Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Poverty of the Rich


I am a firm believer of the fact that our entire moral compass is a function of the times, and thus be extension, the society that we live in. Continuing on the same lines, so many of our thoughts, ideas, dogmas, beliefs are just so ingrained in us, ever since our childhood, that we spend our lifetimes without even, forget questioning them but even thinking about them. I read something today morning that made me not only question a very simple concept, but also see it in a whole new light. The concept of poverty.

What is your definition of poverty dear readers? I will first share mine. Not having enough. Having very little. Struggling to make ends meet. Just few of the phrases that would come to my mind if you were to ask me to try and define poverty. And I am willing to bet that most, if not all, of you readers would have also come up with similar answers.

As the regular readers of this blog know, we have been visiting the works of Seneca in the recent months and trying to gain some financial wisdom. And it was while revisiting his works that I found myself changing my mindset about poverty. Seneca quotes Epicurus and states 

"Contended poverty is an honorable estate. Indeed, if it be contented, it is not poverty at all. It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."

I was so impressed by these lines, I found myself reading them again a couple of times. I would suggest you readers to also do the same. Being from a developing country, you come across poverty everyday and by no means, do I want to undermine their condition. But what these lines did was made me expand my definition of poverty. Hence, the title of the post. The Poverty of the Rich.

More on Seneca as applied to finance:

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Indian stock market - Just some observations

This is what I have been observing about the markets in the past few days......

(1) Articles forecasting stuff like NIFTY i.e. the primary Indian stock market index will go to 13,000 in 2 years. For the uninformed it is at less than 8500 currently.

(2) Every IPO is getting way oversubscribed by retail investors. It is already being said that this could be the best year for IPOs since 2011.

(3) On various forums, people are starting posts talking about quitting their jobs and shifting to equity investing/trading as a full time career.

(4) Colleagues at work, who have always thought that equity markets are risky, are discussing stocks with each other. No, they are not asking about investing, just about how to trade stocks and how to invest in IPOs.

Not making any conclusions, just stating some facts. All the above observations and links are from this week only. Are you readers seeing anything similar in your equity markets?

Take care and good luck!

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

A matter of perspective

Brexit. Greenspan says this is the worst period since he has been in public service. They say it's the worst step backward for Europe since World War 2. And it has far reaching security implications. The pound reached its lowest level since 1985. Take your pick of any of these news items. Either way, its big. Very big. Exactly how big, perhaps we will realize only decades later. The markets reacted the only way they know how to react to news like this. Let's have a look at the S&P and NIFTY (Indian stock index charts) now.




As you can see it was a disastrous day and the markets made their lowest lows since.....(drumroll)......May 2016!! Wait a minute!! That's it?? An event of earth shattering proportions and we have reached where we were last month! Talk about an anticlimax. So, let's just sit back and analyze. The trouble with days like Friday is that everything seems to unfold very quickly. At times like this, it helps to take a deep breath and look at the bigger picture, even if the bigger picture is just a three month daily chart.

The markets, with all the poll predictions, had got complacent about Brexit and what caught on the wrong foot when it actually happened. Hence, Friday happened. While it would take us at least a few years to analyze the true impact and implications of Brexit, the market's reaction from Friday, from the above charts, it doesn't look that bad at all. The S&P is stuck in a trading range for the past three months. Not surprising, if you consider the fact that it is still 10% since February. Brexit or no Brexit, consolidation has to happen after a move like that. And still over MA(200). No damage done so far. If anything, the Indian market chart only looks better than S&P.

All of the above makes Monday an important day in my opinion. A dull boring day would mean that the markets are quite pleased with how they have assessed the risk on Friday. Another day like Friday would mean that markets are still unsure of the impact of Brexit and are still trying to learn how to price it in. Either way, the next 2-3 days are going to be exciting!!

In case you are interested, here is my take on long term implications of Brexit.

Take care and good luck!

You can follow me on twitter for latest blog updates. Also, here is the link for free subscription to the blog.