The Thing with Sugar and Dairy

It’s common knowledge now. 

Cancer cells love sugar and dairy. 

In fact, they love them so much, that they grow ten (?) times faster in their presence. 

Just act as if the question mark isn’t there. 

I’ve put it there because I’m not sure whether the number should be eleven, or nine, or what have you. 

However, the numbers are deadly. 

Shocker, right?

Spent my childhood gobbling sugar and gulping dairy. Didn’t know any better. 

Now, only dairy going in (hopefully) is the good dairy. Yoghurt. 

Only sugar in diet is the good sugar. Honey. 

At least, that’s the goal. 

What makes these two “good”?

There’s something bio in them. 

Yoghurt’s got bacteria. They’re the good bacteria. They cleanse one’s system. Cancer cells don’t like them, because probiotic bacteria probably break them down. 

Honey’s got the saliva of bees, containing vital enzymes. These catalyse various biochemical and metabolic processes. Cancer cells don’t like them either. They like the sweetness of honey, but not these enzymes. So, honey’s a tad less dangerous.

The bio-portion saves the day. It’s for a good cause. It’s purpose is friendly, and positive. 

Cut to equity. 

Where does one look for terminal disease?

In balance-sheets and annual reports. 

Debt. 

Promoter ego.

Fraud. Scam. Manipulation. 

Creative accounting.

These are some of the things that can cause terminal disease. 

All of them might exist, at some level, in any given balance-sheet and / or annual report. 

What we need to gauge in our minds are the levels. 

Is any level alarming enough to cause terminal disease, or for that matter just disease?

Bearable debt leading to growth is even a good thing. It’s like a tonic. Unbearable debt leads to terminal disease. We need to stay away from a stock with unbearable debt on its balance-sheet.

Nothing functions without ego. I am. Therefore I do. However, an overbearing and overambitious ego leads to disastrous decisions that can cause terminal disease. We need to stay away from companies whose promoters have overbearing, self-promoting and overambitious egos. Such promoters don’t even realize when they’re functioning in self-destruct mode. Am not going to take any names here, but you get the gist. 

Frauds, scams and manipulations come under the category of “sheer disease that’s already terminal or just one step away from going terminal”. Upon finding them, needless to say, avoid the stock.  

Accounting. Sure, everyone’s busy getting creative here. We need to separate positive accounting from its negative counterpart. 

Accounting that leads to fund-availability at the time of need and results in value-creation for the shareholder is to be welcomed. This kind of accounting does not cause terminal disease. It creates a detour that strengthens the company overall in the long run. 

Such accounting whose sole purpose is to deceive the shareholder and benefit the promoter is a very big red flag. This kind of accounting leads to terminal disease.

While zeroing in on a quality stock, you’re simultaneously ensuring longevity-enhancing conditions. 

In the process, you’re automatically ensuring that your portfolio accumulates one gem after another. 

Wishing for you happy and successful investing. 

🙂

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The Collapse of Mt Gox and its Meaning for You

February 2014.

Mt Gox collapses.

It’s not a mountain.

Mountains don’t collapse.

The largest Bitcoin exchange in the world – gone.

What happened?

Hazy area.

If one reads through the company’s press releases, it seems they themselves are not sure. Or, they’re trying to cover up that they got hacked, big-time.

Company’s claiming a black-swan event. Software goes into a crazy loop. Transaction shows as failed. However, system releases Bitcoin. Do this over and over again. You’re down 750k Bitcoin. Half a billion dollars. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Not buying it.

It’s probably not an inside job. Trail would’ve been too hot.

They’ve actually and probably gotten hacked. Possibly in the earlier days. Perhaps they tried to cover it up for the longest time, till it was no longer possible. There came a time then, it would seem, to throw in the towel and declare bankruptcy, coupled with the release of an unbelievable explanation.

Do the math. Conjecture.

We are down to conjecture, after an abominable event like this, where retail investors along with handlers, dealers and the works get fried.

For heaven’s sake.

Makes you rethink Bitcoin majorly.

Diversification is a safe thing. However, not at the cost of converting your computer into a big red flag.

There are two kinds of computers in the world. Those with Bitcoin or its cousins, and those without.

Currently, those with are targets.

There’s no better system of storing Bitcoin.

Banks aren’t taking it up systematically.

Dollar lobby is too strong.

It’s not letting Bitcoin settle.

Who was behind the possible hack?

You tell me.

Why would anyone sacrifice one’s sleep?

No tension, please.

We don’t wish to lose sleep over the fact that our computer might get hacked in the night. Also, will the cousin’s ever sort themselves out?

If criminals could hack Mt Gox, what are the chances of one’s desktop surviving?

Yeah, where does that leave you?

Till Bitcoin gets accepted more systematically, and till mainstream banks start storing it for you in their cyber-lockers, I’m afraid this leaves you off the Bitcoin demand-list.

Yeah, safety first.

The Valuation Game

Value is a magic word. 

Ears stand up. 

Where is value?

Big, big question. 

Medium term investors look for growth. 

Long-termers invariably look for value. 

How do you value a stock?

There are many ways to do that. 

Here, we are just going to talk about basics today.

For example, price divided by earnings allows us to compare Company A to Company B, irrespective of their pricing.

Why isn’t the price enough for such a comparison?

Meaning, why can’t you just compare the price of an Infosys to that of a Geometric and conclude whatever you have to conclude?

Nope. 

That would be like comparing an apple with an orange. 

Reason is, that the number of shares outstanding for each company are different. Thus, the value of anything per share is gotten by dividing the grand total of this anything-entity by the number of outstanding shares that the company has issued. For example, one talks of earnings per share in the markets. One divides the total earnings of a company by the total number of outstanding shares to arrive at earnings per share, or EPS. 

Now, we get investor perception and discovery into the game. How does the public perceive the prospects of the company? How high or low do they bid it? How much have they discovered it? Or not discovered it? This information is contained in the price. 

So, we take all this information contained in the price, and divide it by the earnings per share, and we arrive at the price to earnings ratio, or P/E, or just PE. 

Yeah, we now have a scale to judge the value of stocks. 

Is this scale flawed?

Yeah. 

A stock with a high PE could have massive discovery and investor confidence behind it, or, it could just have very low earnings. When the denominator of a fraction is low, the value of the fraction is “high”. You have to use your common-sense and see what is applying. 

A stock with a low PE could have low price, high earnings, or both. It could have a high price and high earnings.  The low PE could also just be a result of lack of discovery, reflected in a low price despite healthy earnings. Or, the low PE could be because of a low price due to rejection. What is applying? That’s for you to know. 

At best, the PE is ambiguous. Your senses have to be sharp. You have to dig deeper to gauge value. The PE alone is not enough. 

Now let’s add a technical consideration. One sees strong fundamental value in a company, let’s say. For whatever reason. How does one gauge discovery, rejection or what have you in one snapshot? Look at the 5-year chart of the stock, for heaven’s sake. 

You’ll see rejection, if it is there. You’ll understand when it is not rejection, because rejection goes with sell-offs. Lack of discovery means low volumes and less pumping up of the price despite strong fundamentals. You’ll see buying pressure in the chart. That’s smart money making the inroads. Selling pressure means rejection. You’ll be able to gauge all this from the chart. 

Here are some avenues to look for value :

 

– price divided by earnings per share,

– price divided by book-value per share,

– price divided by cash-flow per share,

– price divided by dividend-yield per share,

– in today’s world, accomplishment along with low-debt is a high-value commodity, so look for a low debt to equity ratio,

– look for high return on equity coupled with low debt – one wants a company that performs well without needing to borrow, that’s high value,

– absence of red-flags are high value, so you’re looking for the absence of factors like pledging by the promoters, creative accounting, flambuoyance, 

– you are looking for value in the 5-year chart, by gauging the chart-structure for lack of discovery in the face of strong fundamentals. 

 

We can go on, but then we won’t remain basic any more. Basically, look for margin of safety in any form. 

Yeah, you don’t buy a stock just like that for the long-term. There’s lots that goes with your purchase. Ample and diligent research is one thing. 

Patience to see the chart correct so that you have your proper valuations is another. 

Here’s wishing you both!

🙂