Insiding

The correct market strategy for oneself…

…is like a holy grail.

It doesn’t come for free.

Some don’t attain it at all.

Mostly, one does get to it but is not able to maintain it.

It’s great if you can arrive at your correct strategy, and keep it alive, forever.

However, that’s a huge statement.

Lots of caveats will need to be addressed before this statement can be made achievable.

What works for me is lots of hit and trial.

Levels internalize.

One gets a feel for what is disturbing (to oneself).

Internalization gets our reflexes going on auto.

“Insiding” is a term that I’ve made up signifying the struggle one goes through recognizing whatever needs to be recognized and arriving at one’s correct strategy.

This act of recognition comes from taking hits, year after year, till one is street-ready to handle whatever the street can offer at its worst.

Market action is mostly about making mistakes.

One keeps these small.

Whatever you end up doing right for yourself, …

…, yeah, that’s what you’re scaling up.

Out of ten attempted ideas, one might work.

Out of a hundred, three might work exponentially.

These are the ones.

Stick to these.

Scale them up.

Whatever it has cost you to arrive at them, is mere tuition fees.

Yes, that’s how you’ll need to see things, to remain sane.

Be happy – at least you have something concrete in your hands – a strategy that works – that’s huge.

The moment you see it turning incorrect, leading to market mistakes, just tweak, tweak tweak till the strategy starts working again.

Tweaking will go on as long as markets exist.

What’s a market mistake?

A market mistake is anything that makes you lose money consistently.

A correct strategy is something that yields money consistently.

That’s why one needs to keep things small till major mistakes are out of the way.

Make mistakes, sure, they are bread and butter.

Just don’t repeat them.

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Hocus-Focus

Yeah, where’s your focus at…

…as your market drops. 

Is it on your benchmark index?

Sure.

Ok. Drops further. Developing into a crash…

Where’re you at now?

My focus has shifted. 

Tell me more. 

I’m now focusing on the shares i’ve begun to accumulate,…

…and, specifically, I’m focused on the number of shares being added to my portfolio,…

…that’s my number. Yeah, that’s where my focus is at.

Not on your benchmark index?

First up, I feel the joy as this number enters my demat. After that, I cast a brief glance at whatever benchmark indices I’m looking at, and decide for myself, whether my focus needs to remain shifted. 

What if you’re rubbing your hands in glee, and dud shares are being added to your name?

That’s the whole point. These are not duds. They are gems as per due diligence done, and are going for the price of non-precious counterparts. That’s why my focus remains shifted. 

When will it shift back?

That switch happens on auto. When benchmarks start oozing expensiveness, focus automatically shifts to the benchmarks. It should no longer be on the number of shares entering your folio, because shares should not be entering your folio when benchmarks ooze expensiveness. 

Exceptions?

Sure. Specific stocks could be cheap when a benchmark is expensive. Let’s not deviate from the point though. This is about a healthy shift of focus, and then a second – healthy – shift back. 

Right. 

Nadir Non-Focus

Scared to enter?

Things look gloomy?

Forever?

NO.

Look at History.

Markets are where they are despite what’s happened. 

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

In the end, we are still where we are.

Is that good news?

YES.

What does it mean?

Growth – reflects in the corresponding market – eventually. 

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

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

In a few years, growth could well accelerate.

Why?

Earning hands are growing.

So are aspirations. 

The consumption story in India is alive and kicking. 

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

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

People start letting go of their holdings in despair. 

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

That’s not the right question.

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

Why?

Please answer something far more fundamental first.

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

…do you really thing…

…that you will muster up…

…anything remotely resembling courage…

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

Gotcha there?

Sometimes, you don’t like it

Sure.

Like now.

Bloodbath in small-caps.

Alleged suicide.

NPAs.

Witch-hunt.

Did you choose Equity as an area of expertise?

Ok, then deal with it.

First up, India’s History is laden with scams.

We are where we are despite these.

Secondly, there’s growth. In other parts of the world, there is not much growth.

India is an emotionally volatile nation.

So are its markets.

Since this is where we act, let’s get used to things.

If you’ve been following the small entry quantum strategy, well, then you’ve got ammunition…

…at a time, when the value of this ammunition is immense…

…because lots of stuff has started to go for a song.

You do feel the pinch though…

… because whatever’s already in, is bleeding.

You don’t like it.

It’s normal.

Going in at a time like this, you will feel pathetic.

However, for your money, you are getting quality at cheap multiples. This will translate into immense long term wealth. Quality at cheap multiples multiplies fast.

Here are a few reasons you should feel ok about going in.

The small entry quantum strategy has rendered you liquid…

…after sorting out your basic family life, income-planning and what have you.

You are going in with money you don’t require for a longish time.

Muster up the courage.

Get over your pinch.

Engage.

Buy quality.

Debt-free-ness.

Shareholder-friendliness.

Generated free cashflow.

Transparency.

Diligent managements.

Product-profile that’s going to be around.

Less dependency on water.

Versatility.

Adaptibility.

Make your own list.

Use the stuff above.

Wishing you lucrative investing with no tears and with lots of smiles.

Control

Who’s in control?

You?

Market?

Does the market control you?

Do you control yourself?

How do you answer this?

Why are these questions relevant?

Control is pivotal. 

It sets the tone for market life, and its overhang affects normal life too. 

That’s why it is essential to have such control in one’s hands, and not hand it over to Mrs. Market. 

So, how does one answer this question?

What triggers you to open your terminal?

The market?

Or you yourself, at a time and place of your own choosing?

If your answer is the former, the market controls how you act.

However, if you decide when and where to let market forces into your life, and for how much time, well, then you’ve not handed over such control. 

Bravo!

How did you position yourself to achieve this?

Primary income not from the markets? 

Not.

Don’t listen to tips?

Don’t.

Have a set time for work?

True.

Have a set place for work?

Roger.

Have a set system that’s implemented?

Affirmative.

Watch market TV?

Nope. 

Read financial news online, or in print?

Only while researching a company.

Do your own solid research?

Do.

‘K, you’ve not handed over control all right.

Sure. Hand over control and the next thing you know it’s your life you’re handing over. 

Getting the Number

There comes a time in life…

…when you are in a position to make defining statements about yourself.

This is what you don’t like doing.

Shove it out. Except what you can’t.

This is what you like doing. 

Amongst what you like doing, this is what is beneficial for you.

Make a list for this last category. 

A.

B.

C.

D.

E…

…etc.

Get the number…

…in these categories.

What does that mean?

It means, scale these activities up. 

There will be resistance. 

Don’t bother. 

It’s your lot in life. 

This is what you’ve come to do. 

First up, you’re going to do it. 

Many times, you’ll find yourself slipping into the other category, of things that you like doing, but which are not necessarily beneficial for you. 

Fine.

Please yourself. 

That’s also what you’ve come to do. 

When you’ve had your heart’s content of pleasure, please come back to the originally earmarked category. 

Intermittently, you’ll be doing stuff that you don’t like doing, but aren’t able to shove out. 

This stuff is also good for you,…

…because, it teaches. 

Just do it with that attitude. 

Once you’ve gotten your numbers in your earmarked category, you can shift gears a bit. 

Voila, you start doing stuff that benefits others. 

Your stomach is full.

You’ve achieved. 

It doesn’t give you a kick anymore. 

Now, benefitting others will give you a kick. 

Go for it. 

Get your number here. 

Of course.

It’s something you came to do too. 

Make sure you get here. 

Don’t get stuck somewhere before you reach it. 

Impedimenting II

Is this even a word?

You know, I don’t care. 

It gets a lot across. 

Isn’t that what matters?

I care about what matters. 

I don’t care about what doesn’t.  

What do we understand by “impedimenting”?

Putting stuff in the path, right?

Yeah. We put stuff in our path, deliberately. 

Are we mad?

Would one put stuff in one’s path, oneself?

Yes. We would. We are not mad. 

Amongst other things, markets…

…fall.

Amongst other things, we as market players are…

…trigger-happy. 

We need to let the fall deepen. 

Our action must be staggered. 

How does one stagger one’s action. 

This is done by putting impediments in the path. 

I can tell you about my ones. 

I start the day with exercise and prayer. 

Then comes a good meal. 

Coffee.

Paper.

Notes.

Emails.

Market study.

Writing.

Charity work.

Anything pending. 

It’s already well, well past noon. 

Back to the markets. 

Dust has settled. 

More study. 

Then, there’s two hours to do whatever needs to be done in the markets. 

Markets end. 

No more market work for the day. 

Out of the two hours for action, I only act during half an hour, or an hour. 

How many mistakes can I make in half an hour?

Sure, many. 

However, a lot lesser than those others can and do make in six and a half hours. 

Success in the markets is all about getting a handle on our mistakes. 

In long-term play, less is more.