Growth investment strategy

Growth Investment strategy

Akshit GUPTA

This article written by Akshit GUPTA (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole Program – Master in Management, 2019-2022) presents the strategy of Growth Investing.


Growth investment strategy is an investment style where investors look for companies, industries, sectors, or markets that are rapidly growing and have the future potential to grow at a higher-than-average rate compared to its market or industry average. It is a part of a fundamental investment style where investors look for stocks that can provide short/long term capital appreciation on their investments rather than mere dividend earnings.

The growth investment style is the opposite of value investment style and is considered to be an offensive strategy. Value investment strategy is an investment style where investors look for shares that are undervalued by the market. It is rather a defensive strategy where the investors are conservative in approach ad have low risk appetite. An offensive strategy refers to an investment style where investors are actively looking to build up their portfolios by capital appreciations and earn higher than average returns.

A growth investor is not affected by the company’s current or historical earnings but strictly takes into consideration the company’s future growth potential before investing his/her money.

In general, growth investing is less concerned about dividend payments or stable cash inflows and is not preferred by investors who have a low-risk appetite. The income generated by companies having more-than-average growth rates are reinvested in the business to expand their growth potential and are not distributed as dividends to the shareholders. So, the growth investors look for capital appreciations over the period rather than having stable cash inflows.

For example, a growth investor Mr. X maintains a portfolio A of high growth stocks. The companies that Mr. X target are generally young companies with small market capitalization (between $300 million to $2 billion) and which have the potential to grow exponentially over the coming years. The minimum return expectation of Mr. X hovers around 15%-20% p.a.

However, the portfolio generated an annual return of 22% while the benchmark index saw an annual return of 14%. When the rate is compounded annually, a growth investor expects to double his/her money in a period of 5-6 years.

Indicators to practice Growth investment strategy

Although there is no certain set of indicators that can help an investor judge a company’s future growth potential, an investor practicing growth investment style looks for certain fundamental factors of a company before investing his money. Some of the most commonly used growth investment indicators are:

  • Projected future earnings – A growth investor pay close attention to the projected future earning potential of a company rather than focusing on the current or historical earnings. The aim of a growth investor is to buy stocks of a company which presents strong future growth which is generally higher than the average market growth rate.
  • Return on Equity – Return on equity is a good fundamental analysis tool that helps growth investors to determine how efficiently a company is using the shareholder’s equity to generate profits. The ROE multiple is calculated by dividing the company’s net profits after tax by the total shareholders equity. A growth investor prefers a company with a ROE multiple which is at least stable or increasing and generally higher than the industry or market average.
  • Earnings per share – The earnings per share (EPS) is an important fundamental analysis tool that is calculated by dividing the company’s earnings by the total number of shareholders. A growth investor prefers a company which has seen a steady increase in the EPS growth over the years.
  • Price/Earnings ratio – Price to earnings ratio is a fundamental analysis tool that helps an investor to determine how much the current market price of a company is compared to its current earnings per share. A growth investor compares the price – to – earnings multiple of a company to the average industry P/E multiple to understand the growth potential of a company compared to its industry’s growth.
  • Price/Earnings to Growth ratio – Price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio is calculated by dividing the price/earnings ratio of a company by its expected future growth rate. This multiple provides more comprehensive information about the company’s future potential.

In the current era, startups are considered to be a very hot space for investors practicing growth investment strategy on their portfolios. Although, the current earnings of the startups might be zero or negative, they hold true growth potential and can provide exponential returns on the investments made by growth investors.

Some of the typical industries that growth investors prefer to invest in include technology and healthcare services. Both the sectors have the power to provide revolutionary and cutting-edge products to the market. The prices for stocks of such companies can sharply rise in a short period of time, making them a trending place for growth investors.

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Useful Resources

Corporate finance institute A guide to growth investing

About the author

Article written by Akshit GUPTA (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole Program – Master in Management, 2019-2022).

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