Buying What Is Cheap, Hated and in an Uptrend

Tickers in this article: SBY SCIF TWO
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- On Friday I had the pleasure of interviewing a well-respected and refreshingly candid editor and investment analyst.

Dr. Steve Sjuggerud is the publisher and editor of DailyWealth , which is widely followed by a loyal base of long-time readers.

He's also the writer-editor of two services True Wealth and True Wealth Systems , which yours truly has subscribed to for years. Sjuggerud is a big believer of going with the trend, and he told me his mantra is "I want that which is cheap, hated and in an uptrend!"

This approach has served him well, especially when he's been willing to be somewhat aggressive and speculative. Back in November 2012 he told his True Wealth subscribers that smaller-cap stocks based in India were remarkably inexpensive. His friend "Rahul" who owns a money management company in India, encouraged Sjuggerud in 2008 to come to India "...to show me the extraordinary opportunities he was finding there."

That's exactly what he did, and in Sjuggerud's words, "Long story short, the investment opportunities Rahul showed me on our trip was absolutely incredible. You could hardly lose money buying these companies at these prices. (And I don't have that feeling very often)."

Sjuggerud told me that in 2008, "On paper, small Indian companies were ludicrously cheap... Their stocks had fallen over 75% in less than a year -- from above 1,700 in January to below 400 in October (as measured by the MSCI India Small Cap Index ). This left many companies trading for less than their cash in the bank."

Now the opportunity in these stocks as represented in the Market Vectors India Small-Cap ETF (SCIF) is even better than it was in 2008!

"In the last two years, small Indian stocks have fallen by 60% from peak to trough, and they've bounced along those lows all year. During that same period, U.S. stocks are up over 30%. They've come back a little but have a long way to go on the upside" he told me.

You can see that in the chart below which spans the last two-plus years (since its inception) of the price of SCIF. It's fallen from nearly $24-a-share to Friday's closing price of $10.62.

SCIF ChartSCIF data by YCharts

Like the new "wealth effect" that is beginning to blossom in the U.S. India's economy is just getting started. Sjuggerud told me that's partly because it is one of the last great economies in the world where interest rates are still high.

"Once the Indian Central Bank begins to lower interest rates to help accommodate economic growth the smaller-cap, publicly-traded companies will begin to take off," he opined. "Some of the individual companies in the SCIF-ETF are trading at just one or two times earnings. Once India enters a rate cutting 'virtuous cycle' these companies will begin to trade at higher multiples."