My talk at Investor Carnival


a good morning to all of you. With the onset of winters there is that initial chill in the air. Reminiscent of markets too where some chill is catching up with investors view of possible returns.

while I am no expert to assess mkt moves and always remain skeptical of what relevance market has in a universe of portfolio specific returns, I was happy to recently make a presentation at the investor carnival.

i chose the topic of simplicity and what I learn from daily life on investing. I felt it best symbolizes human behavior which as per me is the largest edge In a market characterized by excess news inflow. Temperament inflows are not uniform, a clear example of this lies in volatility and interpretation of several events. The latest being the tax cut passed in USA. And much debate on Gujarat elections. Much of this overlooks the continued move of business from unorganized to organized sector, an excellent migration in play.

For those of you who are regular readers of this blog or my Twitter handle, post demonitisation and gst, my view has been to focus largely on organized sector. Most of this includes consumption in any form including by Roti, Kapda and makaan. (Food, clothing and housing)

my presentation focused on why we overlook simplicity and are fascinated by complexity in stock selection, decision making and in providing mkt views.

i also focused on the need to know yourself first as no two set of investors are same and can have same results except by chance which will be outlived with a longer time frame. Stock markets reward diff styles and hence one must attune within to get the best.


i used analogies from movies, cricket, football, baseball, ramayan, Bhagwat Gita, Bible, advertisements, driving to work and hence car and traffic, music and songs etc to show case Behavorial science as an essential element all integrated with simplicity, positivity and self knowledge.

much as I would have liked to, I cannot share the presentation as for that I need several legal clearances.

I do hope however to repeat the same in a knowledge session soon.

meanwhile lots of results have set in. The results are decent and I see some industry captains of repute talk of a pick up in GDP in 3rd and 4th quarter. I also see renewed fii interest (nov inflow was very healthy). Credit Suisse recently increased the weightage an expectation from mid and small caps who have truly been stars of this bull market. As we head out of the initial headwinds of gst and demonitisation and towards a more developing rural market, my outlook remains positive.

Many business models are being viewed as expensive based in pe but ignoring the disruption in place that can catapult to a look up in earnings.

I shall soon enough post further thoughts but nevertheless took this as an opportunity to share some initial thoughts.

Wishing you all a good festive seasons and lots to cheer and share.


warm regards.

It’s a new day, it’s a new world and I’m only human

Dear friends,

i congratulate all of you who have remained invested till date to see the markets at a new high. You have sailed past china, USA, Brexit, Trump, demonetization, RBI, fii selling, oil prices and xyz reports on market lows that were likely to make it here.

You deserve this high.

For you its business (investing) as usual. For others it’s a new day (of highs or moves), a new world (of momentum) but you are still the same- (rational) human.


what is your primary learning amongst all this? I can’t say. Mine is- market is about temperament, belief and usually going against the tide and holding your sails well.


In a beautiful quote I came across as I read: when you take a belief that’s different from the world, many will laugh at you or ridicule your faith as they think you are a loner, different or sometimes write you off as arrogant. They cannot accept your not bending to consensus on markets or stocks or fear or whatever.

You can in turn stay glued and laugh at them for if they think you are different, you think they are all the same. This point gathers more weight when one sees that markets over time reward few at the cost of many.


While it’s true that in market rallies many make money (a lot of which is eventually lost), serious money is made by those who go against the tide but have time and temperament to keep moving on.


Here lies the difference between a shorter joy of claiming x y z % return and the satisfaction of knowing you made a big difference to your portfolio (and perhaps your life and savings).

The former is about a few percentage points of profit usually eroded or spent and done with while the latter is about counting how many times over. In the later there is a good chance that dividends alone become sizable and give you the joys of indulgence.


i will share an analogy with you. Consider market bottoms to the base of a mountain. (By the way there is nothing as a “known bottom” but somewhere around you may have sound reasons to believe the downside (risk to reward) is not too bad, even more so if you have investable capital and time as your friends)

At the bottom of a mountain many stand with you. They look at a mountain and debate day in and out (particularly in whatsapp groups and  media including social media) how difficult it is to climb the mountain.

Sometimes they debate so much that it casts a spell on them and they even forget that even a small step and another and another they could try.


In that crowd you get lost. The voices echo as if they came from heavens. There is consensus in the belief that notwithstanding the madness of crowds the crowds must be right.

The opportunity is there in front of your own eyes but the fact that you are in the company of masses makes you believe if they all say it’s rough and not worth it and gretarnkife is yet to be discovered below the mountain it must be. Your identity remains buried in the crowd.

a few however decide to walk towards the mountain. They deploy energy and develop a temperament to climb. Tough as it may seem every step is viewed as progress. They leave behind the masses knowing if they can manage their stamina (temperament) and not misuse their tools (capital) one day they may find a reward.

In the climb up, the voices of the masses are lost. They actually look for signals. Of avalanches, of day light, of snow and rain and on such days prepare harder. But keep moving.


finalky one day they reach the mountain tops. And stand usually proud to hoist a flag or symbol to reward their process. At that time no matter how far the ground below is, these few are spotted at the top of the mountain. They may not see people at the base but people at the base see them.


suddenly everyone thinks climbing is possible. Everyone wants to be at the top. Roads (reports) are made, short cuts (tips) are found, horses and other ways to expedite the climb are put to use and a lot many make a dash for the top. The top is photographed, socially shared and suddenly is euphoric. Tickets are issued for going to the top of the mountain and per person cost (returns) are compromised. One day there is a stampede and many lose their climb (money). They vow never to climb again and the mountain is again deserted for the first lot to re do the process. And life goes on.


while I have shared this analogy to explain a social truth of investing and behavorial science, I am not necessarily advocating the market is at a peak.  in fact it doesn’t interest me to know this market peak.

the question to ask would be is there excess in the system that the infrastructure (current stock price) can’t handle. Or is infrastructure right now in the built stage which means it may be likely that many more will climb the mountain for a while till infrastructure (valuations) look stretched.

Then again. Different mountains (stocks or sectors) have different climate. One rule may not apply to the other. Some may remain dormant and tall for years, some may have avalanches and some volcanoes. The question to be really asked  in context to market highs or pursuit of highs is what are you standing tall on? What are your tools (back up plans).

Now to talk more in your market lingo, to me it appears that choices to invest are still there but are drying up. Investing is becoming tougher if one wants risk to reward that are favorable. Markets are getting researched well for new ideas and ideas re getting lapped up very fast. Am I selling? Not yet. Am I buying? Well yes but my search is getting tough. Will I buy? Yes if I find irrational reactions to stocks caused by market votings. Will I sell- or switch? I actually did with some.

It gives me peace and a greater sense of confidence in a long journey. I need the stamina he temperament and the belief to keep going.

in the larger scheme of things, I see no room for regrets and negatives. I am pleased with my decision to exit micro finance just as I am delighted to have switched the funds to housing, nbfc, private banks and select mid cap stocks that went for a toss in December.  I don’t count a stock bounce to where we sold it or somewhere along the lines as a lost opportunity. I find solace in owning what is today at new highs particularly if the story is more secular than cyclical or improving.

Dont forget…..your returns are never evaluated by the movement of a stock or sector. They count as a portfolio movement.

Some sectors I continue to like and own include housing, Nbfc, pvt banks, tyres, speciality chemicals and textiles. With a bit of nibbling in pharma. Hardly any significant changes in holdings except for mfi.

My best learning continues to be the select few I find as friends in the journey. This post is dedicated to them as they pass positive energies, share lessons and learnings, reinforce discipline and make each sunshine an awaited moment in my journey to investing. my gratitude to them.



Win the war,ignore the rattle

Dear friends,

I write this note in the midst of lurking uncertainty on the outcome of USA elections, the growing nervousness in Indian markets and a continuous sell off by FIIs.

i write this at a time when a no of my fellow investors have turned uncertain and nervous and most Broking houses have stopped recommending buying to clients. One of the recent highly subscribed housing IPO’s faces a probability of a muted listing and there has been a huge unwinding of future contacts per market data. Call and put writings are at a high and volatility index is suggesting a nervous time.

I am also writing concious of the fact that I am not  a financial consultant or advisor and not geared with so much global information as may bless some who do this as a full time job and spend hours in assessing truckloads of data.

The writing suffers the risk of reflecting personal thoughts that as of today are untested including at the risk of my own money at what is perceived as “risk”.

The article is a frank expression of a few thoughts that touch my assumed rationale and must be measured by all of you on your own thesis of it, be it an agreement, disagreement or indifference.

All I know, is that God lives above. Or in our hearts and beliefs. There is no God In the markets. You may be blessed by luck or belief and in a way God but you are as human as anyone.

It is thus a matter of truth and certainly that it remains beyond any human capability to repeatedly and accurately predict the direction of the markets in the short term. This logic applies even to qualified funds, advisors, well read investors, chartists, mutual fund investors or even veterans. This is comforting as it leaves my views on the market in the company of like minded people with no clue.


It is however equally interesting that markets over a period of time move away from voting (literally) and weigh value and growth.

sometimes we can do ourselves a lot of good by asking ourselves when there is uncertainty as reflected in market price of stocks or volatility or behavior, if we think what is happening is reasonable or emotional. Thinking rationally itself is a huge positive as irrespective of the outcome it demonstrates a correct process rather than a spur of the moment reaction.

I cannot say whether a rational thinking would make you buy or sell stocks or who will be right or wrong in the next few days but to me it appears:

1) the markets are assuming too much Clinton or Trump. They say if Clinton wins markets will rally (which is good) while if it’s Trump they will fall which they have been doing including for 8 consecutive days in USA as I write this note. A look at history of USA elections suggest USA markets usually don’t move much in the short term  (up or down 2-3 pct) including the pre election and post result impact. Markets are far more mature in USA and to think the extent of reaction has been beyond historical, suggests to me that then event of a “perceived” disssapointment  of  Trump win is priced in. Insurances by selling or buying or selling calls and puts which were always meant to be instruments of hedge seem to have found their takers last few days.

2) I don’t think Trump has even once suggested he is anti india. His campaign has been against china and perhaps some parts of the world and if it is assumed he acts on this, I feel the trade between USA and these countries has some probability of shifting to india.

3) oil has tumbled sharply last few days. Oil is a major influencer on the Indian economy and balance of payments and leaves the govt richer with lesser deficiet. At a time when govt spending on infrastructure, digitizations and e-governance are rising. Countries movement from emerging to developed are partly a result of infrastructure spending and the path looks up. It is easy to get disillusioned with road blocks, traffic snarls or pollution but  transition is not overnight but a directional move.

4) the govt has committed to a uniform tax called GST that amongst other things aims to ease doing business. It cannot be overlooked that the steps taken including on tax rate notifications are a progress. It is always easy at the first stage to criticize things for lack of clarity or ambiguity but as true about most things. Things settle with experience and I think it’s a great steps for corporates that some uniformity and certainty will be setting in soon.

5) there has already been an announcement by the govt of a desire to reduce tax rates to upto 25 pct. the govt has about 3 years to take some action before elections and if the govt bites the bullet or part of it, the likelihood of a tax reduction is fairly high in the coming budget. Let’s not overlook the budget too has been advanced this year and is expected to be presented with a merged railway budget. The advancement should invoke some market expectation and rally, on a time factor that is not too far from where we are today.

6) the world liquidity stands at a record high. Interest rates and alternate sources of investment at a record low. In an excellent data point shared on Twitter by Vala Afshar, Chief digital Evangelist of @salesforce one of the most progressive cloud companies, he shares the Economic history of the world in 1 minute. There is a meaningful depiction of how wealth originated from india and shifted west and is now shifting back to india. This is evident in several forms in the country.

7) I saw a wonderful interview by Mr.Raamdeo Agarwal of Motilal Oswal who talks of how a person with a 1 lac salary may save 10,000 rs for discretionary expenses net of taxes and his lifestyle needs. Hence 10 percent. But when the same person moves up the salary ladder to say 2 lacs, the basic expenses don’t rise in same proportion and he is left with 1.10 lacs of discretionary spending. Thus he moves up 10 times with funds he will use to consume more cars, bikes, travel, amusement, food and beverages etc which are a huge catalyst for a country like india.

8) the assumption of a tough india stand by a newly elected USA President ignore that most of the best performing stocks in india are in the first place a bet on india consumption not USA consumption. This includes banks,  housing finance, nbfc, plastics, paints, chemicals, wealth management and asset management cos, branded textiles, a large part of tractors, auto ancillaries, Hospitals and medical services, diagnostics to name a few. Even in a dire situation FII’s can tame india investing but can’t ignore it and some of these companies offer a huge growth opportunity. In some cases, it is rare to find such companies and their growth rates and many gems in india are now fairly well owned by promoters many of whom are even resorting to buy backs now.

9) we are close to an year end. The year has not given any meaningful return to most foreign institution investors, who are either on cash and will need to bottom fish to keep their nav intact or use cash before exploring their client pools for additional new year funds.

i can keep adding more and more factors but I’m not selling you india. To me it appears that brokers are confused, tv chartist have switched loyalties in just 4-5 days and funds are too obsessed with daily benchmarking.

I find more reasons to selective keep investing and exploring the fascination that lies ahead. I term this reaction as a bout to nervousness and see the next one as one of grit and determination. The bull market has been a hated one with less making more and I feel the trend could continue.

without making any prediction that may wonder into the sphere of gambling, I see a good possibility of fortune favoring the brave. A battle is a shorter horizon. You need to plan to win the war. The rattles are to distract babies and to make noise. The focus is to generate compounding.

I remain fully invested .

Happy investing and much good luck.

(do share your feedback. My advise is a personal view and not of a Regd consultant. Stock investing is risky and one should use surplus funds that can be set aside for longer term. Due apologies for any typos. in a war you look at the opportunity ahead not the color of your shoes 😀)





A curious incident of a tweep somewhere close to middle of the night

hey friends,

While in a good mood after enjoying a great rain this evening, I logged on to Twitter. Usual reading on companies, their results courtesy a few good men was something I was glued to. This Was followed with the usual catching up on news and some publications or features such as HBR.

Then suddenly comes a tweep/ Twitter account holder from no where. Just to argue a small mundane point on the origin of a quote Ninad made to Safal Niveshak. (Guys do read on vishal and his fantastic work).

the evening rolls on and suddenly this tweep starts posting things like I claim to stocks post their movement. Beware of such posts etc.

When I ask him to furnish even one detail, he failed to do so and instead tried to beat the drums without a tune. When I asked him why are he was making attempts to falsely suggest that I tweet on stocks after they move on, he divulged (more as a blunder I thought as a lawyer) that I had blocked someone who should be allowed to come and comment on the issue of stocks.

Suddenly it struck me the guy was nothing but a sponsored negative tweep trying to avenge for a guy who was blocked and was now obviously feeling left out. Hence was propagating negatives. While I could have simply ignored this further and the above incident  has no bearing on the lovely rain and evening,  it alerted to write its interpretation as a part of behavioral science.

every day in our lives, we come across views-good and bad on stocks we own or disown.

The good views are accepted as taken (we are humans) while the bad ones have several angles.  (some angles are so crazy I should refer them to ITC for their mad angles ads) 😂

Some views thus come from intellectuals and well wishers who have concerns on companies, sectors, news, results etc. To voice a view AGAINST  your stock  they display a POSITIVE  approach in so far as they bring to table a set of facts that may have escaped your notice or an interpretation that may elude you or a out of the box perspective that could guides you. Such arguments or deliberation are factual and have a neutral perspective of being specific to a stock or sector. Welcome them anytime.

another set of views come from those who suffer digestion problems and have too much gas around them. Instead of going from colony to colony to eradicate mosquitos and other pests, they come uninvited to merely say xyz stock is not good, xyz investor knows nothing, xyz is not possible. When asked why they like to pitch their tones louder not realizing that heavy metal is music and not an argument.

Thus whenever someone takes a view on you or your stock, just be calm enough to think of that person as a cartoon with a squeaky voice. Or as a character sent by Gabbar Singh in the film Sholay on a horse who frustrated by any facts will try as a goon to convince the invested world he is he main villain, but one who In reality is sponsored by

a) jealousy

b) inferiority complex

c) told to poke you as instead of being productive in life he couldn’t even find a pokemon

d) someone who wants you to lose so the game gets even rather than win the game.

we live in a world of mass noise and getting signals is critical. The best signals in life are hard facts. Thus don’t concentrate on whimsical talks, rumors or breaking news unconfirmed by managements or tips or doomsdayer stories from those who missed living life. Concentrate on motives, facts and who,pits his money where his mouth lies.

it takes a minute to block such a person on Twitter. Such blocking is your first victory. In life you don’t need to block people out. You need to be surrounded by the right ones. He right ones are not those who anchor or echo your views.mthey include many who argue with you (just as your boss/gf/wife and sometimes parents). But with a source of light and not an empty drum.

victory is not always in conquering the guy on the other side. Sometimes it is in ensuring you don’t get poisoned by someone seemingly near. This helps manifold in continuity of good decision making.

remember a man is known by the company he keeps. Literally in life and in investing.


The breather

hi friends, i will start with an apology, duly aware that this update comes with a long gap. having voiced a rather positive outcome in the last few months, I felt like a gardener, who had sowed al…

Source: The breather

The breather

hi friends,

i will start with an apology, duly aware that this update comes with a long gap. having voiced a rather positive outcome in the last few months, I felt like a gardener, who had sowed all seeds, watered the plants,  nurtured the sprouts and enjoyed the outcome of some rather beautiful flowers. Thus I went on literally an off writing break, basking under the sun and enjoying the breeze, till night stuck and I realized someone had to switch on the lights and plan ahead.

When you are bullish, invested and things go along, really there’s hardly anything to write on. You start liking songs, even singing them. You just enjoy the feel of it all and thank your stars for being positive in life, being a believer throughout and then count almighy blessings.

and then you sit back in a more sober mood, literally as if playing the role of an author asked to describe a bit of the journey. You realize songs and dances were good and had their moments of joy but surely in every story there are some learnings. May be just enough to map the next few steps.

the last few months have given me little to complain. Though I must admit getting used to returns like this could be nothing more than a mistake. Returns like these also impose a sense of complacency, some arrogance and a lot of confidence that edges on the risk of becoming over confidence.

While every accomplishment in life must be cherished and celebrated, a conscious effort must be made to identify what could have gone better or went wrong.

the last few months gave me a personal boost to my long existing belief in diversification. In hindsight one can debate things as black swans or unknown unknowns, but the fact of the matter is an event may be unknown or a black swan, it’s consequence can still be more controlled though not fully controlled.

Many investors have felt the pinch of owning concentrated portfolios with the likes of names such as ipca, marksans, Ricoh, Poddar developers, Kitex, Welspun, Aym syntex, keltron, Infosys, dr reddy, mandhana, pokarna, mahindra finance, Saregama, indigo, Spicejet, sun pharma, bharat forge, idea, aditya birla nuvo, Orbit exports, Niit technologies, Ramco, Gati, vrl logistics, Balaji telefilms and such others. I’m not suggesting these are not good companies or that they are good or bad investments  but the fact of the matter is many of such stocks dented portfolio gains.

some might argue and maybe rightfully so that investing is an ongoing activity so one erosion makes less difference but the fact is in a market that had far many winners than losers specially across mid caps and small caps, such statements are more akin to a batsmen getting clean bowled and then looking at his bat as a blame than his own stance. Investors are more prone to feeling the loss than gains and hence nothing can hide this pinch. In fact ask any successful fund manager to visit his clients after such an inning and try raising funds and he will share a lot why returns matter even though they may not be the best, they should not pain the portfolio.

in contrast, most diversified investors escaped one carnage or the other and found the best stories and returns came from the most unexpected counters. Stylam, Kiri dyes, King Fa, Bodal, apl Apollo, kalyani steel, Tata metallics, Bosch, biocon, bharat finance, ujjivan, satin credit, Rpg life, emmbi Ind, Sutlej,  v-guard, yes bank to name an illustrative few.

Some of the above names symbolized undiscovered stories till they got discovered and re-rated like Stylam or kalyani or Tata steel while others had peculiar problems ranging from the sale of a business (Bosch) to a massive disbelief by prominent investors and bloggers (micro finance). The truth of the matter to be is no one in his right frame of mind goes out and buys a name like some I named as a concentrated bet. Most of investing always has been and will continue to be a path of discovery, lead by unfolding of stories and scalability, blooming of first generation managements and a small base result becoming a habit till it gets noticed by many and has more risk in its price and higher bets on it than in its early years.

Another learning for me and I take this as the best one for the year has been becoming more selective of the people you deal with. Social media is a boon and a bane. It gives you lots of things to read, to interact with many people who you may not have even met, allows for public display of views, criticism and appreciation but rarely lets you do more than play to the masses.

along side come a battery of people who just can’t digest any one’s view and who constantly attempt to either push a vested agenda or a persistent view without facts. It’s best to ignore them and keep moving. Trust me you are priceless if you are headstrong and will find many good people if you eliminate just a few not so good ones. Read the art of tidying up- a fantastic book.

the most pertinent learning has been not to react to everything. Every day some event happens at the country level, international level, company level. You are not the karta of the world so best don’t try to be one who thinks he can measure the impact of everything and react. Just be the flowing water and even if you find some obstacles or set backs, you will flow if you believe  you can. Read Martin seligman’s great works on optimism and Michael csikszentmihalyi’s great book called Flow. For heaven s don’t read millions of tweets on what Buffett says or munger says. Very few people know their context and most feel it’s a chant even if you don’t know the God (context) for whom you are chanting.

It’s also important to find multiple sources of knowledge. We are in a path of distruptive innovation and value migration and for example believing in just 2-3 blogs including mine will take you either no where or only marginally ahead. The greatest wealth in the last year or more came from some rather unconventional companies  or the most obvious ones who most wrote off as either too expensive or too against. Asian paints, Kansai nerolac and Bosch being good examples.  Remember by its very nature distruptive innovation is not predictable so don’t stale mate on just some fixed thoughts. We are humans, we will err, some will learn and move on, some will still lurk in hope.

finally, I personally feel investing is getting tougher. One due to complacency- too many believe they know it all, few will survive either a stock on slaught or greed or fear. While it is heartening to read global cash levels are the highest and more people talk of corrections than finding ideas, the fact is the bull run is far more selective in its behavior than being widespread and many have missed the run or having made money lost it inane attempt to juggle too much.

There are sectors showing some great results and one just needs to keep eyes and ears open and invest regularly. Every step counts and even when you are tired you know to reach your destination, you need to keep walking.

on this note, I conclude this mid night update. With the assurance that another update to reflect the sectors that to me hold promise will follow very shortly.

till then, do anything, but don’t “bear” with me  for I am more of a perpectual believer and “bull”.




Disc: articles written with passion don’t have spell checks. They are just a flow and will always be. I am not an investment advisor or Sebi regd consultant and the views expressed are my own. They may not work for others but they do reflect an intent of truth and integrity.


March has come and gone where’s the update

hey friends,

my profuse apologies for not posting in March. It was a month that was momentous for an investor. After the correction of January and February, at an IIF Meeting I was asked to give a talk on investing. The market had fallen some 1600 points on bse in 4 consecutive days and the investor mood was solemn.

Hardly anyone in the audience was keen to discuss a market up look. Most were worried about how fast and furious the fall could still be. Levels of 5500 on the nifty seemed to be in general consensus and china, bank npa in india and what’s for lunch that afternoon was more of the mood.

I was promoted in the order of speakers to deliver the talk, much to do with the generousity of the event organizers and a bit more to do with the fact that some felt one bull could be done and over with before a more serious talk on markets and technicals and charts and dooms could set in.

as I went ahead to start by talk, I changed stance. I told the audience I am prepared with my traditional talk but looking at their moods of gloom and doom felt it was better to ask them to quantify their concerns on china, fii selling and on psu bank npa’s. At a 7000 nifty level and several scrips beaten down I tried my bit to suggest the extreme side of fear vs greed.

as an indicator I suggested that only a few days back in August 2015 the market had tanked 1600 odd points in a single day but no one remembered that as the market pulled up immediately thereafter and things were back on track. This would be a no different situation was my thought or if not, it would not fall as sharply as was the concensus. My only logic (absurd as it may sound) was even the worst of companies and troubles were in the stock prices. I explained an inverted structure. Assume you wanted to make good gains in he market not by buying but by selling what could you sell at the prices that then prevailed to safeguard your capital and make a decent return.

Having been negative on metals and psu banks for years, I emphasized that even those looked dangerous to sell by the inverse theory. I told the audience the market had an imperfect recollection of its problems. China, Greece, Brazil, bank stress tests, currencies. That moment also trending were fears of long term capital gains (we were in the midst of February), a wild mid cap crash, a complete overdose of everything negative.


you need to factor this now in hindsight:

-a room full of investors who had assembled with less interest in buying that in soothsaying

  • a super active electronic media predicting doomsday we most time being given to intra day technical guys who were sounding like they were sent by th lord himself to curse a wrath on anyone daring to buy
  • all across fii selling and market pull down despite the fact that even after such selling and market fall, Fiis has 90 percent plus invested in india. In other words for the bit they sold they already pulled down a substantial part of what they owned
  • My own cfo in our office despite being a finance guy with years of experience and lots of wisdoms, gyrating between whether he should sell his pms at a loss, just a few days after he had delayed his decision to add new funds
  • Debates across admitting on nifty targets and on a sure shot belief that long term capital gains would come despite a steep market fall
  • a correction in a stock to the tune of 5-10 percent on any selling amidst low volume as there was no buyer
  • god knows what more

the scenario was making me more bullish.min fact I remember and thankfully found a support in another friend, Nooresh Merani joining in later to blow his bullish trumpet. It excited me so much that much to the surprise of most, I rushed back on stage to draw more attention of the crowds on why a good rally was around. A few took notice.


We we are now through March. Call it luck or randomness or whatever you feel. We had a rally. A good rally. A decent rally. A rally that left many. Several sold off equity, several reduced allocations and several moved into deposits and gold and became mr doom in the chance to bloom.

whether history rewards the brave or the cheeky survive- we don’t know until it passes through. However investing is not about shouting shop in uncertain times when the uncertainity itself is beyond expression. The fears of 2008 seemed to be more in impact brought in by a strong historical bias and fear than a rational check on general world awareness, monitoring, inter global dependency, pockets of isolated growth such as in india, RBI’s superb intervention (Gov Rajan is one of India’s best thinkers in control) and the fact that as a cardinal rule stocks being attractive when their valuations move to cheap or relatively cheap conditions seemed amiss.

some of us took a deeper breath and lived through. Opportunities like these are blessings for a passionate investor has an inner self that tells him xyz is now better, safer, cheaper and opportune than say another co that he may own. Portfolios undergo their own stress test and some stocks stand out almost automatically at that time.

I used the opportunity to enhance my position in the stocks of highest conviction as the relative valuation of your best bests stands corrected against relatively experimental bets.

In one month we are back to decent levels. Some smiles, some joy of returns and a lot more strength in the comfort of the portfolio. Until the next time when opportunity strikes. And we again march on.

Happy investing.

i have just concluded an interview for Vishal khandelwal of safal niveshak who does an excellent passionate task of educating investors across. Do read it if you are a subscriber to his almanac. Sometimes I erroneously say a few things that turn out ok driven by passion rather than intellect. Or may be by smart editing of people like vishal.





i type fast on an iPad

i don’t check spellings when in a frank flow that’s like a chat ( I check a lot of spellings when I advise on IP)

I am not sebi registered and though I took care not to talk of specific stocks I recommend you to consult a sane person for your investment decisions

I may be currently going through an astrological phase of randomness. But i am praying it lasts and I spread it well.



Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day

Hello friends. This update starts with an interesting anecdote that attempts to explain my reading of a situation we are currently in.

On 8th February, I created an original tweet. It went like this:

Dear February,
just because it’s Valentine’s month,
we don’t need to see Red every day.


Stock Market

#valentine #bse #nse

In matter of less than few days, this very tweet went viral.

So much so I got it back from others all across india and it was even read out on Bloomberg, albeit as a forward.

Some of the sources who forward it back to me claimed it was from them and later a few admitted to have received it as a forward. The source was never discussed.

Hang on.

This memo is not a grudge memo, although in a market fall, it is usual to have grudges.

Our lack of education in schools and colleges on risk or loss management adds to a situation where we lose control of what is logical and start piling on mass beliefs. While this should ideally sound logical, we forget that mr stock market is a believer against majority.
The point of reference to my tweet was-

1. We live in a world of mass connect;
2. We hear a lot of views and even forward them causing a greater belief on these views;
3. We hardly investigate sources more so in falls as every thing seems justified in a reasoning even though we defy the same logic when markets rise and show a far higher sense of confidence in our actions.

Relate my tweet to the current market scenario.

December end, we all were told by all channels, magazines, experts, consultants, funds that as we end 2015, we will dawn on an exciting 2016. New allocations to fii funds will keep their interest alive while retail would buy so much that “inevitably” it would overtake fii buying. Hence with both fii and dii on the buy side, the markets would continue to do well. At best, the debate could vary on “how much” but not many seemed doubting the sense of direction as UP.

Look up the sensex and nifty targets of majority of Broking houses and the stock recommendation reports. It was a buy one way or the other.

All this news of buys went through blogs, whatsapp groups, social media, print media, electronic media. There were investor camps, dhamaka earnings, multi bagged views, what all.

We were cruising till an ice berg hit. And Twitter was all about Titanic.

Immediately we saw and are seeing flash cards of one “negative” after the other:

1. China
2. Oil
3. Redemption by sovereign funds
4. Global markets
5. Concerns on Lack of liquidity with investors
6. Leverage
7. Rumors of long term capital gains
8. Fears of usfda on every pharma co
9. Fears of slowdown of consumer cos due to rural slowdown
10. Banking problems in psu- as if these were not known for months ahead- unless we chose not to even believe our own capable governor when he kept warning of this.
11. Slowdown in infra
12. Whatever as it all works in a contagion.

If my small world, a tweet found its way to several lacs of ears, now imagine the impact of all the giant tv channels, the huge network of Broking houses, the network of whatsapp and social media groups, the print media, the word of mouth spread of all this negative every passing minute.

Investor camps eager to catch the next big idea till December 2015 look like gas chambers. Get me out. How much fall is in place- have replaced the optimism. All in just a few days.

The cascading effect has created more chaos.

Each thing is being correlated to bad.

Don’t buy strong brand companies as they are expensive- (though all have become cheaper relative to December and have a history of wealth creation)

Don’t buy pharma as USFDA will strike soon and valuations are not in sync. (Till December it was a story of a secular bull run)

Don’t buy private sector banks like Hdfc bank or Indusind. Why? Oh the effect of Sbi and likes would son hit them too. And now some are more expensive than others. (By the way at any point of time in any sector, the best is always more expensive than others. The question is is the best doing well)
Sell stocks no matter what. Even if history supports gains for decades. Even though equity is the best class of investing. Even though buying in biggest disasters proves superior returns.

Interestingly it wasn’t one factor that lead (or is leading) the fall. We had a reason every day. Almost if we didn’t, we could have typed “bad news” on Google and found one and somehow co related it.

The effect has been a fall in scrips across sectors.

While it can be argued that some scrips deserved to correct (read 27/12 blog update: jaago investor jaago- froth in several second line stocks and the tweets on a blind froth in mid rung pharma and IT) the moot point is markets don’t spare even good companies in a liquidity exodus.

Hence even if one Broking house that I otherwise respect, got the sensex target right at 24000 odd, one forget even the stocks liked by the same Broking house were equally battered.

Picture this:

A consumer company well loved and believed to be all weather stock fell from 17000 to sub 10;
A branded food company that wasn’t plagued with a maggi sort of problem fell from 1700 to sub 1000;
An Internet co fell from 1600 rs odd to 400 rs odd;
A pharma co much recommended fell from 1800 to 900 while its smaller mid cap from also highly recommended just till a few days back from 108 to 38;
An automobile co that has been posting good results last few quarters fell from 3300 to 2200 odd; to name a few.

In the same breath psu banks, psu stocks including a recent offer for sale, metals, cement, auto ancillaries, mid caps, small caps, God knows what caps etc fell. Yet it seemed that the fall in this category was more than the fall in some of the examples I shared. Why?

…..because some of the mid caps and small caps had given good returns before falling vs some stocks that have seen a secular fall for the last few years. Mind you, even some of those in secular fall feature in long term wealth creation.

What does that mean? Why do we see the falls as doom and ignore the recent past of gains as a given?

Doesn’t it suggest that stocks off and on gain and correct and as long as the gains insure us from the pain of falls, we are fine.

Doesn’t it suggest that as highs, there is overdose of information “interpreted” as positives, while on corrections, we accept everything as an endorsement bias of negatives. Most of it just “emotions”

In the community of investors, reside many:

Some day traders
Some technical
Some short term investors (many)
Few long term investors

The last category get featured in books. Which are meant to be read. And learnt from. Why is it that these few have portfolio sizes that can leave many with their mouths open. Do you think these guys never went through falls? Forgot 24/8 just in 2015? The market was down some 6 percent in one day. But it was forgotten. Why? Cause things “eventually” looked up. multiple examples of a similar kind exist.

Suddenly there is no talk of bull market. Headlines read “we have entered a bear market”. But why? We don’t know. Just because we saw 2008 and just because market levels have come to some month lows- we so believe. Just as we believed that at the end of December we were in a bull market. In fact we thought we were well equipped to even know what phase of the bull market.

I don’t doubt there is some global nervousness. But in my view, not all is coming from true bad news. Some of it is coming post a good bull run (corrections are natural), but most just from a flash of 2008. Ppl fear the cliff of 2008 and thus are resisting buying when they are getting some fab cos at great prices. And more than emotions, it is the cascading effect of a lot of negatives floating around.

We talk all year on Buffett and Munger. Are they selling? Did they buy the last few companies in 2015 worrying of their destruction in 2016? Why are we not quoting them now but will when stocks rise to highs and we feel we were tutored by them. Do they analyze china by the hour? Can they? Do they check every day what fii and dii are doing? Or what others are doing?

Imagine you own a barrel that’s empty. It has the capacity to take in lots of water. Occasionally it will leak either due to an sudden speed surge of water being deposited or Occasionally some water will be lost to evaporation. Or someday you don’t feel energized enough to come to work to fill it. Some days you are so happy to see the water filling up that you have fun. Splash some water on yourself or friends and lose some water. Some days you drink the water as you are tired and thirsty but don’t fill it. As you know you can fill more over time.

You fill the water with a mug. The mug draws water from a tap. The tap runs and you fill water commensurate to the size of the mug as you cannot lift the barrel or drag it under the water. You have a limited capacity to fill it. Further many queue up with you for the same tap. As they all too have to fill their barrels. So some days you wait longer to get water. Some days your turn doesn’t even come and you queue up again.

Suddenly someone comes and says water will be obsolete. Without applying any logic the news spreads across. Few turn up at the tap. Many think it’s a lost cause. The queue has few takers. You lose track that your objective in the first place was to keep filling water. You know water has an unlimited use. But because of sentiments you chose to join the comfort of negative news.

Water here is your equity. The mug is your income that enables you to fill it. It comes in every month and is used by you to buy equity. The barrel is your portfolio. Your wealth. The queue is a bull market.

Ignore the negatives. Hundreds of years of equity investing teaches you- keep investing. There is nothing as a known known in markets. Prices are never static. Wealth creation is never a on and off game. It is a game of discipline. Some say we won’t buy a stock we liked at 200 at 100 now but will buy it when it bounces up. First it won’t knock on your doors to tell you: hey I’m about to rise. Many stocks hit limit up of 20 percent for several days when markets regain their vigor. You are ignoring at Cmp you can buy more for the same amount you would have spent at 200. More makes your net investment price lower. Even small incremental differences make huge differences due to compounding.

If you want to believe Buffett or Munger or Marks or even some of the smartest investors and fund managers , why do they talk of returns over a period of time? Why do some ignore noise when it’s loudest.

I do realize this article has come a bit boring, a bit too long. But it’s come from the heart as always. Wish you all great returns.


Caveat: not Sebi registered. Be safe, seek advise. Keep good company of people and believe in life.

Introspection over a cup of coffee

Hi friends,

instead of a blog update this month, I was invited to do a guest write up for Dalal Street Investment Journal (

accordingly my thoughts on the market appear in the issue dated 8th February 2016, at pages 30/31. I think they have come out simple and well.

i hope my thoughts resonate with some of you in your quest towards long term investing. I look forward to your cherished comments.

standard disclosure: I am not a registered investment advisor. The views expressed are personal and out of passion. You are advised to consult with a professional or exercise due diligence.

happy investing. Enjoy the coffee and the thoughts.

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