Plusses & Minuses of a Cloud-Society

Where do we stand today?

What’s changed compared to yesterday?

Are we better off?

What’s not better off?

Where is all this heading to?

Lastly, what’s your takeaway. 

People, questions, questions and more questions. It’s good to ask questions. Those who don’t, well, they don’t evolve. Stagnation in today’s day and age is owing to being late for a bus because nobody was there to put your shoes on for you, so that you could catch the bus. You didn’t attempt to put on these yourself, and you didn’t attempt to run-off bare-feet either. You kept waiting for someone who would put your shoes on for you. People, forget it and wake up. This party’s hot, and it’s moving very fast. Keep moving with it. It’s a hell of a ride. 

The word “Cloud” is very big today. 

“One needs to be in the Cloud, blah blah blah” etc. is heard at parties. 

Humans have realised the vulnerability of hardware. Data in the cloud is probably safer. Yes, Cloud it is . Cloud is the future. HOWEVER…

a). Keep multiple backups on your own hardware also. Accidental deletion on the cloud could sync across all your devices. Where do you stand then? Most cloud backup softwares throw in backing up to additional hardware for free. Use this. It’s a legitimate freebie. You’d be a fool not to use this. Btw, of course you’ve got your time-machine or similar backups going on the side too. BE WELL BACKED-UP.

b). Don’t necessarily keep sensitive data on the cloud. You can very easily manually back up your password-bank (for example) across multiple devices. Sensitive data needs to be password protected. Period. Music and photos can fall into different categories here. Depends on you. 

c). The norm with contacts is that they start backing up to your main email ID. Great. Losing one’s contacts becomes that much harder. Don’t store sensitive stuff in your contacts. 

d). Your main email ID becomes hugely important. Make sure it’s not hacked. Keep changing it’s password. Remember it’s password. Update it in your password bank. Use your email ID to search. Old emails, files, attachments, photos, anything. Today, the whole repository goes along with your email. 

e). Have a balanced approach towards social media. Don’t upload stuff you’ll regret. Try and circulate your family photos within controlled circles. Be wary of social media, and teach your kids of its dangers. 

f). THEN, Cloud is one thing, and accessibility to it and being well-organised on it is another. You could be fully in the cloud, but what use is your stuff to you in the cloud, if it’s not accessible across all your devices seamlessly, at a button-click. There are many software-services doing this for you. Your software-service needs to have a lightning search-functionality, which goes through your search-words and hashtags at a super speed [((btw you are not functioning without hashtags today, so that you can easily sift through your stuff, and call up something in a flash))]. Of course the whole thing costs. Just pay and BECOME SEAMLESS. What’ll you be set back by? 50 USD pear annum? Don’t be penny-wise pound-foolish. DO THIS. 

g). Please don’t forget your Internet-Security along the path. Use a pay-service, on you mobiles and your computers. People, why do we forget the basics?

h). Guard your eyes. Wash them. Use a moistener. Use Ayurvedic eye-drops on the side. Do eye-exercises. 

i). Guard agains neck pain (back-pain). Swim. Walk. Posture. Don’t overdo media. 

j). Guard agains index-finger pain. Mobile and desktop typing and touch has made the index finger of supreme importance. However, it is susceptible to pain and disease if you are not careful. 

k). Guard against heart-attack. We are a sedantry lot now. Almost all day, we vegetate. Most of us, that is. Get a band. Programme it to buzz every hour that you are in your seat. When it buzzes, move. Follow your daily steps. 10-15,000 steps per day is the need of the hour. Couple the band to your diet. Follow its calorie-burning module. Teach your band, till it comes out with intelligent suggestions. A band is like a pet. 

l). Guard your karma-balance. Be a contributor. Don’t only be a free user. Contribute freely on the web. Add to the world. Take the world forward. You are using so much stuff off and on the web, for free, that if you are not on your guard, you might end up exhausting a lot of karma. Thus, generate fresh positive karma too, to keep levels up. 

m). Lastly, it all depends on the internet connection you have, and how much you remain connected as you move. Spend well here, have access to more than sufficient data allocation and speed, both on your computer and on your mobile. An adequate internet connection with ample data-allocation is the lifeline of being in the Cloud. 

YEAH, use your Cloud well and optimally. Fine-tune your Cloud-effectivity. Keep in good shape. Be Cloud-proud! 🙂

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IUCS – Investing Under Controlled Stress

Let’s assume there are funds waiting to be invested. 

In what form do you keep them?

Free?

Bound?

What?

Investors have the luxury of time. Traders don’t. 

I’m really telling you, an investor’s funds need not be kept in free form. 

Traders need to pounce, not investors. 

If you don’t need to pounce, don’t keep your funds in free form. 

Keep them bound. Semi-bound. Let’s call it stressed. Keep them stressed. Stress that is under your control. 

What are we talking about?

Also, why are we talking about whatever we are talking about?

Free funds are open to whims and fancies. 

Whose? 

Yours. Your bankers’. Anyone’s, who has an eye on the funds. 

Plush with free funds, you take liberties. Your defences are down. You are liable to make mistakes, perhaps big ones. 

Bound funds, on the other hand, are subject to activation barriers before release. 

You think twice before releasing them, or perhaps thrice, if the locking is tight. You win precious time. During the extra time, you can well scrap an investment with a faulty premise, or you can discover hidden agendas or angles which cause you not to follow through. You get saved because of controlled stress. 

Furthermore, bound funds don’t reflect on your banker’s system as funds waiting to be invested. He or she won’t bother you or incite you to make a mistake. You’ve knocked him or her out of the equation. Bravo!

Controlled stress can be of different degrees. When funds are irreversibly locked-in, then we cannot talk of control anymore. Anything below that is under our control with varying levels of effectivity. The stronger the (reversible) lock-in, the harder you’ll think about the new investment, because the activation barrier for making funds free again to invest is large. 

Let’s not get too carried away. We can just make simple fixed deposits. These are completely within our control. You can break them with a letter to the bank manager. The activation barrier to free them is relatively small. However, you do think twice before freeing them. The’ve disappeared from your banker’s horizon. They’ve also disappeared from any online fraudster’s horizon, who was perhaps looking to clean you out. 

Also, actually, you don’t really need to break these fixed deposits to get into a new investment, since breaking goes with a small interest-penalty. If you’ve got fresh funds coming in at a later date, but wish to invest now, you can borrow against a fixed deposit. This will again make you stop and think, because borrowing comes with a cost, i.e. interest. You will only get into the fresh investment if you really, really have to / want to. You will discard any half-baked investment idea. It’s still worth it, despite the interest. You might find this a bit crazy, bit I like to do it like this. For me, the biggest win here is that I am not breaking a former structure. Add to this the extra safety. Plus the extra thinking-time to ward-off bad investments. Add everything up, and you might also think that the borrowing cost is peanuts when compared to the benefits. Don’t forget, since you’ve got fresh funds coming in soon, you’ll soon be releasing the fixed deposits you are borrowing against from their overdraft mode. This is a meta-game strategy. 

Yeah, keep investible funds in fixed deposits. It is really as simple as that. 

The best things in life are really very simple. 

Complication and sophistication are facades used by humans to hide their mediocrity.

A successful person does not need to hide his or her simplicity. 

Simplicity is one of the biggest precursors to mega-success. 

You Might Think I’m Crazy

you might think i’m crazy

to hang around with you

maybe you think i’m lucky

to have something to do

you might think it’s foolish

or maybe it’s untrue

you might think i’m crazy

but all i want is you

The Cars

Some years ago, we went to see “Cars 2” with my daughter and her cousins. Yawn, I thought. Animation movie, blah blah blah, but anything for the kids, when suddenly, above song started playing and took me back to school. How appropriate, a song by the Cars in a movie called Cars. Actually ended up enjoying the movie.

Anyways, something about the lyrics caught my attention.

What do you read in this space?

Words, words, words.

No graphs. No images. No math. No numbers, really. 

And this blog is supposed to be what? A commentary on applied finance?

So am I crazy?

Maybe, …

… but, this is exactly how I want to do it. 

No hocus-pocus. 

Here, we break it down to the bare minimum. 

Words. 

We talk. 

It’s all very light. 

You read through in a jiff. 

There’s a powerful flow which you might not even be aware of. 

And, as the lyrics say, all I want is you.

Yes, I want your attention, and I want to keep it riveted. 

How am I to achieve that in an age of very short attention spans?

We keep it simple. Bare minimum stuff, wrapped in enjoyable words. Stories. Analogies. Parallels. Bridges. As seemingly non-finance as possible, but still not missing the point.

Sure, I still could be crazy.

What do I hope to achieve?

So much time involved.

All this for free.

Yeah, I really must be delirious.

Stop. 

It’s deep. 

I enjoy writing. 

It relaxes me. 

My thoughts get organized. Concepts get strengthened. I focus. Many mistakes in my approach get nullified. I don’t want more from this. 

Also, it’s my giveback. I use a lot of free stuff from the net. I give this for free. It’s all a give and take. 

So, just bear with me. 

Read if you want to, it’ll make me happy. 

It is definitely a different way to learn about finance, with all the jugglery left out. 

Well, why not?



 

 

Understanding and Assimilating the Fear-Greed Paradox

Holy moly, what are we talking about?

Let’s say you’ve done your homework.

You’ve identified your long-term stock.

Fundamentals are in place. Management is investor-friendly. No serious debt issues. Earnings are good.

Valuation is not right.

You wait.

How long?

Till the price is right.

What happens if that doesn’t happen.

You don’t pull the trigger. It’s difficult, but you just don’t pull.

Let’s say the price is becoming right.

You are looking for an extra margin of safety.

You are waiting to pounce. How long?

What’s your indicator?

Your gut?

Many things have been said about the gut.

It does feel fear.

Look for that fear.

Scrip is near a very low support, but holding. You are afraid that this last support might break and that the scrip might go into free-fall. Look for that fear. There goes your buying opportunity, you are probably saying. Intraday, support is broken. You are now sure it’s gone. Look for that feeling. Intraday, scrip comes back. Closes over support. Large volume. This chronology is your buy signal. You pick up a large chunk. Scrip doesn’t look back.

You don’t have to go through this rigmarole. You don’t have to bottom-pick. This exercise is for those who want that extra margin of safety.

Now invert the situation.

You’re sitting on a multibagger.

Lately, you’re not agreeing with the company’s business plans. You want out. Best time for you to exit would be now, sure. But, scrip is in no resistance zone, and is going up and up and up. What do you do?

Look for greed within yourself, when you start saying “Wow, this is going to be the next 100-bagger!” Look for the moment during this phenomenal rise when you’re getting attached to the scrip and don’t want to get rid of it, despite having concluded that you don’t agree with the vision of the promoters. Look for the time you start going “My Precious!”

Sell.

This chronology is your intrinsic sell signal.

Sure, radical.

I agree.

Sure, I’m combining trading techniques to fine-tune my investing.

I’ve stood on the shoulders of giants.

I’ve seen from their heights.

It’s time I start contributing.

Are There amy WMDs in the Markets?

What’s a weapon of mass destruction in the markets?

Well, practically anything that the masses don’t know much about, and are being handed on a platter in a repackaged form, to savour. 

Sure, I’m using one of Warren Buffett’s analogies here. Loosely requoted, Buffett once warned, that futures and options were weapons of mass destruction (in the hands of those masses, who didn’t know much about them, but still used them). 

Yeah, I will stand upon the shoulders of giants if required. 

As long as I quote them, I’m good. 

The view from their shoulders let’s one think from a height. That’s an ideal situation for fresh thinking. 

Supposing something new comes up. That would be a contribution from my side. And why would it have happened? Because I took the liberty to stand upon the shoulders of giants. 

Bottomline is, that everything can be classified as a WMD if one is handling it and doesn’t know much about it. 

Equity is a WMD for newbies. For someone who spends many hours a day for many years, delving into Equity, the scene can be quite different. 

Rome wan’t built in a day. 

You don’t become a PhD in a day. 

You can’t master Equity in a day. 

Or anything else, for that matter. 

Do your homework. 

Put in the hours and the years. 

Burn the oil. 

Take what you do seriously. Not casually. If you’re casual about any professional line, drop it now, or start pursuing it seriously. 

Why do you want to give something the power to become a weapon of destruction?

You don’t. Period. 

The Market Aha Moment

What is an Aha moment?

Any ideas?

Simple. It’s when you go “Aha, so that’s what it’s like!”

Or “Aha, so that’s what it’s supposed to be!”

You’ve understood something big. Finally. You see light. That’s an Aha moment. 

The human being likes to be happy. 

Professional happiness adds to our well-being. 

To be professionally happy, you need to be doing something during which you forget about time. 

What is this something for you?

Wait for your Aha moment. 

Let’s assume you’ve decided upon a profession in the markets. The next question is… which market?

Which market draws you out fully? Which market consumes you? In which market do you perform the best? In which market are you happy?

Why isn’t your Aha moment coming here too?

Well, Aha moments aren’t for free. You have to struggle for them. 

Start trying out different markets. 

See what gives you a kick.

See where you have a natural flair.

See what lingers.

Discard what you can’t stand.

Hit and try.

Try everything if you must.

Eventually, something will speak to you.

You’ll want to be in one particular market, perhaps two.  

It’ll be your calling. 

Aha. 

I’ll tell you how it went with me. 

I started with Equity. 

Fluked a few. Made some money. Bet bigger. Thought I was good. Won some more. Bet really big. Lost huge. Thought to myself – no more Equity. 

Then came Gold and Silver. Did ok. Found it boring. No more Gold and silver. 

Tried Private equity. Did ok. Boring. 

Arbitrage. Boring. But, an avenue for parking.  

Real estate. Corrupt.

Commodities…didn’t get a kick. The delivery option always loomed over my head. What if I forgot to square off?

Stock futures. Got hammered. No more. 

Foreign stocks. Time difference killed my evenings. Out. 

Foreign mutual funds. Expense ratios were sky-high. Slugged it out for a while, but then finished it off. Lost. 

Structures – broke even, then won a bit. Got bored. 

Debentures. Only do short term ones, to park funds. No kicks. Debt is boring by default.

Mutual funds. Yeah, well, did my fair bit of them. Did excite me, since they were connected to Equity. As of now, there’s just light MF activity. 

Stock options. Lost a bit, but didn’t actually get hammered. Gave me a bit of a kick. Well, it was Equity related, so no wonder. Started interfering with my second Equity stint. I let options go. 

Second Equity stint. Did ok…ok…ok…lost a bit, won a bit, was enjoying it, when suddenly…came Forex. 

Forex…whoaahh…I loved it. Swept me away. Technology, charting, skill-set, I wanted to be here. Aha. Huge leverage, though. Risk. This had to be my second game, not my first. Yeah, safety first, always. Alright, what would be my first game? Yeah, what would be my bulk game? 

Equity of course. I understood it and enjoyed it. I’d done ok. Had leant lessons. Knew how to handle it. Infrastructure was in place. Aha. Nailed it in the third attempt.

So and thus, I found my games upon my Aha moments. That’s where I am. Don’t plan to do anything else.

When’s your Aha moment coming?

Work towards it. 

Whose Game Are You Playing?

Are you playing your game?

No?

Why not?

Why do you play someone else’s game?

Do you think that’s going to make you happy?

Just for the record, working for someone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re playing that someone’s game. You’re walking a common path with someone. Could be your boss. Spouse. Parent. Sibling. Whosoever. You could still be playing your game.

Life’s a game too.

A game doesn’t mean you have to rule over someone, or something. Wherever there’s a lesson to be learnt, a game is on. When we talk about your life-lessons, we talk about your game.

If I’m not mistaken, life is about learning. For some of us. There are souls who come to spend surplus Karma. Once this is exhausted, their game changes by default, since the lessons start again.

We come face to face with people and situations… to learn. The same people and / or situations keep reappearing till some learning is fully learnt. They can appear in an overbearing role, but you’re still playing your game. You’re learning your lesson. Or not. These people and / or situations cause you to behave as per a groove which has encompassed your life. The lesson is to learn how to break out of the groove. If you’re learning the lesson, you’re playing your game. If not, you’re playing someone else’s.

Play the market. Play your game with the market. Someone else’s successful market game might lure you. It won’t give you lasting succes. Why?

Someone else’s successful market game caters to someone else’s psychology. In crux situations, you will falter in that game. You will lose it all. That someone will succeed. He or she has spent years devising a game which caters fully and totally to his or her psychology and risk profile. Not to yours. He or she cannot know as much about your own psychology and risk profile as you do. Therefore, devise your own market-play. Then, play it.

It takes years or perhaps a decade to discover and understand your behaviour, psychology and reactions to varied market situations. Be there. In the market. Make small mistakes. Learn your lessons. Understand your grooves. Devise a comprehensive strategy around this.
That’s your game.

What are you waiting for?

Play it.

🙂