companies include metal and commodities amongst others. Their growth depends on economic conditions, raw material prices, etc. Their stock price usually moves in cycles with several troughs and crests.

5) Turnarounds

These are companies that were heavily beaten down at one point in time but have slowly started making a comeback. Their finances are ever-improving and while there is no guarantee that the growth will sustain, there seems to be some hope.

6) Asset Plays

These are Companies that aren’t showing much growth in a broader sense and are hence undervalued by the market. But, they own an asset like real estate which could accelerate their growth in the future.

Different type of stock in a certain timeframe

Not only helps this to apply different company outlooks to the question of what are the different types of stock. But also how to apply that information on a timeframe. A sluggard will most likely not give 15-20% returns in 5 years. But it may protect your capital in times of recession or crisis like the Covid Crash.

A fast grower may become a future multi-bagger but it may crash deeply and never recover if its growth stagnates or decelerates.

A major reason for dissatisfaction in the market is expectation mismatch. Know what kind of stock you are holding, and what it promises you, and you are on the path to building a good, well-rounded portfolio. The same goes for investing in funds when building a mixed portfolio.