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Poke the Box: Pay Attention, and Be Prepared

Let’s Start with Safal Niveshak
Just in case you missed any of this on Safal Niveshak over the last few days and weeks…

  • Safal Niveshak now has 2,000+ “followers” on Twitter. If you are not one of them already, click here to follow and read the investing and other thoughts I am thinking through my days.
  • Admissions are now open for the 2nd batch of my 2-month online course in Financial Statement Analysis. Click here to join now!
  • You think manipulating stock prices is illegal? Well, read here about some people who are doing it in broad daylight, and no one’s questioning!
  • Looking to buy a banking stock? Richard Feynman has some advice for you.
  • Read here why smart people like you make stupid money mistakes
  • Want to attend my Value Investing Workshop in Hyderabad on 20th July, Sunday? Simply register here.

Book Worm
I am fascinated by Jiddu Krishnamurti and his teachings. As I was reading his book On Education, here is a beautiful note I came across on “paying attention”…

Do you know what it means to attend, to pay attention? When you pay attention, you see things much more clearly. You hear the bird singing much more distinctly. You differentiate between various sounds. When you look at a tree with a great deal of attention, you see the whole beauty of the tree. You see the leaves, the branch, you see the wind playing with it.

When you pay attention, you see extraordinarily clearly. Have you ever done it?

Attention is something different from concentration. When you concentrate, you don’t see everything. But when you are paying attention, you see a great deal.

Now, pay attention. Look at that tree and see the shadows, the slight breeze among the leaves. See the shape of the tree. See the proportion of the tree in relation to other trees. See the quality of light that penetrates through the leaves, the light on the branches and the trunk. See the totality of the tree.

Attention is very important…when you are eating, when you are walking. Attention is an extraordinary thing.

Stimulate Your Mind
Here’s some amazing content I read during the week gone by…

  • In trying to be right, value investors must be willing to risk being wrong.
  • Are you ready for the next market crash? (Trick to open a paid WSJ article – Copy the article headline, paste on Google, then click the WSJ link to that article)
  • Bad investment behavior can yield better returns. Surprised? Read here.
  • Akash Prakash on how strong equity flows from domestic investors, not foreign inflows, will be the real driver of the bull rally.
  • Which business book should you read this summer? Forbes has some suggestions.
  • Mary Meeker’s ‘Internet Trends 2014′. Some interesting insights here.
  • Read here what Austrians can teach value investors – like why price gravitates towards value, or why volatility does not define risk.
  • Science of what motivates us, and why money can’t buy us satisfaction.
  • Some interesting quotes on bicycling.
Poke of the Week – Being Prepared

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

How often do you run into a situation in life and think to yourself, “Nobody ever prepared me for this?”

The truth is – there is absolutely no way anyone else can prepare you on how to explicitly deal with every possible life event that could conceivably happen. You have to be prepared yourself.

Of course, you must remember that life will always throw the unexpected at you. You’re not always going to have step-by-step instructions or a model to follow that will tell you how to deal with it.

But still, there’s a great charm in preparing for a few occasions in life, like when it comes to investing your hard-earned money.

I was reading Poor Charlie’s Almanack, and here is something immensely important I came across where Charlie Munger says…

Our experience tends to confirm a long-held notion that being prepared, on a few occasions in a lifetime, to act promptly in scale, in doing some simple and logical thing, will often dramatically improve the financial results of the lifetime.

A few major opportunities, clearly recognizable as such, will usually come to one who continuously searches and waits, with a curious mind, loving diagnosis involving multiple variables.

And then all that is required is a willingness to bet heavily when the odds are extremely favourable, using resources available as a result of prudence and patience in the past.”

What Munger says here is that it pays to be prepared in your investing life – prepared not just for the risks that may be lurking round the corner, but also for opportunities that may appear anytime (like they appeared in early 2009 and then in the middle of 2013).

Ironically, most investors are prepared for none, and that is what causes them grief during the market’s ups (when they keep sitting on the sidelines) and downs (when they are enjoying the madness of the party).

Keep poking.

Pay attention.

Be prepared.

Bet heavily when odds are in your favour.

And please…never give up.

Be kind to others, and to yourself.

With respect,
Vishal Khandelwal
Chief Poker – Poke the Box

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About the Author

Vishal Khandelwal is the founder of Safal Niveshak. He works with small investors to help them become smart and independent in their stock market investing decisions. He is a SEBI registered Research Analyst. Connect with Vishal on Twitter.

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