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Archives for August 2017

Annual Report Review: Avenue Supermarts (D-Mart)

Here is my review of the FY17 annual report of India’s leading value retailer, Avenue Supermarts, which owns and operates the D-Mart brand of stores.

Click here to download the PDF review (4 MB file), or read it in the panel below.

Let me know your thoughts and questions on this review in the Comments section of this post, plus any additional thoughts from your own review of Avenue Supermarts’ FY17 annual report.

Statutory Warning: This is NOT an investment advice to buy or sell shares. Please make your own decision, as blindly acting on anyone else’s research and opinions can be injurious to your wealth. I do not own the stock, but my analysis may be biased, and wrong. I have been wrong many times in the past. I am a registered Research Analyst as per SEBI (Research Analyst) Regulations, 2014 (Registration No. INH000000578).

Financial Shenanigans 101

“Financial shenanigans are acts or actions designed to mask or misrepresent the true financial performance or actual financial position of a company or entity.

Financial shenanigans can range from relatively minor infractions involving creative interpretation of accounting rules to outright fraud over many years. In almost every instance, the revelation that a company’s stellar financial performance has been due to financial shenanigans rather than management prowess will have a calamitous effect on its stock price and future prospects.

Depending on the scale and scope of the shenanigans, the repercussions can range from a steep sell-off in the stock to the company’s bankruptcy and dissolution.” (Source – Investopedia)

Best Books on the Subject
Howard Schilit’s Financial Shenanigans: How to Detect Accounting Gimmicks & Fraud in Financial Reports, Charles Mulford’s Creative Cash Flow Reporting: Uncovering Sustainable Financial Performance and The Financial Numbers Game: Detecting Creative Accounting Practices.

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3 Reasons IPOs Are Almost Always Bad Investments

People indulging in the stock market are often people with a lot of emotions. They get excited by something new, especially if it holds the promise of making them a whole lot richer and provides bragging rights at their next social gathering.

Maybe that’s why amateur and professionals alike tend to lose their minds in bull markets, particularly when a hot initial public offering, or IPO, is offered to them by their broker.

On one hand, had you bought into the IPOs of Infosys (yes, remember?), HDFC Bank, Sun Pharma, or TCS, you would have had some volatile price fluctuations along the way, but there is no question that you have made enough money to substantially change the quality of your life. Clearly, a well chosen IPO can be a life changing experience if you simply make the right choice and stick with the stock for years.

On the other hand, there is a large majority of IPOs such as those of Reliance Power, Suzlon and DLF, which have destroyed investors’ capital. With such businesses, even the “long-term” cannot save you from permanent capital destruction.

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StockScan: Bajaj Corp Ltd.

Here’s my StockScan report on Bajaj Corp, India’s leading player in the hair care industry. Click here to read the first report on V-Mart Retail.

To repeat my disclaimer, this is NOT an investment advice to buy or sell shares. This is just my analysis of the company’s business and not a stock advice. It’s important that you make your own decision.

StockScan is just my effort to compress my thoughts on a business in a single page, that forces me to focus on the most important things, and exclude the noise that too much information and analysis may bring.

Click here, if you cannot read or download the report above.

Statutory Warning: This is NOT an investment advice to buy or sell shares. Make your own decision. I do not own the stock, but my analysis may be biased, and wrong. I, Vishal Khandelwal, am a registered Research Analyst as per SEBI (Research Analyst) Regulations, 2014 (Registration No. INH000000578).

Two Wise Men: 40 Stories for Children Inspired from the Wit and Wisdom of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger

In July 2016, Bill Gates wrote a memoir on his 25 years of friendship with Warren Buffett. Here is how Gates started his memoir –

I don’t remember the exact day I first met most of my friends, but with Warren Buffett I do. It was 25 years ago today: July 5, 1991.

I think the date stands out in my mind so clearly because it marked the beginning of a new and unexpected friendship for Melinda and me—one that has changed our lives for the better in every imaginable way.

Warren has helped us do two things that are impossible to overdo in one lifetime: learn more and laugh more.

That last note caught my attention. Including the two lessons that Gates learned from Warren, there are four most important lessons I have learned from studying the latter and his partner Charlie Munger over the past 15+ years.

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StockScan: V-Mart Retail Ltd.

“Writing is 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent elimination.” ~ Louise Brooks

This is an idea about brevity, so let me be brief.

Safal Niveshak StockScanStockScan is Safal Niveshak’s latest initiative where I will write and share to-the-point, one-page reports on listed Indian companies on a regular basis.

If you have been a reader of Safal Niveshak for long, you must remember how my idea of writing stock analyses has bombed quite a few times. So, I launched StockTalk 1.0, then 2.0, and then 3.0…but none could make it beyond a few weeks or days. If you think that’s due to my incompetence in analyzing stocks, you are right, and I am fine with that thought because you won’t expect much from this new initiative too. 😉

One big reason I never carried on far with my earlier such initiatives was that my business analyses were often construed as stock recommendations, and I found a lot of people acting on the same (and, of course, losing money). In fact, some curse me even now for a few old reports, despite my several warnings that what I wrote was purely entertaining business analysis and not serious stock recommendations.

Anyways, as I have also realized in hindsight, another reason I could not continue with these initiatives for long was that I often found the idea of writing long reports as cumbersome, after having done that for a few years in my job.

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Inverting the Money Problem

In the controversial movie, The Social Network, which supposedly portrayed Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook journey, Sean Parker’s character famously quipped –

“A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion dollars.”

It’s probably the most favourite problem that majority of the individuals in the world are trying to figure out i.e., how to get rich?

So let’s investigate this problem by using Charlie Munger’s most cherished mental model i.e., inverting the problems to solve them.

One of the ways to invert the question of “How to Get Rich?” is to ask, “Is getting rich worth it?”

Before you decide to skip this article thinking that it’s another one of those “money can’t buy happiness” rant, just stick with me for few more minutes and I promise that you won’t regret it.

In fact, this is a good opportunity to wear our curiosity hats and look at the hardships that tag along with large sums of money. Now given the fact that the author, yours truly, isn’t super rich (money wise at least) and likely never will be, is it justified for him to comment on the problems of the rich?

In my defence, all I have to say is that I never let my lack of first-hand experience with a topic stop me from speculating on it. 🙂

Maybe, like the proverbial fox and his sour grapes, I am deluding myself with a story that I never wanted what I will never be able to get. Or maybe I belong to the camp of those cash-poor intellectual types who want to prove to the world that rich people secretly live a miserable life.

I am not ruling out any of these possibilities where my subconscious is playing a game.

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My Stock Selection Framework

To invest successfully over a lifetime does not require a stratospheric IQ, unusual business insights, or inside information. What’s needed is a sound intellectual framework for making decisions and the ability to keep emotions from corroding that framework. ~ Warren Buffett

My fundamental philosophy of life: Preparation. Discipline. Patience. Decisiveness. ~ Charlie Munger

Combining whatever I have learned from these and other legends of investing, and also my little investment experience spanning the last 14+ years, here is my “framework” for selecting stocks that have mostly worked well for me over time (sorry for a bit darkish image, but it just shows how cloudy it is here where I live).

Click here to download a larger image

A few pointers from this framework –

  • Screeners I use –, Google Finance
  • My screening criteria is what has worked for me over time. You can modify it to suit what you are looking for
  • What this framework shows is the science part of investing. The art part involves changing the flow of filters in the funnel to suit your style. So, some people may have the “moat filter” prior to the “financial stability filter,” etc.
  • Warning – This framework has also handed me to a few mistakes, so beware. But overall, it has helped me build a portfolio of stocks that have done extremely well over a period of time. How well? I won’t put a number to it. Just that it’s been a number that has helped me build enough to pay off my financial liabilities, quit my job, and work on things and with people I love (don’t want to prove this to anyone). 😉

Anyways, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. So I would suggest you try this process, in case you don’t have one of your own, and let me know your thoughts/results five years from now. 🙂

And by the way, this framework will only help you prepare. You must get discipline, patience and decisiveness on the table yourself.

Send me your thoughts/questions on this framework, in the Comments section of this post.