Where do you want to be?

Where do I want to be?

Do I want to look at a stock price and know where things stand with the stock in question?

Yes.

That’s where I want to be.

It’s not going to come for free. 

What’s will it take?

Looking at the stock…

…for an year or two. 

That’s what it will take. 

How boring, you say?

Sure.

When stock market investing seems boring…

…that’s when you’re doing it right.

Excitement and roller-coaster rides are for video-game pleasure, and for making losses.

Money is made when it’s outright boring out there. 

Where do you want to be?

In the money?

I thought so. 

Then, please get used to boring and don’t ever complain again that things are boring.

How does one position oneself in such a manner that one studies a stock for an year or two. 

Hmmm.

Let’s put some skin in the game.

I know, this phrase is becoming more and more popular, what with Nicholas Taleb and all. 

Yeah, we are picking up stock. 

What stock?

The one we wish to observe for an year or two.

Why pick it up? Why not just observe it?

You won’t. You’ll let it go.

Why?

Because it’s not yours. 

So we pick up the stock? What’s the point of observing if we’re picking it up now?

Well, we’re picking up a minute quantity – one quantum – now. That gets our skin into the game. Then we observe, and observe. Anytime there’s shareholder-friendly action by the management, we pick up more, another quantum. We keep picking up, quantum by quantum. Soon, while we’ve kept picking up, we’ve observed the stock for so long, that now, one look at the stock price tells us what kind of margin of safety we are getting in the stock at this point. 

Wow.

Now, future entries become seamless. One look and we have a yes or no decision. Isn’t that wonderful? 

Absolutely.

That’s where we want to be.

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Nature of the Beast

Stocks…

…crash.

It’s the nature of the beast.

Stocks also multiply.

For stocks to multiply, one needs to do something.

What is that something?

One needs to buy stocks when they crash.

Let me give you an example. 

Let’s assume markets are on a high, and there’s euphoria.

Excel Propionics is cruising at a 1000.

The prevailing euphoria seeps into your brain, and you buy Propionics at a 1000.

For Propionics to multiply 10 times in your lifetime, it will now need to reach 10,000.

Likely? Wait.

Cut to now.

Stocks are crashing. 

The same stock, Excel Propionics, now crawls at 450.

You have studied it. 

It’s debt-free.

Positive cash-flow.

Ratios are good.

Numbers are double-digit.

Leverage is low.

Management is shareholder-friendly. 

You start buying at 450. 

By the time the crash is through, you have bought many times, and your buying average is 333.

For Propionics to multiply 10 times in your lifetime, it will now need to rise to 3330.

Which event is more likely to happen?

Just answer intuitively.

Of course, the second scenario is more likely to play out than the first one. In the second scenario, Propionics will need to peak 3 times lower.

Simple?

No!

Try buying in a crash.

You are shaken up. 

There’s so much pessimism going around.

Rumours, stories, whatsapps, opinions. The whole world has become an authority on where this market is going to go, and you are dying from inside.

What’s killing you?

The hiding that your existing portfolio is taking, that’s what’s killing you.

Are you liquid?

No?

Very bad. 

Why aren’t you liquid?

Create this circumstance for yourself.

Be liquid.

Optimally, be liquid for life. 

Then, you will look forward to a crash, because that’s when you will use your liquidity copiously, to buy quality stocks, or to improve the buying averages of the already existing quality stocks in your folio. 

How do you get liquid for life?

You employ the small entry quantum strategy.

Yes, that’s about right. 

We’ve been speaking about this strategy in this space for the last two years.

Read up!

🙂

We’ll Take Boring

Boring…

…is good.

Boring means…

…that you’re on the right track.

We’ll take boring.

What are we talking about?

Equity.

When it’s working according to plan, yeah, you got it, it tends to become a bit boring in the long run.

Don’t get alarmed.

That’s exactly where you want your equity to be.

When it’s there, it’s fulfilling its function, and then some.

You’ve moved away from euphoria.

You’ve moved away from fear.

You’ve arrived at boring.

Look no further.

You’re ready to scale up.

We Don’t Want Anymore

There comes a time…

…when we don’t want anymore.

Why has this happened?

It’s a spin-off from our small entry quantum approach.

We’ve been buying at sale prices, with small entry quanta, each day, a quantum a day.

A groove has been set.

After umpteen failed attempts, prices break through.

An interesting thing happens to us.

Slightly higher prices start to pinch us.

As prices go even higher…

…our mood is off, and…

…we don’t want anymore.

From a strategy perspective, this is the best thing that could have happened to us.

We will not be buying as margin of safety vanishes and remains vanished.

Our want will be triggered once more, when margin of safety returns.

This has not taken place for free.

It is an indirect result of our painful sticking to a small entry quantum approach.

🙂

And Now, We’re Not Looking

Who’s not looking?

We. Stock people.

What are we not looking at?

Wrong question. We’re always looking at stocks.

Ok. What are we not looking for?

New stocks.

Why?

Our magic number has been hit.

What’s this magic number?

That’s the number of stocks we wish to handle.

Is it the same for everyone?

No, it’s different for everyone.

How does one arrive at this number?

Through hit and trial. Whatever that works. Where you feel good, that’s your number.

So, will your portfolio now stagnate?

No. Most definitely not. If a stock is not interesting anymore, it can always be replaced.

How does one go about doing that?

Wait for a market high. Then discard the stock you are not interested in anymore.

And how does one find a new stock in a scenario where one is not looking?

You let the stock find you.

Meaning?

You’re not looking, but something eventually hits you in the eye.

Aaahhhh.

Then you dig deeper. If all criteria are met…

…you enter.

Rriiighht….!

Making Equity Antifragile

Yeps, Taleb’s the famous one. 

Moi, je ne suis pas célèbre.

Néanmoins, j’aime le terme “antifragile” de Taleb.

Also, Taleb has termed equity as robust.

I do equity. 

I’d like my interaction and future with equity to be antifragile.

Let’s first look at Taleb’s definition for antifragile.

He says that anything that has more upside than downside from random events (or certain shocks), is antifragile; the reverse is fragile.

Robust equity will eventually crack when subjected to shock.

We are aware of that.

What do we do now?

Firstly, we take time, and put it in infinity mode. Meaning, that we stay invested, for a long, long, long time. 

We’re now allowing equity amply sufficient time to recover from not one shock, but many shocks.

Also, each time there is a shock, and equity tanks, we go in and buy some more.

How can we do this?

We are sufficiently liquid, all the time

Our small entry quantum approach is ensuring that. 

Also, we’ve chosen such equity first-up that is minimally susceptible to cracking. That’s the best we can do. 

We have either avoided debt altogether or chosen debt-levels that are adding value to the stock and can be easily taken care of in the short-term

We have chosen equity with decent quick and current ratios

We have chosen adaptable managements that function as optimal human capital, fighting inflation, showering shareholder-friendliness and adding value at all times

However, crack they do, eventually, and we keep picking up more. 

Since we’ve kept ourselves “infinitely” liquid as per our small entry quantum approach, we are then also “infinitely”poised to benefit from the cracks

As we keep getting more and more opportunities to buy with meaningful margins of safety, markets show us more upside than downside

Thus, antifragility comes to us as a function of falling price, given that the underlying has sound fundamentals, low to nil debt and benevolent, versatile and diligent management

Now, let the shocks come. 

In fact, let 20 shocks come. 

We want shocks to come…

…so that we can continue to buy at rock-bottom prices, which work in an antifragile manner for us, because of the characteristics of the equity and management we have chosen

Profiting from shocks?

More upside than downside? Owing to the effects of a shock?

What kind of behaviour is that?

That’s antifragile behaviour.

Time your Friend or Time your Enemy?

This one depends…

…on you.

How is time treated in your curriculum with regard to the markets?

Are you in a hurry…

…or is your motto “hurry spoils the curry”?

One can make any market action an extremely difficult one if one squeezes time. 

On the other hand, the same market action yields great results when time is stretched to infinity. 

One can understand this in the predicament of the trader.

Expiry is due. 

Trades are in loss. 

It seems that trades are not going to make it to break-even by expiry.

They would probably be showing a profit after expiry. 

However, time-span for validity of the trades has been squeezed to expiry. 

Hence, the trader faces loss. 

The investor, on the other hand, is invested in the stock of the same underlying, and doesn’t dabble in the derivative. 

For the investor, time has been expanded to infinity. 

The investor doesn’t feel pain from a time-window that’s about to close.

Now, let’s look at the cons for the investor, and the pros for the trader. 

The price for making time one’s friend is the principal being locked-in for that much time. 

The investor is comfortable with that. 

If not, the investor feels pain from the lock-in, and may make a detrimental move that works against long-term investing philosophy, as in cutting a sound investment at its bottom-most point during a long drawn-out correction. 

Investors need to fulfil the comfort condition before committing to infinity. 

After a small loss, the trader moves on with the bulk of his or her funds. 

Traders needs to take a loss in stride. 

If not, future trades get affected. 

The advantage of committing funds for short periods, in trades, is that one can utilize the same funds many times over. 

The price for using short periods of time to one’s advantage, however, is tension. 

One is glued to the market, and is not really able to use the same time productively, elsewhere. 

Friendship with one aspect of time works adversely with regard to another aspect of time. 

The investor is not glued to market movements. He or she can utilize his or time for multiple purposes while being invested simultaneously and then forgetting temporarily about the long-term investment. 

It is easier to forget temporarily about an investment than it is to forget about a trade. 

Over the years, I have found it difficult to combine trading and long-term investing, specifically in the same market.

However, I do take occasional trades, apart from being invested for the long term. 

This works for me when the markets in question are different, as in Forex and Equity.