Shutting Down the Manipulator

Markets…

…manipulate. 

That’s their very nature.

Are we in the game to be manipulated?

What’s your answer?

Mine is no.

It’s a pretty emphatic no. 

I’ve backed my no with action. 

How do I stop the markets from manipulating me?

The answer if found in one’s trajectory of action.

Is there anything in one’s market actions that can be easily second-guessed by the market?

For example, is one acting upon plain vanilla technicals?

Is one acting upon news? Results? Announcements? 

Let’s not base our action upon anything the market is doing or telling us to do. 

Period. 

It’s as simple as that. 

With that, we’ve already shut out all avenues for manipulation.

Where does that leave you?

What to do now? 

You must be asking this. 

Well, build your own system. 

Let it expand and explore. 

Let it gain complexity. 

Let it boil the complexity down to simplicity. 

Let your actions be based upon your unique bridges. 

Yes, build your bridges.

Make your own market landmarks.

When you act, nobody knows that you are acting.

If nobody even knows that you are implementing an action, well, then nobody can know what that action is, or how it is implemented.

You’re done already. 

Enjoy your non-manipulable existence. 

I wish for you that it is lucrative!

🙂

Wealth-Generators often go Contrarian

You knew that too, right? 

Sure. 

Going contrarian is a buzz-phrase. 

We hear it again and again…

… till we begin to start thinking… 

… that we know what it means. 

Well, try going contrarian. 

Yeah, try actually doing it. 

You’ll see what I mean. 

It’s real hard. 

Going against the crowd takes all the strength you might have… 

… and then some. 

Most humans aren’t able to go contrarian. 

Most humans aren’t wealthy. 

When there’s blood on the streets, there’s no telling how much more there will be. 

Under such conditions, the contrarian investor lets go of his or her hard-earned money into an investment, knowing perfectly well that the Street might even value the investment tomorrow at a huge discount to today’s price.

That’s ok too, says he or she.

Why?

Because homework’s been done.

Underlying is strong.

Debt-free.

Management is stellar.

Balance-sheet is robust.

Projections are paramount.

That the world is pricing the investment wrongly is a problem with its vision.

Underlying is not going under. With above credentials, this alone matters.

Times change. Vision of the majority changes. Investor makes a killing. Cashes out some, principal and what have you. Leaves lots of free-standing shares… forever… or till parameters change.

Wealth-generators repeat this behaviour-pattern many times in their lives.

They’re not afraid of going against the grain.

They know otherwise.

Also, the money they use has been freed up.

Its being out of action for a long time is not going to change their lives even a bit.

They will have the last laugh.

Wealth is the reward of going contrarian. 

MP vs MoS : the lowdown on Trade-Entry

Margin of Safety (MoS)… 

… hmmm… 

… wasn’t that in investing? 

Well – surprise – it’s in trading too. 

You can enter a trade with MoS. 

How? 

Ok.

ID the trend. 

Wait for a minor reversal.

Let the reversal continue towards a pivot, or a support or a what have you. 

During this reversal, whenever you feel that you have considerable MoS, well – enter. 

Why shouldn’t you wait for the pivot to get touched? 

Things happen real fast at a pivot. Upon a pivot-touch, you can lose your comfort-zone even within minutes. 

Two vital things can happen at a pivot. 

Either there’s a quick bounce-back, or the pivot gets broken. 

Bounce-back means your trade is now in the money, and that you can go about managing your trade as per your trade-management rules. Wonderful. 

Pivot-break is not a worry for you. 

Why? 

Because you’ve placed your stop slightly below pivot, after the noise. 

Upon pivot-break, you get stopped out. You take the small hit and move on to your next trade. 

Eventually, things heat up. 

There is movement. 

Tops get taken out. 

Fast money can be made. 

How do you enter here? (Needless to say, for shorts, everything is to be understood reversed). 

Momentum play (MP)… 

… is the weapon of choice. 

You set up a trigger entry after a top or a resistance or a what have you, and wait for price to pierce, and for your entry to get triggered. Then you place your stop, below top or resistance or what have you. 

MP vs MoS is a matter of style. 

If you’re not comfortable changing your trading style to adapt to times, that’s fine too. Stick to one style.

If you’re conservative, stick to MoS. 

In a frenzy, however, MoS might almost never happen. 

In a frenzy, entry will be triggered exclusively through MP.

Take your pick. Adapt. Do both. Or don’t. Do one.

You call the shots. 

This is about you.

Did you invite the f-word?

The next trade… 
… yeah… 
… take it. 
What? 
Can’t? 
Why?  
Afraid of what might happen. 
That’s the whole thing. 
You see a setup – you trade the setup.
When you see a setup, there are no more what-ifs, supposings or anything. Then, it’s just you and the trade. Take the trade. 
No room for f-(ear). It’s the new f-word.  
How do you drive fear out of the equation? 
Risk a miniscule fraction of your networth per trade. 
Don’t make trading your bread and butter. Make it your bonus. 
Don’t allow anyone else’s negativity to creep in. Don’t talk to people. Trade on your own. No room for tips. 
Don’t listen to your broker. Tell him what to do.
Don’t trade under compulsion. 
Enjoy your trading. 
Once in the trade, lose the mini-bias that got you in. Now, just manage the trade. 
Stop hit? You’re out. 
Run? 
Raise stop. 
Running? 
Keep raising stop. 
Losing some of your notional profits? Market throws you out?
Good. That’s a proper exit. 
See, fear wasn’t allowed to the party. 
Look for next setup. 
Position-size your entry. 
Take the next trade. 
And so on and so forth. 
Not upto trading?
Ok. Don’t trade. Till you’re up to it.
 
Demons out of the way? 
 
Up to trading again? 
 
See the next setup?
 
Take it.

Does your Exit hurt you?

Good. 

Good? 

Yeah. Good. 

A proper exit – hurts. 

Huh? 

What about exiting on a high? 

Sure. 

Go ahead. 

Exit on your high.

Who’s stopping you? 

However… 

… who’s to say that the high won’t become higher? 

Exactly. 

No one knows. 

So, while the uncertainty about the high becoming higher is still out there – smarty – why are we going to not let it play out? 

Exactly. 

We are going to let it play out. 

Purpose? 

A new high might be posted. We then make more profit. 

Or, trade starts going against us, and we start to lose some of what we’ve gained. 

Hurt starts. 

When you can’t stand this hurt anymore – exit. 

That’s a proper exit. 

It’s leaving a bad taste in your mouth in the end. That’s when you know it’s a proper exit. 

You’ve stomped out the possibility of a new high. 

You’ve taken what the trade has to give. 

You’ve let the hurt set in. 

You’ve let the trade arrive at its logical conclusion. 

Now, you are exiting. 

Congratulations, you are exiting properly. 

Continue like this and you’ll become a great trader. 

What, have I let the cat out of the bag? 

Don’t worry, one can say it a million times and 99% of all traders will still continue to exit improperly. 

It’s human nature. 

Human nature works against the mindset of a winning trader.

Winning Marketplay, Anyone?

Two words. 

Psychology.

Strategy. 

That’s it. 

Prediction?

No. 

Prediction is not pivotal here. 

We’re getting psychology and strategy right. 

We want winning marketplay, right?

Prediction is for losing marketplay. Prediction might be wrong. That’s when strategy and psychology save you from big loss. A big loss can wipe you out. Thus, dependence upon sheer prediction brings a wipe-out into play. That’s why, prediction is almost always relegated to the bottom rank when one talks about winning marketplay.

We’ll travel with a hint of prediction, though. Just a hint. Doesn’t suffice for losing yet. 

For entry purposes. Only.

Even this hint of prediction is bias-giving, though. Once we enter, we need to quickly lose the bias. Yeah, once we enter, we only react to what we see. 

Our system has an edge. It helps us choose market direction. After that, psychology and strategy take over. 

Meaning, after we’ve entered, there’s no more prediction in play. 

So what’s in play then?

The raw trade. 

And you.

At this point, all your mental strength comes into play. 

Oh, and your strategy. 

You do have a strategy, right?

As in, if x happens, they y, and if a happens then b.

You need a stoploss too.

You don’t have to show it. It can be mental, provided you don’t fool yourself into not using it when the time comes.

You won’t execute your stop. 

Sure. 

Again and again. 

Till you teach yourself how to. 

Till you lose big. And are still left standing. To want to enter again. 

Learning to take a small hit, again and again and again – that’s winning marketplay. Requires huge psychological strength. You acquire this. You don’t have to be born with it. 

Now comes another punchline. 

That profit-sapling just emerging…see it? You will not nip it in the bud. 

You’ll still do it. 

And again. 

You’ll nip it in the bud. 

Again and again. 

Till you teach yourself not to. 

It’s not easy. 

95%+ of all market players continue to nip profits in the bud all their lives. 

To allow the sapling to grow into a tree is the most difficult of all market lessons. Learning to let profits run is winning market play. 

To want more profits, you have to risk some of your current profits. 

No more risk, no more gain. 

You want to quickly exit and post that 22% gain on your Excel sheet. Sure. Why can’t you let it grow into an 82% gain? God alone knows. That’s how the cookie crumbles. You nip the opportunity to make that 82%. 

What’s with 82?

Just a random number. 

Am trying to get a point across. There’s a run happening. In a direction. It’s crossing +22%. Fast. Momentum could see it to +102%, to then backtrack and settle at +82%. It’s a probable scenario. 

Anyways, there are some smarties that risk 12 of the 22% and stay in the trade. Soon the 22 can even go beyond 82. Lets say it does. What do you do?

Nip?

No. 

Not yet. 

You let it travel. Momentum is to be allowed free leeway, till it halts. Let’s say it halts at 102. You say to yourself that the winds might change if 102 goes back to 82, and tell your broker to exit if 82 is hit intraday.

That and that alone is the proper way to exit a winning trade. You exit it with the taste of loss. You let the market throw you out. For all you know, the market might be in the mood for 152. You want to give the trade that chance. Thus, a momentum target exit while the move is still on would be less lucrative for you in the long run, or so I think. 

Why?

Statistics are defined by big wins. These matter. Big-time. Allow them to happen. Again and again and again. 

Now add position-sizing into your strategy. The ideology of position-sizing has been discovered and fantastically developed by Dr. Van Tharp. 

In a nutshell, position-sizing means that an increasing trading corpus due to winning should result in an increasing level risked. Also, correspondingly, a decreasing trading corpus due to losing should result in a decreasing level risked.

With position-sizing added to your arsenal, no one will be able to hinder your progress.

Psychological strength that comes from experiencing first-hand and digesting learning from varied market scenarios, coupled with a stoploss/profitrun position-sizing strategy – that’s a winning combination.

Wishing you happy and lucrative trading!

🙂 

Inflammation Anyone? 

Inflammation… 

… needs a reason to be… 

… and a reason to go. 

Let’s talk about the most common inflammation afflicting mankind. 

Sugar induced obesity. 

Human body recognizes Glucose and metabolizes it. 

However, the same human body treats isolated Fructose as poison. 

HFCS, short for high fructose corn syrup, is therefore full of poison. 

HFCS is much cheaper than table sugar. 

HFCS is used in big volumes by the food industry. It’s replacing normal sugar. Everywhere. It’s sheer… poison. And it’s cheap. Very cheap. 

It’s in cola, it’s in ketchup, it’s in almost all processed foods.

What happens to it in the body? 

Well, what happens to poison?

It goes straight to the liver. This wonderful and magnanimous organ tries to break it down. 

One big side-effect of the breakdown mechanism is the triggering of inflammatory enzymes. Body cells then start to swell up to protect themselves from poison. To and fro is impaired. They don’t want poison coming in. Unfortunately, good stuff, like insulin that throws out excess sugar, is also not allowed to enter.  Mankind is poisoning itself to obesity. 

Cut out the HFCS. 

Exercise to shake out inflammatory mechanism. 

See how your inflammation vanishes. 

Now let’s talk about the most common financial ailment afflicting mankind. 

Debt. 

We are in debt. 

We take more debt. 

We surround ourselves with useless paraphernalia, to ward off reality. 

Inflammation, again, disguised, but inflammation. 

Ultimately,  the mountain of due interest buries us under it. It chokes off our air-supply, just as obese cells produce “bad” lipids that deposit as mountains of plaque in our arteries, and choke off our blood supply. 

Let’s nip the problem in the bud. 

Like no HFCS – no debt. 

Craving for sugar? Fine. Control. To a point. Still craving. Fine. Have. But have normal sugar, along with fibre. Don’t have anything that contains HFCS. Shake off the relatively minor inflammation caused by normal sugar with exercise. You’re good. 

Longing to spend money? Control. To a point. Still longing to possess that something? Fine. Save. Consolidate. Accumulate cashflow. Only use debt when upcoming cashflow nullifies it in very foreseeable future. You’ve gotten your something, and you’re either debt-free already, or are going to be debt-free very soon. 

You’re good. 

🙂 

Looper

I know, that Bruce Willis sci-fi movie… 

… is also called Looper. 

Know any other Loopers? 

There’s one in your body. 

In hardware terms, it’s your brain. 

In software terms, it’s your mind. 

Its ability to loop can become a tendency. 

Any problems with that? 

Sure. 

Big ones. 

Imagine a trade. 

Goes wrong. 

You’re drained. 

You get out. 

Loss.

Done? 

No. 

At this point, don’t let your mind loop. 

It will, if you allow it the leeway. 

If it loops, you’ve lost the energy value of two trades or more (fatigue) while losing one trade. 

Don’t delve on the loss. 

Move on in search of your next winning trade. 

Define conditions that stop your mind from looping. 

For example, when entry value is small enough to not be bothered about, its partial or even full loss might not be enough to cause your mind to loop. 

And that’s the position you want to be in. 

No looping.

No overthinking. 

Just trading. 

🙂

From Strength to Strength 

Baby steps… 

… into freedom. 

What kind of freedom are we talking about? 

Universal freedom? 

If you insist, smarty, but first things first.

Financial freedom. 

That’s the kind of freedom that sparks off every other kind of freedom. 

Our first and foremost goal is to achieve financial freedom. 

What is the one big nemesis of financial freedom? 

Debt. 

Tear off debt. 

Detest it with every cell of your body. 

If it comes towards you, move in the other direction.

Don’t allow it’s tentacles to engulf and then strangle you. 

You do all that by nipping it in the bud. 

A new world order in being defined. 

The debt-free… 

… and the in-debt-ones. 

Where do you wish to belong?

The former category calls the shots. 

That’s where you belong. 

Your every move… 

… takes you from strength to strength… 

… towards debt-free-ness. 

Full financial freedom is a short walk from there. 

Story doesn’t stop there, sure, your strength-momentum sees to that.

However, it’s the first debt-free million that’s always the hardest-fought, and the most-fondly remembered.  

Nath on Equity – almost there

Market being down 61). should not pinch you. If such condition does pinch you, you might react accordingly, and do something painful. 

You make market-downs not pinch you by being 62). miniscually committed at any given time. 

Also, 63). you continue committing your miniscule quanta during market downs. 

That’s because 64). you’ve made sure you have lots more to commit, by defining such an approach for yourself. 

You are 65). happy that the market is down, because it is giving you an opportunity to enter. 

You 66). switch off market TV. You don’t wanna know from them, because they themselves don’t know what works for you. 

All 67). useless emails and smses are put on block. 

That’s because 68). information overload is your nemesis. 

You 69). learn from everything you experience. 

However, you 70). don’t follow any market-person. 

That’s because 71). you are unique. Only you can benefit yourself, ultimately. 

You are going to 72). teach yourself to become a strong hand

Thus, you will 73). not get affected by the behaviour of weak hands, ie. the masses.

Instead, you will teach yourself to 74). take advantage of the behaviour of weak hands. 

Market players 75). commit the same blunders again, and again and again. 

That’s because 76). every few years, a whole new batch of market players starts behaving unreasonably. 

This proves to us 77). that the only real learning comes first hand from market-play, to you and you alone, and only from your market-play.

This also pretty darn well insinuates that 78). theoretical learning from books or universities has zilch value in the markets.

You’re lucky 79). if the market knocks you around during your first seven years of market-play, when the kitty is small. 

That’s because 80). exactly that learning from 79). is going to earn you big as the kitty increases during your meat-years of market-play. 

Nath on Equity – Yardsticks, Measures and Rules

Peeps, these are my rules, measures and yardsticks. 

They might or might not work for you. 

If they do, it makes me happy, and please do feel free to use them. 

Ok, here goes. 

I like to do my homework well. 1). DUE DILIGENCE. 

I like to write out my rationale for entry. 2). DIARY entry.

I do not enter if I don’t see 3). VALUE.

I like to see 4). MOAT also. 

I don’t commit in one shot. 5). Staggered entry.

I can afford to 6). average down, because my fundamentals are clear. 

My 7). defined entry quantum unit per shot is minuscule compared to networth. 

I only enter 8). one underlying on a day, max. If a second underlying awaits entry, it will not be entered into on the same day something else has been purchased. 

I’ve left 9). reentry options open to unlimited. 

I enter for 10). ten years plus. 

Funds committed are classified as 11). lockable for ten years plus. 

For reentry, 12). stock must give me a reason to rebuy. 

If the reason is good enough, I don’t mind 13). averaging up. 

Exits are 14). overshadowed by lack of repurchase. 

I love 15). honest managements. 

I detest 16). debt. 

I like 17). free cashflow. 

My margin of safety 18). allows me to sit. 

I pray for 19). patience for a pick to turn into a multibagger.

I keep my long-term portfolio 20). well cordoned off from bias, discussion, opinion, or review by any other person. 

There’s more, but it’ll come another day. 

🙂

When Push Comes to Shove 

Genetically… 

… we’re savers. 

Indians. 

Save. 

That’s a good thing. 

Since the ’00s though, our banks have started pushing loans as if there’s no tomorrow.

The motto seems to be : we don’t care who you are, just borrow. If we know who you are, here, borrow some more

That is dangerous policy. 

It sets the stage for a push comes to shove scenario. Savings are being lent further, and they might not come back. 

What counts when push comes to shove? 

Deposits in the bank? No. Gone. 

Real Estate? No. No buyers. No renters. Illiquid stuff just won’t move. 

Equities? No. Dumps. Good entry levels though. No resale value for a while. 

Bonds? Perhaps. Short duration ones, provided underlying doesn’t go under. 

Gold? Yes. Big. 

Trading? Yes. Options, forex, commodities, what have you. 

Cash? Yes. Provided there’s no hyperinflation. Use it for day to day life. Use surplus to acquire great bargains. 

Farmland? Yes. You’re then sorted as far as food and water are concerned. 

Use your imagination. 

Prepare for a push and shove scenario. 

It probably won’t happen. 

However, you’re prepared, just in case. 

Making Friends with Poison

You’re thinking cruise control… 

… when life asks you to step in. 

What just happened? 

Is cruise control a myth? 

Life in the ’10s is about variables. 

Balance arrives, to become imbalance. 

Body-chemistry. 

Most of us are far away from equilibrium because of our inner and outer environments. 

We exist for the longest time in a poisonous state of pseudo-equilibrium.

It’s become a game of how well we cope with such state.  

What’s the fine line here? 

Shying away is not an option. 

To achieve, one delves deep into the world. 

One becomes habituated to body-chemistry being regularly out of whack. 

One makes friends with one’s poisonous state of non-equilibrium. 

One achieves. 

Simultaneously, one keeps killing accumulated toxins, or pumping them out. One doesn’t let them overflow. 

Exercise. Metabolizes toxins at a fast pace. 

Anti-oxidants. Straight-away attack and break-up cancer cells. 

Water. Dissolves water-soluble toxins and flushes them out. 

Smoothies. Micronutrients. 

Fruits. Micronutrients. 

Veggies. Micronutrients.

Sleep. Recuperation.

Meditation. Recuperation. 

Chanting. Recuperation. 

Family. Rejuvenation. 

Harmony. Rejuvenation. 

Recreation. Rejuvenation. 

Etcetera. 

Do what you’ve come to do. 

Make sure you do this stuff too. 

Cheers! 

🙂 

Monotony

Plan in motion? 

Let it play. 

Sure, monotonous. 

Monotony bores you, right? 

Boring monotony yielding acceptable results is a good outcome. Don’t spoil its party. 

Divert your attention. 

Try a stunt. 

Risk a little. 

Maybe one out of your ten stunts works out. 

Develop this one further. 

Still working. 

Scale it up slowly. 

Working. 

Auto-pilot. 

Monotony. 

Results still good. 

Stop looking. 

Let it play. 

Look elsewhere. 

Do something new with yourself. 

Soon, it’ll be time to go. 

Meanwhile, build a legacy to leave behind, in your memory, one that benefits many. 

The Thing with Focus

Depth. 

Confidence. 

Proper entry. 

Decent exit, if required. 

Understanding. 

Lack of panic. 

Overall picture. 

These are some of the things that focus is capable of giving. 

Swagger? 

One-basket attitude. 

Over-depth. 

Narrow-mindedness. 

Loss of overall picture due to over-chewing one subject. 

Robotic mindset leading to freeze. 

Yeah, these too. Within the capabilities of focus. 

We want the former qualities. 

We’re discarding the latter ones. If they come knocking at our doorstep, we’re shooing them away. 

We spoke about diversified focus. 

Whatever we do in life, let’s do it well. 

We’ll have our many baskets. Why should we take the risk of having just one basket? 

And, into our many baskets, we’ll delve deep-deep-deep. 

Period. 

Sheer Moat Investing is not Antifragile 

There we go again. 

That word. 

It’s not going to leave us. 

Nicholas Nassim Taleb has coined together what is possibly the market-word of the century. 

Antifragile. 

We’re equity-people. 

We want to remain so. 

We don’t wish to desert equity just because it is a fragile asset-class by itself. 

No. 

We wish to make our equity-foray as antifragile as possible. 

First-up, we need to understand, that when panic sets in, everything falls. 

The fearful weak hand doesn’t differentiate between a gem and a donkey-stock. He or she just sells and sells alike. 

Second-up, we need to comprehend that this is the age of shocks. There will be shocks. Shock after shock after shock. Such are the times. Please acknowledge this, and digest it. 

To make our equity-play antifragile, we’ll need to incorporate solid strategies to account for above two facts. 

We love moats, right? 

No problem. 

We’ll keep our moats. 

Just wait for moat-stocks to show value. Then, we’ll pick them up. 

We go in during the aftermath of a shock. Otherwise, we don’t. 

We go in with small quanta. Time after time after time. 

Voila. 

We’re  already sufficiently antifragile. 

No magic. 

Just sheer common sense. 

We’re still buying quality stocks. 

We’re buying them when they’re not fragile, or lesser fragile. 

We’re going in each time with minute quanta such that the absence of these quanta (after they’ve gone in) doesn’t alter our financial lives. We’re saving the rest of our pickled corpus for the next shock, after which the gem-stock will be yet lesser fragile. 

Yes, we’re averaging down, only because we’re dealing with gems. We’ll never average down with donkey-stocks. We might trade these, averaging up. We won’t be investing in them. 

Thus, we asymptotically approach antifragility in a gem-stock. 

Over time, after many cycles, the antifragile bottom-level of the gem-stock should be moving significantly upwards. 

Gem-stock upon gem-stock upon gem-stock. 

We’re done already. 

The Thing with Sugar and Dairy

It’s common knowledge now. 

Cancer cells love sugar and dairy. 

In fact, they love them so much, that they grow ten (?) times faster in their presence. 

Just act as if the question mark isn’t there. 

I’ve put it there because I’m not sure whether the number should be eleven, or nine, or what have you. 

However, the numbers are deadly. 

Shocker, right?

Spent my childhood gobbling sugar and gulping dairy. Didn’t know any better. 

Now, only dairy going in (hopefully) is the good dairy. Yoghurt. 

Only sugar in diet is the good sugar. Honey. 

At least, that’s the goal. 

What makes these two “good”?

There’s something bio in them. 

Yoghurt’s got bacteria. They’re the good bacteria. They cleanse one’s system. Cancer cells don’t like them, because probiotic bacteria probably break them down. 

Honey’s got the saliva of bees, containing vital enzymes. These catalyse various biochemical and metabolic processes. Cancer cells don’t like them either. They like the sweetness of honey, but not these enzymes. So, honey’s a tad less dangerous.

The bio-portion saves the day. It’s for a good cause. It’s purpose is friendly, and positive. 

Cut to equity. 

Where does one look for terminal disease?

In balance-sheets and annual reports. 

Debt. 

Promoter ego.

Fraud. Scam. Manipulation. 

Creative accounting.

These are some of the things that can cause terminal disease. 

All of them might exist, at some level, in any given balance-sheet and / or annual report. 

What we need to gauge in our minds are the levels. 

Is any level alarming enough to cause terminal disease, or for that matter just disease?

Bearable debt leading to growth is even a good thing. It’s like a tonic. Unbearable debt leads to terminal disease. We need to stay away from a stock with unbearable debt on its balance-sheet.

Nothing functions without ego. I am. Therefore I do. However, an overbearing and overambitious ego leads to disastrous decisions that can cause terminal disease. We need to stay away from companies whose promoters have overbearing, self-promoting and overambitious egos. Such promoters don’t even realize when they’re functioning in self-destruct mode. Am not going to take any names here, but you get the gist. 

Frauds, scams and manipulations come under the category of “sheer disease that’s already terminal or just one step away from going terminal”. Upon finding them, needless to say, avoid the stock.  

Accounting. Sure, everyone’s busy getting creative here. We need to separate positive accounting from its negative counterpart. 

Accounting that leads to fund-availability at the time of need and results in value-creation for the shareholder is to be welcomed. This kind of accounting does not cause terminal disease. It creates a detour that strengthens the company overall in the long run. 

Such accounting whose sole purpose is to deceive the shareholder and benefit the promoter is a very big red flag. This kind of accounting leads to terminal disease.

While zeroing in on a quality stock, you’re simultaneously ensuring longevity-enhancing conditions. 

In the process, you’re automatically ensuring that your portfolio accumulates one gem after another. 

Wishing for you happy and successful investing. 

🙂

Looking for a Deal-Breaker

I look. 

Don’t find it. 

Look again. 

And again. 

Keep looking. 

Tired. 

Eyes ache. 

Sleepy. 

Stop. 

Resume next morning. 

Still nothing. 

So on and so forth. 

Few days. 

Absolutely nothing. 

Buy the stock.

Yes. 

That’s the chronology. 

After zeroing in on a stock…

…that’s the chronology. 

Am I happy the search was unsuccessful?

You bet!

Am I spent?

Yawn…yes. 

Was it worth it?

Of course. I now own a quality stock. 

What’s happened before?

Stockscreener. 

Stock pops up. One that appeals to me. 

Check it for value. 

Pass.

Check it for moat.

Pass. 

Look for deal-breaker. 

Yeah, final step. 

Takes the longest. 

It’s boiled down to a yes or no. 

One’s going to holding the stock for a long, long time. 

This is when one is asking every cell in one’s body. 

Yes or no?

No deal-breaker?

Fine. 

Going for it. 

It’s a yes. 

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.

🙂

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!

🙂