How to Invest $1,000: Buy Small-Cap Stocks

Shares of smaller firms have been beaten down in this market slump. But history shows they can still outperform over time.

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Among the lowest-priced investing options this fall are small cap stocks – often defined as companies whose total market capitalization (stock price times number of shares) runs from $300 million to $2 billion.

The Russell 2000, an index that tracks the 2,000 smallest public companies, was trading at a price-to-earnings ratio, based on estimated earnings, ranging from 15 to 20 this summer, the lowest range in more than a decade. That discount is one big reason Ed Clissold, Chief U.S. Strategist for Ned Davis Research, turned bullish on small caps this summer. “Small-caps could be in the early stages of a multi-year run of outperformance,” he says.

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Kim Clark
Senior Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Kim Clark is a veteran financial journalist who has worked at Fortune, U.S News & World Report and Money magazines. She was part of a team that won a Gerald Loeb award for coverage of elder finances, and she won the Education Writers Association's top magazine investigative prize for exposing insurance agents who used false claims about college financial aid to sell policies. As a Kiplinger Fellow at Ohio State University, she studied delivery of digital news and information. Most recently, she worked as a deputy director of the Education Writers Association, leading the training of higher education journalists around the country. She is also a prize-winning gardener, and in her spare time, picks up litter.