The Business of Writing

Many things can happen when one writes. 

What happens depends on why one writes. 

Some write for money. 

Their bread and butter depends on it.

Writing gets them money. They earn a living. 

At times, they have to eke out words. Even when they’re not coming. Quality goes down. 

Money in the equation carries its own side-effects. 

What happens when money is not in the equation?

Yeah, some are so lucky. 

However, luck or no luck, one has to still want to keep money out of the equation.

When money is what one is writing about, you can imagine the temptation. 

One falls back on one’s basic definitions.

Why am I writing?

Am I writing for money?

Do I need any money that my writing might generate?

If the answer here is no, then the question still remains.

Why am I writing?

Am I writing for fame?

Who doesn’t want to be famous?

Am I able to control this impulse?

If the answer here is well-yeah-mostly, the question still remains.

Why am I writing?

What is the answer?

I’m writing…

…because…

…the words are coming. 

I’ll continue to write till they keep coming. 

I’ll stop writing when words stop coming. 

I’ll resume writing when words start to flow again. 

I’m not going to stop their flow.

I’m nobody to stop their flow. 

Has writing ever harmed me?

Never. 

It soothes. 

Balances.

Calms. 

Settles.

Concepts become clearer. 

Spreads goodness. 

Creates vacuum within, because your energy has ventured out. This vacuum will attract fresh energy from the universe. 

Has there been any regret about writing?

Readership? Perhaps?

Flow reaches its destination. Ultimately. If it’s persistent. 

My writing is persistent. 

It will keep coming. 

Its flow will reach its destination. 

So, any regrets then?

None. 

Happy reading!

🙂

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Lost for Words, Mr. Nath? 

Yeah, sometimes I really am. 

With very few people, and in very few situations. 

Call it Karma. 

That’s not the point. 

In the event you find yourself in a similar situation, we’re here to size up options. 

What do we fall back on? 

Silence. 

In its solitude, a thought processes emerges. 

What are we looking for? 

Cool, calm straight-forward common sense.

Found it? 

It will speak to you. 

Let it. 

It’s got the words, remember? You don’t. 

Listen to it. 

What’s it telling you to do? 

Difficult? 

Can you do it? A yes is great here. You’re sorted already. 

No? 

Next option. 

Nothing. 

Can you sit tight? Doing nothing? Till your path emerges? Yes is good. 

No? 

Ok. 

Can you stop yourself from doing the wrong thing? 

Wrong? 

Violence, anger etc. You got it? 

How, you ask? 

Occupy yourself with something else more captivating. Possible? A yes here is your last “amicable” option. 

If it’s still a no, you might want to consider new company, or a new environment. 

Sometimes, we get stuck in life. With a person. And / or in a situation. For good reasons, we can’t get out. What’s the silver lining? 

Learning. 

Our difficult situation is ironing out some fault within us. As long as the fault remains, the situation seems desperate. No fault anymore? Situation vanishes. 

It’s called evolution. 

We don’t evolve for free.

Similarly, we don’t learn to navigate through the markets for free. 

Difficult situations teach us. They cost money.

We survive small losses through the learning process, to win big later. We want the learning process to come at an early stage, when the stakes are low. 

The biggest wins come when we use our evolution to capitalize upon a difficult situation, because we know its nuances. That’s good for the markets. 

In real life it won’t pay to take advantage of somebody’s nuances. That’s actually devolving. 

Maintaining perspective between market life and real life is an evolutionary exercise too. 

There’s Something There

When does one write about something?

Stimulus. 

Yes. That’s the catalyst. 

Something needs to cause words to overflow. 

One looks around for that something. 

Or, often, that something finds one. 

There’s a reaction. Churning. Out come words. 

The speed of all this happening is the speed of thought. It’s a speed that goes way beyond our wildest imagination. Let’s put it like this – its much, much faster than the speed of light. 

So, there’s an energy explosion inside one’s mind, caused by a catalyst. Out come words. 

In today’s fast track life, one looks around for stimulus. 

Ideally (yeah, only ideally), I wish to be writing one piece a day.

Why? One might ask. 

It’s a personal goal. 

Keeps me moving. 

Writing causes systematic learning. 

Stuff gets turned into DNA. 

Disorder inside oneself gets lessened. 

One gets richer, inside.

Others are benefited, or so I like to think. 

One moves energies with words. One moves worlds, with words. 

One becomes a part of the whole, with words. 

So, I write. 

Apart form all this, writing gives me a kick. I feel free. I feel a sense of achievement. And, remember this one, not everything in the world needs to be monetized. Some things are better left non-monetized. It takes tremendous courage and a sense of strong self-belief to pursue something that’s not monetized. One gets mocked. One doesn’t get taken seriously. However, my words are bigger than that. My words make me whole. 

Stimulus, stimulus where are you?

Sometimes, one looks too hard. That’s when one stops looking, and stimulus finds oneself. 

There’s a feeling of “there’s something there”. 

One stops…

…thinks…

…energy bomb explosion…

…out come words. 

The Age of Shocks

We are in it. 

Bang in the middle. 

There’s some shock almost everyday. 

Even Yellen’s words have shock effects. 

Had anyone even heard of Yellen a few years ago?

Natural disasters, terrorism, scams, frauds, upheaval…

…well, you have no choice…

…but to incorporate them into your market strategy. 

If you don’t, well, God bless you and God help you. 

So, where do we stand. 

Definitely towards value. 

Growth – hmmm, we’ll take growth after we take value, in a stock picked up for value. 

We’re not following any growth strategies. 

Let growth happen as a matter of course. 

We’re not entering something which is in the middle of growth. 

We’re entering it before its growth potential is apparent to everyone. 

Why?

Stocks, whose growth is apparent to everyone, are very susceptible indeed, should they show even one bad quarter. They can be cut down to half their size even if one ruddy quarter goes out of line. That’s the problem in the age of shocks. 

What about stocks with growth potential which are in the doldrums?

Well, bad quarters are the norm for them, temporarily. One more bad quarter is not going to make much of a difference. It will make a small but digestible difference. Nowhere near the effect the bad quarter will have on a growth stock. 

Yes, the way to go is contrarian. 

We’re going contrarian with our eyes open. 

We’re not picking the dogs of the Dow, or the rats of the Sensex.

We’re picking gems people are throwing into the dustbin. 

What’s this dustbin?

We’ve made this dustbin. 

In cyber-space. 

It scans what people throw away. 

It couples 4-7 algorithms, makes them into a mother-algorithm, and scans. 

Today, one doesn’t need to know how to programme to achieve this. 

One just puts the algorithms together on any leading equity website. 

One concocts one’s dustbin. 

One looks in the dustbin everyday. 

What have people thrown away?

Anything that looks valuable?

No?

Let’s move on. 

Yes?

Lovely. Lets take a closer look. Let’s take this stock that’s looking valuable, and let’s put it through the works. 

Let’s fully analyze the stock. 

We do our analysis. 

Takes us a day or two. 

It’s yes or no time. 

No?

Move on. 

Yes?

Look at the charts. Pick up accordingly, in the next day or two. 

Quantum?

Small. 

So on and so forth. 

 

Manipulation / Fraud / Ponzi – I Reject You

I detest manipulation, and manipulators. 

I like people who are straight-forward, without hidden agendas. Simplicity is gold. Simplicity breeds success. Simplicity gives satisfaction from within. 

All the twisting and turning, wheeling and dealing, wangling and dangling of manipulation makes me want to puke. 

Therefore, manipulators, frauds, Ponzis, I reject you. Manipulation doesn’t make the manipulator happy. Try it and see. I’m 100% sure your story won’t have a happy end.

Rejection is a simple process. When you reject something, you stay away from it. You get out of its way when it is in the vicinity. You head off elsewhere when that something is headed in your direction. Everyone’s probably been rejected sometime or someplace, so everyone probably understands rejection. 

Well, rejection is one thing, but how does one recognise a manipulator, fraud, or Ponzi?

Recognition is key. 

This breed of people talk sweet. They appear harmless. They don’t lose arguments. Quick, witty, sharp. Fast thinkers. They keep you hanging. Give ambiguous answers. Mostly, they like to not answer at all, so as to keep you dancing around them, making you more vulnerable to their schemes or ulterior motives. If you’re interested in their something, they use silence as a weapon. You’re hot, you’re interested, they’re silent, makes you hotter, makes you more interested. The idea is that ultimately, when the manipulator breaks the silence, you lap up whatever you’re getting. Also, they keep you hungry for more. Manipulators are vicious, vile people. 

Where manipulators push you to act, slowly, but steadily, by twisting and turning your world in the manner they consider appropriate (since you’ve given them that power), frauds outright present a reality which sucks you in to sign the dotted line. Frauds sell a dream. It’s a great dream. You want to be a part of it. It overwhelms you. It’s almost too good to be true.

Ponzis are frauds. They sell the dream of unrealistically large returns. They count on greed to cloud your vision. They lure new sets of investors by distributing investorial proceeds from one set of investors as dividends to slightly older investors, and so on and so forth, till the bandwagon is overloaded with thousands of investors paying full-throttle only to see the Ponzi vanish next day, with everything, never to be heard of again. 

When someone doesn’t give you a straight-forward answer, walk the other way. Don’t bother with benefit of doubt, just walk the other way. With very high probability, you’ll have avoided a manipulator. When someone uses silence as a weapon, walk away ten miles. Warn everyone of a mega-manipulator in the neighbourhood. Analyze sweet- and smooth-talk ten times. Is there any truth in what’s being said, or are the words an eye-wash, hiding a fraud behind themselves? If you’re not greedy, you won’t fall for a Ponzi. Don’t be greedy. Period. 

You’ve hit full cycle. 

You’ve understood the existence of the breed we speak about. It has dawned upon you. Let’s call this “internal realization”.

Then comes “external recognition”, of the breed being in your vicinity, and trying to exercise its powers upon you. 

Lastly, comes “complete rejection”. 

Well done. 

You’ve saved yourself from lots of emotional and or monetary trouble. 

Spread the word. 

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. 

You Might Think I’m Crazy

you might think i’m crazy

to hang around with you

maybe you think i’m lucky

to have something to do

you might think it’s foolish

or maybe it’s untrue

you might think i’m crazy

but all i want is you

The Cars

Some years ago, we went to see “Cars 2” with my daughter and her cousins. Yawn, I thought. Animation movie, blah blah blah, but anything for the kids, when suddenly, above song started playing and took me back to school. How appropriate, a song by the Cars in a movie called Cars. Actually ended up enjoying the movie.

Anyways, something about the lyrics caught my attention.

What do you read in this space?

Words, words, words.

No graphs. No images. No math. No numbers, really. 

And this blog is supposed to be what? A commentary on applied finance?

So am I crazy?

Maybe, …

… but, this is exactly how I want to do it. 

No hocus-pocus. 

Here, we break it down to the bare minimum. 

Words. 

We talk. 

It’s all very light. 

You read through in a jiff. 

There’s a powerful flow which you might not even be aware of. 

And, as the lyrics say, all I want is you.

Yes, I want your attention, and I want to keep it riveted. 

How am I to achieve that in an age of very short attention spans?

We keep it simple. Bare minimum stuff, wrapped in enjoyable words. Stories. Analogies. Parallels. Bridges. As seemingly non-finance as possible, but still not missing the point.

Sure, I still could be crazy.

What do I hope to achieve?

So much time involved.

All this for free.

Yeah, I really must be delirious.

Stop. 

It’s deep. 

I enjoy writing. 

It relaxes me. 

My thoughts get organized. Concepts get strengthened. I focus. Many mistakes in my approach get nullified. I don’t want more from this. 

Also, it’s my giveback. I use a lot of free stuff from the net. I give this for free. It’s all a give and take. 

So, just bear with me. 

Read if you want to, it’ll make me happy. 

It is definitely a different way to learn about finance, with all the jugglery left out. 

Well, why not?