Stoic Talks

Stoic Talks

S02E07: “Investing against the Grain: Spotting Quality in Downturn” with Keshav Garg

This is a hidden gems series. We are unearthing someone who has been elusive. It is safe to assume that the majority of our audience has probably never heard of him.

Meet Keshav Garg, the dynamic Director of Counter-Cyclical Investments, a Portfolio Management Service (PMS) Provider. An alumnus of Fergusson College, Pune, Garg boasts an impressive 15-year stint in the equity markets, focusing primarily on small-cap companies.

Counter-Cyclical Investments, under Garg’s leadership, has a straightforward philosophy: “Buy gold at the price of silver.” They zero in on small-cap blue-chip companies (QID or Quality in Downturn) navigating temporary business downturns. These are firms whose stock prices have been unjustly impacted, presenting ripe investment opportunities.

Garg’s approach is meticulous. He looks for small market dominators in niche sectors, firms with promising financial metrics, and those poised for imminent growth. A strong promoter track record, high dividend payouts, and resistance to technological disruptions are among other criteria. On the flip side, Garg steers clear of certain sectors, such as Real Estate and Gems and jewellery, and avoids companies heavily reliant on government clientele.

While it is easy to write such narratives, Garg has backed it with substance. He has a proven track record of 15 years navigating the small & microcap world.

Selling in Garg’s playbook is just as strategic as buying. Whether it’s due to changing business fundamentals, corporate governance issues, or simply finding a better investment opportunity, Garg ensures the decisions are calculated and in the best interest of their investors.

Counter Cyclical Investments

As we conclude this written glimpse into the investment world of Keshav Garg, it’s worth noting that there’s so much more to explore. Dive deeper into his distinct philosophy, meticulous investing style, and the art of crafting a portfolio with promising small and microcap gems in our latest episode of Stoic Talks. Tune in to get an in-depth understanding of the man behind Counter-Cyclical Investments and the strategies that set him apart.

We wholeheartedly thank DSP Mutual Fund for collaborating with us for this particular episode of Stoic Talks. 

Podcast Record Date: 19.06.2023


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Keshav Garg is the Director of Counter-Cyclical Investments PMS.



  • Keshav’s Journey to the Stock Market from a Non-commerce Background [1:04]
  • College completion year [10:58]
  • How important is it to learn the accounting part in Investing? [11:22]
  • Quick rejection or selection criteria before picking stocks [14:16]
  • Sectors/ Industries Keshav avoids [17:44]
  • Number of Stocks and allocation in Keshav’s portfolio [20:34]
  • How Keshav has shaped up as an Investor since 2011 [22:00]
  • Is attending the AGM in today’s time still relevant? [27:23]
  • How many AGMs do Keshav usually attend in a year? [31:20]
  • When did Kehsav start managing other People’s money? [34:57]
  • Allocation in top 5 stocks [37:45]
  • Keshav’s hunting ground in terms of stock selection [41:23]
  • Cases where Keshav found opportunities/issues out of nowhere and the reason why he prefers to take a diversified route [44:32]
  • Why is a concentrated portfolio in small-caps very risky? [47:57]
  • Why doesn’t Keshav like the companies which organise concalls? [55:01]
  • Keshav’s thoughts on ‘Quality’ & ‘Expensive’ businesses [1:00:48]
  • More cases where Keshav lost money [1:04:51]
  • When does Keshav sell? [1:12:29]
  • When to take a cash call? [1:25:08]
  • Does diversification really help to minimize the downside risk? [1:26:42]
  • How much did Keshav’s portfolio fall in the 2018 crash? [1:33:41]
  • Does Keshav’s strategy have an upper cap in terms of AUM? [1:34:50] 
  • End [1:38:07] 

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