Supremacy of Cost-Free-Ness makes itself felt in Equity alone

The impact of cost-free-ness stretches across all asset-classes…

… that are long-term-holdable.

Equity, Gold, Real-Estate, etc., …

… with perhaps bonds being a question mark with regard to applicability.

Why is cost-free-ness not that valid a concept for short-term-holds?

That’s because multibagger appreciation of a short-term-hold is not realistically expectable.

Then, with gold and real-estate, there are certain nuances, which need to be mentioned.

Gold doesn’t adjust itself for inflation. The 100-year appreciation in Gold is 1% per annum compounded, adjusted for inflation. We can make some Gold cost-free, and then hold the cost-free Gold for the long-term. However, to expect it to burgeon into a multibagger is too much. There’s no human capital behind Gold, no intelligently thinking minds. Also, Gold is commodity-cyclic in nature. Forget about all these technical arguments. Sheer 100-year History has taught us not to think in multibagger terms with regard to Gold. Let’s say we held it for the touted 100 years. Well, then, 1 x 1.01 ^ 100 = 2.70. We’re then holding a 2.7 bagger after 100 years. Safety risk too. Naehhh, not interested.

What’s the deal with real-estate? No human capital behind it, again. Thus, the asset-class doesn’t auto-adjust for inflation. Also, we’re not taking any cash-component into consideration. What does that make real-estate behave like, in the long-term, in a regime like now? Perhaps like a glorified fixed-deposit. Or, even, perhaps, like a high single-digit yielding bond. Now minus inflation. Hmmm, after the math, real-estate becomes an asset-class that yields 2-3% per annum compounded, adjusted for inflation, let’s say 2.5%. Minus the half percent for its management (which is a hassle, btw). Well, then, 1 x 1.02 ^ 100 = 7.24. We’re left holding a 7-bagger after 100 years. With hassle in the equation, 100 years is too much effort for a 7-bagger. Not interested either.

Now let’s look at Equity. Human capital is behind it. Equity is hassle-free with regard to its management. Equity auto-adjusts for inflation. All Equity that ever existed, including companies that have gone bust, has shown a return of 6% per annum compounded, adjusted for inflation. Taking companies out that don’t exist anymore, Equity has given a return of 11% per annum compounded, adjusted for inflation, over the long-term. Intelligently chosen Equity, with proper due diligence, is extremely capable of giving a return in the range of 15% per annum compounded, adjusted for inflation, in the long-term. Let’s do the numbers. 1 x 1.06 ^ 100 = 339.30; 1 x 1.11 ^ 100 = 34,064.28; 1 x 1.15 ^ 100 = 11,74,313.45.

These numbers don’t need crunching.

It’s pretty clear, that the supremacy of cost-free-ness makes itself felt in long-term held, cost-free Equity.

I wish for you happy, long-term cost-free-ness!

🙂

Washing a Stock “Sin-Free” with Cost-Free-Ness

Each stock has sins on the balance-sheet.

Many sins don’t show up even, on the balance-sheet.

You see, they’ve been swiped under the rug.

One’ll never know the whole story, unless one is the promoter oneself.

Some stocks have nothing noteworthy to hide, though.

Others have a side they don’t want you to see.

Still others are brimming with skeletons in their cupboard.

It doesn’t matter what you’re holding, …

… when you make the stock cost-free, …

… for you, the stock just became sin-free.

Congratulations.

You’re done already.

That’s the beauty of cost-free-ness.

Yeah, in cost-free-ness, …

… one has a universal balsam…

…that rinses the underlying completely clean to hold, like, forever.

Cost-free-ness is like a magic potion that turns around the whole story, …

… any story.

So, …

… what’s the motivation…

—in making the wholesome effort…

…of creating cost-free-ness?

Multibaggers, developing within our high quality, and now cost-free, holdings.

And how could one classify our feat of cost-free-ness, in another, very meaningful and currently “hot, happening and insider” way?

Nothing’s happening to one if markets go down even to zero, as far as one’s cost-free holding is concerned, since one has pulled out all the principal. Since one is not incurring any loss whatsoever from the holding, even upon market-reversal, for one, this cost-free holding, if I’ve understood Mr. Taleb (coiner and first-user of the phrase “antifragile”) correctly, is antifragile in nature, also then because, price contraction in the cost-free holding is a good thing for us, in that more purchase of the high-quality holding can subsequently happen, with the goal of making more and more holding cost-free, as markets swing back upwards. Market reversal after cost-free-ness is setting us up for a larger cost-free holding in the future. Seen from our initial sweet-spot of cost-free-ness, since market reversal betters our poise and increases our potential to make our cost-free holding grow in units (and size), that would be the last tick mark, required and now ticked, which makes our cost-free and high-quality holding, also, antifragile.

Cost-Free-Ness doesn’t come for Free

Yes.

You read that right.

If you thought I was revealing some kind of holy grail secrets here, which you could copy-paste for yourself without having to do anything else, do please allow me to fine-tune your thinking.

First-up, true, cost-free-ness is a holy grail of sorts, I do feel.

However, it’s hot to handle.

As discussed previously, our greed comes in the way. We don’t unlearn our greed just by reading a blog-post.

Then, when I speak about cost-free-ness, I stand upon the shoulders of giants. I have always maintained that in all my writing. One struggles, and comes upon…

…gems.

Others have struggled and stumbled upon these gems before, similarly. Some have documented their experiences for us to learn from.

That’s the way of life. One builds upon the edifice that one’s peers have left standing.

As long as one gives freely of oneself, life moves on comfortable trajectories, and the Universe rushes to protect and encourage such giving.

Lastly, you’ll also have to struggle when you go about establishing cost-free-ness for yourself.

Make good causes, so that difficult Karma doesn’t spoil your party by forcing you to liquidate your cost-free-ness, in order for you to have to finance your way out of such Karma.

Then, complete market rewiring required by the brain takes about a decade and a half of putting one’s money on the line. That’s been my my experience. One needs to rewire one’s mentality to be able to create cost-free-ness in any market situation. Like I said, it’s going to cost you.

This freebie material here is just to get you started on your path.

Besides, I do owe a debt towards all the free material I myself use on the internet, so this is my giveback in lieu of that.

I wish for you happy, lucrative and cost-free investing!

🙂

However, Cost-Free-Ness does afford us full Freedom of Focus

Markets crashing?

Is one cost-free?

Yes?

No worries.

Markets can crash.

Technically speaking, one’s money is not on the line anymore.

This makes crashing markets a good thing for one.

Why?

Because of the lucrative entries coming up ahead, that’s why.

Is one able to focus?

You bet.

Somehow, magically, one’s focus is not on one’s existing Equity in the markets. Anymore.

Why?

Because it’s cost-free.

Earlier, falling markets would hamper full focus, which was supposed to be on fresh and lucrative entries coming one’s way.

With great difficulty, and lots of practice, one did manage to shift one’s gaze though, in the end.

Now, with complete cost-free-ness in the picture, focus is a breeze.

Yeah, one is fully focused on entry levels that might crop up in the stocks one is looking to enter into.

Without appropriate entry levels, one’s funds aren’t going to move. Period.

For that, one needs focus.

And it’s there.

Unfortunately, Cost-Free-Ness doesn’t do away with Greed

So, one’s cost-free in the markets, and still gloating.

Let’s not gloat.

Much rather, let’s be watchful.

Watchful?

Yeah.

Why?

A still rising market is going to play tricks on our mind.

FOMO…

…missing-the-bus-syndrome…

…greed…

…call it what one will.

It is happening, or is going to happen, to us.

Without mincing any words, let’s have the lowdown laid out straight-up.

There are two things in our path that are now stopping us from the creation of multibaggers in our portfolio.

First-up, there’s the play-out of destiny.

Circumstances could occur that force us to reduce our cost-free-ness, or completely cash it out, to finance something immediate, if funds are not available elsewhere.

Please let’s create systems to avoid dipping into our cost-free-ness, if we can help it.

Cost-free-ness is a very hear-earned commodity.

One’s taken knocks to achieve it.

Yes, it’s cost sweat and toil.

We’re not letting go of it if we can help it.

Then…

…there’s greed.

This is the one thing which can cause us to cash out of our cost-free-ness, just like that, for nothing, except for the gratification…

…of itself (our own greed).

What’s the anti-dote of greed?

Practise giving.

Yes.

Do charity.

Everyday.

In some form or the other.

Cash, effort, emotion, support…

…give of yourself.

Give others joy.

Experience the joy of giving.

Greed will subside.

One’s hard-earned cost-free-ness will stay intact…

…and multibaggers will develop in our cost-free cum high-quality portfolio.

Happy Investing to you, and blissful cost-free-ness.

🙂

From Cost-Free-Ness to a Unified, Singular, Comprehensive, 360° Market-Field-Strategy

So you’re cost-free in the markets…

…and are contemplating your further market-journey ahead.

Yeah, now what?

First-up, let’s grab a hold of what you have in your hands.

You are holding high-quality material which fits your risk- and long-term holding-profile, and, most importantly, this material has now been freed up of its investment-cost.

That’s (very) huge!

So, how does it go from here?

I’ve been here, and have always bungled it up.

This time, I won’t.

Why?

I’ve finally realized the supreme importance of being at this point, and, …

… I wish to keep coming back to this sweet-spot, …

… again, and again and again.

It’s a wonderful feeling.

One feels deep satisfaction, of achieving something big.

Yeah, at Magic Bull, we sheer achieve, write about it, and then achieve more.

We’ll just go on achieving.

We’re not stopping.

The writing part is only to keep a log and to help others on the path.

And of course, it clears one’s thoughts, making one arrive at gems of strategies…

…which all converge and unify into a singular market-approach.

Let’s talk about singular.

At this sweet-spot, the ghost of trading arrives.

One feels like riding the highs by video-gaming through the markets.

And, one falls flat.

It’s not familiar territory, because the approach till now has been one of investing, and investing and trading are diametrically opposite in nature. Meaning that it takes some time to rewire.

Before rewiring properly, …

… one’s already pressing buttons as if buttons are soon going to become extinct, since one is seeking thrills. It’s normal.

One’s achievement-vector points only towards falling flat, such is one’s behaviour.

How do we conquer this pitfall?

We’re going to exhaust this ghost’s potential to our benefit.

We are going to trade, …

… because otherwise, ghost’s not going away.

However, we are going to trade only those scrips that are already inhabiting our cost-free portfolio.

We trade these, as new units, in a different trading account.

Entry is worth one small quantum, whatever small entry-quantum one has defined for oneself.

The objective is to ride a quick run, and make, let’s say, 20% of the traded units cost-free.

That’s would be good, hard, tangible bang for our trading bucks.

Assuming we succeed, we then transfer the cost-free units to our long-term portfolio.

In the event we fail because markets start to reverse, it’s still ok.

It’s a holding we are comfortable holding, into the next market cycle, where we’ll again try and make it cost-free, and we’ll then have cost-averaging on our side, since we’ll have reversed to an investing approach.

It’s win-win everywhere.

Failure comes eventually, because markets ultimately reverse.

No one knows when.

Till them we keep trading and increasing our cost-free-ness.

When failure comes, it’s once, and eventually we hold and try to turn it around.

Because we’re holding quality, the probability of turning the situation around is high.

Before this one failure, we are poised for many possible trading wins, with each win adding to our cost-free-ness.

And there we have it…

…voilà…

… , yes, it’s a unified, singular, comprehensive, 360° Market-field-strategy…

…courtesy your friend and comrade-in-investing. …

… Magic Bull !

🙂

How Big is your Win?

Assuming you cruise…

…cost-free in the markets now…,

…how big exactly is your win?

Have you stopped to ponder over this fundamental point.

Let’s go over it together.

The question you need to be asking is, …

… “What will happen to my cost-free-ness from this point onwards?”

Well, what’s going to happen solely depends upon your behaviour.

We’ll just study a best-case scenario.

Let’s assume you leave your hard-earned cost-free-ness be, in the markets, for the next 25 years.

What would become of it?

First-up, let’s understand the very nature of your cost-free-ness.

It’s high-quality.

It urges you to hold onto itself, forever.

The fact that you can’t let go of it despite such highs speaks of it as being the essence of your struggle, in terms of quality, if you know what I mean.

High quality material would typically compound at 15% per annum, over the long run, adjusted for inflation.

The figure of 15% per annum compounded, adjusted for inflation, is very achievable for your high-quality material – let’s put it like that – in a market like India’s.

Let’s do the math.

1 * (1.15) ^ 25 = 32.91

There you have it.

Your cost-free portfolio is slated to increase almost 33-fold in the 25 years to come.

That’s 3300% in 25 years when seen as pure appreciation, making 132% per year simple appreciation (not compounded).

That’s how big your win is.

Yes, staying invested with your cost-free-ness will make your cost-free-ness typically burgeon almost 33-fold over the next 25 years.

Go figure.

🙂

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!
 
🙂
 
 
 
 

One-Way Bias

I know, I know…

…but am not getting cocky, please believe me. 

There is something about a one-way bias,…

…so let’s discuss this one today.

When we’re only focused in one direction,…

…we’re not second-guessing the market. 

We have a set strategy, whatever it might be.

We don’t abandon it, suddenly, to go reverse. 

That saves us a lot of trouble, time and money. 

How?

No looking over the shoulder, as to when the market is reversing, saves trouble and time. 

Reversing during a set trend fails, fails, fails, till it succeeds.

Thus, money is saved, since all these failures are avoided. 

Money is made by not reversing, if reversing is to be a failure many times. 

Brokerage is saved. 

Yeah, bucks are saved, and perhaps made, owing to a one-way bias, let’s face it.

One might argue, though. 

Here it comes.

What about the huge profits to be made when a market reverses fully and finally?

Ya, I knew this one would come.

Pipe-dream.

Firstly, how would one know when a market is fully and finally reversing, before the event has set in fully and finally?

The truth is, it’s not reversing, not reversing, not reversing, till it’s reversing fully and finally. 

Does one really want to keep going contra till one is proven right, breaking an arm and a leg on the path?

NO.

Canning the argument. It’s a fail. 

Let’s say the market has fully and finally reversed. 

Now what?

Does one change one’s bias?

Or what?

I knew this one one would come too!

Changing bias is detrimental to a long-term investor’s strategy.

No-brainer, right?

So what does the long-term investor do when the market reverses fully and finally?

As a market over-heats, the long-term investor has been busy. 

He or she has not been not buying, but selling, unwanted stuff at first, and then freeing up wanted underlyings, such that what remains in the markets is free of cost. Ideally.

Thus, when a market reverses fully and finally, such an investor is not afraid of letting underlyings be in the market, since they are “freed-up”.

Now comes the full and final reversal. 

For the long-term investor it’s a valuable time to pause, giving the nerves and the system much-needed rest.

Liquidity has been created and pickled.

It’s a time for research, reading and reflection. 

Activity will resume upon the next bust. 

For someone with a short bias, like for the “Bears” in the Harshad Mehta TV show, though, now is an active time. 

Positional traders change bias after long-term trend change. 

Personally, I find going both-ways pretty taxing, so mostly, I stick to a long-long bias.

I say mostly, because once a downtrend has set in, the punting-demon does emerge, and I might trade a few puts here or there for the heck of it, if there’s nothing better to do, but not to the extent of contaminating my long-long bias.

Living in a country showing growth, active in its markets, we will do well with an upwards bias.

Short-circuiting poison will emerge from time to time. 

Control it…

…till you can’t.

At that point, trade a few Puts, or a Put Butterfly, or what have you, just to see what the other side feels like.

It’s just recreational, you see, not enough to contaminate one’s main bias.

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! 🙂

Investors whine, and traders cry, when they try the other’s Art

In a breakaway bull market,…

…one starts to find faults with Trading in general…

since, to make money, one just needs to sit, rather than actively trade. 

Almost everyone is happy with their investing,…

…in a breakaway bull market. 

What kind of factors does one start pointing fingers at?

Timing.

One almost always gets this wrong, specifically with regard to futures and options, which are time-bound.

Not having enough on the table…,

…yeah, yeah, heard that one before. 

While trading, one doesn’t bet the farm. 

When one’s trades run, one makes a bit,…

…which is not, by far, as much as any odd investment portfolio would be appreciating.

Second-guessing.

While investing, one is focused in one direction. 

While trading, one looks at both directions, to initiate trades, and the market-neutral trade is another trade in a category of its own. 

Hence, one is always second-guessing the market, and when one is off, it results in opportunity loss and brokerage generation. 

Time consumed.

Trading consumes almost all of one’s time. 

When markets are closed, one’s mind is not detached. 

It’s exhausting. 

Has many side-effects too. 

One doesn’t have time for many other things, because of trading. 

Whatever one does try to participate in, consists of half-baked efforts, because essentially, one’s mind is on the market simultaneously. 

Leads to a loss in quality of life.

Now, let’s reverse the situation. 

When markets slide downwards, the trader feels light. 

He or she cuts longs and initiates shorts.

It’s a superior feeling versus the investor, who is stuck with large holdings on the table. 

Feel-good factor is huge, and quality of life gets enhanced.

Good traders don’t have a liquidity problem. 

Also, they can shut operations and switch off from the market any time, if they are able to do so, in practice. 

Tappable markets are many for the trader. 

Trading leads to income generation. 

Investing leads to wealth creation.

What do you want from your life?

Both – is a valid answer, but confuses. 

If one wants to dabble in trading, but is basically an investor, one can think about initiating positional trades, which have a investing-like feel, and one’s time is less bound to the market.

If one wants to dabble in investing as a trader, hmm, this one will be markedly tougher, I think.

Don’t know what to say here, since I’m an investor who dabbles in trading…

…, but intuitively, I feel, that this one would take a lot of effort.

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!

Dynamics of a Right Call

India is in a long-term bull market.

Sure, there will be corrections.

We can easily have a big-time correction, but still be in the long-term bull market.

Putting things in a twenty year perspective, 2008 hasn’t done away with direction.

Sure, ideally one needed to be equity – light by Jan 14, 2008, which most of us weren’t.

Question is, will be be relatively equity-lighter on Jan 14, 2021?

Yeah, I will be.

Lighter.

That’s about it.

Won’t be selling a single share of my core-portfolio.

However, hopefully, will have sold everything else before an interim market peak.

You see, for every right call, we make umpteen wrong calls.

These are the ones that we discard on interim market highs.

We don’t discard core-portfolio inhabitants.

These we allow to compound into multi-baggers.

It’s OK to make wrong calls.

Without these, we won’t get to make the right ones.

We won’t make the next mistakes though.

We won’t discard wrong calls without it being an interim market high.

Also, we won’t discard a right call as long as we keep feeling it’s a right call.

The best calls remain right…

… like…

… almost forever.

We’re talking Buffet and Coke.

Or, for example, RJ and Titan.

List goes on.

Point is, when we’ve made the right call, we need to follow up with right actions that allow maximum mileage.

Allowance for compounding.

Increase of position upon interim lows.

Patience.

No trigger-fingers.

You get the drift.

Over time, then, we are left with right calls which have developed into multi-baggers. Wrong calls have been discarded over many interim cycles.

The multi-baggers in our folio are, at this time, generating enough dividend to sustain us.

This is where we want to be.

It’s OK to dream.

Without the right dreams, we won’t arrive at the sweet-spot mentioned above.

Happy long-term investing! 🙂

Walking the Walk

Hey,

… just made a decision…

… and am going to share it with you. 🙂

From this point onwards,…

…, I’ll exclusively be working with underlyings,…

…, with whom I’m walking the walk with.

So, what does that mean?

As per my understanding, there are two ways of getting to know an underlying, for example a stock.

We can see what it’s done,…

…, landmarks that have been established,…

…, track record,…

…, lineage,…

… etc.

Sure, we can take in the fundamentals ad-nauseam, and that’s absolutely fine.

No one’s investing without appropriate fundamentals in place.

That’s not it all, though.

Will be walking with the stock too.

Where does it go?

What does it do there?

How does it behave?

Is the behaviour off?

We want to know.

And we’ll know…

… by getting a feel for the stock’s movement.

Why all this?

What are we doing with such stocks?

Investing in them, yes.

However, stocks aren’t always in an investing zone.

Then we’ll generate income from the same stocks.

Why from this category?

Why not choose specific trading stocks to trade?

That’s because they’ll contaminate investment mindset.

Trading investment grade stocks that make one’s cut, when these stocks are in a trading zone, is a pursuit with multi-faceted advantages.

Income generation.

Pinpointed stock-specific knowledge, which gets deeper and deeper.

Insurance when stuck. You’re a holder, so do the math.

Huge time-saving in the long run, as patterns become clear.

Minimal tension.

If we wish to mimimize tension further, we can take time out of the equation (meaning, we won’t do derivatives in this case).

We won’t be Johny-on-the-spot with this strategy, probably.

We’ll make money, though.

There’ll be peace of mind.

Enjoyment.

Over time, this strategy can go to the max. Meaning, we’ll outdo all Johnies from their spots with regard to income and wealth generation.

Why?

We’re walking the walk, remember ?

Over time, we’ll become masters of our territory.

We don’t want more.

We’re done already.

Playing Over-hot Underlyings with the Call Butterfly

A call butterfly is a fully hedged options trade …

… with an upwards bias.

It consists of four call options.

2 buys…

…and 2 sells.

One can play any overtly rising underlying with the call butterfly, without batting an eyelid.

Why?

Firstly, and most importantly, one is fully hedged.

Meaning?

At first look, the call butterfly seems market neutral as far as basic mathematics is concerned, that is +1, -2, +1, net net 0.

So, net net, one isn’t looking at a large loss if one is wrong.

When is one wrong here?

If the underlying doesn’t move, or if it falls, in the stipulated period, then one is wrong,…

…and one will incur a loss.

However, the loss will be relatively small, because of the call butterfly’s structural market neutrality.

And that’s magic, at least to my ears.

Method to enter anything flying off the handle with the chance of a small loss?

Will take it.

Then, also very importantly, the margin requirement is relatively less, when one uses the following chronology.

One executes the buys first.

Then come the sells.

Upon the upholding of this chronology, the market regulator is lenient with one on margin requirement, as long as the trade-construct is market neutral.

Typically, for one butterfly, total margin requirement is in the range of 50 to a 100k.

Now let’s talk about what one is looking to make.

5k per single-lot trade-construct, if it’s fast, as in execute today, square-off tomorrow, or even intraday, if expiry is close.

10k if slow, as in 7 to 10 days.

If the butterfly is not yielding because the underlying is not moving, then one is looking to exit, typically with a minus of under 3k.

Just do the math. Numbers are great.

What kind of a maximum loss are we looking at, if things go badly wrong, as in if the underlying sinks?

5k to 10k.

Can the loss be more?

If the trade construct is such that the butterfly can even give 40 odd k till expiry, one could even be looking at a max loss of about 15k too.

Here’s an example of a call butterfly trade that can lose around 15-16k, but has the potential to make upto around 45k till expiry. The graphical representation is courtesy Sensibull.

GAIL Call Butterfly Dec 31 2020 Expiry

I mean, it’s all still acceptable.

Tweaks?

Let’s say one is losing.

Sells will be in biggish plus.

Square-off the sells. Yeah, break the hedge.

Margin gets returned. Premium pocketed.

Buys are exposed, though.

They are losing big.

With some time to go till expiry, if the underlying goes back up, the buys gain.

What one makes off the trade is proportional to how much the underlying goes up.

It’s riskier. Correspondingly, profit potential is higher.

Money risked here will be up to double of the fully hedged version of the trade, and one could lose this amount if the underlying does not come back up appropriately and in time. Pocketed premium of the squared-off sells softens the hit.

Therefore, it makes more sense to pull this tweak with at least ten days to go before expiry, giving the underlying time to recoup.

Got another tweak.

This one’s intraday, though.

Underlying’s on a roll, and you want to make the most possible off the opportunity.

Square-off the sells at a huge loss.

Let the buys, which are winning big, run for some part of the day.

Chances of them yielding more are very high.

Square-off the buys before close of trade.

If the underlying promises to close on a high, square-off the out-of-the-money buy before close of trade, and take the in-the-money buy overnight.

Risky, though.

You could lessen your risk, and increase your chances of taking most profits off the table by squaring off the in-the-money buy and taking the out-of-the-money buy overnight.

Square-off the overnight buy next morning on a high, or wherever feasible.

With this particular tweak, the trade becomes somewhat more like a lesser exposed futures transaction, at least for some time, after the hedge is broken.

There’s another thing one can do with the call butterfly.

One can adjust it as per the level of perceived bullishness.

If -1 and -1 are set at the same level, one trades for averagely perceived bullishness.

If one -1 is closer to the lower +1, and the other -1 is above this first -1, then one trades for below average perceived bullishness.

If one -1 is closer to the upper +1, and the other -1 is below this first -1, then one trades for above average perceived bullishness.

Anything else worth mentioning?

Volume. Need it.

Bid-ask spread needs to be narrow.

Scaling up needs to correspond to one’s risk-profile, requirement, temperament and acumen.

One can make it an income thing by scaling up, during bull runs, or generally, just in case an up move is tending to pan out.

One can make the call butterfly do a lot of things.

It’s a very versatile trade to play a rising market, with low risk and low capital requirement.

Happy trading!

🙂

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.

Equity – The New Normal for Parking

Who’s the biggest…

…Ponzi…

…of them all?

Insurance companies?

There’s someone bigger.

The government. 

Legit.

Probably not going to go bust…

…at least in a hurry. 

Moves money from A to B…

…with minimum accountability. 

Resurrects skeletons and gives them infinite leases of life…

…with good, clean and fresh funds…

…that flow out of the pockets of helpless citizens. 

So, what about the government’s bond?

Sovereign debt.

The herd is flowing to sovereign debt, and to some extent to 100% AAA max 3 month paper duration liquid funds. 

This is after the johnnies at FT India miscalculated big-time, and had to wind-up six debt mutual fund schemes in their repertoire.

Should one do what the herd is doing?

Let’s break this down. 

First up, the herd exited credit-risk funds en-masse, post FT India’s announcement. Logical? Maybe. Safety and all that. Took a hit on the NAV, due to massive redemptions. I’m guesstimating something to the tune of 3%+. 

This seems fine, given the circumstances. Would have done the same thing, had I been in credit-risk. Perhaps earlier than the herd. Hopefully. No one likes a 3%+ hit on the NAV within a day or two.

Let’s look at the next step.

Sovereign debt is not everyone’s cup of tea. 

Especially the long-term papers, oh, they can move. 3% moves in a day are not unknown. 13-17% moves in a year are also not unknown. A commoner from the herd would go into shock, were he or she to encounter a big move day to the downside in the GILT (Government of India Long Term) bond segment. Then he or she would commit the blunder of cashing out of GILT when 10% down in 6 months, should such a situation arise. This is absolutely conceivable. Has happened. Will happen. Again.

There are a lot of experts advocating GILT smugly, at this time. They’re experts. They can probably deal with the nuances of GILT. The herd individual – very probably – CAN’T. The expert announces. Herd follows. There comes a crisis that affects GILT. Expert has probably exited GILT shortly before the onset of crisis. Herd is left hanging. Let’s say GILT tanks big time. Herd starts exiting GILT, making it fall further. Expert enters GILT, yeah – huge buying opportunity generated for expert.

More savvy and cautious investors who don’t wish to be saddled with the day to day tension of GILT, and who were earlier in credit-risk, are switching to liquid funds holding 100% AAA rated papers.

Sure. 

This is probably not a herd. Or is it?

Returns in the 100% AAA liquid fund category are lesser. Safety is more. How much are the returns lesser by? Around 1.5 to 2% lesser than ultra-short, floating-rate and low-duration funds. 

Ultra-short, floating-rate and low-duration funds all fall under a category of short-term debt which people are simply ignoring and jumping over, because apart from their large size of AAA holdings, a chunk of their holdings are still AA, and a small portion could be only A rated (sometimes along with another smallish portion allocated in – yes – even sovereign debt – for some of the mutual funds in this category).

The question that needs to be asked is this – Are quality funds in the category of ultra-short, floating-rate and low-duration funds carrying dicey papers that could default – to the tune of more than 2%?

There’s been a rejuggling of portfolios. Whatever this number was, it has lessened.

The next question is, if push comes to shove, how differently are 100% AAA holdings going to be treated in comparison to compositions of – let’s say – 60% AAA, 30% AA and 10% A?

I do believe that a shock wave would throw both categories out of whack, since corporate AAA is still not sovereign debt, and the herd is not going to give it the same adulation. 

The impact of such shock wave to 100 % AAA will still be sizeable (though lesser) when compared to its cousin category with some AA and a slice of A. Does the 2% difference in returns now nullify the safety edge of 100% AAA?

Also, not all corporate AAA is “safe”. 

Then, if nobody’s lending to the lower rung in the ratings ladder, should such industry just pack up its bags? If the Government allows this to happen, it probably won’t get re-elected.

The decision to remain in this category encompassing ultra-short, floating-rate and low-duration bond mutual funds, or to switch to 100% AAA short-term liquid funds, is separated by a very thin line

Those who follow holdings and developments on a day to day basis, themselves or through their advisors, can still venture to stay in the former category. The day one feels uncomfortable enough, one can switch to 100% AAA. 

This brings us to the last questions in this piece. 

Why go through the whole rigmarole?

Pack up the bond segment for oneself?

Move completely to fixed deposits?

Fine.

Just a sec.

What happens if the government issues a writ disallowing breaking of FDs above a certain amount, in the future, at a time when you need your money the most?

Please don’t say that such a thing can’t happen.

Remember Yes bank?

What if FD breakage is disallowed for all banks, and you don’t have access to your funds, right when you need them?

Sure, of course it won’t happen. But what if it does?

You could flip the same kind of question towards me. What happens if the debt fund I’m in – whether ultra-short, or floating-rate, or low-duration, or liquid – what happens if the fund packs up?

My answer is – I’ve chosen quality. If quality packs up 100%, it’ll be a doomsday scenario, on which FDs will also be frozen dear (how do you know they won’t be?), and GILTs could well have a 10%+ down-day, and, such doomsday scenario could very probably bring a freeze on further redemptions from GILT too. When the sky is falling, no one’s a VIP.

Parked money needs to be safe-guarded as you would a child,…

…and,…

…there spring up question marks in all debt-market categories,…

…so,…

…as Equity players, where do we stand?

Keep traversing the jungle, avoiding pitfalls to the best of one’s ability. 

How long?

Till one is fully invested in Equity. 

Keep moving on. A few daggers will hit a portion of one’s parked funds. Think of this as slippage, or as opportunity-cost. 

Let’s try and limit the hit to as small a portion of one’s parked funds as possible. Let’s ignore what the herd is doing, make up our own mind, and be comfortable with whatever decision we are taking, before we implement the decision. Let’s use our common-sense. Let’s watch Debt. Watch it more than one would watch one’s Equity. Defeats the purpose of parking in this segment, I know. That’s why we wish to be 100% in Equity, parked or what have you, eventually. 

As we keep dodging and moving ahead, over time, the job will be done already.

We’re comfortable with the concept of being fully parked in Equity. 

Whereas the fear of losing even a very small portion of our principal in the segment of Debt might appear overwhelming to us, the idea of losing all of one’s capital in some stocks is not new for us Equity players. We have experienced it. We can deal with it. Why? Because in other stocks, we are going to make multiples, many multiples, over the long-term.

Equity seems to be the new normal for parking

Bonding

As Equity players…

…we enter the bond segment to…

conserve capital.

There is no other reason.

Return?

We do make a slightly better return than a fixed deposit.

We’re not in bonds to make a killing.

That is outlined for the Equity segment.

We’re Equity players, remember. 

I was just going through the top ten holdings of each of FT India’s now “discontinued” (new word for mini-insolvency?) debt funds. (I’m uncertain just now what word they’ve used, was it “stopped”? Or “halted”?) [Just looked up the internet, the words used are “winding up”].

My goodness! 

The fund managers in question wanted to outperform all other funds at the cost of asset-quality. 

Many of these top ten holdings (for six funds, one is looking at six top ten holdings) one would not even have heard of. 

A top ten holding constitutes the backbone of the mutual fund being studied. 

If the backbone is wobbly, the whole structure trembles upon wind exposure. 

This corona black swan is not a wind. It’s a long-drawn out cyclone, to fit the analogy. 

This particular structure has crumbled. 

Fund managers concerned have acted out of greed – that’s the only explanation for above top ten holdings. 

No other explanation comes to my mind. 

That they are also holding large chunks of Yes Bank and Vodafone is more an error in judgement, albeit a grave one. 

People commit errors in judgement.

Could one still overlook the a large chunk’s (10%?) segregation in FT India’s Debt folios, where Yes and Voda bonds have been marked down to zero?

Such a hit is huge in the debt segment.

Why are we in debt?

To conserve capital. 

10% hit in debt?

NO.

Wobbly top ten holdings?

NNOO!

Had no idea that the FT India debt portfolio had so many red-flags. 

Till they dropped the bombshell that they were discontinuing their six debt-funds, from last evening, one had no idea. 

Now that it’s dropped, one digs deep to understand their mistakes.

Why?

One doesn’t want to make the same mistakes. 

One doesn’t want to be invested in any funds in the debt segment which are making the same mistakes.

However, another look at their holdings reassures one that one won’t be making such mistakes, of greed, and of comprehensive failure to read managements and road conditions – in a hurry.

Nevertheless, one wishes to be aware.

Now that one is, all measures will be enhanced to prevent even an inkling of such an outcome for oneself. 

Wait up. 

Such measures were already in place. 

Greed? In bonds? 

We’re in bonds to conserve capital. 

No greed there. 

Top ten holdings?

Rock-solid. 

That’s the fundamental tenet one looks for while entering any mutual fund, whether in the debt or in the equity segment. 

We’re good. 

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.