MARKETS SPECTATOR: Elders bet the farm and lost

Since the top of the bull market five years ago agri-giant Elders has seen a huge decline in its share price, slumping a massive 99 per cent.

Today is the five year anniversary of the top of the bull market, when both the All Ordinaries and S&P/ASX 200 indexes posted record highs. The All Ords hit an all time high of 6873.20 while the S&P/ASX 200 climbed to 6851.50.

As of yesterday’s closing price both the All Ords and S&P/ASX 200 sit some 34 per cent lower than their peaks.

Lets take a light hearted look back at some of the periods biggest winners and losers.

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Source: Iress

Unfortunately for those still holding their Elders shares, the once agri-giant has seen the biggest decline on the All Ords (excluding those companies that were delisted) over the last five years, slumping a miserable 99.27 per cent. Although not displayed above, a number of the media players including Ten Network, Fairfax Media and APN were right up there in terms of losses, too.

On a more positive note, lets have a look at some of the top performers over the same period.

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Source: Iress

Since the top of the market five years ago, emerging coking coal company Cokal Ltd has gained a staggering 8,039 per cent. A $10,000 invested in the company five years ago would today be worth a whopping $800,390, and that’s having endured one of the worst bear markets in history. Of the top five performers above, note that four of them are resources related companies.

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Source: Iress

Taking this a little further, we wondered what the returns would look like if someone was lucky enough to have invested in some of the top performing companies since the bottom of the bear market on March 10, 2009.

Interestingly, the top three spots are filled by the same companies that were among the top five best performers since the top of the bull market!

Sandfire Resources is easily the standout, logging a 15,351 per cent increase in just over three and a half years. Wait for it! A $10,000 investment back then would today be worth $1,535,100.

In fact, the top three performers; Sandfire, Papillon and Northern Star, would have all made more than $1 million from a $10,000 outlay.

I know what you’re thinking. Tell me how to find these companies. Unfortunately, there is really no way of doing this bar a bit of dumb luck. And even if you were lucky enough to hook one of these big fish, how on earth you would have avoided the temptation to take profits along the way is beyond me!