I have always been interested in the quantity of net nets and the performances of these net nets or net current asset value stocks before, during or after a recession. So I created a table just to tabulate and get a sense of how the performance of such net nets or net current asset value stocks perform during those periods. I have to say that I am not very scientific in these matters and only general observations can be arrived at by looking at the table below. If you happen to be interested in net current asset value stocks, this may be for you.

So I drew information from Wikipedia and Victor Wendl’s book, The Net Current Asset Value Approach To Stock Investing. I combined all the information I can find around fully invested, less than or equal to 75% of net current asset value and its performance, the quantity of such stocks in each year, roughly before, during and after the recession and the S&P 500 Index performance around these years inclusive of dividends.

With regards to the recession periods and durations, I got these from a wikipedia source, which, quite frankly, am not so sure if it is accurate or reliable. But again, I just want a sense of how net nets or net current asset value stocks will perform around these years, before, during and after a recession. Again, a caveat  here, the table is in some sense incomplete because in Victor Wendl’s book, there are years in which only some portion of the portfolio can be invested in net nets due to a lack of net nets in these years.

In short, this is the table I have created.

Table Of Recessionary Years In USA, Net Net Quantity & Performance

Recession of 1953

In the recession of 1953, there were generally less net nets available in 1973 as the recession began in November. 1973 was a year of outperformance. 1974 was a year of underperformance relative to S&P 500. And then, 1954 which had a good number of net nets appearing seemed to be a good performing year of 50.97% but underperformed relative to S&P 500 52.4%. Note one thing. There were 41 NCAV stocks and in that very year where many net nets appeared, the markets turned upwards.

Recession of 1958

In 1956, the year before the recession, there were just 7 net current asset value stocks( those less than or equal to 75% of Net Current Asset Value). In 1958, there were 24 net nets towards the tail end of the recession. And in that very year, outperformance was excessive of 87.37% vs 43.34% of the S&P 500. Again, significant outperformance at the tail end of the recession.

Recession of 1960-1961

In the recession of 1960-1961, the most net nets appeared in the tail end of the recession and again, there was outperformance relative to the S&P 500.

Recession of 1969-1970

In this recession lasting 11 months, there was only 1 net current asset value stock as the recession began in December 1969. The most number of net current asset value stocks occurred in 1970. And there was significant outperformance in 1970 and in 1971 coming out of the recession.

Recession of 1973- 1975

In the recession of 1973 to 1975 which began in November 1973, there were only 15 net nets or net current asset value stocks for that year, 1973. Perhaps, that was so because it was the initial stages of the recession. In that year alone, there was significant underperformance of a fully invested net current asset value portfolio which were priced at less than or equal to 75% of the net current asset value. But in 1974, although there was a loss in the net current asset value portfolio. And then, a crazy year of 81.11% which outperformed S&P 500 returns.

This recession seemed quite dire as there was a record number of net current asset value stocks. In 1973, 1974, 1975 respectively, there were 15, 78 and 132 net current asset value stocks trading at 75% of NCAV or less. Every $100 invested in such a portfolio for those 3 years would have declined to $57.21 in 2 years before becoming $103.60 by the end of 1975. This would have been a trying time for many net current asset value investors. But again, the net current asset value portfolio recovered and there was no permanent loss of capital if one had faith in the many backtests on the net current asset value approach. The outperformance was significant in the tail end of the  recession in 1975.Additional good news came in the form of a return of 51.07% and 24.08% in 1976 and 1977 in a fully invested net current asset value portfolio.

1980 recession

There was an underperformance of 1 year and then the net current asset value portfolio made it out with significant outperformance in the tail end of the recession.

1981 to 1982 recession

There was significant outperformance coming out at the tail end of the recession.

Early 2000 recession

There was outperformance in the early, middle and tail stages of the recession.

Great Recession

In the 2007 to 2009 recession, I wonder why they call it the Great Recession. It was not as bad as 1973 to 1975. There were a lot fewer net nets than prior years. Again, there was outperformance coming out of the tail end of the recession.


  • The greatest number of net nets occur towards the tail end of the recession. In that very period/year, there is usually outperformance relative to the S&P 500.
  • There is a lesser number of net nets in the year before or as the recession begins.
  • A net current asset value portfolio usually underperforms in the initial year of the recession. This is consistent with other studies on small cap stocks.

Final Ramble

A good number of folks complain about Victor Wendl’s book but I think it is a treasure trove for the price it is listed at. Please hop onto Amazon to buy it. I am using his information here for research purposes. But it amazes me at how slighted this book is in the market. What a pity. There is a seemingly, systematic underestimation of net net stocks and its power to mean revert. On the other hand, if you want case studies and the intricacies of purchasing  net current asset value stocks, you may want to consider buying the books I have written where we talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of net current asset value stocks.



The Man Who Made $300 Million

Man Of Mystery : Learn about a business executive from Hong Kong that seized a once in a lifetime opportunity during 2008-2009 to earn hundreds of millions of dollars. One deal was all it took for him. That is also the reason why contrarians are the gods of the financial world. And I will keep this man a mystery for now. His story is unknown and yet needs to be told. After 100’s of hours of sleuthing through annual reports and other filings, I have an idea of how he made 100’s of millions. I intend to give this information in the form of a talk or in a video presentation or via an article someday. So if you are interested in this story, and consider yourself a high net worth individual capable of going against the grain, this may be for you. I have to also caution that this may not be for everyone. Just leave your email below.

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  • A database of net net stocks or net current asset value stocks
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I have been an investor for 15 years now and my journey has meandered from Warren Buffett to Ben Graham. My start, like many, really was the naive idea that Buffett's skills could be replicated in some fashion. I was proven wrong when some of the supposed stock picks that I chose had dismal performances. Then, I learnt that it is no point trying to be someone I am not. Gradually, through failure and some success in deep value investing, my approach towards stocks gradually shifted to an approach based around Graham's techniques. So, I give credit where credit is due and to Ben Graham, I and many other investors around the world, owe him a great deal. So, if you want to read up on biographies, read about Ben Graham. His seminal work, Security Analysis is a gem. My books are just rich interpretations of what he has taught.

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