Category Archives: Observations

A post-election stock strategy

I have always maintained that it is impossible to keep secrets in a country like India.The reason is two fold-our sheer numbers makes privacy all but impossible and secondly, we as people, just love to gossip.

An interesting tidbit came to my ears via a banker friend.

A prominent political party gave a mandate for its poll advertising campaign to a leading ad agency.

The ad campaign was launched but soon enough, the “white” funds got exhausted.

The political party then insisted that the ad agency take funds in cash (i.e. black)

The ad agency demurred saying that even if it did, its media partners (TV Channels,Newspapers etc) will not.

A satisfactory solution was found for this knotty problem.

A leading industrialist stepped in-he makes all the payments in cheque on behalf of the political party to the ad agency !

This banker friend of mine is waiting for the results to come out.If this political party comes to power, he will go long the shares of this industrialist’s company.

True Confidence in Trading

When people wax poetic about their conviction in trades, my emotional reaction is:  Whatever.  A trade is a bet at the poker table.  Some bets will work, some won’t; some you’ll size up, some you’ll fold.  Whatever.  Over time, if you play the odds, you’ll do OK.  Beyond that, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to beat the chest and invite overconfidence bias to replace normal confidence.

Every forecast of a statistical model can be wrong.  Every trading judgment is fallible.  If you have a 50% hit rate on your trades and you trade once a day, on average you’re going to have an occasion in which you lose every day for a week during a trading year.  That doesn’t mean you’re in a slump; it doesn’t mean you should change what you do.  It’s going to happen and you can mentally prepare yourself–and size yourself in such a way that five consecutive losing days won’t take you out of the game.

The goal is not to eliminate losses–that would require omniscience.  Rather, the goal is to  anticipate losses so that you’re never surprised, never overwhelmed, never thrown onto the back foot.  True confidence comes, not from believing that you must be right, but from knowing that you can survive and even thrive if you’re dead wrong.-from TraderFeed

My bets for the banking license

One timepass activity amongst finance professionals is to guess which companies will be selected for the banking license.

There are around 25 applicants for the license (see entire list here)

My bet is on the following companies:

  • IDFC (Its the cleanest one)
  • JM Financial (Mukeshbhai Zindabad)
  • India Infoline (Smart money going here)
  • LIC Housing Finance Ltd (Hum sarkari hain)

Who do you think will get the banking license?

Forget stocks, the real bull market is in veggie prices


This figure is not the return of any stock or investment.This figure is the increase in retail vegetable prices in October y-o-y

How can any ordinary investor inflation proof his savings with such high persistent and sticky inflation in food prices?

Maybe Jim Rogers was right after all:


Young people who have not decided on their futures should pursue agriculture degrees rather than MBAs, investor Jim Rogers told CNBC in a recent interview.


The reason? “Finance is in decline. In the future, the center of the world will not be finance — it’s going to be the producers of real goods.



Why I love Pride of Cows

A few months back I noticed a funny thing-whenever I made tea, there were a few specks of oil floating on the surface.

I couldn’t fathom where the oil came from.So I ignored it.

Then an incident happened.My wife had kept a vessel of boiled milk in the fridge.We went out of town and when we returned a few days later, we found that the milk had turned yellow with a thick layer of oil on top.

It was obvious that the milk we were consuming was adulterated.We changed our suppliers,our brands etc but to no avail.This article by Menaka Gandhi makes it clear of how common milk adulteration in India is.

We were at our wits end on what to do next.Fortunately, we found Pride of Cows, an initiative of Devendra Shah, owner of Parag Foods Pvt. Ltd.

The milk supplied is SUPERB comparable to the best overseas.It is pricey-more than double the cost of regular milk, but it’s worth it especially if you have children in the house.

This milk is so fresh and great that once you start having it you can’t go back to your normal brand.Would STRONGLY recommend my readers to try this.