TIPBlog Portfolio Update: 2010 Year End

The Year 2010 can be summarized as continued optimism, scams, change of guard at IPL, food rotting in warehouses, revolutions in middle-east, deflection from fragile European economy, etc. As an individual investor, should I care about macro economics? or Should I care what a bollywood celebrity’s dog does? They are all interesting stories, beyond which it has no value. This post summarizes TIPBlog portfolio update and measures progress. Earlier updates are listed under progress updates.


The 2010 year end status update is as follows: Continue reading rest of this article…

Narrowing Search Space – Looking for Needle in a Haystack

What is common between “searching for needle in a haystack” and “going fishing”? The common thing is you are trying to get one small thing (needle or fish) in a sea of unknowns. That’s where the commonality ends. The approach one takes is different in both cases. In case of fishing, you place your hook in the water and wait for fish to get trapped. Yeah, you may try to fish in location known to be breeding ground. But in the end, fundamentally, you have to wait for the fish to get trapped. In case of searching for needle, you are making a proactive effort to clean the haystack knowing there is at least one needle somewhere in there. A dumb person will try to dive in, but a smart person, will carefully remove small blocks of haystack to reduce search space. You cannot do that with water. Can you reduce water to increase your probability of catching your fish? Probably not.


It is in this context, I believe searching for a good company is like searching for a needle in a Haystack. If you make your search space smaller and smaller, you are likely to find that needle. The only question that remains is how you make your search space smaller? There are many different approaches to narrow down your search space. Continue reading rest of this article…

Can I buy Stocks at Current Market Price – at Premium?

The above question can be framed differently as “Do I wait for next Downturn for Cheaper Valuation?”

When you are building your portfolio towards a long term sustainable wealth creation, there are multiple aspects that you need to focus on. As individual investors, it is very easy for us to get carried away with the individual stock wins. But when we look holistically, including wins and losses, then we realize who is the real winner. That’s why I say, for DIY investors, sustainability is key in portfolio management. Over the years, all the retail investors I have interacting with, most of us focus too much on stock picking, or stock selection. This is similar to what an employee does of executing blindly now knowing how it is related to overall company strategy.


The first lesson you should learn in investing is “not stock picking”, but how you can maintain and sustain what you have (safety of capital). By this I do not mean going with bonds, FDs, or government certificates. What I mean is invest in a way, where you believe there is relatively less risk of losing your capital. Continue reading rest of this article…

TIPBlog Portfolio Update: 1H 2010

UpdateThe 1H2010 can be summarized as return of optimism, in economy, in stock markets, stabilization of global economy, and fears about euro zone. As an individual investor, should I care about macro economics, or should I even worry about what happens to Greece or to euro currency? Ambani brothers patch up and there are stories its good for markets and business! To me, being stalwarts in India Business world, instead of setting an example, it was idiotic for them to even fight and drag each other into courts. These are good academic discussion, but I doubt it is going to help in your own portfolio. I am taking stock of my portfolio.


My last progress update was for year end 2009. This post summarizes TIPBlog portfolio update and measures progress for 1H 2010. Continue reading rest of this article…

Selling Is Important – Continuing the discussion (II)

In my last post, I discussed about my fair valuation for buying and how it would be likely different than selling value. I tried to make a case that I would like to minimize my cost basis and maximize my sell price. Buying is easy because minimizing cost basis is under my control. Nobody can force me to buy high unless I want to do it, right? However, when it comes to selling I do not have any control. Like everybody else, I would like to sell high, but there has to be somebody willing to pay for it? And hence, it is little bit of subjective.

Furthermore, I identified three companies viz. HDFC Bank, Pidilite, and ABB, as stocks that I would consider as fairly valued for selling. OR likely to be tad over valued. I do not consider them to be extremely overvalued. In this post, I do not intend to discuss (or present an argument) what would I consider over priced or extreme overvaluation. No two people will come up with same conclusion. Continue reading rest of this article…

Selling is Important – Continuing the Discussion (I)

In today’s post, I am continuing my discussion on selling aspects for my long term buy and hold portfolio. To me, buying is always a very easy decision. Easy in a sense that I have few quantitative metrics and qualitative aspect that help me decide whether I should buy a given stock. However, I do not have such fixed metrics that tells me, hey buddy, its time to sell. For me selling is a very subjective process. I touched upon few guidelines that help me make a sell decision.

Discussing and presenting my thoughts on this blogs helps this subjective process. The comments and conversations I have with readers of this blog helps (or influences?) this subjective process. When I say influences, I mean influencing the thought process, and not directly sell a stock because my blog reader says so. Continue reading rest of this article…

Selling an Important Part of Portfolio Management

It has been very close to a year I have been writing on this blog. Almost on all occasions I have discussed about buying and holding my position. I have said multiple times that I tend not to sell my positions. There have been multiple questions about why not book profits? Why not sell profitable positions and invest in other opportunities? Before I discuss on selling any positions, let me clarify, I do not blindly believe that buy and hold is holy grail for long term investing. I have no misconception about “not selling” any positions. In any system (eco-system, car, machines, or even our body), there are multiple elements and each have a role to play. Similarly, in portfolio management process, selling a position is also very important, and hence it cannot be ignored. In my process description, I have captured this part as ‘exit plan’. Continue reading rest of this article…



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