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Archives for December 2011

The 2011 Safal Niveshak ‘Thank You’ List

The year 2011 will end in three days and we will be celebrating the onset of a new year. As I look back to the year gone by, I feel the need to extend my gratitude to a whole lot of people and things who made 2011 an amazing year for me.

The list is embarrassingly long, but if I tried to list every single thing I’m thankful for, we’d both be here until New Year 2013. But I’d like to hit a few highlights.

So here’s my personal and very partial list.

I thank YOU
It all starts with you, the reader of Safal Niveshak and the tribesman who has taken it upon himself/herself to become smarter and independent in his/her stock market investing decisions.

I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. Thank you so much for reading, for commenting, for sharing the posts, for your interest and support and intelligent criticism, for keeping me honest, for helping this entire movement of creating smarter and independent stock market investors become greater and spread wider.

You are magnificent, and I am supremely grateful for your time and attention.
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My Top 10 Posts for 2011

I think you’ve been an awesome reader of Safal Niveshak ever since we started in July 2011.

To express my gratitude to you for being a part of this tribe of sensible, smarter investors, I’ve compiled my top 10 posts of 2011.

Lots of good ideas for you on investing and the art of managing your own money.

Here we go.

  1. What’s the Point of Saving and Investing?
  2. Safal Niveshak StockTalk #1: Larsen & Toubro
  3. 10 Stocks I Would Want to Leave for My Grandchildren
  4. What My Little Girl Taught Me About Investing Wisely
  5. Life & Money Lessons from Kantilal
  6. Infosys and the Funny Stock Market Pastime Called ‘Expectations’
  7. Life, Liberty, Happiness…and Investing
  8. How to Find the Next Infosys
  9. Why I Don’t Watch CNBC, and Why Even You Shouldn’t
  10. Are You a Frog in Boiling Water?

Now let me know in the Comments section, what is your choice of top 5 posts from Safal Niveshak.

Happy New Year, and be safe!

“My Money Resolution for 2012” Contest

Making a New Year resolution is quite easy. Practicing the same is otherwise. I’m writing this based on my experience. 🙂

When a resolution demands high levels of discipline, the task becomes all the more burdensome.

First, most of us generally fail to make reasonable resolution(s). And that is the biggest reason why most of us fail to keep the one(s) we make!

Instead of “I’ll start my exercise schedule by walking 3 kilometer every day”, we would resolve to “sprint 5 kilometer every day, starting January 1”.

One such (difficult) resolution that we often fail to put into practice relates to how we plan to work on our money-related issues.

Here are some of the most common money resolutions that people make at the start of a year…

  • I’ll try to become a better saver in the New Year.
  • I’ll invest less than 20% of my money in stocks.
  • I’ll not invest in stocks at all, even if stock markets go up.
  • I’ll not listen to my financial advisor in the New Year.
  • I’ll make my own investing decisions instead of depending on others.

You might have your own money resolution for the New Year. If yes, tell me – What’s your money resolution for 2012?
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When I Came Face to Face with ‘Don’

As I switched on the television last night, I heard these famous words on Star Plus that was showing the Shahrukh Khan 2006 flick ‘Don’…

“Don ka intezar toh 11 mulkon ki police kar rahi hai! Lekin Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hai! (Police from 11 countries are waiting to catch hold of Don. But it isn’t just difficult to catch him, it’s impossible.)

Call it fate, or my bad luck, I accidently changed the channel. This time it was a business channel that was showcasing another kind of Don – D-Street Ka Don.

It was the first time I came across something as loud and funny on a business channel. Though I watch such channels only when I cannot find any comedy serial anywhere else, this show was seriously funny.

“How can people watch such programmes?” my wife taunted me.

“Yes papa, what are you watching? See how arrogantly this uncle is talking?” added my daughter who, at 7 years, is smart enough to differentiate between arrogance and intelligence.

“I’m not watching this. This came across just by accident!” I replied in my defense as my wife pulled the remote out of my hand as if I had tortured her senses.
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Investing Lessons from the ‘Black Hole’ Called Suzlon

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” wrote Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet.

You can experience the truth of these words when you come to know that a company whose name was derived from the adage ‘be careful about loan’ or ‘sujh bujh ke loan lena’, is now one of the worst indebted companies in India, and one that has been extremely careless with it borrowing.

I’m talking about the wind energy major Suzlon (sujh+loan) – once a darling of the stock markets and now as worthless as Punam Pandey.

The company’s management, which narrated a promising story to the analysts and investors during the company’s pre-IPO conference in 2005, is now struggling to keep their company above water.

The promoter, Tulsi Tanti, once regarded as the poster-boy of India’s globalization story, is now being blamed for bringing his company and its shareholders down to their knees.
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Your Best Investment for 2012

If I could create the definition of better investing, it would read…

“Educating yourself to become more consciously aware of the immense power of your mind to create the action of earning wealth.”

I believe ‘your mind’ is your greatest asset and investing on the development of the same is more important than investing in any stock or bond out there.

The famous British philosophical writer James Allen wrote in his breakthrough book As A Man Thinketh

“Man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed-seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.”

As A Man Thinketh is a small book that explains how the human mind can create its environment and circumstances.

The author believes that the root cause of prosperity and poverty is how a person thinks.
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I Wish Someone Had Taught Me About ‘Present Value’ This Way

If the concepts of finance were to be listed down in order of their importance, the concept of ‘Present Value’ will be at the top of that list.

In simple words, present value describes the process of determining what a cash flow to be received in the future is worth in today’s rupees.

In simpler words, it is the value today of an amount of money in the future.

“I’m still not getting it!” you might say.

“How do you calculate present value?”

“What’s the relevance of present value in investing?”

Well, if these are some questions that crop up in your mind as soon as I use the term present value, and before you junk it as some ‘difficult to understand’ concept that you must not worry about, just check out this small video.
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What’s the Point of Saving and Investing?

“Nice to meet you. Just hold on for a second. I need to send an SMS to my husband.”

My cousin and I stood there waiting. The girl, a manager with a private sector bank, busily tapped out a text message on her new iPhone.

She was pretty slow with the typing, but we knew what was going on.

She was just showing off her new Rs 30,000 iPhone – hot stuff for Alwar, a small town in Rajasthan where I grew up and which has a relatively middle class population.

We had seen her arrive to the bank with her husband who drove a shiny black and modified SUV.

She and her husband were young… probably in their early thirties. As I came to know from her, he was a real estate broker in the town. Even though their income must be down in a weak housing and job market, their spending didn’t reflect the crisis.

“What’s going on here?” I asked my cousin who was a local.
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