Banking on Infinity

In a market…

…that promises decent…

…long-term growth, …

… we are able to…

…bank on infinity.

In such a market, the concept of cost-free-ness proves successful …

… in that it is able to generate multibagger outcomes, …

… over the very long-term. 

In such a market, the power of compounding makes itself felt in its full glory.

Also, in such a market, fear goes out the window for the clued-in player, since one is able to…

…bank on infinity.

We are fortunate to be playing in one such market. 

Yes, one such market is our very own. 

Having said that, India has idiosyncrasies, as does every market, and the Indian angle on these is definitely unique. 

The main one is that we’re an emotional lot. 

That is automatically then reflected in our market too. 

High beta. 

Meaning, in normal English, that there will abound huge entry opportunities, and huge exit opportunities, on a regular basis. 

And that, if I may underline, is worth Gold for us in the pursuit of cost-free-ness.

In other words, we will be able to create cost-free-ness year upon year, month upon month, and, at times, like now…

…week upon week.

Is that not…

…wonderful!

Once cost-free-ness is created, we transfer it out of sight, and, banking on infinity, we can just sheer forget about it, focusing our attention on the next round of cost-free-ness-creation.

We can do that because we are in the right type of market for this particular model. 

In fact, this model has been conceptualised for exactly…

…this market. 

Maybe someone has done it before me. Perhaps a lot of people. More successful. Big players. Famous. And that’s huge. I’m happy for them.

However, that’s not the point. 

We’re not in this for the glory of who got there first.

We’re in this for generating long-term wealth by using the concept to the hilt, because it’s working, and promises to do so till into the far-foreseeable future.

Before I sign off for now, there’s one more thing to remember. 

When we bank on infinity, we most hold before our eyes, that the translation of long-term growth into long-term wealth…

…is not linear.

Growth is perceived in spurts of optimism spilling into over-optimism, and these become our exit opportunities, where we exit with our principals, and are left with stacks of cost-free-ness. 

During spurts of pessimism, spilling into sheer depression, prices dip low enough, such that we, once again, get representable entries. 

It’s a neat little cycle that has been playing out since markets started. 

In our own market, this cycle allows us to generate cost-free-ness, again and again, while banking on infinity. 

 

 

 

 

Emo-check

Gauge…

…the impulse…

…before…

…acting.

Market behaviour evokes an impulse within us. 

Markets are such. 

They tease…

…at a spot…

…which has History with you.

They manage to find the spot.

And then they burn matches at it,…

…towards causing max-pain.

It can be a support level.

A resistance level.

Your stop-loss.

Exit level.

Entry-level

Break-even point.

What have you. 

Use your imagination. 

Whichever point holds value for you is open for needling. 

Meaning, please take it for granted that this point will probably be pricked again and again.

Why?

Ensembles…

…want you to act. 

Your action, if you succumb to the impulse, will then probably benefit these ensembles. 

Example. 

You enter an underlying. 

An ensemble takes it up 20% after your entry, on huge volume. 

Price then falls for twelve sessions, on low volume, such that more than 50% of your notional profit evaporates.

What just happened?

You’re feeling that impulse to preserve that other 50% of your profit, right?

It could be the right decision. 

Or not.

Depends on your outlook. 

Ensemble probably wishes to purchase another tranche, and is driving the price low enough to then act upon this relatively lower price. 

How will you feel, if you exit now, and then price shoots another 25%, immediately after your exit?

Hmmm, that’s another way of looking at it. 

What’s right?

What’s wrong?

Nobody knows before-hand. 

What is in your hand, though, is the ability to gauge your impulse, and to synchronise it with your objectives upon initial entry. 

When, then, one fine day, the impulse to act is so strong that no amount of rationalising can hold you back,…

…,well,…

…that’s the time when you…

…act,…

…and it’s the right decision for you, irrespective of market outcome. 

Why?

Such an “uncontrollable” impulse to act, even after study and attenuation, is better implemented rather than swallowed (leading to future indigestion). 

Are you Positioned?

What’s our biggest enemy in the markets?

This one’s invariably…

…our Self.

Cut to ’07.

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

…and we’re listening.

My friend and I…

…sitting on profits…

…feeling smug about ourselves…

…young guns…

…ready to conquer the world…

…nothing can stop us now.

Or can it?

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

I raise my hand.

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

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

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

“How old are you, Sir?”

“37”.

This was ’07, remember?

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

“3 years”.

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

How controlled.

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

Myth, really?

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

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

And that would have been a good thing…

…had I listened.

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

Soon, the ’08 crash happened.

I lost big time.

Was humbled.

Took me a long time to get back and stabilize.

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

I almost couldn’t take it.

We are our worst enemies.

What’s it going to be this market high?

We’ve learnt, and are positioned.

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

What buzz-words or phrases will catch their imagination?

BitCoin?

Liquidity?

Vaccine?

Quantitative Easing?

FIIs?

Pending rally in small-caps?

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

This cocktail will ensnare.

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

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

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

Then one needs a pinprick.

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

What’s it going to be this time?

It doesn’t matter.

Remember? There will always be a correction.

Are you positioned?

Positioned

By now…

…, we are positioned.

The persistence of high price-levels…

…has led us to take appropriate action.

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

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

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

MFs?

Now cost-free

ULIPs?

Gotten them to money-market.

Debt market holdings?

No more debt market for a while.

Bond-yields are rising.

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

Parking where?

Fixed deposits.

Why?

Not in it for returns.

Just to park, safely.

We’re sticklers for parking safely.

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

One can now say…

,…safely…

,…that we’re positioned.

What happens from this point onwards?

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

Yeah, right?

Small-cap rally still due?

That’s what everyone feels, right?

That’s the point.

Leave the masses hanging onto something they’re expecting.

If it doesn’t happen, they’re what?

Left hanging. Devil takes the hind-most.

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

What if markets go on rising?

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

Simple rule.

No level, no entry.

We know how to sit.

On our holdings, and then…

…on our cost-free-ness.

Now, capital will only move…

…upon opportunity.

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

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

Oh, another thing.

Notice the speed of moves, nowadays?

It’s fast, isn’t it?

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

Meaning what?

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

…we sit tight…

…to maximize the impact of our positioning.

Cost-Free-Ness completely does away with Fear

When nothing from your end is invested, but you still have a holding in the markets,…

…you have created for yourself the state of cost-free-ness.

Cost-free-ness carries with itself a feeling of intense satisfaction…

…because of the sheer magnitude of the feat.

Well, congratulations.

With cost-free-ness comes absence of fear with regard to one’s cost-free holding.

When it’s not costing us, we’re not bothered.

Markets can go anywhere.

They can come down to zero, for all we care.

Fine.

Still unshaken?

Yes.

Why?

If markets comes down to zero, we can look to enter en-masse.

We’ve got principal, remember? Took it out, to create cost-free-ness, tu te souviens?

When markets come down to zero, owing to absence of fear, …

… our focus is not on our (cost-free) holding.

Instead, our focus is on the lucrative entries coming our way.

After markets come down to zero, if they do, they’ll soon reverse.

Then, our new entries will start becoming cost-free, as prices climb.

Soon, we’ll pull principal out again, and will have have new cost-free holdings, which we can transfer to our consolidated cost-free holding account.

Fear is nowhere in the equation.

Cost-Free-Ness

Why…
 
…do we play this game?
 
I play it to…
 
…win.
 
What’s one’s definition of a win?
 
It’s different for everyone.
 
I’ll tell you mine.
 
I want to be completely cost-free in the markets before the end of a bull-run. 
 
What does being cost-free mean?
 
It means that whatever one has in the market, has been completely freed up of its principal. 
 
That’s done by taking the principal out, over time, as markets climb. 
 
What purpose does cost-free-ness serve? 
 
Firstly, whatever’s in the market now, in a cost-free state, is all high quality material. 
 
It can’t be otherwise. 
 
What’s not high quality will be pulled out as markets persist in their climb. 
 
Why?
 
The impulse to book is very strong. 
 
In that state of mind, whatever is not worth holding anymore, will be automatically booked. 
 
It’s human nature. 
 
Secondly, what’s in the market now, can stay in, like, forever, without causing us any tension. 
 
That’s an ideal state of mind for the creation of multibaggers, and the underlyings in question are all multibagger material, being the essence of one’s entire market-play. 
 
Thirdly, one has gotten one’s soldiers home, to fight more battles, as valiantly as ever, in the times to come. 
 
Ya, cost-free-ness means that one has pulled one’s principal out. 
 
This very principal will now be utilized to make more and more shares cost-free.
 
Fourthly, we are not going to suffer any pangs about the markets climbing and climbing further. 
 
Further climb benefits our material in the market, immediately. 
 
More material, picked up at trading levels, is likely to yield a small chunk of cost-free shares, in the form of a winning trade. As one exits such trade, one leaves one’s profit in the market, in the form of cost-free shares. 
 
Sure, eventually the market will collapse, and we’ll be left with some material which is not only not cost-free, but is now losing, perhaps big.
 
That’s ok.
 
Why?
 
Because, quantities are relatively small. These are trading levels, remember? Thus, entries will be small.
 
Then, these are the same underlyings as already existing in our portfolio. 
 
We want to hold these. 
 
We are holding many cost-free units of these very underlyings. 
 
Current loss-making units of these underlyings can be averaged as markets sink further, because we are highly convinced about these holdings.
 
Eventually, the curve will turn, and a new cycle will start.
 
As markets climb in the new cycle, eventually these new units will start becoming cost-free.
 
Such positive loop outlined above is the market sweet-spot I always wish to be in.
 
It’s the essence of almost seventeen years of first-hand, in-the-field market learning, with personal funds on the line at all times, struggles, losses, beatings, the works and what have you. 
 
And now, there’s cost-free-ness.
 
That’s my win in the markets!
 
🙂
 
 
 
 

Using Counter-Intuition as a Buy-Sell-Tool

When the world is burning around you…

and there’s “blood on the Street”…

the last thing that one wishes to do…

…is to…

…buy.

Why?

One is afraid.

However, the most lucrative buys are the ones…

…made precisely…

…at this point in time.

Everything in our brain- and bio-chemistry will be screaming not to buy.

We will now use this state of being as a buy tool.

What?

You think I’ve let some kind of a secret out of the bag, or something?

Try doing it.

That’s the thing.

It’s most difficult to push through.

That’s also the reason very few people make big money in the markets.

Now let’s speak about exits.

Nobody really knows what’s a good exit, ever.

Why?

That’s because nobody knows the future in advance.

What we do know, is that euphoria can last long enough…

to wipe shorts out…

…as the recent shorters et al found out the hard way, in the US.

When there’s euphoria, we don’t feel like selling.

We want to make more, and more.

We feel that this can go on and on, ad infinitum.

Every bone in our body says hold on.

A sell made at this time could well nip a multi bagger in the gut.

However, our counter-intuition is speaking.

It’s already done us a service by providing us with great entries.

Let’s at least listen.

Tell you what we can do.

We can listen to it, i.e. we can exit, to some extent only.

That way, we’ll have exited and will still be in the market.

How exactly, then?

When we are feeling like this, and are experiencing prolonged euphoria…

…we can get rid of unwanted stuff.

As euphoria continues to rage, we target to make all wanted holdings cost-free, bit by bit, by exiting to that extent, ultimately and ideally.

Yes, ideally, we only want to be left holding cost-free items in the market.

From that point onwards, we don’t care where the markets are going with regard to our holdings.

It’s a sweet-spot, and we are in it because we have used counter-intuition as an effective and lucrative buying and selling tool.

Breaking Free

[ “I want to break free
I want to break free
I want to break free from your lies
You’re so self satisfied I don’t need you
I’ve got to break free
God knows, God knows I want to break free… ” – Queen].

How does one stay invested in the markets…

…despite all its deceptions and mind-games?

As indices creep up and up, our minds start playing tricks on us.

We seek excuses to cash out.

And, mostly, we…

…cash out.

Done?

NO.

We don’t want to be done.

Why?

There might come a day, when we wish we hadn’t cashed out.

Markets can stay overbought for ages.

Or not.

We don’t know.

No one knows.

Appreciation that counts sets in upon staying invested for the long-term.

How does one resolve this…

…conflict of mind versus reality?

One…

…breaks free.

Meaning?

Free up whatever has gone in.

Meaning?

Cash out the principal.

Leave the profit in the market.

This profit has cost no money.

Leaving it on the table is not a biggie.

Or is it?

It is…

…for most.

Those, for whom it isn’t, will benefit properly from compounding.

Now, what’s the danger?

No danger.

What’s on the table hasn’t cost you, so no danger.

Still, what would one fear?

No fear. What’s in is free, so no fear.

Let me paraphrase.

What’s the worst-case scenario from here?

Well, U-turn, and a big-time correction.

So what?

Use the correction to buy low, with the idea of freeing up more and more underlying(s) upon the high.

This way, size of one’s freed-up corpus keeps growing, and so does one’s exposure to compounding.

Wishing all very lucrative investing! 🙂

Bookability

Booking?

Understandable. 

Don’t book your basics though.

What are these basics?

Stuff you’re convinced about.

We’re long beyond due diligence here.

These underlyings are running. These are your right calls. 

They are not to be booked – as long as your conviction persists.

Any price?

Hmmm – this question brings in the concept of “Bookability”.

Save the booking angle here – for now. 

We’ll just try and answer above question about price. 

Sell everything else, as in any low-conviction holdings,…

…bit by bit,…

as markets tread higher and higher. 

Ultimately, it’ll all be gone. 

You’ll have done very well, and will have made good profits. 

You’re also left with your high-conviction holdings. 

As a bull market persists, these will start quoting at…

…ridiculous prices.

Is something a hold at…

…any price?

If you wish to be holding a multi-multi-bagger, well, then, yes, with a caveat.

When you can’t hold your trigger-fingers any longer, take your principal off the table. 

There.

Happy?

Now, what’s on the table for you, are high-conviction holdings, with principal off the table – aha – so these holding are free of cost for you.

When these high-conviction holdings are free of cost for you, the urge to sell can only persist because of two things. 

You could need the money. 

Fine.

Or,…

…because of an unfounded urge to book, as in “Score!”… .

Not fine. 

Tell your urge to sell that you want to make much, much more, by allowing an underlying to grow to 100x, for example. 

Urge to sell will subside.

What’s causing such urge?

Fear of a correction. 

When you’re holding free stuff, fear of a correction is unfounded. 

This needs to be instilled into our DNA.

With that, we’re done already!

Giving In

I’ve been guilty of giving in…

…to the urge to sell.

However, having kept basic tenets alive, vital underlyings are still a hold…

…for me…

…for as long as they remain vital.

Have been getting rid of stuff I don’t want.

Restructuring / reorganizing.

Consolidating.

These are the activities of choice, when markets are on a roll.

Sure, one’s been buying too, but not in the investing account.

Trading accounts are very active.

These are trading prices.

What’s the definition of a (successful) trade?

Buy high, and sell higher. Or, sell low, and buy back lower.

As opposed to an investment, where one buys low, to sell higher, later.

Are these low prices?

No.

How long has the index remained, percentage-wise, in its History, at 30+ PEs?

Very low single (%age) digits, of the time under consideration.

Thus, times will change.

Nobody knows when.

However, who cares?

Let it roll.

We’ll just go on consolidating, till we can’t consolidate anymore.

That’s the sweet spot we want to be in, before conditions change, where one can’t consolidate anymore.

And, we’ll just sheer go on trading.

That’s what we do with trading prices.

The At-Par Point

One grapples with this one, …

…always.

There’s something about the at-par point.

No matter how much logic we try, when the at-par point arrives, logic fails.

Carrying a loser?

Determined to carry it through till 3x?

Wait till the at-par point arrives.

See how psychology changes.

Watch yourself liquidating the stock, despite all previous planning.

Happens all the time.

Carrying a winner?

Letting your profit run?

Underlying then falls to at-par?

Watch yourself liquidating at the speed of light.

It’s ok.

We’re humans, and aversion to loss is a human trait.

This aversion to loss makes us follow the dictates of the at-par point.

How do we go around this, as traders or investors?

Meaning, as we advance in our professions, we don’t wish to be dictated terms to by a particular “non-technical” and “artificially” psychological price point.

So, let’s try and find a workaround.

Underlying is winning. Raise your stop in a defined fashion.

When underlying starts falling, it will hit your stop.

At-par won’t be touched, so it doesn’t even come into the equation.

Underlying is down. Hmmm. What do we do here?

We really want to meet the at-par point here.

We’re desperate.

Convinced about the stock?

Average down.

The at-par point lowers.

When market conditions change, it arrives early.

Don’t wish to average down?

Not convinced about the stock anymore?

Wait.

At-par might or might not arrive.

Arrives?

Well and good.

Doesn’t arrive?

Look to exit as best as possible, if you’re tired of holding.

As investors, one can think about only getting into stocks where one is confident of averaging down if the stock falls. (Traders are suppose to cut trades at or around their stop).

Tweaking (lowering) the level of at-par helps faster recovery in the markets greatly.

Liqui-Deity

Ammunition. 

Ask the soldier about it.

Running out of it on the battlefield is the soldier’s worst nightmare. 

We’re soldiers too, in our respective fields of work. 

Our liquidity is our ammunition. 

What counts when an opportunity comes is how liquid we are.

When there is a market bottom, most of us are fully invested.

Is that sound strategy?

Putting together ammunition in one place is where it starts.

Holding on to ammunition and using it when most required – that’s sound strategy. 

Saving habits lead to accumulation.

Barriers hold the accumulated liquidity in one place. 

What are barriers?

Welcome to the world of self-created restrictions in an effort to have liquidity ready when one most needs it.

A dedicated bank account is what one requires first. 

Trading?

Link a bank account to your trading account, and use this one for nothing else.

Next, whatever accumulates in this account – take it away from your direct vision.

Meaning?

Block it as a fixed deposit. 

This is a barrier. One don’t see the funds as available. Thus one don’t feel the urge to use them.

When a trade motivates one enough to be taken, one then most need the funds. 

Break the FD.

Transfer the funds. 

Trade.

Has a trade just culminated?

Nothing else coming up?

Again, take the funds away from your direct vision.

Block them, either directly in your trading account, by putting them in overnight funds, or transfer them back to your bank account, if you know that you are not going to be trading for another week plus. 

Both options are valid. Do either. Bottomline is, the funds should not show up as available until you need them.

Investing?

Link a different bank account to your investing-only trading account.

Make multiple fixed deposits in this bank account, each one being one exact entry quantum in value.

Upon identifying an entry opportunity, whenever that happens, break one quantum’s FD, move the funds, and enter into the investment. 

Liquidity needs to be revered.

Unless we don’t give it proper respect, we will not have it at our beck and call when the next opportunity arises, whether we are trading or investing. 

Let’s go, let’s get our ammunition together, and let’s put it to great use.

Gauging the Crowd

What was it about winning?

Someone did observe, that 12% of market players win in Equity markets.

In Forex, the number is much lower, something like 5%, I believe. 

If these numbers are to be believed, what’s the obvious takeaway for us?

Behaving like the crowd will not make us…

…win.

Or, in other words, to win, we need to behave in a manner which is not exhibited by the crowd. 

This makes us gauge crowd behaviour…

…almost all the time. 

For example, what does everyone want to do just now?

What did everyone want to do in March?

Did we do the opposite?

If so, we are winning now.

It’s not that one can switch one’s buttons just like that.

It takes experience, solid research, conviction and will-power to go against normal market behaviour.

It doesn’t just come. 

One works towards it, and the only learning comes from mistakes made with one’s money on the line.

That’s the price of tuition in the markets. Unfortunately, books probably won’t teach you this one.

Those who don’t pay this tution-price early, when their ticket-size is still small, well, they can eventually end up doing so later, at a much larger ticket-size.

Just make your mistakes, as many as you can, as early as possible. 

Don’t repeat a mistake.

Great. You’re done already!

How does one gauge the crowd?

Let’s listen in. What are people saying? How many tips are circulating? What’s the quality of these tips? What’s the level of enthusiasm? Is the doorman talking stocks? Folks going all-in at the top?

Or, does no one want to have to do anything with the market? Are you getting calls asking whether one should stop one’s SIP? Is your close relative aghast that you have your money in stocks? Is he or she alerting you to the possibility of an absurd-looking bottom?

The human being is an emotional entity. Blessed be us Indians, we take the cake in being emotional. Not for nothing are our markets correspondingly volatile. And that’s great news for Equity players.

Why?

You’ll see wild swings in the playing fields.

Our indices roller-coast hugely, perhaps the most in the investable world.

We get fantastic bottoms to enter…

…and amazing tops to exit.

Question is, do we leave ourselves in a position to take advantage of this?

Are we continuously gauging the crowd?

Are we continuously behaving like the crowd?

Or, have we made it a habit…

…to win?

Triggers Ahead

Market moves require trigerrs.

In the absence of these, lack-lustre activity results…

…giving rise to illogical short-term trading ranges, for example.

Come a trigger, a move starts, or continues, or even ends, if the trigger is adverse.

What kind of triggers lie up ahead?

US election.

Yeah, Mr. President is going go keep US markets on a high till then, and that will translate over to world markets.

Corona cases receding?

Yes.

Trigger on the upside.

Corona recoveries increasing?

Yes. Reiterates the above.

Vaccine announcement for release expected till December ’20?

Upside trigger.

Vaccine starts showing good results?

Reiterates the above.

Small- and mid-cap buying by institutions to the tune of 28k Cr till the government deadline of January 31, ’20?

That’s a solid one.

This one is going to hold the back-end of the market (small- and mid-caps) perked up and reaching for January ’18 highs.

That’s five triggers back to back.

Any down-triggers in this time-frame?

Hmmm…

…let’s see…

…the picture till January 31, ’20 seems to be quite clear, actually.

Of course one might be wrong, and the model might break down.

That’s when we’ll just change the model.

However, till the model breaks down, one follows a charted roadmap which is already panning out.

Where does that leave you?

Assuming this model hits, there would be frenzied buying in small- and mid-caps just before the January 31, ’20 deadline.

Many MF Houses have announced their cautious and unpanicking approach towards picking up small- and mid-caps.

Come January, some players will not have picked up enough.

If the authorities don’t extend the deadline, these very institutions will make a beeline for such underlyings.

Government fellows will have a bit of a guilty conscience because of the mayhem they caused in this segment in January ’18, ordering the ad-hoc reshuffle of MFs.

To make things good again for affected parties, they might even allow such a frenzy to happen by not extending the deadline…

…and that’s exactly what we want.

Why?

We are waiting patiently for complete euphoria to set in, to sell those inhabitants of our folios, which we don’t wish to hold anymore.

As per this model, this could happen in January.

If It doesn’t, and if the model breaks down, that’s fine too, we’ll just wait for another time and high.

Winning in the markets is mainly about patience and discipline.

Money follows.

Bridging the Gap

How does one bridge the middle overs?

Sure, a blogger who is simultaneously a cricket fan…

…will dish out analogies from cricket… 🙂 … !

We’re in the business of identifying extremes…

…and acting upon such identification.

Whatever is in the middle of these extremes…

…is, for us, an area of…

…inaction.

Do we know how to not act?

There is an impulse for action in all humans.

In these loaded times, this impulse is extreme.

Why do we not want to act when an extreme is not there yet?

During times of complete pessimism, one is able to purchase underlyings for a song.

Similarly, during times of total optimism, one is able to secure good exits for stuff that one wishes to get rid of.

How one behaves in between adds or subtracts significantly to or from one’s market success.

Selling early means lesser profits, and the same goes for buying late.

This is the kind of behavior that lessens our multiple, sometimes greatly.

This kind of behavior would be absolutely ok if one were trading.

We, @ Magic Bull, are in the business of effecting multiples.

Anything coming in the way of that is behavior we wish to avoid.

With markets normally trading between extremes about 95% of the time, this leaves us with a lot of time in which we do not act.

Also, it brings us back to the pivotal question – how do we manage not to act when everything and everyone around us is screaming for action?

We do – everything – else.

Apart form market action, there’s business activity, charity ventures, extra curricular activities, family time, sport, leisure, entertainment … … one’s day is packed.

There are two portions of the day when one is driven to the edge of action, though.

The first is after studying market opening.

This is when one does a half-hour call with one’s broker and just sheer discusses everything one is observing.

Strike 1.

Then, as one studies the close, this situation can arise again.

One writes, for example.

Or, annotates charts.

Observes prices.

Collects impressions…

…and demarcates patterns.

That’s sufficient.

Strike 2.

There’s no room for strike 3 – one just doesn’t let strike 3 happen.

Making Time Our Friend

Hurry…

…spoils the curry.

Specifically with regard to Equity…

…one should never, never be in a hurry. 

You see…

…there will always be a correction.

You will get an entry. 

Wait for the right entry. 

You will, eventually, get a prime exit. 

Wait for the time. 

Make time your friend. 

How?

Simple.

Take it out of the equation.

Simple?

In the small entry quantum strategy, time is, by default, taken out of the equation. 

It loses its urgency as a defining factor, for us, psychologically.

We don’t have any immediate timelines. 

We go with…

…the flow. 

When opportunities appear…

…we act.

When they don’t…

…we don’t act.

Most of the time…

…we don’t act.

Then there are black swans, and we act many times in a row. Like now.

Action, or lack of it, depends on what’s happening. 

We don’t force action.

Why?

Because we have all the time in the world. We’ve made it our friend, remember.

We know that we’ll get action…

…eventually. 

We conserve liquidity and energy for when action comes.

You see, when the pressure of a time-line is gone, quality of judgement shoots up.

We make superior calls. 

Of course we make numerous mistakes too. 

However, the quantum going into the mistake is small. This is the small entry quantum strategy, remember. 

Once we’ve made a selection mistake in an underlying, and have realised this, we don’t shoot another quantum chasing our error. Instead we let it be, and wait for a prime exit from our error. It will come. 

We keep going into identified underlyings not falling into the error category, with small quanta. 

Many, many times, we make a price-error. Price going against us after entry is a price-error, because the market is always right. It’s us who are wrong when things go against us. 

Never mind. After a price-error, we enter the same underlying with another quantum, and this time we get a better price. Once gain one observes the friendliness of time, even after price has gone against us, all because of our small entry quantum strategy.

When price is going in our favour, we might not enter after a level. Though we’re not getting further entries in the underlying, appreciation is working in our favour. 

It’s a win-win on both sides of the timeline for us…

…because we’ve made time our friend.

Rewiring 3.0.3

We grow up, being taught to win.

Slowly, we learn to expect shocks, but only sometimes, in sparing intervals.

We prepare fancy resumés. 

Life must look five star plus all the time, that’s the standard. 

We see this standard all around us. It encompasses us. We become it, in our minds.

It’s not like that in the markets.

Markets are a world, where loss is our second nature. 

If we’re not accustomed to loss, we die a thousand deaths, in the markets. 

What kind of loss are we taking about?

Small…

…loss. 

Your stock holding going down to 0…

…is a small loss…

…when compared to another holding multiplying 1000x over 10 years. 

Both these scenarios are very possible in the markets. They’ve happened. They will happen again. 

How do we react?

Our stock going down to zero mortifies us. We do something drastic. Some of us quit. 

When our potential 1000x candidate is at a healthy 10x, yeah, we cut it. 

Then we quickly post the win on our resumé. 

We must look great to the world, at any cost. 

We keep reacting like this…

…and, like this, we’ll perish in the markets with very high probability.

We can’t take a hit, and are nipping our saving graces in the bud. 

When does this stop happening?

When we rewire.

Rewiring is a mental process that happens slowly, upon repeated market exposure. 

For successful rewiring to take place, real money needs to be on the line, again and again and again, as we iron out our mistakes and let market forces teach us the tricks of the trade. 

While we’re rewiring, we need to play small. 

When we’re partly rewired, we wake up to the fact that this is the age of shocks. 

High-tower professors who’ve never had a penny on the line and have put together theorems about six-sigma events (black swans) setting on once in blue-moons have led us to believe that black swans are rare. 

They are not. They have become the norm. Our first-hand experience of multiple black-swans in a row teaches us that.

Once we rewire fully, the expectation of black-swans as the norm is engraved in our DNA. Then, we use this fact to our huge advantage.

How?

We realize the value of our ammunition, i.e. our liquidity. 

Whenever we have the chance, we build up liquidity. 

We become savers, and are not taken in by the false shine of the glittery world around us.

Also, when markets are inflated, we sell stuff we don’t want anymore, boosting our ammunition for the next onset of crisis…

…and, we stop preparing fancy resumés.

Markets have humbled us so many times, that we now just don’t have the energy to portray false images. 

Whatever energy we have left, we wish to use for successful market play, i.e. to make actual money. 

When that happens, yeah, we know for sure that we’ve fully rewired. 

Welcome to rewiring three nought three. 

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. 

🙂

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.

Busy Times

Market falls are busy times. 

No, we’re not busy whining. 

We’re busy buying.

Are we not afraid?

That the crack might deepen?

That it might go down to zero?

No.

We’re not afraid of this scenario. 

Meaning?

Meaning that even though such a scenario cannot be ruled out…

Huh!?

Yeah, it can’t be ruled out. With trade wars and back to back black swans waiting to strike, theoretically, the bottom is zero.

And you’re not afraid?

No.

Why?

Because I buy into fundamentally sound businesses…

…zero debt…

…great 5 year numbers…

…sometimes, great ten year numbers…

…and I buy with considerable margin of safety.

Still, one is normally always afraid, right?

Wrong. A small entry quantum strategy kicks out all remnant fear.

How?

This strategy leaves me liquid. Let it go down to zero. I’ll still have liquidity to buy.

And that which you’re buying…

…is sound, yes. If I buy something sound, it will yield returns. It’s like agriculture. Crops grow in good soil. They don’t grow well in bad soil. I make sure that I choose excellent soil.

How does one do that?

Due diligence. Period.

With all the scams and frauds going on…

Well, I look long and hard for shareholder-friendly managements. Representable salaries, willingness to share, largesse, debt-averseness, intelligence, business savvy, the list goes on.

What if you land up with a fraud management?

Solid research will make you avoid scamsters. I search the internet thoroughly for any kind of smoke. Crooks leave a trail, and one is able to catch their online trail pretty easily. 

Alone online?

Second recourse are annual reports. They reveal a lot. I don’t invest in a company without having a thorough look into its annual reports. I look at CSR, the director’s report, skin in the game, balance sheets, profit and loss statements, cash-flow, special items, what have you.

What if you still land up with a fraud?

After I know I’ve landed up with a fraud management, I would look to exit at the next market high. 

What if your holding is wiped out till then?

If it’s wiped out, I have many other holdings to lean on, and don’t forget the liquidity that is yet to flow into honest managements.

So you’re not afraid of the loss?

There is some risk one has to take. Here, it is the risk of being wrong. The good thing is, once I know that I’m wrong, I won’t double up on my wrong call. I’ll get busy elsewhere and look to exit from my wrong call with as little damage as possible, perhaps even in profit.

Profit?

You forget, I like to buy with margin of safety, and you’d be surprised at what people are willing to pay at market highs. 

I see, well then, happy investing!

Thanks! 🙂