Who Breathes Easier – The Investor or the Trader?

Sure…

…asset-light…

…going with the flow…

…can strike both ways…

…care-free almost…

…that’s the image that lures one to the trading world.

Especially when the investor’s world has turned upside down, the investor starts wishing that he or she were a trader instead.

Stop.

Get your investing basics right. Your world will not turn upside down once you invest small quanta into quality coupled with margin of safety, again and again and again.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the trader’s world.

No baggage?

Sure baggage.

Emotional baggage for starters.

Cash baggage.

This one will always be there.

The trader will always have one eye on the cash component.

It needs to be safe.

It is a cause of…

…tension.

Reason is, the safest of havens for this cash component, i.e. sovereign debt, is volatile enough to disturb those who are averse to volatility when it comes to one’s cash component.

So, not asset-light.

Cash component is also an asset. It’s not light.

Sure, go with the flow. Strike both ways.

Can one say that this is a recipe for making higher returns?

NO.

Investors strike in one direction.

Investors are perennial bulls.

At least they know where they are going.

Small entry quanta make market falls work in favour of investors, over many, many entries into an underlying, over the long-term.

Do the math. You’ll see.

When one is focused on one direction, i.e. upwards here, chances of capitalising on runs are higher. The trader’s mind is always bi-polar in this regard, and game-changing runs are missed out on, upon corrections larger than the concerned stop-loss.

Care-free?

Who’s watching the screen all day?

The trader.

The investor watches the screen only upon requirement. There are investors who don’t watch the screen at all.

Images are deceptive.

Don’t go by images.

Whatever one chooses, it should ignite one’s passion.

Nothing else counts.

Let’s say you’re an investor, and you feel that you’re missing something by not trading.

Fine. Fill the gap. Sort out the basic folio, and then dabble in trading with small amounts, that don’t throw you out of whack. Do it for the thrill, if nothing else. As long as one is clear that this is not one’s A-game, and expectations are not as high as they are from one’s A-game, one might even enjoy the ride.

Let’s say you are a trader and need an avenue to park.

Yes, Equity is a serious avenue for parking.

Use it.

With one caveat.

This is not a trade.

Trading rules don’t apply to parking.

In fact, trading rules are inverse to investing rules.

You’ll need to figure this one out before moving your bulk into Equity for parking.

The investor is able to take trading with small amounts casually, and use it as an avenue for amusement.

When the trader explores the avenue of Equity for parking, its serious business, and spells doom for the trader if basics of investing are not understood.

So, who breathes easier?

One would know this by now.

Are you Saying These are Small Losses, Mr. Nath?

No. 

Everything is taking a hit. 

Sure. 

Hit’s actually in the “Wealth” segment…

…and not as such in the “Income” segment.

Would you like to elaborate on this one, sounds pivotal?

Yes it is exactly that, pivotal. Because of this one fact, I’m talking to you with a straight face.

I see.

Auto-pilot income-creating avenues are still doing what they’re supposed to do, i.e. creating income. Nothing has changed there, yet.

You mean something could change there?

Sure, if companies start going bust, their bonds won’t create income. Instead, principal will take a hit. It’s not come to that yet, at least in India. You have an odd company going bust here and there now and then, but nothing major as of now. Income is intact, for now. If were done with CoVID in two months, this factor might not change. Let’s focus on this scenario. 

Right. 

Secondly, we’re highly liquid. We try and become as liquid as possible during good times, ideally aiming to be 80% in cash before a crisis appears. 

How do you know a crisis is going to appear?

This is the age of crises. A six sigma event has now become the norm. After Corona it will be something else. This has been going on from the time the stock market started. It’s nothing new. Come good times, we start liquidating all the stuff we don’t want. 

Don’t want?

Ya, one changes one’s mind about an underlying down the line. At this point, one shifts this underlying mentally into the “Don’t Want” category. Come good times, one makes the market exit oneself from this entity on a high.

Makes the market exit oneself?

Yes, through trigger-entry of sell order.

Why not just exit on limit?

Then you’ll just sell on the high of that particular day at best. However, through trigger-exit, your sell order will be triggered after a high has been made and the price starts to fall. It won’t be triggered if the underlying closes on a high. That way, if you’re closing on a high, you might get a good run the next day, and then you try the same strategy again, and again. In market frenzies, you might get a five to seven day run, bettering your exit by 15-20%, for example. Who wouldn’t like that?

You talk of market frenzies at a time like this, my dear Sir…

The market is like a rubber band. What were witnessing currently is the opposite pole of a market frenzy. Humans beings are bipolar. If they’re reacting like this, they sure as hell will react like the opposite pole when conditions reverse. Especially in India. We’re brimming with emotions. 

Which brings us back to the initial question…

Yes, these notional losses look huge. But, who’s translating them into actual losses? Not us. We’re busy enhancing our portfolios as multiples get more and more lucrative for purchase. That’s entirely where our focus is. We are numb to pain from the hit because our focus is so shifted. 

And there’s no worry?

With such high levels of liquidity, shift of focus, income tap on, dividend tap on – yeah, please don’t ignore the extra big incoming dividends, underlyings taking a hit currently are paying out stellar dividends, and these big amounts are entering our accounts, because we’ve bought such quality – – – we’re ok.

Stellar would be?

Many underlying have shared double digit dividend yields with their shareholders! That’s huge!

So no worries?

No! We’ll just keep doing what we’ve been doing, i.e. buying quality. We’ll keep getting extraordinary entries as the fall deepens. 

What if that takes a long-long time?

Well, the year is 2020. We’re all on speed-dial. 18 months in 2020 is like 15 years in 1929. Because we follow the small entry quantum strategy, our liquidity should hold out over such period, providing us entries through and through. 

And what if it’s a four digit bottom on the main benchmark, still no worries?

NO! Look at the STELLAR entry over there. A bluechip bought at that level of the benchmark can be held for life without worries. So yes, NO WORRIES.

Thanks Mr. Nath.

One more thing.

Yes, what’s that?

What’s my maximum downside in an underlying?

100%.

Correct. Now what’s my maximum upside in an underlying?

Ummm, don’t know exactly.

Unlimited. 

Unlimited?

Yes, unlimited. Entries at lucrative levels eventually translate into unreal multiples. Looking at things from this perspective, now, the size of these notional losses pales in comparison to potential return multiples. It’s a combination of psychology, fundamentals, mathematics and what have you. In comparison, these are still small losses. If we can’t take these swings in our side, we shouldn’t be in the markets in the first place, focusing our energies on avenues we’re good at instead.

Right, got it. 

Cheers, here’s wishing you safe and lucrative investing. 

🙂

Secret Ingredients in Times like Corona

Hi,

It’s been a while.

Unprecedented times call for every iota of resilience that’s inherent.

Whatever we’ve learnt in the markets is being tested to beyond all levels. 

If our learning is solid, we will emerge victorious.

If there are vital chinks in our armour, we will be broken. 

Such are the market forces that are prevailing. 

Have we learn’t to sit?

Meaning, over all these years, when over-valuation ruled the roost, did we sit?

Did we accumulate funds?

Did we create a sizeable liquid corpus?

If we did, we are kings in this scenario. 

One of the main characteristics of a small entry quantum strategy is that it renders us liquidity, almost through and through. 

If we are amply liquid in the times of mayhem, there is absent from our armour the debilitating chink of illiquidity.

Illiquidity at the wrong time makes one make drastic mistakes by succumbing to panic. 

We’re not succumbing to any panic. 

Why?

Because our minds are focused on the bargains available.

The bargains are so mouth-watering, that they are entirely taking away our focus from existing panic.

To twist our psychology into the correct trajectory in a time like Corona, the secret ingredient that’s required is called (ample) liquidity. This secret ingredient is a direct result of the small entry quantum strategy, which we follow. 

Then, let’s address the other potential chink, and just sheer do away with it. 

Having access to ample liquidity, are we now greedy?

What does greed mean?

It’s not greedy to buy when there’s blood on the street, no, it’s actually outright courageous. 

Greed Is defined here as per the quantum of buying. 

Are we buying disproportionately vis-à-vis our liquidity-size and our risk-profile?

Yes?

Greedy.

No?

Not greedy.

How will we know the answer without any doubt in our mind that we have the correct answer to this question, since it is vital to our learning curve to answer this question correctly?

The answer will make itself felt.

Are we able to sit optimally even if markets crash another double-digit percentage from here?

50% from here?

No? Greedy. We have bought in a manner that doesn’t gel with our risk-profile. Our liquidity is exhausting, and focus shifts from bargains to panic. Ensuing tension amidst further fall will very probably cause us to commit a grave blunder, with this happening very probably at the bottom of the market. We are poised to lose in the markets like this. 

Yes? Not greedy. We have bought and continue to buy as per our risk-profile. We will win…

…in the markets.

The secret ingredient that locks in great prices and continues to do so as the market keeps falling, is called quantum-control as per the tolerance level of our risk-profile towards further fall. This secret ingredient ensures that liquidity outlasts a longish fall, keeping our focus on the bargains and not on the panic. This secret ingredient provides for the basic mechanism of our small entry quantum strategy.

 

Sitting – III

Mood-swings…

…happen all the time…

…in the markets.

If we don’t get used to dealing with them, we’re pretty much gone.

When pessimism rules, it’s quite common for one to develop negative thoughts about a holding. 

Research – stands. 

There’s nothing really wrong with the stock. 

However, sentiment is king. 

When sentiment is down, not many underlyings withstand downward pressure.

Eventually, you start feeling otherwise about your stock that is just not performing, as it was supposed to, according to its stellar fundamentals. 

If your conviction is strong enough, this feeling will pass. 

Eventually, pessimism will be replaced by optimism. 

Upwards pressure…

…results in upticks. 

Finally, you say, the market is discovering what your research promised.

You feel vindicated, and your outlook about the stock changes, in the event that negativity had set in.

You’ve not ended up dumping this particular stock.

If your conviction had not been strong enough, you would have gotten swayed. 

Market-forces are very strong. 

They can sweep the rug from under one’s feet, and one can be left reeling. 

In such circumstances, solid due-diligence and solid experience are your pillars of strength, and they allow you footing to hold on to. 

However, if your research isn’t solid enough, you will start doubting it and yourself, soon (and if you’re not experienced enough, make the mistake, learn from it, it’s ok, because your mistake is going to be a small mistake just now, and you’ll never repeat it, which is better than making the same mistake on a larger scale at the peak of your career, right?! We are talking about the mistake of doing shoddy due-diligence and getting into a stock without the confidence needed to traverse downward pressure).

With that, your strategy has failed, because it is not allowing you to sit comfortably. 

Please remember, that the biggest money is made if first one has created circumstances which allow one to sit comfortably. 

Basic income. 

Emergency fund.

Excess liquidity.

Small entry quantum.

Rock solid research work, encompassing fundamentals and technicals both. 

Margin of safety.

Patience for good entries.

Exit strategy. Whichever one suits you. It should be in place, at least in your mind. 

Etc.

Fill in your blanks. 

Make yourself comfy enough to sit and allow compounding to work. 

Weed out what stops you from sitting, and finish it off forever, meaning that don’t go down that road ever again.

Very few know how to sit. 

Very few make good money in the markets.

Make sure that you do. 

Make sure that you learn to sit.

So, Who’s Buying?

Yeah, who’s buying?

Superinvestors? 

Sure. Tremendous pipeline, great bargains, of course they’re buying. 

Who else?

Market-makers.

They buy and sell for a living.

They make the market for us to trade in.

Let’s forget about them for this discussion.

Anyone else?

The syndicate?

What syndicate?

I mean, is there even a syndicate?

Let’s not go into conspiracy theories. 

Whether or not there is a syndicate should not affect us. 

Moving on…

…think of anyone else?

Mutual funds?

Sure.

Lots of SIPs going in, a few NFOs doing the rounds, yeah, MFs are biting.

Foreigners?

More like exiting.

Hedge funds?

Busy trading I guess, won’t count them as strong hands, they’ll book a profit and will be sellers, over the short to medium term. 

What about retail guys?

Retail investors are scared. 

They’re tired of bad news. 

They’re tired of the markets.

Most have run away. 

Most of those who haven’t, want to. 

Is any retailer buying?

Well, the small entry quantum guys are. 

Why?

Firstly, they’re liquid.

Their strategy leaves them liquid, … , like forever. 

Till when are they going to buy?

As long as quality is selling cheap, they’ll continue to buy.

Are they scared?

No.

Why?

Their strategy gives them the courage to work on full throttle at times just like these. 

Times like what?

You know, bad news galore, whatsapps, lay-offs, scams, everything under the sky that can take place – is taking place.

And you know, bring it on. Gloom, doom, kaboom, and quality will start selling even cheaper.

We are loading up on quality and will continue to do so as long as it is cheap.

We’re happy that there’s a buying opportunity.

🙂

Nadir Non-Focus

Scared to enter?

Things look gloomy?

Forever?

NO.

Look at History.

Markets are where they are despite what’s happened. 

Governments, scams, frauds, bribes, wars, disasters – the list is endless. 

In the end, we are still where we are.

Is that good news?

YES.

What does it mean?

Growth – reflects in the corresponding market – eventually. 

Sure – we might not be growing at 7%+.

We definitely are growing at 5%+, perhaps at 5.5%+.

In a few years, growth could well accelerate.

Why?

Earning hands are growing.

So are aspirations. 

The consumption story in India is alive and kicking. 

What we’re seeing currently is a result of eighteen months of bad news. 

Such a long spate of negative stuff churning out gets the morale down. 

People start letting go of their holdings in despair. 

Maybe there’s another eighteen months of negativity left – who knows. 

That’s not the right question.

Don’t worry yourself about the bottom and when and where it is going to come. 

Why?

Please answer something far more fundamental first.

If you don’t have the courage to go in at this level (with small quanta of course, we do follow the small entry quantum strategy)…

…do you really thing…

…that you will muster up…

…anything remotely resembling courage…

…at a number that is let’s say 20% below current levels?

Gotcha there?

Listening to Time

Market work…

…has some eccentricities.

One can’t work in the markets all the time.

That’s normal, right?

Well, yes and no. 

At a place of work, one should be able to work. 

Markets don’t always allow work.

So don’t other work places, sure. 

At other times, you don’t feel like doing market work. 

Aha. 

This happens multiple time a year. 

What do we do here?

We create an environment that incorporates this eventuality seamlessly. 

First up, why is this incorporation essential?

Let’s assume that we need to work in the markets all the time. 

When we don’t feel like, and we have to, well, then, we are likely to make mistakes. 

Read mistakes as losses. 

Mistakes in the market translate into losses. 

(Amongst other things), we are in the markets to …

… minimize losses. 

Therefore, when we don’t feel like doing market work …

… we just sheer don’t do it. 

So, back to square one, how do we incorporate this seamlessly?

By making market work our secondary source of income.

Our basic income needs to be sorted through our primary source. 

Now, we can shut off the markets at will without this affecting our basic income. Whether we can also emotionally detach is a discussion for another day. 

There are times when one just doesn’t feel like opening up the terminal. 

Listen to such times. 

Shut out the markets at will…

…only to open them up again when they’re a go for you.

We’re still at step 1, which you’ve just cleared for yourself. 

Now we try and gauge whether times are such that markets allow work.

Listen to such times. 

When you feel like working and markets allow you to work, go all out. Exhaust existing work potential. 

When you feel like working, and markets don’t allow work, do other stuff. Get your research ready. Become poised. 

Sooner than later, your action criteria will be met…

…and you will be able to act. 

Nature of the Beast

Stocks…

…crash.

It’s the nature of the beast.

Stocks also multiply.

For stocks to multiply, one needs to do something.

What is that something?

One needs to buy stocks when they crash.

Let me give you an example. 

Let’s assume markets are on a high, and there’s euphoria.

Excel Propionics is cruising at a 1000.

The prevailing euphoria seeps into your brain, and you buy Propionics at a 1000.

For Propionics to multiply 10 times in your lifetime, it will now need to reach 10,000.

Likely? Wait.

Cut to now.

Stocks are crashing. 

The same stock, Excel Propionics, now crawls at 450.

You have studied it. 

It’s debt-free.

Positive cash-flow.

Ratios are good.

Numbers are double-digit.

Leverage is low.

Management is shareholder-friendly. 

You start buying at 450. 

By the time the crash is through, you have bought many times, and your buying average is 333.

For Propionics to multiply 10 times in your lifetime, it will now need to rise to 3330.

Which event is more likely to happen?

Just answer intuitively.

Of course, the second scenario is more likely to play out than the first one. In the second scenario, Propionics will need to peak 3 times lower.

Simple?

No!

Try buying in a crash.

You are shaken up. 

There’s so much pessimism going around.

Rumours, stories, whatsapps, opinions. The whole world has become an authority on where this market is going to go, and you are dying from inside.

What’s killing you?

The hiding that your existing portfolio is taking, that’s what’s killing you.

Are you liquid?

No?

Very bad. 

Why aren’t you liquid?

Create this circumstance for yourself.

Be liquid.

Optimally, be liquid for life. 

Then, you will look forward to a crash, because that’s when you will use your liquidity copiously, to buy quality stocks, or to improve the buying averages of the already existing quality stocks in your folio. 

How do you get liquid for life?

You employ the small entry quantum strategy.

Yes, that’s about right. 

We’ve been speaking about this strategy in this space for the last two years.

Read up!

🙂

Dance the Bawwdy Music!

..dance the body music

makes you feel so happy

dance the body music

music makes you happy

hear the music play

feel your body sway

hear the dj say

oh what a big smash big smash

dance the body music…

 

Osibisa, was it, late ‘70s?

Yup. 

What an cool swingy number, sung by an unforgettable band!

Disco beat. Rhythm. Easy peasy lyrics. Synth. Floor’s going crazy. Song’s all over the people. People are all over the song. 

Euphoria. 

Why are we talking about it?

Music or euphoria?

Euphoria. 

I used the music element to paint a picture of euphoria in your mind.

What is it about euphoria?

Why does it push me on alert?

Is it that I don’t wish to enjoy my life?

What could I have against euphoria?

I’ll tell you. 

Before I tell you, I’d like to mention that I love the feeling. 

It fantastic being in the feeling. I’ve got one eye on my alerts though. 

WHY?

We make our biggest mistakes when hit by Euphoria. 

Yes. 

Surprised?

Don’t be. 

Under the influence of Euphoria, our biochemistry is so, so different. 

We’re far from peak. 

Our defences are down. 

We are highly capable of plunging into…an abyss…oblivion…call it what you feel is befitting. 

We let go of safety. 

We bet big. 

We bet dangerous. 

We bet the farm.

That’s what euphoria can do to us. 

I do feel euphoric, at times. 

A trade’s gone well. 

A deal’s come through. 

Stability at home. 

Euphoria. 

However…

…as I told you…

…one eye is on my alerts. 

If even a single thought emerges of betting big, bigger than my normal size, well, my predefined red-alert also goes up with such a thought. 

I see my alert’s red flare, and the unwanted thought subsides. 

I am able to sick to within the confines of my position-size rule.

If even one thought emerges of trying a new untested line, just because all current lines are doing ok, well, my predefined strategy saturation alert also goes up with such a thought. 

I remind myself that I’ve decided upon financial strategy saturation, and don’t plan to add a new line, at least not in a hurry or upon an impulse. 

I’m able to stick to my strategy saturation decision. 

Are you understanding what I’m trying to tell you?

If yes, I’m so happy for you. 

You’re not leaving it for later. You’re understanding it without being hit by the aftermath of a decision taken under the influence of euphoria. 

Cheers mate!

🙂

Frozen

Frozen? 

It’s ok. 

Breathe. 

You need to acknowledge that you’re frozen. 

Without that, the next step won’t come. 

It’s normal to freeze sometimes. Just acknowledge it. Then learn. 

For example, I acknowledge that I’m currently frozen wrt to the USDINR short trade. Missed entry. Next opportunity to enter never developed for me, and the underlying is currently in free fall. Don’t have the guts to short it at this level. Yeah, I’m frozen all right.

However, the fact that I’m acknowledging it opens up the learning window. 

Why did I miss entry?

I know why I froze. Fear. What I need to understand is why I allowed a situation to develop that would lead to fear. 

Ok. 

Was running super busy. 

Neglected the underlying. 

Kept postponing entry… 

… till free-fall started. 

It’s good to be busy. 

Hmmm, so this can happen again. 

How do I stop this from happening again? 

If I ID a setup, I need to take it. 

No second-guessing. 

What about strategy? 

Meaning, am I going with a short strategy for USDINR? Or am I keeping the window open for a long strategy?

See, that’s it.

Keeping short and long windows open makes me second-guess all the time. 

So can I go in one-direction wrt USDINR all the time? 

What speaks for it? 

Underlying is falling from a height. Good. 

Short only means no second-guessing. You just go short, period. 

Stoploss will save ruin. 

Not nipping profits in the bud will amass fortunes. 

Can the underlying keep falling over the next few years? 

Why not? Modi’s looking set for 2019. 

Hmmm, so a short only strategy has a lot going for itself. 

There’s more. Future month contracts are quoted at a premium. The premium evaporates over the current month. This move is in your favour if you’re short. 

Ok, enough. 

Yeah, there’s enough on the table to warrant a short only strategy for USDINR. 

SEE? 

Learning process. 

Why did it happen?

Because I acknowledged that I had frozen. 

Now, my strategy is more fine-tuned and I’m probably less prone to second-guessing. 

You need to pull off such stuff when you freeze. 

Use the freeze to evolve. 

Lost for Words, Mr. Nath? 

Yeah, sometimes I really am. 

With very few people, and in very few situations. 

Call it Karma. 

That’s not the point. 

In the event you find yourself in a similar situation, we’re here to size up options. 

What do we fall back on? 

Silence. 

In its solitude, a thought processes emerges. 

What are we looking for? 

Cool, calm straight-forward common sense.

Found it? 

It will speak to you. 

Let it. 

It’s got the words, remember? You don’t. 

Listen to it. 

What’s it telling you to do? 

Difficult? 

Can you do it? A yes is great here. You’re sorted already. 

No? 

Next option. 

Nothing. 

Can you sit tight? Doing nothing? Till your path emerges? Yes is good. 

No? 

Ok. 

Can you stop yourself from doing the wrong thing? 

Wrong? 

Violence, anger etc. You got it? 

How, you ask? 

Occupy yourself with something else more captivating. Possible? A yes here is your last “amicable” option. 

If it’s still a no, you might want to consider new company, or a new environment. 

Sometimes, we get stuck in life. With a person. And / or in a situation. For good reasons, we can’t get out. What’s the silver lining? 

Learning. 

Our difficult situation is ironing out some fault within us. As long as the fault remains, the situation seems desperate. No fault anymore? Situation vanishes. 

It’s called evolution. 

We don’t evolve for free.

Similarly, we don’t learn to navigate through the markets for free. 

Difficult situations teach us. They cost money.

We survive small losses through the learning process, to win big later. We want the learning process to come at an early stage, when the stakes are low. 

The biggest wins come when we use our evolution to capitalize upon a difficult situation, because we know its nuances. That’s good for the markets. 

In real life it won’t pay to take advantage of somebody’s nuances. That’s actually devolving. 

Maintaining perspective between market life and real life is an evolutionary exercise too. 

Yes, Jack Ma is a Champion

I only know one thing about Jack Ma.

He didn’t give up.

That’s enough for me.

Jack Ma is a champion.

Champions fight till it works.

They’re somehow able to extract extra energy from somewhere, and stand up again, that umpteenth time.

That is what separates champions from others.

Look at Abraham Lincoln’s example.

Steve Jobs.

Cassius Clay.

Recently, West Indies cricket.

List is big.

What do champions have in common?

They don’t give up.

They keep at it.

They keep throwing potentially knockout punches… till something gives.

Sure, champions cry.

They too are human.

It’s ok to cry.

One’s system cleanses.

Tears only make them fight harder.

So what’s the champion gene?

Meaning, what makes a champion keep going at it, despite disappointments, tapping extra energy out of nowhere to keep landing potentially knockout punches?

Yes, what are the dynamics?

Body and mind are functioning at full-stretch. Perhaps beyond. What is this beyond? We are a continuum, remember. We flow. The Bell-curve of our energy, at full-stretch, actually flows to a certain extent into 4th, 5th, 6th or nth dimensions. You’ll either have to take my word for it, or experience it for yourself.

Mind over matter, ever heard that one?

Describes the above phenomenon.

Resonance.

You vibrate at a common frequency with something, and are able to tap energy from that something.

That’s what happens.

For it to happen, full-stretch needs to be there.

Bell-curve needs to go over and beyond.

Feel the energy coming in.

Feel that tiredness go away.

Land the knockout punch, you champion.

Limits will keep you Safe

Safety is under-rated.

People scoff… at safety.

Ask someone to belt-up.

Or, ask xyz to take a backup.

Emergency fund, anyone?

Insurance?

Plan B?

Is anyone really interested?

Ok, don’t have a plan B. Fine.

Then, you need to watch your plan A like a hawk.

You need to install safety nets.

One such net is a limit.

Limit movement of funds.

Nowadays, this takes but a few online clicks. Setting fund-movement limits in your netbanking is not difficult at all.

What does a limit do?

It says ballyhoo to your emotions.

Greedy?

Too bad, fellow, funds more than your defined limits can’t leave your savings account, in case you wished these to depart for your trading account.

So, greed is in check. With force. Order of the day.

Limits will keep you safe.

Over-optimistic?

Same check.

Limits will keep you safe.

So on and so forth.

A little self-control is required though.

You’re not going to tamper with your limit, right?

Right.

Patience and Nerves Anyone?

As someone I look up to put it recently – “It’s a game of patience and nerves!”

What is?

The stock-market. 

For whom?

The long-term investor. 

Do you have any?

What?

Patience, or nerves, or both?

You do?

Well, then you’ll do well in the markets, over the long-term. 

We look for complication. Meanwhile, we forget the basics. 

These are basics. 

If you’re not patient, you’ll for example jump into a stock at the wrong time, or you’ll jump out of it too early, or what have you. 

If you don’t have patience, well, develop it. 

If you can’t, do something else instead. Trade. Don’t long-term-invest then. 

If you cannot develop patience, you are not cut out to be a long-term holder. 

One method to cause the tree of patience to grow in you is to create the correct environment. 

Just don’t do anything that will make you jump. 

Invest your sur-sur-plus, money that is then pickled away, money that you won’t miss, yearn for or require over the very long-term. 

Go in with margin of safety. 

Stay in a stock you’ve singled out and entered until there’s a glaring reason to exit. Try to exit upon a high. This is the market. Highs are its nature. So are lows. That means that highs come. Wait for them to come, to exit from anything you need to exit from. 

Nervers, well, they come into play if you’ve not invested with margin of safety. 

I do remember two instances though, where everyone’s nerves were tested. October 2008, and March 2009. At these times, stocks sold for a song. Good ones and bad ones alike. Fear did the rounds, extreme fear. That’s what fear does. It creates once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Take them. Maintain a clear head. Your nerves of steel will do that for you. Create an environment for your nerves to become strong. Or, perhaps expressed another way, create an environment where any weakness in your nerves is not required to show itself, and gets subdued into extinction. 

How?

Again, just go in with your sur-sur-plus. You’re not going to miss this money even if the sky is falling upon your head. And you’ve gone in with margin of safety. Your nerves will stay intact. 

Ensure your basics. Allow them to shine. 

The rest will take care of itself. 

Good investing. 🙂

Did You Hear About the Last Mile?

Yawn.

So you did, huh?

In investing?

No?

Yeah, I just thought about it.

Sharing it with you.

Churning, churning, churning…

… inside.

As you do your due diligence, information churns inside of you.

What is it that says yes, I’m investing?

Where does that go-ahead moment happen?

In the last mile.

Inside of you.

This is not to take away anything from your due diligence.

DD is central.

Very important.

However, last mile is important too.

One needs to respect it.

First, one needs to know about it.

Knowing about it will stop you from pushing an investment.

Don’t push… …in the markets.

Just be.

Take the shape of the container. Your container is your system.

Wait for your last mile to respond. Learn to understand its style of expression.

It’s a feeling…

… of well-being, …

… or something suffocating, nausea-like.

Embrace the former. Dump what’s causing the latter.

It’s as simple as that.

The most meaningful things in life are…

… exactly…

… SIMPLE.

Manipulation / Fraud / Ponzi – I Reject You

I detest manipulation, and manipulators. 

I like people who are straight-forward, without hidden agendas. Simplicity is gold. Simplicity breeds success. Simplicity gives satisfaction from within. 

All the twisting and turning, wheeling and dealing, wangling and dangling of manipulation makes me want to puke. 

Therefore, manipulators, frauds, Ponzis, I reject you. Manipulation doesn’t make the manipulator happy. Try it and see. I’m 100% sure your story won’t have a happy end.

Rejection is a simple process. When you reject something, you stay away from it. You get out of its way when it is in the vicinity. You head off elsewhere when that something is headed in your direction. Everyone’s probably been rejected sometime or someplace, so everyone probably understands rejection. 

Well, rejection is one thing, but how does one recognise a manipulator, fraud, or Ponzi?

Recognition is key. 

This breed of people talk sweet. They appear harmless. They don’t lose arguments. Quick, witty, sharp. Fast thinkers. They keep you hanging. Give ambiguous answers. Mostly, they like to not answer at all, so as to keep you dancing around them, making you more vulnerable to their schemes or ulterior motives. If you’re interested in their something, they use silence as a weapon. You’re hot, you’re interested, they’re silent, makes you hotter, makes you more interested. The idea is that ultimately, when the manipulator breaks the silence, you lap up whatever you’re getting. Also, they keep you hungry for more. Manipulators are vicious, vile people. 

Where manipulators push you to act, slowly, but steadily, by twisting and turning your world in the manner they consider appropriate (since you’ve given them that power), frauds outright present a reality which sucks you in to sign the dotted line. Frauds sell a dream. It’s a great dream. You want to be a part of it. It overwhelms you. It’s almost too good to be true.

Ponzis are frauds. They sell the dream of unrealistically large returns. They count on greed to cloud your vision. They lure new sets of investors by distributing investorial proceeds from one set of investors as dividends to slightly older investors, and so on and so forth, till the bandwagon is overloaded with thousands of investors paying full-throttle only to see the Ponzi vanish next day, with everything, never to be heard of again. 

When someone doesn’t give you a straight-forward answer, walk the other way. Don’t bother with benefit of doubt, just walk the other way. With very high probability, you’ll have avoided a manipulator. When someone uses silence as a weapon, walk away ten miles. Warn everyone of a mega-manipulator in the neighbourhood. Analyze sweet- and smooth-talk ten times. Is there any truth in what’s being said, or are the words an eye-wash, hiding a fraud behind themselves? If you’re not greedy, you won’t fall for a Ponzi. Don’t be greedy. Period. 

You’ve hit full cycle. 

You’ve understood the existence of the breed we speak about. It has dawned upon you. Let’s call this “internal realization”.

Then comes “external recognition”, of the breed being in your vicinity, and trying to exercise its powers upon you. 

Lastly, comes “complete rejection”. 

Well done. 

You’ve saved yourself from lots of emotional and or monetary trouble. 

Spread the word. 

Not in the Mood?

Right, good.

You don’t have to be. And good that you’ve recognized it.

Mood sets the tone for success… or failure.

For example, just now, I’m not in the mood to conduct due-diligence. There’s one company which has sparked my interest, a few days ago. Work needs to be done, to decide whether I’m investing or am out. Quality of work needs to be of the highest order. Otherwise I might take a wrong decision, meaning that I might invest in a dud, or might reject a multibagger. And what happens? I’m not in the mood to conduct any kind of due diligence. For whatever reason. What’s to be done?

Nothing.

I just don’t conduct it.

Period.

What if the opportunity goes away?

So be it. Another will come along. When? Whenever. World is full of opportunities.

Why am I so pricy about my behaviour?

Well why not? It’s called being in the sweet spot. You call all the shots. Including working when in the right frame of mind. Such a condition enhances the probability of success.

When will I be conducting the due due-diligence?

When would that be?

Whenever it happens naturally, without artificial pressure.

Am I just born lucky, to be in a position to work when I want?

Well, I’ve definitely had my share of great luck, and continue to have it, by the grace of Nature. On the other hand, and to put things in perspective, I also have, over the last twelve years, worked hard to create a situation for myself where I only invest when I wish to. There’s no pressure on me to invest. My bread and butter isn’t dependent on it. I call it being in the sweet spot.

Work towards your sweet spot.

Now.

You, and Your Purpose

Who are you?

Yeah, that question again…

Frankly, I’m not too bothered about who you are.

Yeah, I’m too busy trying to fathom who I am.

Guess who needs to be concerned about finding out who you are?

You!

Nobody else.

In addition to “Who are you?”, here’s another one that goes with the flow…

Where do you fit?

Not stopping…

What’s your purpose?

Yeah, why are you here?

What drives you?

Where do you start?

And sure, where do you stop?

What’s the gauge? How do you gauge where you stand with all these questions and their answers.

Luckily for you, Nature hid this gauge inside you.

Connect please.

You’ll feel… comfortable where you fit.

You’ll know where to start. When to stop. From inside. Below all the huff and puff, in the stillness of mind, lie answers. Find them. Talk to yourself. It’s not crazy to talk to yourself. In fact, those who don’t are crazy.

Where you’re happy doing stuff lies your purpose. That which causes maximum happiness and satisfaction, in you and around you – that’s your purpose.

Your behavior in multiple situations tells you who you are.

Align who you are with your purpose.

Once you know who you are, you can go about defining and delineating your risk-profile.

Small Things are Big Things

You’ve covered lot of ground, and are now cleaning up the field. 

You’re tying up the loose ends. 

Your small acts here count big. 

Please see them through to their logical conclusion. 

Don’t get up without completing full action. 

An act at or towards the end leans on the main piece of action which you’ve already fulfilled. 

It’s loaded on a spring. It’s effectivity is enormous. However, you are tired. You’re looking to close up. Hashtags, man, what are these hashtags!? Why do I have to put them, you’re saying to yourself. What purpose do they serve? Let me just forget about them.

No.

Hashtags are just one thing. A small thing, but then, a big thing. 

Tying your act into your own seamless sphere is another such thing. 

I know, it’s a pain…but seamlessness is a beautiful feeling. 

I like to imagine that seamlessness is the equivalent of free-falling in a mad, mad world. Maybe that’s a nonsensical analogy, but that’s what I like to imagine. Seamlessness gives you a huge advantage in today’s world. Take it. Make the effort to keep yourself seamless. 

Backing up, yeah yeah. Who likes backups? You’ve got to do them, however. No pain, no gain. I’ll talk to you after some data-loss. Only bother hooking up with me if you’re well backed-up. I don’t have the energy to lend a shoulder that withstands your tears in the event you weren’t back-up. 

Where hashtags stop, that’s where your organisational skills should take over. Meaning, that one hashtag-search could give a thousand results. How do you still find what you’re looking for? Logic. You’ve used your logic while organising your work. Logically, your file should be somewhere, and that’s the somewhere you look. 90%+ you’ll find it there. Follow seamless logic. The first logical avenue that comes to mind…take it. Yeah, your seamlessness also stands on your own seamless logic. 

Staying with what counts is a small thing, but again, it’s a big thing. 

On the path, one strays. One is distracted. What do you do?

The mind is like a baby. 

Don’t deny it outright. 

Trick it. 

Let it stray for a bit. 

Then, when its defences are down, bring it back to the main path. 

Keep bringing it back, until it starts getting a rooting righ by returning to home-base every half an hour. That’s the sweet-spot.

Don’t lose yourself into lost causes. 

Achieve. Fine. Set goals. Sure. Get them done. Great. Move on. 

Moving on is one small step. However, it’s a big step. Not many have the strength or the mental capacity to move on. Make sure you do. 

How?

Open your eyes and see the world. 

If you feel that your one achievement is going to make it spin, fine, stay on there, good for you. If not, please move on to your next achievement. Keep doing this till you find that one big, big thing for yourself. By that time, you’ll have many small things going on auto-pilot anyways. 

Get a grip. Nip something small when it’s small. Get to the big. Go for it. 🙂

Who’s the Driver?

Are you an artist?

If you are, you’ll already perhaps know who the driver is. 

Or, maybe, you’re in the process of finding out. 

Ultimately, whatever you’re doing can become an art. 

What drives you?

Are you understanding what I’m trying to ask?

What pushes you on, with the art? What makes you want to create… more? What makes you want your art to be more… bombastic? Powerful? Impactful? Meaningful? Lucrative perhaps? What?

Is it mere ambition?

Naehhhhh, mere ambition is not enough. 

There has to be some kind of… pain. 

You have to ache somewhere, to let it out elsewhere. 

Pain drives. 

It can drive you beyond… itself. 

That’s the thing with pain. 

Slowly, you get used to pain, quantum by quantum. Your system doesn’t feel that particular quantum anymore. It’s feeling the surplus, though. How’re you bearing the surplus? By hanging on to your art. Your art takes you away from the surplus pain that you would have felt. You channelize the force of surplus pain into your art. Your art shines. On the side, you don’t feel a lot of pain anymore. 

It’s really important to understand where there will be learning, and where there probably won’t be. 

I’m not saying non-learning areas are to be avoided. They’re comfortable areas. Nobody likes to avoid comfortable areas. Sure. Nor do I. I’m just saying that comfy areas won’t really be enhancing your learning process. Let’s just be clear about it. If you have any art to express, any kind of art, full expression probably won’t come through if you entrench yourself in a comfort-zone. 

Know what I mean?

Yeah?

Good. 

You don’t need to ask who the driver is. You’ve worked with the driver.