Premium Value Investing NewsletterDownload Free Issue

Safal Niveshak Stream – January 21, 2017

Note to Readers: In Stream, we suggest worthwhile reading material on a variety of topics, not all of which are directly related to investing. Some of the articles require you to be paid subscriber of those sites. However, it is often possible to read such articles by going to Google News and searching for the article’s title.



Some nice stuff we are reading, watching, and observing at the start of this weekend…

Life/Learning

  • The American chess player and martial arts champion Josh Waitzkin’s The Art of Learning is one of the best books I have read on, well, the art of learning and the entire process of going about doing it. This book reveals Waitzkin’s unique systems of thematic learning, idea generation, building resilience, and mastering the art of performance psychology. Here is one of the many passages from the book that have inspired me…

    If I have learned anything over my first twenty-nine years, it is that we cannot calculate our important contests, adventures, and great loves to the end. The only thing we can really count on is getting surprised. No matter how much preparation we do, in the real tests of our lives, we’ll be in unfamiliar terrain. Conditions might not be calm or reasonable. It may feel as though the whole world is stacked against us. This is when we have to perform better than we ever conceived of performing. I believe the key is to have prepared in a manner that allows for inspiration, to have laid the foundation for us to create under the wildest pressures we ever imagined.

  • It’s understandable that we respond to the ratcheting demands of modern life by trying to make ourselves more efficient by managing our time better. But what if all this efficiency just makes things worse?

    Given that the average lifespan consists of only about 4,000 weeks, a certain amount of anxiety about using them well is presumably inevitable: we’ve been granted the mental capacities to make infinitely ambitious plans, yet almost no time at all to put them into practice. The problem of how to manage time, accordingly, goes back at least to the first century AD, when the Roman philosopher Seneca wrote On The Shortness of Life. “This space that has been granted to us rushes by so speedily, and so swiftly that all save a very few find life at an end just when they are getting ready to live,” he said, chiding his fellow citizens for wasting their days on pointless busyness, and “baking their bodies in the sun”.

[Read more…]

28 Big Ideas on Investing, Business, Life, Behaviour, and Thinking (Special E-Book)

28 Big Ideas on Investing, Business, Life, Behaviour, and Thinking (Special E-Book)The world around us is changing pretty fast. Modern computers are becoming cheaper, faster and more intelligent than ever, which means they are ready to replace a large part of human workforce.

The day is not far when your work and skills will be threatened by artificial intelligence. To stay relevant, you need to ensure that you remain valuable to the society in a way which can’t be substituted by a robot.

And your only chance to remain valuable is by being a constant learner…a learning machine, as Charlie Munger says. In fact, he has been saying this for years –

I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent, but they are learning machines. They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up and boy does that help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.

The question is where do you start? There is so much to learn all around, and so little time.

Start with our latest special e-book – 28 Big Ideas on Investing, Business, Life, Behaviour, and Thinking.

[Read more…]

One Big Lesson I Learned Late in My Investing Life

One of the most profound thoughts I’ve ever read on the child-parent relationship comes from the noted Lebanese-American artist and poet Kahlil Gibran, who wrote the following under the title “On Children” –

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

The first time I read these thoughts, my first reaction was – “If my children are not my children, then whose are they? And what do you mean they are not mine?”

[Read more…]

Safal Niveshak Stream – January 14, 2017

Note to Readers: In Stream, we suggest worthwhile reading material on a variety of topics, not all of which are directly related to investing. Some of the articles require you to be paid subscriber of those sites. However, it is often possible to read such articles by going to Google News and searching for the article’s title.



Some nice stuff we are reading, watching, and observing at the start of this weekend…

Life/Learning

  • At times it’s scary to think how time is flying. And then there are posts like these that tell you that you may not learn some of the most important lessons till it’s too late in life, like these three…

    1. Time passes much more quickly than you realize.

    2. If you don’t take care of your body early then it won’t take care of you later. Your world becomes smaller each day as you lose mobility, continence and sight.

    3. People are far more important than any other thing in your life. No hobby, interest, book, work is going to be as important to you as the people you spend time with as you get older.

  • Does anyone know anything any more? The ease with which one can look up facts on a phone at any time is one of the wonders of the modern age. But are we becoming too reliant on it? A new study indicates, at least, that there might be a snowball effect to such reliance. The more we depend on Google for information recall, it suggests, the more we will do so in the future. In short, Google may be rewiring our minds, and the debate we are now having about the effect of constant internet access on memory and creativity has precedents thousands of years old.

[Read more…]

Value Investor Interview: Kuntal Shah

Note: This interview was originally published in the November 2016 issue of our premium newsletter – Value Investing Almanack (VIA). To read more such interviews and other deep thoughts on value investing, business analysis and behavioral finance, click here to subscribe to VIA.



Kuntal Shah - Value Investing AlmanackKuntal Shah is one of the founding partners of SageOne Investment Advisors and has an opportunistic inclination towards a value-oriented and risk-controlled approach to investments. He has been an extremely successful investor over the past two decades and his success has come from exploiting the inefficiencies inherent in the markets.

Kuntal has an in-depth understanding of value investing with a focus on risk identification and mitigation, emerging trends, and opportunities in key growth sectors in India, taxation and accounting. He also loves to teach on these subjects and in the past has lectured at UTI Institute of Capital Markets, IIM (Ahmedabad), IIT (Mumbai), Symbiosis, FLAME and Chartered Accountants Institute. Kuntal is an Electronics Engineer from Pune University.

Safal Niveshak (SN): Could you tell us a little about your background, and how you got interested in value investing?

Kuntal Shah (KS): I was brought up in a middle-class family in Mumbai. I am an engineer by qualification. Early life was a constant struggle to make ends meet for our family of five siblings given our father’s limited earnings. I was lucky to be brought up in an environment where there was no compromise on education and was fortunate to be inculcated with middle class working ethos, frugality and conservatism of living within one’s means without recourse to borrowing to prepone consumption.

[Read more…]

Safal Niveshak Stream – January 7, 2017

Note to Readers: In Stream, we suggest worthwhile reading material on a variety of topics, not all of which are directly related to investing. Some of the articles require you to be paid subscriber of those sites. However, it is often possible to read such articles by going to Google News and searching for the article’s title.



Some nice stuff we are reading, watching, and observing at the start of this weekend…

Life/Learning

  • (930 words / 4 minutes read) Meet the ‘James Bond of Philanthropy’ who has given away the last of his fortune…

    Nearly five years ago, Charles F. Feeney sat in a cushy armchair in an apartment on the east side of Manhattan, grandchildren’s artwork taped to the walls, and said that by the end of 2016, he was going to hand out the last of a great fortune that he had made.

    Altogether, he had contributed $8 billion to his philanthropies, which have supported higher education, public health, human rights and scientific research … His remaining personal net worth is slightly more than $2 million. That’s not quite broke, by any standard, but it is a modest amount for a man who controlled thousands of times as much wealth. He and his wife, Helga, now live in a rented apartment in San Francisco. “You can only wear one pair of pants at a time,” Mr. Feeney has said.

    [Read more…]

10 Qualities of Great Investors

Value Investing Workshops in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai – Registrations are now open for our upcoming workshops in Mumbai (22nd Jan), Bangalore (5th Feb), and Chennai (12th Feb). If you wish to attend, please click here to register.


One of the first lessons I learned from my Yoga teacher was what she told me during my first class – “Yoga isn’t about rapid movements but long pauses. Slow down, calm down, don’t hurry, and trust the process.”

The thing about yoga — or any exercise — is that there isn’t a comfort zone. But if you have a sound process, and practice it diligently, over time it starts to work for you.

The act of investing your money, as I realize, isn’t much different from practicing Yoga. A superior process and greatness often go hand in hand in yoga, and also in investing. For serious investors, thus, it’s wise to learn to trust the process that generates winning investment results.

I came across one such time-tested process framework recently while reading Michael Mauboussin’s “Reflections on the Ten Attributes of Great Investors.” Mauboussin is a Managing Director and Head of Global Financial Strategies at Credit Suisse, and author of some amazing books like The Success Equation and More Than You Know. He is one successful value investor, and thus the process he has laid out in his note is a great help for any serious investor seeking a winning investment process.

Here are my reviews of the ten attributes Mauboussin has laid out in his note.

[Read more…]

7 Acceptances (Not Resolutions) to Live By in 2017

I wish you a very happy, healthy, peaceful, and fulfilling 2017.

Life is short (it’s already almost six years since I started Safal Niveshak), so let me not waste another moment and thank you for being here for me.

As we begin 2017, let’s not start with New Year resolutions that anyways don’t last till 5th of January. Let’s start with some acceptances that you should come to terms with in 2017 and beyond.

Print what follows below – Your Note of Acceptance as an Investor – and look at it every day. It might help you deal better with the reality of the investing world.

Here it goes…

[My Note of Acceptance as an Investor]
I ACCEPT THAT…

  1. I will act stupid and envious at times and make mistakes, how much ever intelligent I am, and whatever resolution I make to avoid all mistakes this year.
  2. I, or anyone else, have no clue about the impact of macroeconomic or socio-political events on my investments.
  3. I, or anyone else, cannot predict the future of markets with any degree of accuracy, however certain things look like.
  4. I will lose a lot of money over time if I invest on tips, in bad businesses, with bad managements, and in expensive stocks.
  5. I may create wealth from stock market in the long run only if I practice patience in owning good businesses, not when I chase multibagger returns.
  6. Luck will play an important role in my investing, and especially when I make high returns in quick time.
  7. However good my investment process is, the outcome at times may not be to my liking.

Finally, it’s good to admit and accept that the future is inherently unknown and unknowable, and that there is no point blaming “uncertainty” for your investment mistakes and losses. Relax, and learn to appreciate the thrill of finding out what happens next. That’s the best part of being a stock market investor.

What you can control is your own behavior – and only to a certain extent – and how you respond to whatever happens around you. For all things outside your control – including return on your investment – there is no point fearing the future.

Stay happy, healthy, and peaceful.

Happy New Year!

P.S. The idea of this post comes from here.