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Archives for 2014

The Best of Safal Niveshak 2014

Together we learned quite a bit in 2014 (at least I did). 🙂

Through my investing workshops across 14 cities (the most in any year so far), I also met 300+ tribe members, which was in itself a great personal learning experience.

Finally, I rounded off the year meeting the legendary investor Mohnish Pabrai and Prof. Sanjay Bakshi.

As far as the website is concerned, the number of visitors increased by about 56% during the year and the number of pages viewed crossed 1 million for the first time (up 42% over 2013).

I wrote around 125 posts during the year. Here is a chance for you to catch up on something you might have missed. These are some of the best posts from the year, based on the number of views and comments.

1. Value Investing, the Sanjay Bakshi Way 2.0 – My second interview of Prof. Bakshi was as big a hit as the first one in 2012. In this one, he talked about the important concepts of economic moats, valuations, mental models, diversification, checklists, and why you must buy great businesses for the long term. Overall, a terrific read!

2. Simple Ideas on Wealth Creation, the Subramoney Way – Subra, as he’s popularly known, believes that to make money, you do not need too many ideas. You need simple ideas and discipline. Simple ideas, and many of them, are what he shared in this interview for Safal Niveshak, which was the second most read series here this year.

3. Interview with Basant Maheshwari – In this no holds barred interview, Basant talked about his upbringing as an investor, what he learned along the way, and his process of identifying great businesses. A nice read, especially for a new investor.

4. 36 Lessons from 36 Years of My Life – As I completed thirty-six years in this life, I shared a handful of lessons I’ve learned — lessons on life, work, family, health, and money – which may serve as a helpful guide for those just starting out. Though I was not sure this would be of much interest to readers, but it ended up as one of the most read and commented posts on the site this year.

5. 5 Lessons on Life & Investing from Guy Spier’s Education of a Value Investor – If I had not read Guy Spier’s The Education of a Value Investor, and someone told me his story, I would have believed it was mine. In this post, I shared the five meaningful thoughts (among many) that Guy has written about in his book, which I believe serve a great learning for most people aspiring to find a greater meaning in life and become better as value investors. I recommend you read Guy’s book, if you haven’t done already.

6. How I Multiplied My Income 2.5x, Savings 5x, and Happiness 20x (After Quitting My Job) – The title of this post conveys a lot, I believe. This one came straight from my heart, and thus one of my personal favourites.

7. The Happiest Man I’ve Ever Met – In this post, I profiled a man of very modest means but among the happiest people I’ve ever met in my life. You’ll be happy reading this post.

8. 10 Investing Gems from Peter Lynch’s One Up on Wall Street – This brilliant book offers great insight into the mind of one of the greatest money managers of all times. In this post, I shared just ten of them. Anyone thinking about buying individual stocks must read Lynch’s book before they ever make their first stock purchase. This post can be a start.

9. Confessions of a Stock Market Analyst – This post was originally written in June 2012, but I re-posted it this year and it again turned out to be among the most popular on the blog.

10. Can You Sum Up Your Investing Philosophy in 10 Words? – I asked tribe members to sum up their investing philosophies in 10 words or less, and was positively surprised at the amazing responses. If you haven’t shared your investment philosophy, you can do it right away.

I have a lot more coming in 2015. 🙂

Happy New Year, and be safe!

Interview with Stable Investor

This is not an interview which I have taken of someone else, but my interview on Stable Investor, a website dedicated to long-term investing.

So someone has finally found me deserving for an interview! 😉

Dev, who runs Stable Investor, has been a long time tribesman of Safal Niveshak and a friend. I have come to respect him a lot via our discussions and also via his work.

In this interview, I share my background, philosophy, and journey as far as investing is concerned, and a guided route map for anyone starting out on his/her own journey as an investor. Hope you find some value in my experiences.

Let’s start right away. [Read more…]

What Do You Want Me to Write About?

I have been sharing my thoughts via Safal Niveshak for almost 3.5 years now.

I have strived to cover a very diverse set of ideas around investing, personal finance, and experiments I am conducting in my own life.

Whenever I sit down to write, I usually choose a topic based on…

  • What I think you would like to learn
  • What I think would be useful for you to learn
  • My own experiences that I think you will find useful

So whatever I write on Safal Niveshak is for YOU. And I want it to be useful to you.

Now here’s what I’m asking.

Post topics of interest to you in the Comments section of this post – topics related to stock market investing, analysis, human behaviour, and financial life…which you want me to cover on Safal Niveshak.

Based on the requests I receive, I’ll line up the topics I think are particularly interesting and important and will benefit a wide audience, and write on them over the next few days and weeks.

I look forward to hear from you.

You may add your question(s) in the Comments section of this post, or tweet to me @safalniveshak.

P.S. A lot of members have asked why I am not writing analyses on companies (StockTalk) anymore. Well, this is because of a SEBI regulation that requires bloggers to get registered with it before writing any analyses/opinions on stocks/companies. I have not registered with them yet (too many legalities, you see), and thus won’t be writing on companies till I do that.

Poke the Box: Sit Tight and Live Wide

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 got featured among worthwhile value investing blogs to read at Graham & Doddsville and Old School Value. Feel happy and motivated!
  • I recently interviewed PV Subramanyam aka Subramoney who dispelled some great yet simple ideas on wealth creation. Read the complete interview here.
  • I met one of the happiest persons on the planet recently. You’ll be amazed at what keeps him happy. Read here.
  • I turned thirty-six recently. Here are 36 invaluable lessons I learned over these years, which may serve as a helpful guide for those just starting out.
  • There are several timeless lessons you can learn on life and investing from Guy Spier’s Education of a Value Investor. Read five of them.
  • Two of the world’s geniuses – Stanley Druckenmiller and Isaac Newton – have some lessons to teach us on why we must not speculate, especially during bull markets. Read here.

[Read more…]

36 Lessons from 36 Years of My Life

I completed 36 years in my present state of existence yesterday (7th December). That’s 13,150 days, or around 55% of the average life expectancy of an Indian male.

While spiritualists would want me to believe that I have existed from anadi (before the beginning of cosmos) and will exist till ananta (infinity), I see thirty-six years as a good enough time to find some meaning in one’s life. At least, my greying hair help me realize that.

Now, while it amazes me that I’ve been around that long — I feel like I’ve barely begun.

I’m not usually one to make a big deal about my birthday, but as always, it has given me an opportunity to reflect.

I thought I’d share a handful of lessons I’ve learned — lessons on life, work, family, health, and money – which may serve as a helpful guide for those just starting out.

These are just a few of the many lessons that I have learned in my life, and you may find no wisdom in them. Even I realize that wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself.

Also, as you get older, three things happen. The first is your memory goes, and I can’t remember the other two. 😉

So before I forget the lessons I learned in thirty-six years of my life, let me start right away.

[Read more…]

Safal Niveshak @ Graham & Doddsville

I am not sharing an investing idea today, so you may close this window if you are not interested to read further. 🙂

But if you are still reading, I just wanted to share that Safal Niveshak has found mention on the list of “worthwhile blogs” on the leading value investing site, Graham & Doddsville.

See the list under Worthwhile Blogs here.

This comes after another leading value investing blog, Old School Value, mentioned Safal Niveshak under “10 Slam Dunk Value Investing Blogs to Make You an Investing Star”.

No ROI is better than the motivation I receive from you, dear friend. Mentions from these respected websites are ‘special dividends’. 🙂

So thank you for keeping me motivated to continue to do the work I am doing.

Finally, a lot of you had requested for the PDF version of PV Subramanyam’s interview that I conducted recently. Click here to download the PDF.

Happy reading, have a nice day, and thanks for being there for me!

The Happiest Man I’ve Ever Met

I was recently in Nagpur for my True Wealth Workshop. I had a few free hours prior to the Workshop and decided to spend it touring the Orange City.

It turned out to be a wise decision not only because I loved what I saw of Nagpur, but also because I came to know about Ramesh Shet, an auto-rickshaw driver who took me around the best places in the city. Why meeting Ramesh was a great thing, you’ll come to know in a bit.

“You’ve come here for the first time, Sir?” Ramesh started the conversation as we started on the journey.

“Yeah,” I answered.

“It’s a very nice city. I’m sure you’ll love it,” he said.

I asked him about his family, his work, and income. “So how much do you earn daily?”

“Rs 300 on an average per day,” he replied.

“Is Rs 300 good enough for you and your family?” I asked.

[Read more…]

You Are ‘Shockingly’ Terrible At Investing

Not me, this is what research from Richard Bernstein Advisors shows – that the ‘average’ investor is terrible at investing.

This following chart, which shows returns over 20 years, of various asset classes, proves this…

Here is what Bernstein’s report states –

The performance of the typical investor over this time period is shockingly poor. The average investor has underperformed every category except Asian emerging market and Japanese equities. The average investor even underperformed cash (listed here as 3-month t-bills)!

The average investor underperformed nearly every asset class. They could have improved performance by simply buying and holding any asset class other than Asian emerging market or Japanese equities. Thus, their underperformance suggests investors’ timing of asset allocation decisions must have been particularly poor, i.e., investors consistently bought assets that were overvalued and sold assets that were undervalued.

Even cash has outperformed the ‘average investor’!

[Read more…]