Focused Diversification : Mantra for all Times

I’m more into focus.

One can focus on one thing at a time.

Agreed.

What if after that one thing starts running, it doesn’t require any more focus?

Wow.

Then I focus on another thing.

Get it running.

Then another.

Till my focus window is full.

Let me tell you about my focus window.

I focus on cash, debt, equity, forex, gold, real-estate, arbitrage, and options.

With that, my professional focus in finance is full full full.

I get something running.

That’s it.

Then I don’t need to be with it. Mostly.

Let me run you through.

1). Cash – Bind it in a worry-free and accessible manner. Done.

2). Debt – Study the underlying very thoroughly. Reject 10 underlyings. Take up the 11th which passes all criteria. Be happy with a slightly better than FD-return. Done.

3). Equity – Invest for life. Study till you drop the stock or take it up. Only invest in what meets all criteria and offers margin of safety at time of investing. On top of that – SIP (systematic investment plan). Done.

4). Forex – Get a software robot to trade it for you. Or some human-capital. All available online. Requires a bit of fine-tuning. Keep tuning till you start making a return. Done.

5). Gold – Buy physical gold. Research your source. Needs to be impeccable. Bullion. Coins. SIP. Accessible. No jewellery. Done.

6). Real-estate – Make your real-estate yield you an income. Regular income? Done.

7). Arbitrage – Understand what this is, and why it gives you a tax benefit. Get an online MF account going with Kotak MF or DWS. Divert some funds into their arbitrage MF, either or. I prefer Kotak. Monthly dividend payout option. Done.

8). Options – Get the option-strategy going. You don’t require a desktop. Mobile is sufficient. All you now need to do is take care of square-off. On mobile. This means a slightly higher level of engagement than the above avenues. Only slightly. Are you ok with that? Fine. Done.

In a flow, it’s all doable.

And, you remain focused.

Why all this?

Times demand it. You never know what might come in handy, and when.

Yeah, times are tough.

However, you are tougher.

To use Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s terminology, you are antifragile.

What to do in the Age of Shocks?

Wait for a shock.

That’s it.

Then go in… a bit.

Sound simple?

Ain’t.

Why?

Firstly, patience.

Who has patience, today?

Few.

Secondly, psychology.

Shock brings pessimism.

You don’t want to go in, not even a bit.

That is the whole thing.

Punchline. Understand it, and you’ve won already.

Thirdly, funds.

Who has funds, when the shock arrives?

Few.

Why?

Barely anyone knows how to SIT on funds.

I didn’t either.

Self-taught.

Through mistakes and pain.

By putting money on the line… losing it.

Took eleven years.

Now I know.

So don’t tell me that one is only born with the ability to sit.

Don’t waste your funds. Save them. They are your soldiers.

Fourthly, energy reserves.

Who has energy reserves when the shock arrives?

Few.

Why?

We’re too busy doing this doing that, always, forever. We don’t know how to conserve energy and build up reserves. Those who do then use their reserves to carry forward their strategies upon the arrival of a shock.

Fifthly, focus.

The hallmark of a big winner is focus.

Who has focus?

Few.

We’re too busy diversifying. It’s safer. Investing in the wake of shocks requires pinpointed focus.

Sixthly, courage.

Who has courage?

Few.

Why?

We’ve been taught to avoid, and move on. Life’s too full of BS that needs to be avoided. However, coming out during shocks needs courage. Face the enemy, and fight.

Seventhly, and perhaps this should have been on the top of the list, common-sense.

Who has common-sense?

Almost no one.

Why?

We’re too busy being complicated and sophisticated. We want to portray falsehood. We miss the forest for the trees. However, shocks are tackled with common-sense. Simplicity in thinking is paramount. The simplest ideas making the most sense are also the most successful ones.

Eighthly, long-term vision.

Who has vision?

Handful of people.

Why?

We’re too near-sighted. We want instant gratification. However, a shock presents excellent ground to root yourself in for the long-term. Understand this, and you’ll have understood a lot.

I could go on.

That’s quite enough though.

Above are eight points to think about,  to be seen as eight weapons that need sharpening, to come out fighting in the age of shocks.

Be patient, optimistic, fund-heavy, energy-heavy, focused and brave. Use your common-sense. Have long-term vision. BASICS.

Wishing you successful investing, in an age riddled with shocks.

🙂

Not in the Mood?

Right, good.

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

Mood sets the tone for success… or failure.

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

Nothing.

I just don’t conduct it.

Period.

What if the opportunity goes away?

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

Why am I so pricy about my behaviour?

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

When will I be conducting the due due-diligence?

When would that be?

Whenever it happens naturally, without artificial pressure.

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

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

Work towards your sweet spot.

Now.

Making it Count

You’re playing a big one.

What’s foremost?

Make it count. For heaven’s sake.

Why?

Big plays don’t come too often. When they do, you have to catch them. You need to have energy left, to play. Then you just go all the way. Till the play plays itself out.

Life is an accumulation of knicks and knacks.

At first, you don’t know what you’re good for.

When you do know it, you start out as a net-net loser in whatever you’re good for, because every rookie needs to pay tuition fees. These are the costs of your mistakes.

Then you start getting the hang of something you’re naturally good at. Tricks of the trade – you learn them. You succeed in making your activity applicable, perhaps even financially viable.

Next step is to scale up.

You need to make your successful model count. Period.

Tired? Want to do other things? Need to borrow? Too big a pain? Time-issues? Overdose? Bureaucracy?

Whatever.

Don’t lessen the flow. Hold on. Ask the Universe for reserves. See the play through.

One life can mean just a few big plays.

When you’ve latched onto one, and have set it up so beautifully, now’s the time make it count.

Best of luck!

🙂

Core-System Discovery

You look.

Perhaps without success.

You look again.

And again.

So on and forth.

Till you find.

What?

An addition to your core-system.

What’s a core-system?

The better question here would be – what’s your core-system?

Now, fortunately or unfortunately, that’s for you to find.

In a nutshell, your core-system is that something which makes you tick. It has as many facets as you wish it to have. Each facet needs to be discovered, attached, fine-tuned, tried, tested and finally welcomed to or rejected from your core-system.

Facets are not limited to your professional life. Your core-system makes you tick on an all-round basis.

For example, brewing and savouring that perfect cup of tea could be an important facet. Finding, fine-tuning and enjoying your favorite media-source could be another. Blogging could be one. Sport. Hobbies. Family time. People skills. Yeah, now we’re getting professional. You can fill in your professional blanks.

Discovery costs. Time, effort, funds, nerve, sweat. It’s worth it many times over when you find a fit. Please believe me.

Some things don’t fit. You think you want them badly, but the harder you try, the more they refuse to fit. After trying your hardest, you need to conserve your life-force to look for another fit. What didn’t fit didn’t fit for a reason. It’s not mandatory for Nature to reveal that reason to you. Move on.

Keep looking for fits. Eventually, you’ll have a robust core-system, which will make you tick exceptionally.

Happy Findings!

🙂

It’s Boiling Down to Getting Your Basics Right Smartie

Yeah, everything else is following.

We’re in flow. 

World moves. 

Decisions are taken as a matter of course. 

It’s the build-up where stuff happens. 

You’re nailing the build-up dear. 

Million dollar question – how?

It’s all about systems. 

Systems, systems, systems. 

Get your systems in place. 

Be cumulative.

Also, seamless. 

Minimum overheads. Low-maintenance. 

And, don’t stop flowing. 

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

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

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

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

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

What’s gone into your systems?

Hit and trial. 

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

That’s how you flow, man. 

The rest, as they say, will be History. 

Whose Game Are You Playing?

Are you playing your game?

No?

Why not?

Why do you play someone else’s game?

Do you think that’s going to make you happy?

Just for the record, working for someone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re playing that someone’s game. You’re walking a common path with someone. Could be your boss. Spouse. Parent. Sibling. Whosoever. You could still be playing your game.

Life’s a game too.

A game doesn’t mean you have to rule over someone, or something. Wherever there’s a lesson to be learnt, a game is on. When we talk about your life-lessons, we talk about your game.

If I’m not mistaken, life is about learning. For some of us. There are souls who come to spend surplus Karma. Once this is exhausted, their game changes by default, since the lessons start again.

We come face to face with people and situations… to learn. The same people and / or situations keep reappearing till some learning is fully learnt. They can appear in an overbearing role, but you’re still playing your game. You’re learning your lesson. Or not. These people and / or situations cause you to behave as per a groove which has encompassed your life. The lesson is to learn how to break out of the groove. If you’re learning the lesson, you’re playing your game. If not, you’re playing someone else’s.

Play the market. Play your game with the market. Someone else’s successful market game might lure you. It won’t give you lasting succes. Why?

Someone else’s successful market game caters to someone else’s psychology. In crux situations, you will falter in that game. You will lose it all. That someone will succeed. He or she has spent years devising a game which caters fully and totally to his or her psychology and risk profile. Not to yours. He or she cannot know as much about your own psychology and risk profile as you do. Therefore, devise your own market-play. Then, play it.

It takes years or perhaps a decade to discover and understand your behaviour, psychology and reactions to varied market situations. Be there. In the market. Make small mistakes. Learn your lessons. Understand your grooves. Devise a comprehensive strategy around this.
That’s your game.

What are you waiting for?

Play it.

🙂