Should I Invest in Small-cap Stocks, large-cap, or Mid-cap?

Market Cap

When newcomers invest in the stock market, they frequently ask questions regarding optimal stock selections. Even experienced investors can feel overwhelmed by such inquiries. A sound understanding of stock market dynamics becomes crucial for investors to ascertain the most suitable stocks aligning with their investment strategy.

Stocks are mainly grouped according to their market capitalization. They are generally known as market cap and it is divided into three. It can be small-cap, mid-cap, or large-cap.  This classification system empowers investors to make judicious investment choices while taking positional trading tips in India. This delves into a comprehensive elucidation of market capitalization, its categories, and the differentiating characteristics of large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap stocks.

What Is Market Cap?

Market cap is also known as market capitalization. It refers to the collective market value of a business shareholders’ equity. This financial indicator is crucial in determining a company’s stock market valuation. Functioning as a yardstick of worth, it’s synonymous with the aggregate value of all the company’s outstanding shares. The computation of market capitalization involves multiplying the prevailing market price of one share, known as ‘market cap,’ by the total count of the company’s outstanding shares. The three types of market cap are:

  • Large-cap
  • Mid-cap
  • Small-cap


SEBI has established a set of guidelines for categorizing enterprises. Those ranked within the stock market’s top 100 in market capitalization fall into the large-cap category. Correspondingly, mutual funds that include large-cap entities are labeled ‘Large-cap funds.’

Typically, large-cap corporations exhibit commendable historical performance. These entities command substantial market capitalization, often called ‘blue-chip stocks.’ Their market capitalization generally exceeds INR 20,000 indicative of their robust market standing.


In 2017, SEBI put forth a regulation outlining that businesses falling in the 101st to 250th positions based on market capitalization would be classified as mid-cap companies. These companies have a market cap of INR 5000 to INR 20000. Investment vehicles that include stocks from mid-cap enterprises are denoted as ‘Mid-cap funds.’

Despite having a notable track record of performance, mid-cap firms display noticeable distinctions from larger large-cap corporations. Mid-cap funds come with an elevated level of risk when compared to large-caps. The incorporation of mid-cap enterprises into broader market indices could fluctuate due to their relatively confined market presence.


Firms positioned from the 251st spot onwards in the market capitalization rankings are recognized as small-cap enterprises. Their market capitalization is still less than Rs. 5000 crores. Investment vehicles that possess shares from these small-cap entities are called ‘Small-cap funds.’

Small-cap businesses need an extensive historical performance record. This includes budding startups or firms in developmental phases falling into the small-cap classification. These enterprises are typically absent from comprehensive market indices due to their limited market presence.

Small Cap stocks

What Is the Distinction Between Large-cap, Mid-cap, and Small-cap Stocks?

These are some of the distinctions between the three market capitalizations. These differences will help you know the best to invest in:


Forecasting the behavior of an individual stock on any given day poses significant challenges. This problem becomes worse when working with small-cap stocks. When examining market volatility on a spectrum, it becomes evident that larger-cap stocks reside at the less volatile end, while their smaller-cap counterparts occupy the more volatile end. Intermediately, mid-cap stocks hold a central position, as one would anticipate. A similar trend is observable when analyzing the performance of mutual funds. Large-cap and mid-cap funds demonstrate notably lower volatility in this context than their small-cap fund counterparts.


This refers to the ease associated with entering or exiting from an investment position. High liquidity stocks are stocks that can be readily sold or purchased. These stocks are characterized by significant trading volumes, often leading to instantaneous execution of placed orders.

Liquidity materializes when a substantial number of shares from a given company are available in the market. This is mainly seen in small cap, mid cap and large-cap stocks. However, the liquidity factor exhibits its highest manifestation in large-cap stocks, while it diminishes as one moves towards mid-cap stocks.

Concerns regarding this aspect are mitigated for individuals investing through a mutual fund. In the case of a midcap-focused fund, for instance, the fund manager oversees the direct buying and selling of shares. Conversely, for those investing in individual stocks, the level of liquidity directly influences the ease of divesting from the investment.

Growth potential

The highest volatility in this context is observed among small-cap stocks, while large-cap stocks exhibit the lowest volatility. Mid-cap stocks typically fall between these two extremes in terms of volatility. It is essential to recognize that large-cap stocks’ comparatively lower growth potential doesn’t inherently render them unfavorable for investment. Large-cap stocks are considered desirable investment options due to the stability and security they contribute to one’s portfolio.

The swifter growth of small-cap stocks can be attributed to ongoing developments in the companies as they continually enhance their proactive capabilities. Similarly, mid-cap stocks also hold considerable growth potential.


Big-cap stocks exhibit the least risk exposure, while small-cap stocks display the greatest vulnerability. Mid-cap stocks position themselves in between. This implies that when you decide to invest in a company or a mutual fund, you’re contemplating whether your investment will thrive gradually or dissipate into obscurity. This potential outcome is more likely with small-cap stocks, thus accentuating the linked risk. You can also consult a SEBI-registered investment advisor for more tips.

When opting for mutual funds, the fund managers utilize diverse risk mitigation strategies to safeguard your investment. This principle underscores the comparative security of mid-cap mutual funds compared to the prospect of investing in separate mid-cap stocks.


Incorporating both large-cap and mid-cap funds within your investment portfolio is beneficial. Mid-cap funds, in particular, offer a strategic advantage by providing a blend of benefits. These include the opportunity for significant growth and comparatively lower risk exposure, especially when contrasted with small-cap funds. It is advisable, though, to meticulously review the objectives of any mid-cap fund scheme. This step ensures alignment with your investment objectives before making any investment decisions.


1)  It’s advisable not to enter/exit beyond the recommended range.
2)  Strictly follow the StopLoss as mentioned. Honour it.
3)  Use trailing StopLoss to retain profits.
4)  Diversify trading capital into our other technical recommendations.
5)  Risk only the money what you can afford to lose. Hedge accordingly.


The research analysis is prepared by Arijit Banerjee, CMT, CFTe. He is a veteran trader and an active investor having in-depth knowledge in financial market research, advanced technical analysis, market cycle, algorithmic trading and portfolio management. Arijit is a Chartered Market Technician (CMT) accredited by CMT Association USA, the leading global authority of Technical Analysis and has been honoured by Certified Financial Technician (CFTe) from the International Federation of Technical Analysts, USA. SEBI, the regulatory body of Indian financial market also recognizes him as a Research Analyst (INH300006582).


The views expressed herein are based solely on information available publicly/internal data/other sources believed to be reliable, but is not necessarily all-inclusive and is not guaranteed as to accuracy. The recommendations provided herein is solely for informational purposes and are not intended to be and must not be taken alone as the basis for an investment/trading decision. Trading and investing are subject to market risk and the securities discussed and opinions expressed herein may not be suitable for all investors. To read the full disclosure, please click here.

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