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Archives for July 2011

Debt Is Dangerous. Just Ask America!

The US President Barack Obama recently admitted that America faces a “dangerous stalemate” over how to prevent the country defaulting on its debt.

In fact, Obama and his team just have two days left to:

  1. Either lift the country’s US$ 14.3 trillion debt ceiling
  2. Or see the government run out of money to pay its bills for the first time.

Now the irony is that, in reality, it is no more an ‘either-or’ decision. Doing the first and sacrificing the second, or vice versa, the US is in deep trouble!
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Your Brain on Stocks

The brain we have on the top of our head isn’t a flawless machine.

It is definitely powerful and comes in an easy to carry container. But it has its weaknesses.

In everyday terms, we call such weaknesses as ‘biases’. The good part is that while we cannot exchange our brains with other people nor can we upgrade it at a hardware shop, we can avoid mistakes that our biases cause by just taking notice of them.
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The Folly of Prediction (Freakonomics)

“It’s impossible to predict the future, but humans can’t help themselves. From the economy to the presidency to the Super Bowl, educated and intelligent people promise insight and repeatedly fail by wide margins. These mistakes and misses go unpunished, both publicly and in our brain, which has become trained to ignore the record of those who make them. In this hour of Freakonomics Radio, we’ll dream of the day when bad predictors pay.”

Listen to the radio here: [audio:]

Safal Niveshak Weekly Wrap

The global financial markets are standing on the brink of a steep cliff, with the US economy staring at a possible default.

Whatever happens during the coming week, when the US government decides its future course of action whether it must borrow more or cut its spending, it’s dawning on investors that a major crisis is just round the corner.

So whether or not the US defaults, or the Chinese economy goes downhill, or maybe the European crisis intensifies, times are indeed scary if you are already invested.

Talk about the Indian economy, and things aren’t any rosier out here. Inflation remains high and rising interest rates are choking the growth of businesses.
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What Do You Understand By ‘Risk’ in Investing?

“You must know your risk appetite before investing.”

“Markets are risky and can crash 30%. Invest later.”

“I am a risk-averse investor.”

“I can’t take risk with my money. This stock can fall 20%!”

“Investing is risky. And I don’t have the risk-taking ability.”

These are some common statements/advice I’ve heard from investors and financial advisors over the past few years, and especially when stocks prices are on a correction mode.
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Friday Morning Reading List

A few interesting items for your reading pleasure:

What are you reading?

Can Your Stocks Defeat the Inflation Demon?

“Americans are getting stronger. Twenty years ago, it took two people to carry ten dollars’ worth of groceries. Today, a five year old can do it.” – Henny Youngman

This is a telling statement on the menace that is inflation.

You must’ve heard stories from your grandmother how a few rupees used to buy a week of groceries when she was young.

We, the present generation, can only imagine such a situation. Now a few rupees would get you a snare from a beggar!
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Who Else Wants to Beat The Market?

When you invest your money with a mutual fund, you don’t normally think in terms of losing money.

All you want is to make money. And this must be your fund manager’s goal as well, or so you may think.

But if you read most mutual fund advertisements and what fund managers boast about on business channels and in newspaper interviews, their ultimate goal is to ‘beat the market’.

In fact, the entire mutual fund industry seems to have conspired against the small investor by pitching him nothing but this – “Give me your money, and I’ll help you beat the market!”
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