Hangman

Friday, December 10, 2010

Update

Made some money on Coke after a 5 month long investment

Friday, February 5, 2010

Another week, another fall

If only I had put money and shorted NIFTY (see my previous post). I would have made a nice sum. But to be honest, I think I would have closed the position at 5k NIFTY.

Anywho, NIFTY is now at 4.7k and change, time to seriously start tracking my shortlisted to buy stocklist. Since Mar 2009, since market started trending up, the only place where I put serious money has been in Telecom. Time to dust off that other buy list now, and wait

Monday, January 18, 2010

Time to make a quick buck?

Shorting NIFTY looks extremely enticing right now. Buying a PUT option around these prices for a Feb or March expiry contract should be a profitable trade.

On the investment side, Bharti continues to remain tantalizing, while IT seems to be becoming expensive with each trading day

Update Jan 25: If only I had put my money where my mouth was. Nifty crashed from 5274 to sub 5000 levels. That would have made a good killing

Sunday, January 3, 2010

WSJ: On Mumbai's Streets, Cabbies Fight To Keep Passengers Uncomfortable

2010

I would be focussing on commodity and energy investments in 2010. Primarily agri/oil/natural gas based. Valuations are a concern, but will keep on monitoring select opportunities.
Other one would be technology (and I dont mean IT Services here), that in my opinion is an evergreen story. Here however, investing in idividual stocks could be risky, so would be looking at broad-based investments (read as mutual funds) rather than individual stocks. Though I kick myself for not picking up MSFT at 16. I came very close and chickened out. Could have financed a cruise :(

About Oil, anyone has suggestions for good investments if one is bullish on oil? To remove political and ecological risks of investing in specific oil majors, I put money directly in Oil (USO and USL) but I think I could do better

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Telecom Stocks

Is it time to start hoarding Telecom Stocks? I personally believe so, and have been accumulating Bharti and Reliance Comm since Oct, and will continue to do so. Expecting to see substantial gains in 2 year period. (3G License allocations - fingers crossed)

Other than that, I am taking advantage of the rally in IT stocks to reduce my exposure. Slowly offloading, still it forms a large component of my portfolio. Staying in cash as much as possible otherwise.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Confession

I am back.. I must confess, the main reason I kind of tempered down my enthusiasm to write after India trip in June was due to the my disappointment with misuse of public power I saw in India.
The sheer misuse of office made by the politicians/bureaucrats to make money at the expense of the public has been shocking. It is so shameful. People of my country DO NOT DESERVE the standard of living they are living in today. If only they were more aware of their rights. In contrast, the politicians live like kings. In this context, the jaago re campaign (HAVE YOU REGISTERED?) is commendable, but it should be taken to the villages of the country. Thats when it will start to matter and take root

During my stay in Goa, I happened to meet a few people around, and it was sad that almost every time conversations ultimately came down to one thing - politicians and their power. Political connections have become almost mandatory to succeed in the country (I noticed in Goa, but I dont think it should be any different anywhere else, in fact it would be worse)

Few of the things I noticed/experienced to explain my anguish:
My dad goes on a morning walk with his own gang of friends. I joined him for a couple of occasions. The discussions would invariably come to politics and misuse of power, from petty amounts to big
How one has to pay bribes to the order of 5-10 times annual salary to get government jobs. And apparently, this goes all the way to the top. People would talk about this as a matter-of-fact, it has become a way of life, the shock value is no longer there. Guess what this will result in - incapable people holding posts in the government, trigger to cause even more corruption to 'recover' that money! I felt ashamed to be even listening to this and not able to do anything :(

Another one is petty but is indication of how this misuse of public office has spread all over. A person connected with the municipality, I guess sanitation inspector, would usurp free food from the restaurants (actually have it delivered at his home)

Visited a local spice farm, which seems to be doing business worth a few crore every year. Would you be surprised to hear political name dropping there? Of course not. This time it was a politician outside the state Mr. Sharad Pawar. These names were dropped with pride. I would be ashamed to be associated with these names

I tried to buy some land in Goa when I was there. The rates* quoted were absolutely shocking. And guess who was selling - yes another politician. More than the price, this was the main reason for me to back out. This politician, who is not even in power, wanted to sell this land for over 50 lakh. I don't even want to know how he came to acquire it and what what cost

*Land transactions themselves are a murky business in most of the country. 70-30 split is the norm. This means you pay 70% through traceable means (cheque etc), and 30% in cash. The deed will of course show only 70%.
One of the sources of the massive parallel economy in operation in the country. I would not want to get into such kind of transactions.

People in the know, already have heard enough of Mr. Ravi Naik - one of the most corrupt politicians in the state. He owns possibly almost the entire Ponda and surroundings. Couple of things I heard
- this guy is now constructing a hotel, 20 m from the highway - who gave him that permission? what about parking and the traffic jam it is going to cause.
- this guy also acquired huge amount of land just outside Ponda, built a small temple in the area. When he was in power, then had a road built to the temple. The result? He has got the land developed at public expense! I hear he does not even pay any salary to the priest appointed at this temple!

Petty, but the most shocking. In Ponda itself, there are these poor roadside fruit sellers. Their licenses are threatened if they dont pay around Rs. 200 per day. To what level do we want to go.

There is absolutely no accountability. No sustained public/media pressure too (more on that in another article).
How does a honest person surive here?
I am sure it is much more worse elsewhere (Latest is Mr. Koda who has over a BILLION DOLLARS in ill-gotten wealth, who is yet to be arrested). With all this context, should we be surprised to see the Maooists/Naxalite movements?

Sad that over the last 50 odd years, we have only produced ministers, but hardly any leaders of note!

Check out these Jaago Re campaign ads

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5ECJrnqPcI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQSz7nnTUP4&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtc-Vlg9edM&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m07wELfHP_8&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1P81LumiOE&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrwBQPbol5Y&feature=related