One up on the Screenshot

It keeps getting better!

There came the selfie.

Then the screenshot asked it to move over.

Now it’s the all-powerful clipping.

Yeah, clippings are taking it away.

They’ve even told the protectionists to go take a walk.

Apps are incorporating clippers.

So are browsers, as plug-ins.

What’s so special about the clipping?

In a nutshell, the clipping leads to tailor-storage of your web-experience.

Wow.

What, someone programmed in a screenshot-prohibitor?

No biggie.

Your clipper will still clip and store the entire protected page, clip by clip if it has to. Then you can just upload all the clippings to one central storage point, like Dropbox, Google Drive, or better still – Evernote. Yeah, for example in Evernote, the clippings will read as one seamless webpage.

Now that is powerful.

Feeling lazy?

There are n different ways to clip web-content. Just button-click your choice, Mr. Couch Potato.

Let’s say you want 60% of the webpage.

Yeah, there’s a lot of useless stuff you want to get rid of. Sure.

Go clip by clip. Got it together? Fine. Upload to central.

What exactly are we achieving here?

With the ability to clip and archive, your web-experience will be properly stored, waiting for your recall button-clicks.

Very soon, we’ll discuss the idea of tailor-storage further. Yeah, tagging. I’m sure you’re already doing it and know all about it. Nevertheless, we’ll discuss it.

🙂

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What is an Antifragile approach to Equity?

Taleb’s term “antifragile” is here to stay.

If my understanding is correct, an asset class that shows more upside than downside upon the onset of shock in this age of shocks – is termed as antifragile.

So what’s going to happen to us Equity people?

Is Equity a fragile asset class?

Let’s turn above question upon its head.

What about our approach?

Yes, our approach can make Equity antifragile for us.

We don’t need to pack our bags and switch to another asset class.

We just approach Equity in an antifragile fashion. Period.

Well, aren’t we already? Margin of safety and all that.

Sure. We’ll just refine what we’ve already got, add a bit of stuff, and come out with the antifragile strategy.

So, quality.

Management.

Applicability to the times.

Scalability.

Value.

Fundamentals.

Blah blah blah.

You’ve done all your research.

You’ve found a plum stock.

You’re getting margin of safety.

Lovely.

What’s missing?

Entry.

Right.

You don’t enter with a bang.

You enter at various times, again and again, in small quanta.

What are these times?

You enter in the aftermath of shocks.

There will be many shocks.

This is the age of shocks.

You enter when the stock is at its antifragile-most. For that time period. It is showing maximal upside. Minimal downside. Fundamentals are plum. Shock’s beaten it down. You enter, slightly. Put yourself in a position to enter many, many times, over many years, upon shock after shock. This automatically means that entry quantum is small. This also means you’re doing an SIP where the S stands for your own system (with the I being for investment and the P for plan).

Now let’s fine-fine-tune.

Don’t put more than 0.5% of your networth into any one stock, ever. Adjust this figure for yourself. Then adjust entry quantum for yourself.

Don’t enter into more than 20-30 stocks. Again, adjust to comfort level.

Remain doable.

If you’re full up, and something comes along which you need to enter at all costs, discard a stock you’re liking the least.

Have your focus-diversified portfolio (FDP) going on the side, apart from Equity.

Congratulations, you just made Equity antifragile for yourself.

🙂

Still Looking for those Two Minutes of Freedom?

Why?

Meaning why haven’t you found them already?

It was just two minutes, right?

What was so difficult about that?

Perhaps you didn’t understand the task?

Ok.

Fine.

This is what we’re now going to try and look for.

Two minutes in the whole day. Where we feel absolutely free.

No shackles, no bondage, no worries, no tension.

Just sheer freedom.

Complete freedom.

We’re going to find them.

We could be doing an activity while we experience them.

Or, we could be doing nothing.

Depends on person to person.

Sleeping is a different matter. It doesn’t count for our exercise.

I’ve already shared with you where I find my freedom.

Right here.

I feel free when I write.

You need to find yours.

Now.

Why are we doing this exercise?

There’s something about freedom.

As you’re feeling it, it’s also freeing up stuff inside you and around you. Quality of life goes up several notches. You’ve got to experience it. Words won’t suffice.

So go for it.

What’re you waiting for?

🙂

Learning to live with (temporary) imperfection

Perfectionist?

You?

Brace up.

Something small goes amiss.

You still have to get your act together.

If you have lots going under your umbrella, well, then even more so, exponentially.

Life’s about permutations and combinations.

Something or the other goes astray, almost always.

Make sure you don’t.

Go astray, that is.

Yeah.

Explain to yourself.

Hold your act together.

The other stuff under your umbrella hasn’t gone astray.

Only the one thing has.

That’s not a bad score.

Move on.

Times change.

You will get a chance to set it right.

Such is time.

Meaning, take care of your other stuff.

Well.

Take care of it well.

When the time arrives, set your astray business right.

Now you’re good.

See?

Didn’t hurt, did it?

You held your other stuff together.

You set your astray stuff right.

All came out perfect.

What more could you want?

It paid to keep your cool.

You didn’t blow it.

Worry could have blown it.

Your other stuff could have suffered.

However you were stronger.

You had learnt to live with imperfection…

… because you had also learnt…

… that time is the great equalizer…

… and that you’d get the opportunity to make it perfect again…

which you did, while you kept your world balanced…!

Well done!

🙂

Order, Order! Have you Ordered?

Back in good old college days, Professor Weyrich used to teach us about entropy.

He taught us so well, that we’ll never forget what entropy is.

He began by taking away the hype. He knocked the wind out of the “monster” in our minds. We were able to learn once and for all what entropy is.

“Entropy is a stink-normal measurable quantity”. These were the learned professor’s catalytic words.

What does it measure?

Disorder.

Aha!

Million dollar word.

Aren’t we so in the middle of it?

It causes us to stall. Daily. Hourly.

It grows. Engulfs us. Disarray.

If we do nothing, yes.

What if we do something?

Will it still grow?

Not if we counter it.

How do we counter it?

By creating order.

Remember these three words. Someday, they’ll make you invincible.

How do you utilize your spare time? What about your normal time?

In fact, spend the whole day creating order. Systems. Pathways. Inroads. Efficient shortcuts. Approachable strategies. You get the gist.

Why?

Why not?

Who doesn’t want a smooth life?

What makes it smooth?

Order.

One needs to make that order exist first.

Relevance?

Order is the backbone of any financial strategy. It counters market disorder and tries to translate this into profits.

Let go of all laziness.

Start creating order.

If nothing else, do it for your families, for your children.

Go for it.

🙂

Focused Diversification : Mantra for all Times

I’m more into focus.

One can focus on one thing at a time.

Agreed.

What if after that one thing starts running, it doesn’t require any more focus?

Wow.

Then I focus on another thing.

Get it running.

Then another.

Till my focus window is full.

Let me tell you about my focus window.

I focus on cash, debt, equity, forex, gold, real-estate, arbitrage, and options.

With that, my professional focus in finance is full full full.

I get something running.

That’s it.

Then I don’t need to be with it. Mostly.

Let me run you through.

1). Cash – Bind it in a worry-free and accessible manner. Done.

2). Debt – Study the underlying very thoroughly. Reject 10 underlyings. Take up the 11th which passes all criteria. Be happy with a slightly better than FD-return. Done.

3). Equity – Invest for life. Study till you drop the stock or take it up. Only invest in what meets all criteria and offers margin of safety at time of investing. On top of that – SIP (systematic investment plan). Done.

4). Forex – Get a software robot to trade it for you. Or some human-capital. All available online. Requires a bit of fine-tuning. Keep tuning till you start making a return. Done.

5). Gold – Buy physical gold. Research your source. Needs to be impeccable. Bullion. Coins. SIP. Accessible. No jewellery. Done.

6). Real-estate – Make your real-estate yield you an income. Regular income? Done.

7). Arbitrage – Understand what this is, and why it gives you a tax benefit. Get an online MF account going with Kotak MF or DWS. Divert some funds into their arbitrage MF, either or. I prefer Kotak. Monthly dividend payout option. Done.

8). Options – Get the option-strategy going. You don’t require a desktop. Mobile is sufficient. All you now need to do is take care of square-off. On mobile. This means a slightly higher level of engagement than the above avenues. Only slightly. Are you ok with that? Fine. Done.

In a flow, it’s all doable.

And, you remain focused.

Why all this?

Times demand it. You never know what might come in handy, and when.

Yeah, times are tough.

However, you are tougher.

To use Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s terminology, you are antifragile.

Let it come, then we’ll see…

Looking around for an opportunity?

Or letting one come?

Does it matter?

Is there a difference?

You bet!

When you’re looking around, you could be in a hurry. You want to get it over and done with.

Big mistake.

You are vulnerable.

Entry price will be expensive.

Your adversary feels your anxiety and jacks up entry level.

Quality? What quality? You’re in a hurry, right?

Don’t be.

Hurry spoils the curry.

Let the investment come to you.

It will.

Brokers are restless. They want to sell. They’ll knock at your doorstep once they know your funds situation. And, believe me, they won’t ask you about your funds situation. They’ll ask your banker. In fact, your banker could well be on retainer. He’ll make sure that high quality info ups his retainer fee. That’s how it works today. Don’t believe me? How come so many people have your cell number? Did you give it to them? No? Information is a commodity. It can be bought for a price.

So, wait.

Block your surplus funds as fixed deposits.

Get an overdraft going for one fixed deposit.

Delve into your normal activities.

Now you’re sitting pretty.

An opportunity comes.

It’s cr*p. Broker’s hoping you’ll bite into the nonsense being sold.

You tell the broker to buzz off. Lack of hurry gives you the clarity required to act like this.

Something lucrative comes along. Price is right. You overdraft on your FD. Yeah, it’s ok to pay the price for quality with margin of safety.

You can always fill in the overdrafted amount as new funds accumulate. The nominal interest paid for ODing is called opportunity fees. It’s chicken-feed. Just forget about it.

The best investments in life are worth waiting for.