What are your Millions Worth?

Sure, today they’re worth…

…millions.

Nobody’s taking that away from you.

However, tomorrow is a different story.

What will be the shape of your wealth in the far future?

In what form will it be stored?

Identify that now.

Why?

Because you can start pickling away in that form, little by little, right away.

Moving a chunk in one shot is tricky.

You don’t do it unless you’re absolutely sure.

You don’t bet the farm – on anything – period.

You need to move things quantum by quantum, over decades perhaps.

Final destination needs to tally with your risk-profile.

If it doesn’t, you’ll end up being jumpy and uncomfortable, and you’ll make a mistake.

When it’s about your life-savings, there’s no margin for error.

Why has one taken such a large chunk of time into the equation?

You see, when time is expanded long enough, difficult problems becomes easy to solve, because one ends up actually taking time (read pressure) out of the equation. Time is quasi infinite, so one doesn’t worry about it anymore. One has TIME to think things over and decide at leisure.

Also, over the course of a large chunk of time, you might realize that your risk-profile has changed, and that you are not comfortable with the final destination anymore.

That’s fine.

Change the final destination.

You define the rules, remember.

The bottom-line is that in whatever shape and form your wealth is stored in the end, that shape and form needs to address everything you wish that wealth to do and be.

There’s a lot of thinking that needs to go into this.

Do that thinking now.

It pays to be financially literate.

Nobody really teaches you financial literacy in school or college. Bookish knowledge is not financial literacy. Field knowledge is.

You’ve got two options.

Get financially literate on your own by playing the field, making mistakes, and learning, or…

…find someone who is already financially literate, and learn from him or her, from his or her mistakes.

Whatever you do…

…do it now…

…to ensure that your wealth not only remains intact…

…but also continues to grow.

It Boils Down to Good Governance 

India’s at the Olympics and all. 

We’ve had near misses. 

Sure. 

Athletes qualified fair and square. 

Not a word against India’s squad. 

They’re really trying very hard. One of our gymnasts has even risked her life by vaulting a successful Produnova. Rio-presence is achievement-based, not nepotism-based. It’s tough. It’s incorruptibly monitored. Footfall is highest ever. Indians have made the international cut in many events, like never before. Finishes are all decent. A few finishes are very, very decent, missing the podium by decimals. Our athletes deserve some podium finishes. 

However, what are 80 Indian officials doing in Rio, accompanying a squad of 119? Only a few of these 80 are allowed arena access. The rest are what? Long live the exchequer? We build up the exchequer by paying our taxes. We’d like to see its contents used judiciously. 

Let’s cast a glance at how our officials are conducting themselves at Rio. Actually, we’ll leave it at the official warning they’ve just received to behave themselves. SHAME SHAME. 

Is this good governance? 

NO. 

Do our officials deserve a podium finish?  

No. 

We’ll have to spend where it counts, on facilities, proper diets and trained physios. We’ll have to save on useless paraphernalia. Red-tape be damned. We’ll have to embrace good governance. We do want podium finishes, don’t we?

One looks up to one’s peers. If they’re corrupt, out of shape and / or out of whack, even the best athlete suffers a psychological downer. Our officials will need to trim down and get their acts together. All of them will need to behave like exemplary ambassadors of the country. They will need to give their wards that psychological boost. Coaches will themselves need to be in shape, to set good examples. Podium finishes will then be around the corner. 

Cut to stock-selection. 

The biggest and first thing to look for is good governance. 

Just cut all the nonsense out of the way, first up, because where you find good governance, you won’t find nonsense. 

It all boils down to good governance. 

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. 

Pioneering One o One

Sure, who am I to write about this?

Valid question.

However, I don’t really care.

I’ve got something to say.

And I’m saying it.

If you’re still wondering about the validity, well, I’m treading two paths where the textbooks say only so much. After the textbooks have signed off, I’m pretty much left groping in the dark. Whether or not I come up with something big, that time will tell. Meanwhile, here are some comments from along the path.

It’s lonely.

I walk alone.

I listen to no one.

That’s the price of it all.

That’s ok.

I don’t mind walking alone.

Challenge of the path keeps me awake, alert and alive.

There are chances I’ll die out in oblivion, without having found anything significant.

That’s also the big risk of pioneering.

Without taking this risk, I won’t be able to tread the path.

Yeah, it’s fine.

This is the extra mile.

It will cause one to stretch extra.

Some feel life’s boring without such a challenge.

At times one gets disheartened.

Strategies don’t pan out.

Systems fail.

Map isn’t being charted.

One is getting nowhere.

This happens many times.

At such times one wishes one were doing something else.

Yeah, only human.

Wanting to be super-human?

Why not?

Is it a crime?

At times one can forget one’s responsibilities.

Then it’s a crime.

Coming back to zero is required then.

Hubris.

Highly avoid.

Sure, you’ll eventually become great, a pioneer and all. Hubris will bring you down.

Remember Sir Isaac Newton investing twenty thousand pounds in a company at its peak, just before the company went bust…? He went around having a law passed that no one was allowed to utter the name of this company in his presence.

Grounded.

Stay grounded.

Works best.

That’ll keep you focused.

Go, Pioneer.

‘Sup Mr. Laptop

Yeah, where are you, Mr. Laptop?

Is this goodbye?

Singing your swan-song?

What’s happening?

You were heavy. 

Competition got lighter. 

You reduced. 

Did you reduce enough? Dunno. 

Along came apps. 

Most didn’t have a version for you. 

They did for your competition. 

People loved apps. 

One button-touch, and one was in the midst of everything. No hassles. You lacked that extra comfort. 

Along came the Cloud. 

Took away your storage-advantage. 

Along came tablets, smartphones, connectivity, and internet speed. 

Have these taken whatever remained?

Are you going to survive?

Where do you fit in?

The mouse, you say?

Technical work?

Complexities?

Proprietary software?

You’ve got a long list which you’ve prepared, I can see that. 

Okay. 

Stop. 

Put that list in your pocket. 

Close your eyes. 

Smell the coffee. 

What kind of a world do we live in?

Who succeeds?

What lives on?

Inclusion?

Or exclusion?

Inclusion. Decisively. Inclusive ventures scale mountains. Ventures that exclude, well, masses don’t care for them eventually. 

So, firsly, swallow all that proprietary talk. It’s not going to work. 

Then up, are you increasing convenience? Or, is your competition increasing it more? Vital question. It’s answer will decide who shall survive and become undisputed king.

Now comes the last question. 

It’s also a little heavy.

You might not like it. 

Nevertheless, here goes. 

Is there use for you anymore?

There. I said it. 

Hmmmm. 

In some areas, I guess, but we’ll again be going down the proprietary lane, which actually doesn’t cut it anymore. Not going down that lane. I think that might also answer your question. 

What remains?

Reinvention. 

Merge with your competition. 

Become a staunch part of the tablet, to save yourself from extinction. 

I think you’ve already started gong down that road. Yeah, only way out. And it’s a good one. It is highly successful. The lightness, portability and convenience of a tablet, coupled with storage and keyboard-ability with only 10-15% size and weight increase. Sounds amazing. 

Go for it!

Steps are the New Currency

Walking walking walking…

… steps.

We’re logging them.

We’re thinking more about them than dollars, pounds, euros or rupees.

How many steps’ve you done today?

And who’s we?

We’s a collective. People who’ve gotten financial basics sorted, but perhaps not health basics. However these people have realized that. Smart.

Why smart?

Simple.

To enjoy one’s financial basics, one’s health basics need to be in place.

Place health before wealth, and you enjoy your wealth.

No health, but wealth, well, then you don’t enjoy your wealth.

We’re also in it for quality of life, right?

Therefore, yeah, treat steps as a very valid currency that gives you the ticket to enjoy other physical currencies and their benefits.

Logged 10k for the day yet? Or 15k?

Yeah? Super.

No? Why not? What are you waiting for? Step up, buddy!

Shooting Straight, Shooting Right – Finding One’s Structures.

What are the right shots?

Who calls them?

Who doesn’t call them?

How many wrong shots? Before a right shot?

Why this discussion?

Yeah, I ask a lot of questions. I’ve become oblivious to the pain connected to the world finding out my exact level of silliness.

Yeah, I don’t keep my silliness under wraps. I’M NOT EMBARRASSED ABOUT MY SILLINESS. If you are, about yours, you are doing something grossly… WRONG. You are going to have huge problems finding what works for you. Reason – you’re not getting it out of your system – oh it’s so embarrassing, oh it looks so silly, oh it’s awkward…well stay where you are then, NOBODY is sorry for you. 

I’m silly, them a little more, then maximum, till I’m not silly anymore, for a while. That’s when right shots happen.

What are we talking about?

Life is about taking pot-shots at something or the other. Yeah, ultimately, it boils down to that. You take a shot – at something. If you don’t, you are just left twiddling your thumbs, and life passes you by. 

Once, me and my brother were fighting. We were kids. My grandfather heard the commotion, and stopped us. He just had one thing to say – and he said so much with that one sentence. He said that 100 years – they just pass you by in a flash. So stop fighting. Try and enjoy your togetherness. Whoaahhhh!!!

We’re not going to let life pass us by just like that. We’re going to first call the right shots, and then take them. 

Right shots don’t just happen. 

Before something fits, many things don’t. 

You just have to keep on taking shots. 

Forget about disappointment, embarrassment, awkwardness, silliness, what have you. 

Keep on taking…shots. 

On and on. 

Something will fit. 

Wait for it. 

It feels right. 

Build up on it. Copiously. 

You’ve been groping in the dark, and have found something that works for you. Don’t let it go. Build on it. Till you can’t anymore. Let the structure stand. Let the structure be there for you, forever. 

Then, look for your next structure.

Making Sense of Losing Battles

Winning gets boring after a while.

Unbelievable, but true.

However, losing continues to pinch, time after time.

That’s the key difference between winning and losing.

Life’s bipolar game is skewed more towards the pinch of continuous loss than towards the continued pleasure of winning.

Get used to losing… but, lose small.

Win big. Don’t nip a small win in the bud and thus stop it from becoming a big win.

Sometimes, you identify losing battles.

These are areas where you’re just not able to win.

What do you do with a losing battle?

Walk away. One option. Weigh the odds. If your walking away impacts no one, and simultaneously betters your existence, yeah, this is a very valid option. For example, one walks away from a losing trade.

Fight. Second option. You’re not beyond your stop, whether in a trade or in life. You fight, to save the battle, and perhaps to win.

Learn. Third option. You’re not able to get away from the losing battle, because your exit impacts something or someone. You hang on. No choice. Your pain teaches you big things. You learn. Sometimes, such a big losing battle suddenly turns into a glorious win. That’s because all the lessons from the scenario have been learnt. Enjoy, you deserve it.

Devolution. Not an option. Don’t allow your losing battle to devolve you into a demon.

Incorporation. Very valid option. Incorporate the learnt lessons from your losing battles into winning strategies for other battles in life.

Cheers.

It’s Boiling Down to Getting Your Basics Right Smartie

Yeah, everything else is following.

We’re in flow. 

World moves. 

Decisions are taken as a matter of course. 

It’s the build-up where stuff happens. 

You’re nailing the build-up dear. 

Million dollar question – how?

It’s all about systems. 

Systems, systems, systems. 

Get your systems in place. 

Be cumulative.

Also, seamless. 

Minimum overheads. Low-maintenance. 

And, don’t stop flowing. 

No, this is not very vague. It’s all happening. I describe it as it happens. Words used are for lack of better ones. These words describe the situation more than adequately. Don’t want more from them. 

You’re in circulation. You can last. Very soon, something will stick. Your systems will start flashing. They’ll alert you to the next action zone. Engage where they’re telling you. It’s as simple as that. 

Don’t ignore the flash of your systems once it happens. Ignoring would be the opposite of flowing. Don’t stop flowing. 

You’re seamless, so you can expound upon something, anytime, anyplace. Good show. You can decide anytime, anyplace, whether you’re going with something. Need of the hour. 

You’re cumulative. Next time you tackle the same situation, you have that much more hit-power, because the learning from the past encounter is at your fingertips (because you’re seamless, remember). 

What’s gone into your systems?

Hit and trial. 

Chopping off loser ideas. Letting winning ideas grow. Models. Winning models. You’re full of them. Something will start flashing, sometime, someplace. Follow it. 

That’s how you flow, man. 

The rest, as they say, will be History. 

All I Need – Is One Look In Your Eyes…

All I need is the rhythm divine
Lost in the music
Your heart will be mine
All I need is to look in your eyes
Viva la musica
Say you’ll be mine


With due respect to Enrique Iglesias, to whom the above lyrics belong, he’s not the only one. 

We all need motivation. 

Many of us are self-motivated. 

What drives us from within?

A goal.

Sometimes, we stolper. Our drive takes a hit. Self-motivation dips. 

Reasons could be many. Sheer exhaustion, repeated failure, being a square box in a round hole for far too long, what have you and blah blah blah. 

We’re not bothered about the reason here. We’re bothered about the fact. Sometimes, we get demotivated. We stop performing. 

Who needs to step in here?

Our closest ones.

Yeah, they live closest to us, and if they possess an iota of sensitivity, well, they should sense our emotional graph going down. 

Mostly, they do. And, upon recognition, they step in. We feel wanted, loved, and our motivational levels start to go up again. 

Sometimes, our closest one is not sensitive enough, for whatever reason.

Maybe we’re too “strong” to let it show. Maybe our closest one has other, bigger issues to deal with. Whatever. That’s not the important rumination.

What’s the important question here?

Yes, how do we get it back? Without a hand to hold. This one’s big. 

No hand to hold – whoahh – it’s tough. 

Is there a way out?

Do we change our closest one?

Is it that simple?

Sometimes, children are in the equation. Changing isn’t an option we’re discussing here. 

Firstly, we need to shut down on this one want from our closest one. 

Ok, now what?

Motivations’s got to come – from within. It’s a funny thing. It just does. Wait for it. To come from within. 

It needs a catalyst – an event – a trigger – the crossing of an activation barrier – something like that. 

Wait for the catalyst to occur and have effect. 

What do you do meanwhile?

Other things. 

Chant. Meditate. Travel. Play with your child. Take up a temporary assignment elsewhere. Do stuff. Life’s big. So many things are happening. Do something – else.

The catalyst occurs. 

Motivation starts to ooze. 

You’re back in business. 

You didn’t break your sacred environment. 

Maybe your closest one will realise, and will be sensitive next time.

On the other hand, maybe he or she won’t. 

Does it bother you now? You’ve discovered a way out after all.

It probably pinches just a bit. 

Let it. Things could have been much, much worse, which they’re not, so count your blessings, and just let it flow. 

🙂

Finding Structure Within

You are you. He is he. She is she. I am I. It is it. 

Even if the above is the only thing that you carry home from this space, you’re done already. 

Move on then, with your life, because you’ve understood something big. 

If not, do please read on. 

You are not I. I am not you. He is not she. She is not he. That’s it. 

Here’s the next biggie.

Those who come into funds need to know how to manage them. Period. 

Do what you want. Run umpteen miles. Put up a million facades. Muster up all the drama you’re capable of. After that you’ll come to this conclusion …

 … that nobody else is more capable of managing your funds than you yourself. 

Why?

Because you are you. You know yourself best. A third party is firstly (realistically) not bothered about knowing you, and secondly is only capable of seeping into a minuscule portion of you, if he or she makes the effort. Forget about third parties. 

So you realize you need to manage your own funds, what then?

Jump into the water.

While your corpus is small, make mistakes. Learn from them. That’s college. Tuition fees.

Recognize your strengths. Play to them. Pulverize your weaknesses after identifying them.

Then come the structures, from within. These are your structures. They’ll come from inside of you. 

There’s you, and there’s the battle-field. The two are face to face. It’s a do or die situation. You go into reflex-action mode. Your systems start to function at full capacity. That’s when structures emerge.

Yeah, structures need an activation barrier to emerge. 

There’s a protective structure. It’s your protective structure. It guides you to build your moat. It protects your family. 

Then there’s your post-protection bulk-game structure. It guides you towards building up your innings without the worries of basic bread and butter. 

Lastly, there’s your multiplication structure. It chalks out high-reward-high-risk strategies, tweaks them towards maximum possible safety, and tells you where to put that minute percentage of your corpus with the intent of achieving extra-ordinary gains. 

Allow such structures to emerge. Embrace them. Innovate. Improvise. Achieve. Educate.

Go for the jugular. 

Who are You?

Who am I?

Do I know?

Am I trying to know?

Is this an important question for me?

What’s my path?

Where am I on this path?

What are my basic goals in life?

What are my weaknesses?

What am I doing to make these my strengths?

What motivates me to perform?

Does my environment enhance my performance?

Or does it hamper me?

If it does, what am I doing about it?

Am I tweaking my environment?

Yeah, am I manipulative enough?

Am I content with the hampering?

Why should I be content with the hampering?

Because it makes me grow, as in evolve?

Maybe.

Who are you?

What are your defining questions?

How do you unravel?

Ultimately, what is your risk profile?

Who are you… sure… very valid question.

Why?

It’s the basic precursor question with regard to another important question.

Who are you as far as finance is concerned?

In the field of finance, you need to know your risk-profile, and you need to have a defined meta-game-plan.

Defined as per who you are.

Uniquely, for yourself.

Bye 🙂

So… Where do Options Fit in?

I’m on the move.

I play the markets.

How do I combine these two facts?

Life didn’t give me a desk job.

It did give me an appetite for risk, though.

Another two facts to be combined…

I like doing new stuff.

I don’t like following old norms.

You got it, another two facts…

I like breathing easy.

I want to participate, though.

I don’t mind losing… small…

… as long as I can win big too…

… without risking too much…

… facts, facts, facts.

What’s the one common denominator?

Options.

What do options mean to me?

– an auto-stop that doesn’t need to be fed in daily.

– low risk market participation.

– freedom to be on the move.

– freedom to not look at the markets for many days in a row.

– implementation of new poker-like strategies with huge reward : risk ratios…

– … for which the price is time-component corrosion of the option premium.

– peace of mind.

– the satisfaction that markets don’t rule my day.

– a very challenging arena that pushes my faculties to the maximum.

– an avenue that teaches me about singular stocks, their nuances, how they move, basically their nervous system… this is invaluable knowledge, which no university is capable of teaching.

I could go on.

Explore your options.

Discover Options.

The Womb in which One’s A-Game is Born

Simple situations don’t challenge you, and if a human being doesn’t feel challenged, he or she doesn’t grow. 

What would you like your A-Game to be?

Simple? Bread-winning? No surprises in store? Straight-forward? 

Fine.

If you don’t wish to feel challenged by it, that is your right. What ? You want to enjoy your A-Game, though? And you want to keep enjoying it for life?

Let me tell you a secret. If you master something, it becomes boring after a while. Where’s the challenge? You probably won’t enjoy something like that for life…just an opinion.

It’s taken me ten years in finance to actually discover what my A-Game is.

I’ve had a choice all along, I won’t hide that from you.

I’ve chosen two market niche-segments. I find both intriguing. Both fully absorb me. I keep asking questions. My mind feels that it meets its match. I enjoy both segments. 

It doesn’t matter which segments I’m talking about. They are my A-Game, and that’s what counts for this discussion. How did I know this was my A-Game?

Over the last ten years, I’ve tried all market segments. Got knocked around, made mistakes. Lost money. Tuition fees. You can’t really study the markets in college. You really need to study the markets in the marketplace itself. Eventually, an area of specialisation will speak to you. It will exercise a magnetism which will envelope you. Wait for this moment before going all-in. Even after identifying your A-Game, play it small for a long time, and only scale up slowly, according to strict money-management rules. 

The womb in which your A-Game is born can be really complicated. You can be left feeling confused for years about what your calling is. Life does remain a bit boring till you get there. You feel that that something is missing in life. While playing your A-Game, that very feeling is gone. That’s how you know it’s your A-Game. 

If you have a choice, secure yourself and your family financially before your A-Game unfolds. That way, your A-Game won’t necessarily have to yield you money in the beginning. Eventually , it will do that also, and of this there is no doubt in my mind, since complete engrossment into something will make you excel at that something. Treat the money as a bonus as it starts to come along. Focus on the monetary angle alone, forced perhaps by necessity, can make you lose sight of the enjoyment angle, or it can make you choose the more monetarily lucrative but less enjoyable activity. It all depends on your life-situation at that moment. 

Actually, come to think of it, whatever one does in life can be approached from a commercial angle only, blocking the enjoyment angle out totally. If your bread and butter depends upon it, I fully understand your choice, but if you’re already financially secure, then … go for growth, challenge, enjoyment… and money will follow too.