Stocks take a beating, Jhunjhunwala’s cult status still intact

If imitation is the best form of flattery, then billionaire investor Rakesh Radheshyam Jhunjhunwala has plenty of reason to feel flattered. There’s even a fake blog out there, called The Secret Journal of Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. It is also the first link Google returns to a name search for the man who has been labelled India’s Warren Buffett , for investment strategies that in 2008 placed him at No. 1,062 on Forbes magazine’s global billionaires list.

But if the fake blog’s header —“The market is my altar, I am its God”—were to be taken at face value, then his believers might be forgiven a spot of apostasy. Over the past five quarters between January 2008 and March 2009, 48-year-old Jhunjhunwala’s portfolio of publicly traded stocks, of firms in which he owns at least a 1% stake, has underperformed the benchmark index. His portfolio has dropped at least 60% in value, according to data from exchanges, while the Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE’s) benchmark equity index Sensex dropped around 52% over the same period.

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