Taking Off with Cost-Free-Ness

In Buddhism, …

…there’s a saying to the effect, …

…that as the sun rises, …

…the radiance of others stars, …

… to the observer’s eye, …

… pales, …

…into insignificance.

We’re not going to leave an observation like that hanging.

We’re going to extrude it.

When we make a well-managed underlying cost-free, …

…what are the implications, …

… on existing holdings, …

…which are not cost-free yet?

Well, over a large period of time, …

…their comparative impact on the folio…

…will start paling, … into insignificance.

Let’s say we hold x value of cost-free-ness in an underlying.

Rest of the folio’s value is y, with y = let’s say 30x.

Here’s one way go looking at it.

What’s the maximum loss you can incur on your y?

Not going to happen, but it’s 30x.

What’s the maximum gain that can occur on your cost-free holding?

Uncapped. Yeah.

At 15% per annum compounded, which is reasonable to expect for a well-managed company with many other tick-marks, if you hold your cost-free holding for 25 years, it’s value would be ~ 33x (= 1.15^25).

So, what have you done?

You’ve paled your other portion of the folio into “insignificance”, with just one created pocket of cost-free-ness.

Do ponder, what the implications would be, if you were to create a). 10 such pockets, or b). 20, or c). 50, or perhaps even d). 100 such pockets of cost-free-ness?

Can you even imagine where you would then be in 25 years?

a). With 10x of cost-free-ness, you would be at ~ 329x.

b). With 20x of cost-free-ness, you would be at ~ 658x.

c). With 50x of cost-free-ness, you would be at ~ 1645x.

d). With 100x of cost-free-ness, you would be at ~ 3292x.

Now substitute the value of x here.

Arbitrarily, let’s take x = 1.

One rupee.

One thousand.

One lakh.

One million.

One Cr.

Take what suits you.

See where you started from, and see where you’ve then come.

For example, starting with 1L of cost-free-ness, we land up at ~ 16.5 Cr in 25 years for 50 pockets.

Let’s say I have a target of creating 1 million worth of cost-free-ness in 50 pockets.

Where do I stand in 25 years?

At ~ 165 Cr (50 *1Million *1.15^25).

Alone the after tax dividend emerging from this stream would be > 2.5 Cr per annum.

Any takers?

🙂 (Happy Cost-free-ness!)

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!

🙂

Being Cost-Free is like having 100% Margin-of-Safety

What allows us to sit?

It’s margin-of-safety.

When we buy without margin-of-safety, we are not able to sit for the long term.

Long-term investing fails for us if we don’t know how to sit.

Extrapolating this logic further, what would allow us to sit on high-quality holdings, like, forever, allowing for multibaggers to develop in our portfolio?

It’s cost-free-ness.

Being cost-free in a stock is equivalent to having 100% margin-of-safety on the holding.

Such a state of being allows us to freely sit on the holding, like, forever.

A range of other benefits open up for us, and about these we have spoken in detail earlier.

For example, we become fearless with regard to our cost-free holding. Then, we experience full freedom of focus on future play, while simultaneously forgetting that we even have this other cost-free holding that we own! Like I said, we’ve discussed all this thoroughly in previous pieces.

Bottom-line is, that we understand explicitly following extrapolation : Buying with margin-of-safety translates into sitting-ability for us, leading to creation of cost-free-ness upon appropriate appreciation, and such cost-free-ness in turn equates to 100% margin of safety in the held underlying, which then allows us to sit indefinitely on our high quality holding.

We’ve thus set the stage for holding many multibaggers in our ‘folio, by the time we reach retirement age.

🙂

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.

🙂

Secret Ingredients in Times like Corona

Hi,

It’s been a while.

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

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

If our learning is solid, we will emerge victorious.

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

Such are the market forces that are prevailing. 

Have we learn’t to sit?

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

Did we accumulate funds?

Did we create a sizeable liquid corpus?

If we did, we are kings in this scenario. 

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

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

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

We’re not succumbing to any panic. 

Why?

Because our minds are focused on the bargains available.

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

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

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

Having access to ample liquidity, are we now greedy?

What does greed mean?

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

Greed Is defined here as per the quantum of buying. 

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

Yes?

Greedy.

No?

Not greedy.

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

The answer will make itself felt.

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

50% from here?

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

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

…in the markets.

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

 

Behaviour at the Sweet Spot

When you’re active,…

…happy,…

…at your financial goal,…

… and looking to go beyond,…

…what is this condition called?

It’s called…

…being at the sweet spot.

Stop here.

Enjoy it. 

It’s come after toil.

Don’t let is go.

Whatever you do from this point onwards, maintain the existence of the sweet spot.

If you’re careless, the sweet spot will be gone…

…and you’ll be back in the rut. 

If you don’t know how to behave at a sweet spot…

…you’ll most certainly see it go.

So…

…how does one behave at a sweet spot?

First up, don’t make too many moves here, because balance is brittle and has come at a cost. 

You’ve moved your mountains to reach here. Movement is done. 

Savings will emanate at the sweet spot. 

Tap these. 

Do whatever it is you wish to do from a part of these savings. 

As your savings grow further, detach yourself more and more from the rat-race. 

The sweet spot was the one where you told yourself you’d be happy. 

Beyond, you should be happier. 

Make sure that comes true for you.

Happy Living!

Boiling Down to Unity

What is unity?

Oneness.

The thing everything has boiled down to.

That, which emerges after all the dust of everything has settled.

Yes, that.

Not the one as in being united, not that unity.

The one-resultant-vector unity.

The equation-being-solved-unanimously unity.

The one big solution for everything that’s bothering you – that unity.

Why are we talking about unity?

Because it is the answer.

What is the question?

Or, what are the questions?

“It’s the question that drives you, doesn’t it, Neo?”

There are many questions.

Each has different questions.

Each strives for a unique unity.

Each must find his or her unique point of peace.

Till then, mind will be restless, something will always be missing, and peace will be elusive.

Are we even talking about money?

You bet.

We strive in a million ways to garner money and make it grow.

We try different methods. Lots of strategies. People. Planning.

What is it boiling down to?

Have we recognised it?

In what form do we wish to see our money ultimately?

Do we have that kind of vision?

Are we standing on the mountain with that bird-eye view?

If yes, our strategies start culminating towards the final goal.

Why?

Because we know where we are going.

How did we know where we were going?

We asked the question.

Then we followed our mind. It led us to the answer.

Took some time, didn’t it?

At least we got there.

That’s huge.

Holding the Line

Your systems are in place.

They’re implemented. 

Basics are going. Life basics. Family basics.

Then you’ve got your income basics. They’re safe. They generate income. This income goes towards comfortable upkeep of your family. Some of it is saved. 

Your investment portfolios are firing. Savings have built these up. You don’t touch these, but keep adding to them upon opportunity. 

You’ve just finished implementing all your trading systems. 

Some of these are on auto-pilot. 

The other ones demand a little of your time each day. 

They keep you sharp and all there. 

Nothing much. 

Just fifteen to twenty minutes each. 

Skin off your teeth. 

You tackle them with your bed-tea. 

In other words, you are set as far as being income plus plus plus. 

Good. 

Now what?

Now you need to hold the line. 

What does that mean?

It means everything. 

It means no blow-ups…

…no crazy decisions that impact folios and family…

…basically nothing insane coming from you that will threaten your hard-earned situation or worse. 

Holding the line means making sure basics stay intact…

…folios keep growing…

…and new systems keep developing that add to these. 

It’s really that simple. 

When you hold the line, your next step either maintains status quo or adds to you. Preferably, it adds to you.

However, the simpler something is, the more difficult it is to follow. 

What are the demons that can slay you?

Over-confidence.

Over-ambition.

Hubris.

Greed.

Showmanship. 

Debt.

One-up-on-the-Joneses-ideology. 

This stuff looks pretty harmless at first, but is enough to give rise to cracks. 

Cracks grow… 

…till you’ve either come back to your senses and filled and sealed them…

…or till they’ve destroyed you right down to beyond your basics. 

Yeah, a full blow-up is never really far away, once cracks start to appear. 

Therefore…

…while holding the line…

… you keep reminding yourself about what you’re doing…

…why you’re doing it…

…and that you’re never going to blow up, come what may…

…and that you’re going to keep holding the line, come what may…

…and that your next step is always going to add to you.

Happy Holding!

🙂

Control

Longevity.

We look for it in the markets too. 

It’s natural.

Our first instinct is to survive. 

Our second instinct is to survive well. 

In the markets, both these instincts are addressed by our definition and understanding of control. 

Are we control-freaks? 

There’s no harm in admitting it, it’ll save us from losses. 

Well, if we are, we’re better off seeking another career where control-freaking is an asset.

In the markets, it’s not.

Yeah, surprise surprise, Mrs. Market is gonna keep hitting our stops again and again and again, till we get tired of second-guessing her and just sheer quit.

Or, if we’re adamant too, she’ll just drive us bankrupt. 

Are we giving her complete leeway?

Well, then she’ll drive us bankrupt anyways, with no stops in place.

Mrs. Market works against us when we exhibit extreme behaviour wrt control.

Let’s fine-tune control.

We’ll find the median for stop-size.

Something that’s workable.

We then move with her.

If she moves in our direction of the trade, we keep raising our stop with her, from a distance, quietly.

Control, mild, unadvertised.

She’ll stop us out eventually, perhaps after some profit.

Good. 

As in, workable. 

When she goes berserk in our direction of the trade, we’ll ignore her and just let her do her thing.

Minimum control.

No definition of targets.

Stop is far away. It’s deep in profits, and being raised quietly. She’ll need to stop us out with a big swing against us. Yeah, deep in profit, we’ve kept a large leeway between stop and CMP.

We’re not micromanaging her.

Motive?

We wish to allow her to go even more berserk in our direction of the trade.

We’re daring her too, as in “come and get our stop, if you have the guts to fall this far”.

Control.

Very subtle.

We’re controlling our environment, while simultaneously ignoring her.

Very workable. 

We’ll live long in the markets. 

Scaling Up

When you find a system… 

… that works… 

… what’s the next step? 

Plunge? 

Wait. 

Look left and right. 

Meaning? 

Look at your basics. 

Are they in place? 

Meaning? 

No worries about food on the table? 

No worries about kids’ education funds?

Basic family luxuries in place? 

No? 

Get these together and going. 

Yes. 

Ok. 

Go for it. 

Scale up. 

Your decision to scale up should at no time endanger your basics. 

You’re scaling up from  your extras.

You’re scaling up with stops in place. 

If your stops are hit, you’ll change your system till it works again. 

You will not borrow from your basics. 

You will wait for your extras to accumulate, and divert these into scaling up. 

Having gotten all that out of the way, let’s cast a glance at the concrete process. 

1x is working, or so you say. 

In fact, you’re sure 1x is working. 

Ok. 

Now do 2x.

Working? 

5x.

Can you take it? 

Do you sleep well at night? 

Fine. 

10x.

Working? 

Family life intact? 

Basics intact?

Fine. You take it from here. 

Where do you plateau? 

Right before a level where something might get disturbed. 

It’s really that simple. 

Happy scaling up! 

🙂 

Monotony

Plan in motion? 

Let it play. 

Sure, monotonous. 

Monotony bores you, right? 

Boring monotony yielding acceptable results is a good outcome. Don’t spoil its party. 

Divert your attention. 

Try a stunt. 

Risk a little. 

Maybe one out of your ten stunts works out. 

Develop this one further. 

Still working. 

Scale it up slowly. 

Working. 

Auto-pilot. 

Monotony. 

Results still good. 

Stop looking. 

Let it play. 

Look elsewhere. 

Do something new with yourself. 

Soon, it’ll be time to go. 

Meanwhile, build a legacy to leave behind, in your memory, one that benefits many. 

What is an Antifragile approach to Equity?

Taleb’s term “antifragile” is here to stay.

If my understanding is correct, an asset class that shows more upside than downside upon the onset of shock in this age of shocks – is termed as antifragile.

So what’s going to happen to us Equity people?

Is Equity a fragile asset class?

Let’s turn above question upon its head.

What about our approach?

Yes, our approach can make Equity antifragile for us.

We don’t need to pack our bags and switch to another asset class.

We just approach Equity in an antifragile fashion. Period.

Well, aren’t we already? Margin of safety and all that.

Sure. We’ll just refine what we’ve already got, add a bit of stuff, and come out with the antifragile strategy.

So, quality.

Management.

Applicability to the times.

Scalability.

Value.

Fundamentals.

Blah blah blah.

You’ve done all your research.

You’ve found a plum stock.

You’re getting margin of safety.

Lovely.

What’s missing?

Entry.

Right.

You don’t enter with a bang.

You enter at various times, again and again, in small quanta.

What are these times?

You enter in the aftermath of shocks.

There will be many shocks.

This is the age of shocks.

You enter when the stock is at its antifragile-most. For that time period. It is showing maximal upside. Minimal downside. Fundamentals are plum. Shock’s beaten it down. You enter, slightly. Put yourself in a position to enter many, many times, over many years, upon shock after shock. This automatically means that entry quantum is small. This also means you’re doing an SIP where the S stands for your own system (with the I being for investment and the P for plan).

Now let’s fine-fine-tune.

Don’t put more than 0.5% of your networth into any one stock, ever. Adjust this figure for yourself. Then adjust entry quantum for yourself.

Don’t enter into more than 20-30 stocks. Again, adjust to comfort level.

Remain doable.

If you’re full up, and something comes along which you need to enter at all costs, discard a stock you’re liking the least.

Have your focus-diversified portfolio (FDP) going on the side, apart from Equity.

Congratulations, you just made Equity antifragile for yourself.

🙂