Are you Positioned?

What’s our biggest enemy in the markets?

This one’s invariably…

…our Self.

Cut to ’07.

Fancy hotel banquet room, snacks and drinks, chief investment officer of JP Morgan is talking…

…and we’re listening.

My friend and I…

…sitting on profits…

…feeling smug about ourselves…

…young guns…

…ready to conquer the world…

…nothing can stop us now.

Or can it?

“There will always be a correction…”. These words catch my ear.

I raise my hand.

“Yes? The gentleman with the lime-green tie has a question?”

I stand up, and before I know it, I ask the deadly question.

“Don’t you think there’s been a paradigm-shift with regard to India, and that India has decoupled from the rest of the world?”

“How old are you, Sir?”

“37”.

This was ’07, remember?

“I’m going to excuse your question, because you’re young, and have probably experienced the markets for…?”

“3 years”.

“Exactly. That’s why I’ll only answer your question with a smile.”

How controlled.

“You see, globalization is a reality, and decoupling is a myth”.

Myth, really?

“It’s fancy phrases like “paradigm-shift” that catch the inexperienced investor’s imagination, leading to huge market mistakes”.

In these few sentences, my entire comprehension of markets was blown up and thrown out the window.

And that would have been a good thing…

…had I listened.

Such is the arrogance of “youth”, that “youth” doesn’t listen.

Soon, the ’08 crash happened.

I lost big time.

Was humbled.

Took me a long time to get back and stabilize.

I remember my stomach churning and my unwillingness to meet people as markets crashed to lower and lower levels.

I almost couldn’t take it.

We are our worst enemies.

What’s it going to be this market high?

We’ve learnt, and are positioned.

However, there will be newbies (like we were) who are going to go through this chain of events.

What buzz-words or phrases will catch their imagination?

BitCoin?

Liquidity?

Vaccine?

Quantitative Easing?

FIIs?

Pending rally in small-caps?

There’s a new cocktail doing the rounds this time around.

This cocktail will ensnare.

Even the topmost analysts are beginning to feel that a correction could take some time coming.

Some weeks ago, most felt that a correction could happen anytime now.

Player psychology is set for the cocktail to do its work.

Then one needs a pinprick.

In ’08 this was perhaps Lehman on the world scale and the Reliance Power IPO in India.

What’s it going to be this time?

It doesn’t matter.

Remember? There will always be a correction.

Are you positioned?

Positioned

By now…

…, we are positioned.

The persistence of high price-levels…

…has led us to take appropriate action.

One after another, we are washing our market mistakes clean.

What remains, is cost-free-ness, in high-quality holdings.

We’ve then also helped our relatives and friends attain the same state of market-being.

MFs?

Now cost-free

ULIPs?

Gotten them to money-market.

Debt market holdings?

No more debt market for a while.

Bond-yields are rising.

There’ve been blow-ups. Boys @ FT and Nippon take a bow.

Parking where?

Fixed deposits.

Why?

Not in it for returns.

Just to park, safely.

We’re sticklers for parking safely.

Loss of interest will be made up within days of opportunity, into which funds then flow, and then some.

One can now say…

,…safely…

,…that we’re positioned.

What happens from this point onwards?

How many days has the main sensory index spent at PEs of 35+ within the last 5000 days?

Yeah, right?

Small-cap rally still due?

That’s what everyone feels, right?

That’s the point.

Leave the masses hanging onto something they’re expecting.

If it doesn’t happen, they’re what?

Left hanging. Devil takes the hind-most.

Please do your math, and please position yourself too, appropriately.

What if markets go on rising?

Sure, that’s a possibility, perhaps for a while.

Simple rule.

No level, no entry.

We know how to sit.

On our holdings, and then…

…on our cost-free-ness.

Now, capital will only move…

…upon opportunity.

And the pipe-line’s ample, our positioning has seen to that.

Come something like March ’20, and we’ll blast the flow of our pipeline.

Oh, another thing.

Notice the speed of moves, nowadays?

It’s fast, isn’t it?

As in markets are efficient, till they’re not, and then they’re efficient again, and then they’re not, back and forth, to and fro, all very fast.

Meaning what?

Meaning, that there will be ample opportunities, more sooner than later, and that till there are inefficiencies on the down-side,…

…we sit tight…

…to maximize the impact of our positioning.