Saturday, June 30, 2012

Human Traits 'वृत्ती'

'सात्विक', 'राजस', 'तामस '  are three types of  'वृत्ती'   ( 'vrutti' / trait) in every human being.  'Satvik' individual is Conscientious, Ethical, Righteous. 'Rajas' trait results in aggressive, dominating and materialistic behaviour. 'Tamas' trait leads to  lazy, free loader behaviour. These traits vary in different proportions in different individuals. All three are essential. Every behaviour is an outcome of dominance of one or the other trait. One can not eliminate any trait. The fight between these three traits will happen till eternity. This fight happens daily, inside our own mind, in families, in societies and  between nations. It happened in Ramayan, Mahabharat, World War I and II. However Nature has empowered us to ensure a balance between the three traits.  

So what should we do when we see dominance of 'Rajas' or 'Tamas' trait around us?
We must stand up to it. We must reduce its influence on situations. We must continue the fight with the evil force. Each one of us has a 'Sphere of influence' around us based on our position and power in organisation/society. It could be large or small.The size does not matter. This 'Sphere of influence' must be put to good use. This will restore balance. It takes time but it works. It has worked for so many centuries. 

'Good people must assert themselves'. That is the key.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

India Story

It is difficult to be an optimist in India today. Lack of policy action from the central govt has paralysed the Indian economy. Money is flowing out of the country making Indian rupee a weaker currency. Stock valuations are low, investor confidence is close to zero, there is only bad news all over. So what does a retail investor do in such a scenario? I have thought over this and have some points to make.

1. Long term investments can certainly be made in quality stocks at these valuations. Please do not  look at stock prices on a day to day basis because it really means nothing.
2. Diversify your investments in equities, gold, real estate, mutual funds. Presently though gold and real estate are already at a high level, only equities are cheap.
3. Please refrain from future and options segment because it is a double edged sword. In a volatile market it cuts really hard both ways.
4. Please create awareness in your friends and acquaintances that we need to reform our electoral system drastically. We need to bring in proportionate representation. A voter may be allowed to vote for a party and the party votes then pooled together to decide how many elected representatives are sent to govern us. During the recent celebrations of sixty years of Indian parliament, Sitaram Yechury wrote extensively about it.
5. We need to change political funding. We need to bring in inner party democracy in all political parties. Today only about fifty people decide policy issues in this country. They have their vested interest of staying in power in perpetuity. That is not in the best of the nations's interest.

I am an eternal optimist though. Things are going to change. Reforms will happen. Indian equities offer the best upside from here on.


Monday, January 09, 2012

Our Investments for Good Quality Life: My personal experience

Having reached the middle age, one tends to introspect on how life was spent so far and how it can be utilised in a even more effective manner. I have hence conducted a small audit and have identified four critical things to enjoy a happy and fruitful life. Your comments are welcome.

1. Health. One must enjoy a healthy, long, disease free and blissful life. This is the bottom line. All efforts are towards achieving this. Healthy, long and disease free life can be earned by slowing down pace of life thereby reducing stress and hence ageing process. Regular exercise is essential for this aspect. Open air exercises, fresh air and sunlight, adequate sweating and deep breathing are a must.These habits are to be formed. Once formed they bring in small but effective changes in our body systems naturally. Adequate deep sleep is essential for good health. Specially half an hour siesta post lunch. It is heavenly. 

2. Relationships. Investing in deep and bonding relationships is essential for a blissful and complete life. Spouse, children,parents,uncles and aunts,cousins, nephews,nieces, coursemates, friends,acquaintances......
The list is long. What is essential to note is that each relationship has an unwritten Emotional Bank Account (EBA). We can not withdraw more than what we deposit. We need to invest in EBA of each relationship on a regular basis and withdraw hardly ever from it. 

3. Bank Balance.  One must have adequate bank balance to enjoy good quality life. How much is enough is dependent on one's 'wants', not 'needs'. Needs are really not very much. It is the 'wants' that create the desire to amass wealth. As long wealth is created ethically, it gives you peaceful sleep. Unethical wealth creation goes against our very aim of 'blissful life'. Always remember, 'money is a good servant but a poor master'. 

4. Time. All the above mentioned factors are governed by one important element. Time. We live life in the present moment. This moment can not be stored, recreated,carried forward. We must be masters of our own time. Let no one else command our time more than what we allow. Life is to be enjoyed this very moment, every moment. While we do not have control over flow of time, we must have control over the quality of our time. This is possible and must be exercised.

Thus good health, warm relationships, strong bank balance and free quality time are most critical elements to enjoy good quality life. 

Wish you all a very long,healthy,wealthy and blissful life.



Suggested reading: 
Eastern   :- Bhagvad Gita, Katha Upnishad, Vedanta Treatise, 
Western :- Tao of Physics, Cosmos, The Power of Now.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Capitulation? Or is it darkness before the dawn ??

Dear readers,
It has been sometime that I wrote my thoughts here. Paralysis of governance and economic crisis in the west has compounded our problems. Hence our equity markets are going lower day by day. Pessimism is galore. Analysts, media are expecting NIFTY to tank to 3800....! There is blood bath on the Dalal Street. No stock is safe haven and we do not know where and when bears will strike.It is in such times that great investments are made.

My questions are: Is India worse off than in 1991 or 2008? No.
Have Indians lost their zeal, tenacity and ability to work hard? No.
Are we short on resources and manpower? No.
Has Indian Industry lost its competitiveness? No.
Are Indian banks burdened with so much debt that they are likely to collapse? No.
To most questions the answer is a resounding 'No'.
Then why are Indian stock markets collapsing? The answer is lack of depth. Even small amounts of concentrated selling can bring down our markets in a jiffy. We have seen it earlier and must learn our lessons. There is no need to panic at all. Today's sell off could have been triggered by some such concentrated selling followed by margin calls and 'stop losses' being hit.
There are so many stocks available at mount watering valuations. No research required. No financial adviser required. Save on all such costs. Just buy them in a staggered fashion. And hold them for a year or so.
Trading in F&O is dangerous specially in this kind of volatile market. Cash markets and delivery based buying or selling is recommended.
Lastly one point to remember. When there is strong momentum specially downward momentum, no levels/supports can be assumed or predicted. It is a waste of energy to even look at technical charts. Buy stocks at reasonable valuations and you will not repent. These investments are likely to reward us faster than the ones made earlier.

Happy investing.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Paralysis of Governance

Do read the following letter.
We discussed this topic in this blog many times before.

BANGALORE: The complete absence of decision making in the government, coupled with corruption, is the biggest challenge facing the country, Azim Premji, chairman of IT majorWipro, said on Monday. 

At a press conference to announce the second quarter results of his company, he responded to a reporter's question on what he thought were the country's biggest concerns. "There are governance issues, but we are hearing a little less of that compared to a month ago. There is a complete absence of decision-making among leaders in the government," the billionaire entrepreneur said. 

"If prompt action is not taken, the country will face a setback. You must appreciate how serious it is." 
Last month, Premji was among a group of eminent personalities who had in an open letter to national leaders expressed concern over the governance deficit. 

"We are alarmed at the widespread governance deficit almost in every sphere of national activity, covering government, business and institutions, the group had written. 

In a letter to the PM last month, a group which involved him wrote, "Widespread discretionary decision-making have been routinely subjected to extraneous influences. Possibly, the biggest issue corroding the fabric of our nation is corruption. This malaise needs to be tackled with a sense of urgency, determination and on a war footing." Others in the group included Keshub Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra and Deepak Parekh, chairman of HDFC

The group also wrote a letter acknowledging the existence of a "strong nexus between certain corporates, bureaucrats and power-brokers" and suggested a number of reforms in areas such as the judiciary, police, land acquisition and environmental clearances. 

Asked about the government's reply, Premji said, "As far as the open letter is concerned, the reaction of the PM has been positive to it in terms of taking it on record."

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