Sensex nears lifetime high..Right time to Buy ??

The indices are once again near their all time highs. Sensex had made a high of  '21206' on Jan 10th 2008 and had crashed afterwards and since then the Sensex has tested the 20000 mark multiple times but did not succeed in making a new high. Now once again the index seems to be ready to make an effort to try and regain the apex count it had made.

At this juncture though the big question is that would it be a wise choice to enter at current levels since the markets have already ran up a lot in the last one month and if the range bound nature of the markets similar to the last few years is to continue there isn't much to be gained by entering at this level.


Well..I have an answer. Not in terms of where the markets could go , but whether it is prudent to park your money in stocks. Yes , it still is because as of now there are still hundreds of stocks that had fallen huge from their peaks in the 2 year crash that have not recovered and are considered to be valuable companies in the Indian growth scenario.Stocks like Rcom , Bharti Airtel , Dlf , Jp Associates , Reliance Industries , Relcapital are still off their highs by a huge margin.Not to suggest that the stocks were fair value at the highs but are certainly below par at the current values.


Not in one go , Not in a year but these stocks and many more hidden gems will certainly provide good returns over a period of time if you are willing to hold.Also with small systematic investments going into the stocks you can also take advantage of the downside if any is left in these stocks because with such hue asset list they certainly will become more mouthwatering if fall further.Slow and Steady monthly gradual investments in the stocks would be a great idea that can provide handsome returns.So What are you waiting for ..Go ahead and and if you are patient enough , Stay put to reap the rewards.

Although this may seem like a vague post to some suggesting to invest without any specific statistics about the fundamentals of stocks..Well, its just a outline of the plan.Get yourself moving and find some gems to invest in.
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Is Fundamental Analysis Still Useful ??


The eternal debate between the fundamental and technical analysts still continues and as the world markets churn out more events in favor and opposition of both studies, decision making has never been more data driven than it is today.

As the followers would state, nothing can beat the returns offered by a fundamentally sound company over a long period of time.Though the fundamentals take time to reflect in the price of the company,on an average the price of the scrip keeps moving northwards whilst the company continues to offer steady growth and profitable performance.

But that does not necessarily mean that investing in a fundamentally sound company always results in good returns.Yes over a period of time given good business conditions for the sector ,probability of better returns is amplified but while the theory has proved right in the last 2 decades , the next does not exactly looks that promising.

Today, in the chaotic environment we live in, a new scam is unearthed daily and every other company is involved in one or the other..not because lack of ethics, but because it has become impossible for the companies to operate fairly in this hostile environment. Absurd policies , taxes , bureaucracy all have evenly contributed to compromised operations of companies.

One day a company may have rock solid fundamentals with its books telling a completely different story the very next day.For example , ‘Satyam Computers’ promoted by Mr Ramalinga Raju was considered a blue chip fundamental company on the bourses until one very day Mr Raju decided to tell the truth.Internationally Enron Corp was a world known company and had won a lot of awards for its innovative business model and operations.The stock had grown multi fold with every fundamentalist going gaga over the future of the company.After the expose , the stock lost 99% of its value in a very short span of time.

The Business Environment for a sector can change very frequently with change in government policies.The story of telecom sector in India provides maximum evidence of the same.One year the sector is flavor of the season and the next everything turns sour.The same story goes with every other sector including mining , power , infrastructure , real estate ..all are prone to lose their shine with the changing government policies.

Still though the balance sheets , the earning ratios and statistics will always have an importance of their own..utmost importance in fact for they tell the true picture of the the company operations.In a bear cycle the fundamentally sound companies and bogus scrips crash alike but the good companies are the first one to recover.A host of macroeconomic aspects are to be taken into account while making investment decisions based on fundamental analysis which are bases on a lot of assumption which may not always turn out to be true.

Personally while ido use fundamental research to shortlist companies to trade and invest , taking investment decisions solely on the analysis is not possible.Thus taking a bit of help from Charts for finding low risk entries and exits for fundamentally sound companies is always a viable and profitable option.Also why use one when you can have the best of both worlds..
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My thoughts on System Trading ..


A trading 'System' is a fixed set of rules defining the entry and exits of a trade.A system can be fully automatic but can also be combined with human discretion that results in the application of the trading setup only when the trader thinks it will yield better results..


A system can be anything from a moving average crossover or a Parabolic SAR defined entry and exit to a general trend following method.But the thumb rule of trading a system is to always stick to the plan and let the markets decide the returns it wants to award you with on a particular trade. The importance of having a plan in trading is of utmost importance and having a fixed set of rules and following them strictly can only result in sustained continuous profits.

Also , i still am against completely mechanical trades also known as algorithmic trading which allow advance software's to take trades on behalf of humans as per the rules defined.Though the method is yet to mark its presence in India , sooner or later the bourses and brokers are ought to be ready with the technology needed to implement the system trading.

Recently a US market maker firm , Knight capital lost huge amount of money ( $440 million ) because of a computer trading error.The computer systems developed some problem and started sending erroneous orders to the exchange and before the company could find the fault , most of the damage was already done.As they say ' machines are not always useful '.A flash crash last year on US indices ( Dowjones fell almost 800 points ) is also credited to algorithmic trading errors.

Yes , these systems do help in keeping out human emotions of greed , Hope and fear which can be the biggest deterrent to successful trading , out of the game.But a little bit of human discretion before final plan can prove to be useful.After all fear and greed are not always bad.





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5 Rules to follow While Trading Futures..


Trading in itself is a big business if done right and while it looks easy at the outset , gradually one begins to realise that it needs real hard work and discipline to master the art of Investing and trading.It takes a lot of time to learn the minor details of fundamentals and technical details of trading.
 

Also the biggest hurdle of running this business successfully is no one else but 'You' the Trader. It takes a lot of discipline and will power to control your emotions which include Fear , Hope , Greed which while working continuously in the background would not let you run your business successfully.

More on this Later..But here are the 5 rules you must follow while trading futures..

1) Strict Stop loss Orders : There is only one trading system in this world i.e having a stop loss ,everything else is secondary.As they say " If you do not learn to take that small loss today , soon you will have to take the mother of all losses. If you do not agree please visit the chart posted at the Investlane blog.

2) Do not Over Leverage : Once you plan a trade , the first thought should be given to the fact that how much you are willing to risk on that particular trade.Because the probability of the trade going right will always remain 50:50 . When you risk a lot on a single trade you get into a trap where you are concentrating on making money and not on managing risks and reducing your losses which ultimately results into huge losses.

3) Control your Emotions : You should be able to allow yourself to think rationally at all times.Cutting your losses short and letting the profit run should be your state of mind while if you let your emotions take control it is the opposite of this you would end up doing.

4) Know when to Exit : Important is the entry of the trade but more important is knowing when to exit the trade.Whether it is about taking a small loss or trailing the position to the point of maximum profitability.There is a famous saying in the stock market .. " Never let your trading profits turn into a loss"

5) Patience : Future traders must learn that its not necessary to have a position in the markets at all times.Its good to wait with cash for the right opportunity and make hay while the sun shines.Also the lessons in patience also help traders to sit on profitable positions long enough.


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Threat Calls from Airtel Agents ,Police and Lawyers..


It was only after a technology website published about the Airtel and Reliance Subscribers getting hoax extortion calls for unpaid bills I got to know how rampant such practices are. Also I got to know about a Person with a similar experience. He had received a few threatening calls from Airtel from people pretending to be Police officers or Lawyers of which he had managed to record a few and posted the entire experience here http://annkur.com/2012/05/audio-the-police-officer-on-behalf-of-airtel-fir-threats-etc/

After reading this I wrote about my pending blog post about a similar experience on the facebook page of airtel after which the Airtel Presence team member called. Her response to my post was " Bill nahi doge to collection calls to ayege hi " . It was this Audacious behavior of the company and the representative which prompted me to write this detailed post about what happened and publish everything with proofs in the form of email and call records of customer care , extortion calls from Agents , Police Officers and lawyers.

It was about a pending bill of rs 2500/- which i have refused to pay because i had the landline disconnected and also had a confirmation ( in email ) from airtel and was billed beyond that.All i wanted was to have them look at my side of the story , check the usage data and the emails i had. But instead what they did was this..






I have more of such recordings and email proof of Airtel wrongdoings and also of the Airtel billing me even after disconnection of the landline phone. Customer care and the agents did not want to listen to anything and wanted money at any cost or warned of dire consequences.

Also Contrary to the claims made by airtel that they follow up the recovery process within the company for 90-120 days and then forward the task to the recovery agencies is also wrong.Because i had started receiving the calls within 1-2 months.And the sad part for Airtel is that i have a documented proof of every email , calls ( from cops , lawyers , customer care, collection agents ) , twitter and facebook conversations of i asking for help etc..

Current Status : When I've had enough I went to the Airtel head office in the city , told them about the case ( again i.e )  but this time i had carried the recordings. I made them sit and hear the calls and told them about the complaint i was to file with the local police which made them rush into action fearing a backlash.They checked the case, and the email proofs of false billing and the end result was that all of the pending amount was waived off. After a month and 5-6 visits i was also issued an Noc of no dues remaining on the same number.

Everything has been sorted out but the main problem remains.Airtel has a right to recover their money but at the same time they must have a look at the flip side of the coin , the consumer's point of view that is.Airtel people after knowing that i have recorded the conversations and was going to file a case, have issued an apology but never responded properly earlier when i kept pleading for help. I know i will not gain anything out of this post ( as suggested by an airtel  executive yesterday) and the Criminal case filed but still i plan to take this forward.

Also a few Questions for the Company if they get to read this..

1) What gives you the right to share the personal information of clients with collection agencies ?? Isn't that illegal ??

2) Whether the calls were from real lawyers or cops ?? I doubt because of their behaviour and desperation for payments. If not , is it not illegal to impersonate and that too a government official ??

3) What happened to the customer Service ?? Even after calling more than 10 times to customer care no one helped..

 Most of the time people pay up as they get scared with these calls or do not want to get into time and capital consuming legal procedures..Also would want to know if they have had a similar experience with Airtel or any other company ?? did anyone file a case/complaint against them  ??


Note :  I have around 10 of such recordings and if you want to listen to more please visit  the audio channel on http://soundcloud.com/sunil-jaiswani/  .


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Petrol Price Increase : Why blame Congress ??

Recently the prices of Petrol were raised by approx 7.5 Rs by the Government ( or the oil Companies as they claim) and since then they are facing outrage from all and sundry. Be it the allies , the opposition or the Common man , no one has spared the ruling party for their being the sole reason for country's economic problems and woes of the common man.

                                                         Price Chart of Petrol Since 2002

From the depreciating currency to rising fuel prices , rampant corruption to farmer suicides , economic slowdown to rising inflation looks like there is only one alliance to be blamed , the UPA. But Since everyone is singing the same right now , i would try a bit to clear the air on why only one party cannot be blamed for the current scenario.


First to the Fuel part .. let us examine what adds to the price of petrol till it reaches you , the retail. As can be seen a large part of the price is comprises of excise duty and state taxes other than the original cost of final product after imports and refinement. A person who is suffering from rising inflation would blame the government for the price rise , blame them for all that is happening in the world and ask them to at least reduce taxes if there is a problem with international pricing or exchange rate..Simple , isn't it ?? No..

Image Source http://goo.gl/XyGon

Imagine the Government as a head of a family who accumulates a handsome amount with small contributions from the members.The family can live happily within its current resources and lifestyle.But the Problem arises when the family expands.More resources are needed and thus more expenses are required to be made.The person will have to spend more to keep the family afloat.The head of the family who solely depends on family members for capital will have to ask for more money to fund the requirements or will have to fund them from the previous savings while trying to save the family from extra burden.

The expenses keep on increasing putting pressure on savings and at one time expenses outgrow the incoming funds from the family.The person therefore under increasing pressure demands increase in contributions from the family to which the members cry foul.They want to avail all the resources and improvements but do not want to pay up.They thus start blaming the head for mismanagement of funds and breach of duty.

The Head is only left with few options .. 

1) Increase the contributions ( taxes ) generally or depending upon the status / facilities a person in the family enjoys.

2) Allow outsiders in the family who pay up for improvements , provide more work to members and also contributes ( taxes ) more..in lieu they get a piece of the development cake.

3) Develop more facilities within the family so that development is independent from outside factors thus reducing the outflow of wealth..Also the contribution (tax) cut would also become a possibility.

The above options may sound easy but when we replace the 'head' with the 'Government' it becomes very very difficult.Here's why..

a) Taxing more : It will involve public outrage and loss of support to the government as not everyone will enjoy shelling out more to the government as the media have made everyone believe that every penny we pay as taxes goes out to the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats and None to the development as promised. A bit here and there is fine but not major changes can be done to the system .

Also Taxing/Pricing Specifically ( as per your income and status ) would require far more infrastructural and manual work than we are ready for right now.Business income slab is one thing and pricing commodities and goods is another.Some people are suggesting pricing petrol and diesel separately for the rich and the poor.But the question arises as to who would identify the individuals on a Petrol Pump ?? Or here also after the introduction of such a policy we would be left with a case where a rich person can easily avail of a BPL and NREGA card in India , while a poor doesn't.

b) Allow FDI  in more sectors not only because they will bring in the resources and technology that our country really needs in times of increasing population and diminishing resources but also because Our government is so much involved in the intricate details of saving its government and promoting the heirs that it does not see the Grains rotting in tons on streets , the age old policies of governments blocking all development work if any. Keeping the PSU Companies alive at taxpayers expense for no apparent reason , running airlines/railways with subsidies cannot go on forever for sure. Reducing redundant spending may help government save more and cut taxes where its important for common man's relief.Populist schemes do not pay anyone other than the Government anyway.

c) Reduce Dependence : India imports 80% of its crude Oil thus making it heavily dependent on external factors like exchange rate and international pricing.Only way is to reduce the dependence on the foreign imports.Unlikely option since you need to have natural resources for that and nothing much can be done about it.Only bit that can be done is to improve the policy procedures promoting the companies that are trying to find the resources for future and improve public transport system facilities so that people can switch to travelling from personal to public transport without having to face major inconvenience.Government cannot afford to cut taxes right now because that would only add to the deficit.With less funds the development would be stalled and we would continue to go into a deeper mess.Government cannot keep on printing money or borrowing more and have to find ways to reduce the deficit.

Current move of the price hike was audacious though necessary at the same time.The Oil companies also have to pay for the crude they import and the government cannot keep adding to the losses.The current economic situation is for everyone is to be seen.The short term measures need to make way for long term improvements.

Yes what we can blame the government for is the policy paralysis , its unwillingness to take tough decisions and also the dependence on coalition compulsions our PM keeps talking about.The Government has lost the support of  the common man as i see but like every country ours had to follow the economic cycle of growth , inflation and Slowdown.It happens more often if you are a dependent and its just that the UPA was caught unaware and unprepared.No wonder we tag them accomplice.








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Should You Invest in Gold ??

Last few days has seen a fall to the tune of 3-5 % in bullion . Gold lost close to 700 points in the last few days on the Mcx whereas Silver also has lost considerably falling from 63k levels to 55k in a span of 2 months. The Graph here shows the narrow range in which silver has been trading.

Also in International Markets the price has fallen to 29$ from an all time high of 49 odd levels for silver , a fall of nearly 40% for the Precious metal that is considered a safe Investment till last year. Gold on the other hand has fallen from 1790$ levels to 1585$ as on May 9th.

For years now , Gold has been considered a safe investment for its international value and infallible record of consistent returns. YoY it has provided great returns for as long as i can remember.But there is one catch .. 'as long as i remember' does not mean forever and it also certainly does not mean it will continue to do so.To know more we must have a look at the historical price movements.

                                                         Image Source : Jagoinvestor.com



What i want to convey here is that like everything else Gold also follows the law of demand and supply .There will be periods where it may not move at all or give negative returns as well ( read the chart for the 1960's and 1990's ).In our recent memory we have seen Gold rise consistently and have been thus running after buying gold at every dip.If you are into Gold for quick returns just hope that the current run continues.



Also helping the commodity is the global financial turmoil in which all asset classes are losing prominence when compared to Gold.Also when your currency starts losing value , Gold comes in the ultimate saviour. But if we put aside all the hype and calculate absolute returns on Gold other than in recent intervals then it might not impress much.

Before you Invest in Gold or anything else for that matter you must realise the risk associated with the instrument and not just go by the assumptions that the asset will never fall and will continue generating great returns.Do not buy just because someone asked you to and also because everyone else is buying that.

In India , they say Gold is the most prominent asset one can get hold of and everyone suggests buying gold with every saving we make. Well , may not be a good idea anymore and putting all your eggs in one basket never is.Yes you do need gold in weddings , family functions , Jewellery for women and men  and many other utilities but that's only half the story, the other half forms how much returns your assets and investments generate.

Technically , Gold still remains in up trend and have been resting exactly on the long term uptrend line any movement below which can bring the upside to doubt. At these levels buying for long term in one shot is not advisable.At best if you want do , do get yourself involved in to SIP mode which will take care of the downside possible and will also satiate your want for Gold Investments.

Also Stop living the fact that Gold Prices will never reduce or stagnate for that matter.The great gold rush cannot go on forever and like everything else it also will have to answer the supply side with a downside.

Remeber Crude Oil Prices in 2007-08 ?? and a Year Later ?? :) 




  

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