Memo 35 – Has India’s glorious period started?

A year ago, the global markets were clearly in a state of liquidity driven euphoria (stocks, tech,cryptos, start-ups). Had someone told us then that in the next 12 months the US stock markets would fall 30%, crude oil would rise to $100, the start-up & crypto world would be badly bruised, and that Europe’s mindless ESG drive would be punctured – we would have gladly agreed with them. But had the same person told me that in midst of the above chaos, India would not only remain an island of ca...
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Memo 34 – Winds of change!

"All good things must come to an end, so that better things can happen" For long term investors like us, falling markets are time for mixed emotions. The fear of mark down in portfolio values is interspersed with hope of buying long-awaited stocks at attractive prices. But this time, the emotions are tilting more towards relief that falling markets will bring sanity back to the world of business & investing. Relief that focus is changing from “growth at any cost” to “growth with profits”; that ...
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Memo 33 – Heads, I win; Tails, I don’t lose much!

Memo 33 – Heads, I win; Tails, I don’t lose much! The above title pretty much summarises the investor experience in stock markets over past 18 months. Markets continue to celebrate even the smallest of positive developments like revenge travel, re-opening of cinemas or the rise in valuation of start-up unicorns. Business media, Twitter & Instagram are full of positive interpretation even around the not-so-positive developments like: • Rising inflation (is good because far...
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Memo 32 – Investing through interesting times!

Memo 32 - Investing through interesting times! A complete victory over Covid seems at least a few months away, but that has not stopped the stock markets from making new highs yet again. The 2 nd wave made little dent on the markets even though it had much deeper impact on lives & livelihood of large number of Indians. The divergence seems even stronger when we see that unemployment rate in India is stubbornly high but most start-ups are facing unprecedented attrition as well as wage infl...
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Memo 31 – Market View: Pessimism, Scepticism, Optimism and Euphoria!

Memo 31 – Market View: Pessimism, Scepticism, Optimism and Euphoria! The roller coaster of 2020 is resolutely behind us – Covid concerns are fading, life is bouncing back towards normalcy, our favourite restaurants & our household help are back in action, government &central banks are providing unconditional support to the economy and, stock markets are at least 20% higher than pre-Covid levels! One may be seduced to think that it’s surely a party time for investors. Well, life is n...
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Memo 30 – Market View: 100 Days & Counting!

It’s been 100 days to the lockdown and Covid19 is far from over. To add to this, there are tens of things to worry about – Will our kids forget the real world? Can our domestic help come back? Will our favourite restaurants, cinemas, parks, gyms re-open? Will our vacation travel resume? Will our employers survive this phase? But clearly, we are better prepared and slightly wiser too – we know that social distancing works, recovery rates are very high, medical infrastructure is getting better,...
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Memo 29 – Market View: Once in a Lifetime! Corona!

The Corona scare has not only disrupted normal life, but has resulted in a sharp downfall in stocks across the world. Indian stock markets and other world markets too have declined upto 30% in last few weeks. This has been the sharpest fall in such a short time frame - partly because of the uncertain nature of the beast that we are dealing with (Corona) and partly because of the large algorithmic trades from the developed countries. Based on our individual personalities, some people will see th...
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Memo 28 – Market View: And we all Fall Down!

“You can either have good news or good price, but you can rarely get both” There is lot of bad news around the stock markets & the economy. However, this can itself create some good news – that you can go out and get a large discount on practically anything – stocks, bonds, homes, offices, cars, bikes, clothes, etc. Economic slowdown - Fifteen months and still counting It’s been fifteen long months since the economic slowdown started and it has only intensified across sectors – electricity, r...
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Memo 27 – Market View: Feast & Famine at the same time!

Feast and Famine at the same time The only thing that is predictable about the stock markets is its unpredictability in the short term. The stock market indices not only touched new life time highs, and they did so in the face of India’s worst bond market crisis. However, there was no celebration this time. As a matter of fact, stock & mutual fund portfolios of most investors are nowhere near all time highs. “Josh” among investors is low to say the least :) The key reason for the above ...
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Memo 26 – Market View: The Litmus Test – Over for India, but Continues for You!

It would be an understatement to say that a lot has happened between the previous article dated 18th Sep, 2018 – Memo 25: Market View – Who Shall Pass the Litmus Test? and this one Memo 26. The stock market decline that started in Feb, 2018 reached its nadir in October, 2018, with the panic spreading to bond markets as well. Interest rates spiked; currency went into free fall, touching almost Rs75/$; petrol prices touched an all-time high of Rs. 90/litre. Timely government intervention & sharp d...
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