Tag - investor

June 2016

Types of Investors – What type are you?

Types of Investors , Conservative, Aggressive, Risk taker, Risk Profiling, Risk Averse, Savers, Specialists, Speculators

I came across this good article at http://www.threetypes.com/philosophy/investor-types.shtml and wanted to share. It essentially discusses the various types of Investors viz : Savers, Speculators and Specialists and then goes on to explain how becoming a Specialist, is something which generates immense wealth over lesser periods of time , but which also requires tremendous efforts on the part of the investor.

Go ahead and decide which type of investor you are and then invest accordingly. Enjoy Investing…..

Savers

Savers are those people who spend the majority of their life slowly growing their “nest egg” in order to ensure a comfortable retirement. Savers explicitly choose not to focus their time on investing or investment strategy; they either entrust others to dictate their investments (money managers or financial planners) or they simply diversify their investments across a number of different asset classes (they create “a diversified portfolio”). For those who create a diversified portfolio, their primary investing strategy is to hedge each of their investments with other “non-correlated” investments, and ultimately generate a consistent annual return in the range of 3-8% (after adjusting for inflation). Those who entrust their money to professional money managers generally get the same level of diversification, and the same 3-8% returns (minus the management fees).

Savers seek low-risk growth of their capital, and in return, are willing to accept a relatively low rate of return. While there is certainly nothing wrong with striving for consistent returns, what the Saver is doing is really no different than putting their money in a Certificate of Deposit, albeit with slightly higher returns. The bulk of Savers are investing for long-term financial security and retirement. They start saving in their 20’s and 30’s by putting money in 401(k) accounts, mutual funds, and other diversified investments, and in 30 or 40 years, they have enough to retire on.

Savers rely in a single force to grow their capital: time. Because their rate of return is generally consistent, a Saver’s primary mechanism to achieve wealth is to invest and wait. In fact, Savers often use The Rule of 72 to calculate long-term investment growth and plan their retirement. While passive investing is an almost surefire path to a comfortable retirement, it also generally means 30-50 years of work to get to that point.

Speculators

Unlike Savers, Speculators choose to take control of their investments, and not rely solely on “time” to get to the point of financial independence. Speculators are happy to forgo the relatively low returns of a diversified portfolio in order to try to achieve the much higher returns of targeted investments. Instead of just spreading their money across stock funds, bonds, real estate funds, and a variety of other asset categories, Speculators are always looking for an investing edge. Perhaps they get a hot stock tip and try to cash in on the next Google. Or perhaps they hear about all the real estate investors who have made a bundle flipping houses, so they go out and buy the first run-down house they see.

Speculators recognize that they can have higher returns than Savers, and are willing to do or try anything to get those returns. They’re not scared to throw some money in an Options account and try their hand at derivatives trading; or run out and buy a bunch of inventory from a wholesaler they know and open up an eBay selling account. Speculators are always looking for the next great investment; for them, it’s all about being in the right place at the right time, and taking a chance on getting rich. If today’s investment doesn’t work out, there will always be another one tomorrow. (more…)

September 2012

The twelve most silliest things people say about stock prices ~ Part II

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The twelve most silliest things people say about stock prices

As I have mentioned earlier in my blog post, I have been reading ‘One up on Wall Street’ ~ Peter Lynch. The book is a classic and a must read for people interested in value investing.This Part II is in continuation to Part I (first 4 points) which you can read here

Thank you Peter Lynch for your witty points… Enjoy (points 5 through 8)….

5. Eventually they will come back

Peter Lynch gives examples of RCA which never came back even after 65 years. Companies which belonged to Health Maintenance organizations, floppy disks, double knots, digital watches, mobile homes etc could never come back.

In today’s fast paced world of technological changes, there is even a higher chance of companies fading away much faster. Intelligent investing is all about recognizing the changes happening in the industry and then exiting from the stocks, if the fundamentals no longer justify a stake in the business.

As John Keynes has so very rightly said: “When the facts change, I change my mind: What do you do? Sir”

Many investors in this category are stuck with Indian Stocks reeling in High Debt, slowing economy & pressures from Bank are unlikely to come back anytime soon. (Rcom, Rpower, Suzlon, DLF etc.) Many of these companies will have to restructure (or sell off non-operating assets, non core businesses in order to breath freely)…

Suzlon Chart (languishing at all time lows below Rs 20):

The twelve most silliest things people say about stock prices , investing mistakes, Peter Lynch, suzlon, One up on wall street book review, stock investing

6. It’s always darkest before the dawn

There’s a very human tendency to believe that things that have gotten a little bad can’t get worse.

Near home, people who are holding on to Moser Baer have not seen the stock price appreciate a zilch over the past decade.

Moser Baer Chart over the past few years :

Moser Baer Stock Price, Worst Stock Performance India, Investment Mistakes, Technology Stocks, Investing , Trading

Similarly the oil marketing companies have given no returns to the investors over the past decade. (Of course, part of this is due to the policies of the government of regulated oil prices in India).

Sometimes, it is darkest before the dawn, but then again other times is always darkest before pitch black.

7. When it rebounds to Rs 100, I’ll sell

In my experience, no downtrodden stock ever returns to the price at which you decide to exit.

When the stock of Suzlon was falling freely in early 2009 onwards, many investors got sucked into the stock at various levels above Rs 100. Subsequently, the stock kept on going South.

In the equity markets, the investors in general are always in a hurry to take the profits off the table. However when, it comes to taking out the losses, they rely on HOPE.

Again, here when we talk about taking out the losses, it is of the companies which are weak on fundamentals.  In case of Suzlon, currently trading at Rs 18, unless a miraculous turnaround happens, it might not see the 3 digit mark for a fairly long time to come.  The whole painful process may take a couple of years, maybe a decade. And all along you have to tolerate an investment you don’t even like.

Relying on luck way too often in the markets is a sure way to lose money in the long run. If you are less confident on the company, you ought to be selling the stock.

8. The ‘I knew it, If only I could have bought the stock, I could made so much money’ statement

So many investors make this classic mistake.

‘ I knew it…. Colgate, Pidilite, Hawkins, Jubilant Foodworks, HDFC, Titan, Tata Motors etc would rise….If only I could have bought the stock, I could made so much money’ statement’

They torture themselves every day by perusing the ‘Ten biggest winners on the markets’ and imagining how much money they’ve lost by not having owned them.

However the funny thing, the money is still in the bank . They have not lost a penny. This may seem ridiculous thing to mention. But it is notional. Regarding somebody’s else’s gain as your losses is definitely not a productive way to investing in the markets.

In fact, it can lead to blunders, trying to catch up buying stocks which they shouldn’t be buying, and buying the stocks at higher prices in order to get over the guilt. And guess what, this results in real losses.

Part I is here, Part III is here

The twelve most silliest things people say about stock prices – Part I

The twelve most silliest things people say about stock prices , investing mistakes, Peter Lynch, One up on wall street book review, stock investing.

The twelve most silliest things people say about stock prices

As I have mentioned earlier in my blog post, I have been reading ‘One up on Wall Street’. The book is a must read for people interested in value investing.

Peter Lynch brings to us his experience and packs with a punch of humor, wisdom, timeless principles and wonderful examples of all kinds of businesses. Towards the end, there is a chapter on 12 silliest things that people say about stock prices with examples of US Stocks.

I could relate so many similar examples from the Indian Stock markets and so this post and my thoughts are on the 12 silliest things (& most dangerous) things, which people say about stock markets.

I will bring this in 3 parts… Part I is here. Have fun. It is eye opening

1. If it’s gone down this much, it can’t go further down

I’d bet the shareholders of Satyam (now Mahindra Satyam), Suzlon, Reliance Communication (RCOM), Reliance Power (Rpower), DLF etc were repeating this phrase just after the stocks kept dropping. The phrases which people use are “I am a long term investor”, “You have to be patient in stock markets”, “These are blue chip companies”. During the unraveling of the Satyam scam the shares fell to 11.50 rupees on 10 January 2009, their lowest level since March 1998, compared to a high of 544 rupees in 2008. Investors purchased at various levels on the stocks way down.

There is simply no rule hat tells you how low a stock can go in principle

2.  You can always tell when a stock hit bottom

Peter Lynch says ~ Bottom fishing is a popular investor pastime, but it’s usually the fisherman who gets hooked. LOL

RCOM (and many other erstwhile super stocks with weak fundamentals) bottom was never successfully found by investors. Over the past 4 years these stock has successfully managed to do create only new bottoms.

If it is a turnaround story, then there has to be a solid reason to pick a stock. For eg: the balance sheet shows Rs 50 as Cash per share and the stock trades at Rs 53. Even then, the author mentions that the stock might take years to pick up steam.

3. If it’s gone this already, how can it possibly go higher?

This is one of the favorites of the analysts who frequent the News Channels. However consider the stocks like Asian Paints, Titan Industries, Page Industries, Hawkins Cooker , Trent Industries or Pidilite Industries etc.  These stocks have strong fundamentals and strong earnings & profit growth. They continue to beat the markets quarter on quarter. The fundamentals catch up with the price and so the market values them slightly higher than the rest.

Many investors do make the mistake of parting away with the stock just when a strong uptrend in underway. In reality successful stock investing is & should be a boring activity. However investors go in for action in the hopes of getting the stock at a lower price. Unfortunately, in case of fundamental stocks, that never happens. Recently, Hindustan Unilever has moved from 350 to almost 500+. Many investors whom I know have already parted with the stock at 400 levels and they are ruing the fact.

4. It’s only Rs 3 a share: What can I possibly lose?

How many times have you heard people say this? People assume that buying a Rs 8 share is less riskier than buying a Rs 50 stock.

Case in point .. Kingfisher airlines, Indowing Energy, Sujana Towers, Moser Baer etc. All these high flying stock of 2007 Boom phase are trading in single digits for last 2 years now 

The fact of the matter is that whether the stock costs Rs 50 or Rs 5, if it goes to zero you still lose everything. If it drops to 50 paise, the results are only slightly differen

The investor who buys at Rs 50 loses 99% wheras the investor who buys at Rs 3 loses 83% ~ hardly a consolation. Lousy cheap stock is just as risky as lousy expensive stock if it goes down. So investing in a Rs 50 stock or Rs 3 stock does not matter. The reason for buying the stock should be based on the fundamentals of the company.

.. Read Part II & Part III

September 2010

Reliance – 2nd among world’s largest value creators

There is a report in Business Standard which mentions many Indian Companies amongst the world’s largest value creators in this decade. The report is here :

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries has been ranked second in the list of world’s 10 biggest ‘sustainable value creators’, companies that have been successful in creating the most shareholder value over the last decade, prepared by Boston Consulting Group.

Reliance Industries again comes second in the ‘Large Cap firms’ for 2005-2009 of 112 global companies with a market valuation of more than 35 billion dollars.

In the chemicals industry, Reliance Industries has been named the second biggest value creator of 53 global firms during the period behind South Korea’s OCI.

However, the stock has virtually not given any returns over the past 2 years….. Many investors are losing patience now and
letting go of the stock in favor of Banks, Pharma and FMCG Companies…. which have outperformed…
If you compare the returns of Reliance with the BSE Index, the result is quite glaring….Sensex is up almost 40 % in last one
year……Whereas Reliance has not given any return at all ……
So , What is next …….. Well a relief rally should be on cards till 1200 at least if the stock holds above 960 levels. …. And this will definitely bring smiles to the investors… and the markets as well.

August 2010

What and How of Nifty Index!!!

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One of my friend recently just wanted to get an idea about Nifty and How it is calculated. I am presenting some basic facts about Nifty here….

Background of Nifty

S&P CNX Nifty is a well diversified 50 stock index accounting for 21 sectors of the economy. It is used for a variety of purposes such as benchmarking fund portfolios, index based derivatives and index funds.

S&P CNX Nifty is owned and managed by India Index Services and Products Ltd. (IISL), which is a joint venture between NSE and CRISIL. IISL is India’s first specialised company focused upon the index as a core product. IISL has a Marketing and licensing agreement with Standard & Poor’s (S&P), who are world leaders in index services.

  • The traded value for the last six months of all Nifty stocks is approximately 44.89% of the traded value of all stocks on the NSE
  • Nifty stocks represent about 58.64% of the total market capitalization as on March 31, 2008.
  • Impact cost of the S&P CNX Nifty for a portfolio size of Rs.2 crore is 0.15%
  • S&P CNX Nifty is professionally maintained and is ideal for derivatives trading

What and How of Nifty Index, How is stock selected in Index, Sensex, India Index Services and Products Ltd. (IISL)NSE, CRISIL, Liquidity,  Impact Cost, Floating Stock, index calculation

How Stocks are selected :

The constituents and the criteria for the selection judge the effectiveness of the index. Selection of the index set is based on the following criteria:

Liquidity (Impact Cost)

For inclusion in the index, the security should have traded at an average impact cost of 0.50% or less during the last six months for 90% of the observations for a basket size of Rs. 2 Crores.

Impact cost is cost of executing a transaction in a security in proportion to the weightage of its market capitalisation as against the index market capitalisation at any point of time. This is the percentage mark up suffered while buying / selling the desired quantity of a security compared to its ideal price (best buy + best sell) / 2

Floating Stock

Companies eligible for inclusion in S&P CNX Nifty should have atleast 10% floating stock. For this purpose, floating stock shall mean stocks which are not held by the promoters and associated entities (where identifiable) of such companies.

Others

a) A company which comes out with a IPO will be eligible for inclusion in the index, if it fulfills the normal eligiblity criteria for the index like impact cost, market capitalisation and floating stock, for a 3 month period instead of a 6 month period.

b) Replacement of Stock from the Index:

A stock may be replaced from an index for the following reasons:

i. Compulsory changes like corporate actions, delisting etc. In such a scenario, the stock having largest market capitalization and satisfying other requirements related to liquidity, turnover and free float will be considered for inclusion.

ii. When a better candidate is available in the replacement pool, which can replace the index stock i.e. the stock with the highest market capitalization in the replacement pool has at least twice the market capitalization of the index stock with the lowest market capitalization.

With respect to (2) above, a maximum of 10% of the index size (number of stocks in the index) may be changed in a calendar year. Changes carried out for (2) above are irrespective of changes, if any, carried out for (1) above.

And Finally how is the index calculation done

S&P CNX Nifty is computed using market capitalization weighted method, wherein the level of the index reflects the total market value of all the stocks in the index relative to a particular base period. The method also takes into account constituent changes in the index and importantly corporate actions such as stock splits, rights, etc without affecting the index value.

Source : NSE

Selling Options : Sometimes it can be made to good use.

Selling Options , Calls, Puts, Tutorials, Options Strategies, Butterfly, Straddle, Strangle,  What Investors should know.

Options, by definition, are a wasting asset. The time decay, declining volatility etc. eat away into the premiums of the options.

Many option buyers learn this fact the hard way by watching their option contracts expire worthless many times. The majority of options expire worthless (estimates are somewhere > 80%). Given that the majority of option buy positions are worthless at the time of expiration, some investors decide that they will sell options and collect the premium. Prima Facie, this sounds like an easy way to make money.

However, there is no free lunch in the investment field as well. There are stories of how some of the brightest people in the world have blown up their accounts while selling ‘Naked’ options. Selling options, when there are no underlying holdings to support in case of adverse move is known as ‘Naked’ Selling.

Nevertheless, Options selling, when used intelligently, can be used to complement/protect your portfolio holdings to a certain extent and also make income in return.

Investors earn a premium for every put and call option which they sell. This premium is paid by Option Buyers.

Selling Short

When you sell shares of a company which you do not own, then it is called short selling. Selling a stock short is taking a view that the shares will keep going down. One way of doing this is by selling Futures. And another way of doing this is by selling Call Options.

In a short sale you have to buy back the shares at some point. And thus, short selling exposes you to unlimited risk, if the price of the stock starts to increase.

There are numerous strategies in Options. I will present just one example of how the selling of call options can be used by investors :

 

Covered Call Strategy

A covered call strategy is strategy for bullish investors to make some money and benefit from a stock that will move little over the short term.

This is often employed when an investor has a short-term neutral view on a stock or when the Stock has made a decent up move in a relative short period of time, and is expected to be range bound in the near term.

Let us take the example of Larsen and Toubro (LNT) recent price action again.

Assume, Investors bought the stock @ 1400 or Traders bought it at the breakout above 1660 in early June. Next, the stock made a decent up move in a month’s time frame and touched almost 1900. Investors could have written an options contract selling one call option of LNT Jul 2010 strike price 1900 at Rs 40. (However, Remember that one call option gives an investor the right to buy 125 shares).

You would earn income because the buyer of the call option has to pay you a premium for the option. If the stock’s price drops stays below the strike price (In this case , LNT did close well below Rs 1900 by Jul end) , the call buyer will never exercise the contract and the entire premium is yours to keep (Remember one lot of LNT is 125 and that makes the premium monies Rs 125 * 40 = Rs 5000).

If the stock’s price increases above the strike price, the call buyer may choose to exercise the contract. You would then either have to buy shares on the open market or deliver your shares to the buyer.

This is one of the common ways in which large institutional players generate income on the basis of their large holdings which they can always use to hedge in case of any adverse move against their options position.

Again, the intention of this article is to arouse interest and make aware of Options Selling. It does not advocate that you start selling options. Please understand, when selling options, remember that although your profit potential is limited to the amount of the premium that you receive, your losses can be rather large.

Also, My personal view is that selling PUT Options carries higher risk than Selling CALL options. This is because , in general, stocks generally use the stairs when going up (Sellers of Call Options can manage risk here ….) , But Jump out of the window when coming down. (Sellers of Put options can run out of exit options or get trapped …)

LNT has indeed made a good move from 1660 to 1900 and which I have been tracking since Early June …

You might be interested to know about Buying Options here…

July 2010

Buying Options : What Investors should know

“The greatest ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about”

If you are invested in Equity Markets or Mutual Funds, it is wise to be AWARE of the derivative product called ‘Options’.

Buying Options , Calls, Puts, Tutorials, Options Strategies, Butterfly, Straddle, Strangle,  What Investors should know

Options have seen increase in popularity over the past few years. Television shows like CNBC, NDTV Profit, ET Now etc devote a significant amount of time discussing option strategies for investors. Investors and traders are attracted to options due to the low cost involved. There is a possibility of high return potential in case of options trading as well. However there is an equal or more probability of downside of trading in options which needs to be understood as well.

Let us take a look at a few of the more popular strategies for buying options.

Types of Options

Call Options

Call options give an investor the right to buy shares at an agreed upon price. Investors that buy calls are not obligated to ever exercise the option. Call options can be owned for as short as a few days or long as a year. Investors that purchase call options are bullish on a particular stock.

Put Options

Put options are just like call options except they give investors the right to sell shares of a stock. Bearish investors buy put options so that they can benefit from a stock that they expect to decline. Watching the activity in put options is a great way of judging when investor sentiment is turning bearish.

Buying call options are cheaper than buying shares of stock.

Call options allow investors to buy shares of a company for a much cheaper price than buying the actual shares themselves. For example, say you wanted to buy 125 shares of LNT (Larsen and Toubro) at 1700. Your total cost would be Rs 2,12,500. I have taken the figure of 125 shares because lot size of LNT is 125. (Pls note that futures and options are bought in lots)

A cheaper option would be to buy call options. You could buy one CALL option of Jul 2010 series , strike price 1700 (lot size 125) for Rs 50. Your total cost would be Rs 6,250 (125 shares x Rs50). You would only pay Rs 6,250. If shares of LNT are higher than 1750 (Strike price + cost of purchase Rs 50) by series end, you could exercise the option and make a profit. If not then you can just let the option expire. Your total risk is only Rs 6,250. For this investment you could control 125 shares of LNT.

Buying put options can limit your downside risk.

Buying a put option is a great way for investors to limit their downside risk. It is like taking insurance against your assets.

Let’s say you already owned 125 shares of LNT and the stock is currently at Rs 1700. Let us assume that you are sitting in good profits, you are afraid that the stock is going to decline, and at the same time you do not want to sell your shares.

You could protect your profits by buying a put option.

You could buy one PUT option of Jul 2010 series, strike price 1650 (lot size 125) for Rs 50. . If shares of LNT are lower than 1650 (Strike price – cost of purchase Rs 50) by series end, you would exercise the option and make a profit. By doing this, you have unlimited profit potential on downside and at the same time have limited your losses (which is depreciation of holdings of LNT against profits made by the PUT option.)

This strategy is known as a protective put strategy. If the stock drops substantially, you can always exercise your put option. If shares rise you can do nothing and just let the option expire.

Put investors can also employ a married put strategy. A married put strategy is when an investor buys shares of a stock and buys a put option on the same shares at the exact same times. The stock and option are considered married since they were both purchased at the same time.

If used properly, options can cost less, limit risk, and have the potential for higher returns.

Many investors are completely unaware about options. The intention behind this article is to make aware of the basics of options. Nevertheless, One should definitely understand the implications and understand the risks involved before buying or trading in options.

ps: I have used the example of LNT (Larsen and Toubro), because it has been on my radar since it broke out of 1700 range earlier this month. More here …..

I will cover selling options and implications later sometime.

RBI hikes short-term rates; CRR unchanged

rbiThe central bank raised interest on Tuesday in the face of inflation has been above 10 percent for the past five months. The Reserve Bank of India said it would continue to normalize policy in line with the growth and inflation rate in the economy.


The RBI lifted the repo rate, at which it lends to banks, by 25 basis points to 5.75 percent, which was in line with expectations, but raised the reverse repo rate, at which it absorbs excess cash from the system, by a steeper than expected 50 basis points to 4.50 percent.

The central bank left the cash reserve ratio (CRR) unchanged at 6 percent.

Inflation in India emerged last year in the wake of a poor monsoon that drove up food prices but has spread broadly throughout the economy, spawning protests against a government whose voter base is predominantly poor and rural.  New Delhi’s decision to increase fuel prices is expected to add nearly a percentage point to wholesale price index (WPI) inflation starting in July and led the opposition to call a one-day nationwide strike early this month.

The government is hoping on normal summer monsoon rains to results in better crop yields and ease pressure on food prices, and has said inflation should decline to 6 percent by December, which in my opinion is a task in itself…..

The Simple rules to Successful Investing – Part 1

The Simple rules to Successful Investing , Understanding Investing, Stocks, Mutual Funds, Tax, Insurance, Estate, Wills.

“No amount of talking or reading can teach you swimming. You will have to get in the water.”

There are these little general rules which are applicable and useful for decision making and taking actions. And these simple rules are applicable in so many aspects of life, they are just some small reminders, some common-sense stuff which are really useful.

And yes most of them are applicable in investment planning as well.

a. Perfect Plan – Forget it.There is no such thing as a perfect investment plan and no such thing as a perfect time. The right time is now. Tomorrow is and always will be uncertain. Perfectionism is the enemy of action. Do not let perfect investment plan or a perfect time to invest stop you from starting.

b. Analysis Paralysis – Too much thinking will often result in getting stuck.Some thinking is good — it’s good to have a clear picture of where you’re going or why you’re doing this — but don’t get stuck thinking. Just do.

c. Get the Broad Picture and Start. You need to get the broad picture in your mind. You need to understand your future requirements or what do you want to achieve (goals). You need to know the time you have to meet those requirements. And, then you should have the broad plan to meet the goals. Once you have the broad picture. Get going.
All the planning will take you nowhere unless you take that first step, no matter how small it is.

d. Keep things Simple and take Small Steps. Small steps always work. Little tiny blows can break down that mountain. And then each step counts. Keep the big picture in mind, but start by taking small steps.

Understand the advantage of Investing Early here.

The Little Rules to successful action To be contd … Part 2.

Sensex touches 18000 again , two kinds of investors, two different views ….

chart.

“The investor’s chief problem – and even his worst enemy – is likely to be himself.” ~ Benjamin Graham

Sensex is at 18000 once again.

(A) Many Investors who had invested since 2007  when the markets were around the same levels are not happy. Most of them are waiting to get out of the markets when they are able to get cost to cost. Reasoning — they could have got better returns in Bank FD’s in last 3 years.

(B) Many Investors who invested in Markets in 2009 are super excited as almost all their investments have doubled.  Most of these investors have become developed short term view. They believe that they know everything about markets and they can easily generate good returns time and again. Many want to get out at these levels and reenter at sensex 12000 levels only now. They are experts you see.

Greed and Fear works in both the directions of the markets.

Investors who fall in the above categories do not realize the following fundamental rule of nature which is applicable to markets as well : “THIS TOO SHALL PASS AWAY”.

My view is that investors in either of the above categories will probably never be successful over a investment lifecycle of 3 – 5 – 10 years.  Period. Because the above reasoning of exit from market is based purely on market returns and not based on fulfillment of life objectives. And this kind of reasoning falls in the category of speculation.

Do you fall in any of the categories mentioned above…..

Octopus Outshines Investment Bank Experts….

Opaul_the_octopusctopus Paul , has been making headlines world over in this years FIFA world cup. It’s predictions on winner of football (soccer) matches is hitting Bull’s eye. Specially after the German defeat in Semis to Spain, the popularity of Octopus Paul has soared to new heights. It is a superstar. Although Germans are now demanding death threats. PETA is demanding the octopus be let free.

Well, almost anyone who is someone (except human ‘Pauls’) has an opinion on Paul …….

At least my children now know a little more about the octopus species. OK So much for that……

Now, I knew the following would come comparing the Octopus to Investment/Bank experts …And here we go at a cnbc story…  UBS, for example, gave Spain just a 4 percent chance of winning the trophy with their past performance model. The Netherlands, who meet Spain in the final Sunday, had just an 8 percent chance, the bank said. And our dear expert – Paul has nearly been flawless – o to say – ….. More at the following cnbc report

Somehow , Brought to my mind the famous orangutan coin flipping competition.

In 1984 Columbia Business School hosted a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Graham and Dodd’s book Security Analysis. The two principal speakers were Rochester’s Michael Jensen, an academic who had come out strongly in favour of the Efficient Market Hypothesis and Warren Buffett. Jensen stated that it was hard to tell if any of the followers of Graham and Dodd were really superior investors. He argued:

If I survey a field of untalented analysts all of whom are doing nothing but Flipping coins, I expect to see some who have tossed two heads in a row and even some who have tossed ten heads in a row.

This was a perfect entry for Buffett who envisaged a national coin-tossing contest. Each day, everyone in the United Sates flipped a coin with only those who continually flipped heads staying in the contest. After twenty days only around 215 flippers would remain. Buffett continued (Buffett, 1984):

But then some business school professor will probably be rude enough to bring up the fact that if 225 million orangutans had engaged in a similar exercise, the results would be much the same—215 egotistical orangutans with 20 straight winning flips.

Buffett then argued that there were important differences. What if, for example, all the orangutans came from the same zoo? When you replace head-flippers with “superinvestors”, he argued that this is precisely what happened. Buffett declared that there was an unusually high concentration of successful coin flippers, that is, “superinvestors”, in the investment world that “came from a very small intellectual village that could be called Graham-and-Doddsville”.

So coming back to Octopus Paul and the few super analysts in the investment world who get it right.
The big question to ponder is : Is it chance or is there something more to it….

“Free Lunch” Seminars—Avoiding the Heartburn of a Hard Sell

"Free Lunch" Seminars,Avoiding the Heartburn of a Hard Sell , Retirement Planning, Investment Planning, Tax Planning, Life insurance selling malpractices.

BEWARE —-Investors frequently get invited to free seminars. These seminars make tall promises. To educate  about investing, or profit from home trading strategies or about managing money in retirement. They also provide VIP treatment , sometimes provide an expensive meal at no cost.

Please remember that , just because someone buys you breakfast, lunch or dinner does not mean you that you have to buy into whatever these guys they are saying. And definitely you need not buy into all what they are selling. Believe me , you will avoid some serious heartburns……… Use your judgment to arrive at a decision later point in time.

The same holds true when specially you go to buy a car. Most people spend a good time looking at the car and take a test drive. Now just because the salesman spent his 30mins — does not mean that you need to buy the car.

The same holds for when you are being sold — Life Insurance, General Insurance, Boutique stores, Electronics etc.

Be careful – If you do not wish to purchase and are being forced into a deal , Use your judgement and Learn to say No – firmly. We live in an age where it is still a buyer’s market – do not forget this.

Indian Rupee to get a New Symbol

rupee-symbol

The Indian Rupee is all set to get a New Symbol. The above designs have been shortlisted. Great to know that we are going to get our Currency Symbol. Just like Dollar has $, Pound has £, Euro has € etc.

All above symbols represent R of Devnagri (Hindi) Language means  ” र ” (Ra)… Option 1 is so childish. How did it make to the final 5 is amazing.

There is no regulation for Currency Symbol selection. It should be compatible as per all views like Language, International presentation and uniformity.

My view is that instead of promoting the letter “R” for Rupee , we could have tried to promote / represent the country as a concept. (Eg: the letter “I” for India , or “R” for Republic of India etc.)  By looking at Dollar has $ — like “S” for States, Pound has £ — like “L” for London , Euro has € — ‘E’ for European Countries….

And lastly none of the above symbols appeal to me…..

ICICIdirect’s trading site crashes; customers trapped and helpless

The online trading system as well as the phone-order service of ICICIdirect broke down today leaving numerous customers feeling completely helpless. However, the company is keeping mum so far

icici-direct-trading

ICICIdirect.com, ICICI Securities Ltd’s retail trading and investment services portal crashed today due to technical glitches. This has put all of its customers in deep trouble. Till writing the story, the trading or customer login page on icicidirect.com was showing an error message saying:”Dear Customer, Our website ICICIdirect.com is not available today due to technical issues. We truly regret the inconvenience caused to you.”

ICICIdirect.com was down since morning with a message that the services will be resumed at 8.55am, the time when trading commences on bourses. However, throughout the day, customers were not able to log in or do any online trading. Even its CallNtrade facility used for placing orders through a phone was not working.

More here at moneylife ………

It is surprising that there was no backup planned for such an event and no trading could be conducted by ICICIdirect customers. Wonder whatever happened to people who speculate in Derivatives and wanted to square positions.  Markets gapped up and stayed positive throughout ……

Welcome to the secure world of technology , security and finance…….