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Arbitary Obsessionist's Blog : Ambition is redundant. In life, mission is everything.

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Jobs No More

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Jobs No More – iRecession is here

 

Written by Dev

October 6, 2011 at 11:53 am

Anna! What have you done!!

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On 27th August 2011, Baba Ramdev & BJP realised something. That calm of White is more powerful than aggression of Saffron. All it took to bring a mighty government to its knees was will of one man. And mind you, this mighty government had been elected by 1.2 billion people.

Interestingly, a World Cup triumph could not inspire Miss Pandey to live upto her promise. But Mr. Hazare’s fast made Yogitta Dandekar and Jenny to embrace tricolours in unimaginable ways. Even our very beloved Angry birds got a competition from ‘Angry Anna’.

I read it somewhere that “Anna has lit a fire. It’s for us to keep the flame of hope alive.” All the online & offline forums are busy appreciating Anna’s efforts. Anna has indeed done a repeat of RDB. Everyone is ready to light candles and sit on dharnas.

But I don’t feel that what happened, happened for the good…

Will Lokpal Bill serve its purpose of eradicating corruption? I am not sure. But what I am pretty sure of is that corruption is in our blood and it is here to stay. It’s in the very fabric of what represents our Indian society today. And just a Bill might not be sufficient.

Indian government is already facing problems of high inflation and slowing growth. But instead of focusing its effort on these issues, it is forced to deal with Anna(s). The focus is more on fire fighting and less on working towards sustainable growth and development. And this does not auger well for country. If one person can derail a duly & constitutionally elected government and make a complete mockery of the Constitutional process, then what kind of growth can we expect in such a country? Who will have faith to invest in a country which has such unstable political environment? An imperfect democracy is far better than a perfect dictatorship. The claim of Mr Hazare and his gang that they are actual representatives of Indians is not democratic but dictatorial. Indian public is much more concerned about earning its daily bread than it is about corruption. And the worst part is that even the Middle Class is finding time to get involved in these ‘disastrous’ events! And I swear that if this trend continues, all bets on India would be off. But if people, somehow do regain sense and go back to work instead of taking part in agitations, only then will the good times be ahead and not behind us.

I read it in an article that a lot of important economic issues like formation of an Indian Sovereign Wealth Fund, FDI in multi-brand retail are pending for final decision. But our government does not have the time. It has to deal with ‘our savior’ Anna.

The image in this post says it all – Anna Arrests Government.

PS –After March 2010, this is the first month when I have written more than 2 posts!

Written by Dev

August 29, 2011 at 2:47 am

My dream lunch with Warren Buffet – The Greatest Investor Ever

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Let me confess it first. Warren Buffet is the equivalent of God for me. So any biases & excessive use of superlatives that might have crept in this post should be acknowledged & respected by you.  🙂

$600,000 is what I paid for a lunch with Warren Buffet. I know it is too much for anything, leave alone a lunch. I could even have bought a Class A or B share and would have been granted an access to the now ‘a pilgrimage of sorts’ Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meetings. I would also have received the letter from Berkshire Hathaway as well as some of the cool See’s Candies… 😉

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But this is the price I was always ready to pay to meet my God. And almost an year after having won the bid for the privilege of dining out with the world’s richest man and my idol, Warren Buffet, here I was at New York’s famous steakhouse, Smith & Wollensky, for my big moment & pilgrimage.

I was out of breath when I came out of the taxi. I was already late. That too at such an occasion!! I was really feeling very stupid at this when I saw Warren, dressed in a dark suit and yellow tie, seemingly in no hurry and ‘waiting for me’ outside S&W. I bet I could see a halo around his head! Really. But he had no airs of being larger than life figure. But shit!!! was this a dream? I could see that Warren was not alone. He was accompanied by none other than Charlie Munger and Ajit Jain. Now it is one thing to bid and win a lunch with god (read Warren Buffet), but getting to have lunch with 3 great men @ a price of one, is one great investment. 🙂 But just then the dream ended, and Charlie and Ajit left me with my God alone. They had some personal priorities greater than me… ;-)The Oracle of Omaha was more than happy to let me get as many pictures clicked with him as I wanted.

After the pictures were done, we sat down for our meal. The menus arrived and Warren ordered for a medium New York T-bone steak with hash browns and a Coke (Berkshire Hathaway owns shares in Coca-Cola Co.). Out of awe and respect, even I ordered the same, completely forgetting that I was a vegetarian!! I realized it after a while and called the waiter back, and modified my orders. Warren was all smiles and I knew that nothing was hidden from my God. 🙂

It didn’t strike me when we were chatting, but when I look back now I realize that over the 4 hours , we discussed millions of different topics, ranging from Warren’s value system as an investor to his friend and Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger to the importance of picking the right life partner. But really the thing that made the biggest impression on me had nothing to do with Warren’s investment philosophy. Rather, what was moving was his love for his former wife, Susan. “I never did anything for Suzie, but she did everything for me; I wouldn’t have been as successful without her.” Even great men like him are not perfect when it comes to relationships. 

It was time for dessert (ice cream in shot glasses) and for our lunch to end.

And with that my ‘Cursed’ alarm clock buzzed me out off the bed. Shit!!! I never realized that this was a dream. 😦 And I swear that I will always be ready to swap my realities with this dream.)

It has been around 3 years that I have been learning vicariously from Warren. And I, not a very ‘awesome’ investor, have turned into a vastly better human being. Now this is what should be called a dream lunch…isn’t it??  😉

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Sensex at 8500, Nifty at 2500 – What does Shankar Sharma (The Bear) has to say – An Interview

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Indian stock market investors will always remember 24th October, 2008 as the blackest Friday the Indian stock market as seen till date. The Sensex plunged 11% while the Nifty ended down by 12.20%.

The gains of the 4-year bull-run have been wiped out in just eight months!

So, what does the biggest bear of them all –  Shankar Sharma would have to say about this carnage?

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Q : Good evening sir, did you see what just happened in the stock markets today?

A : Why? Did it rise 100 points?

Q : Oh come on sir, you must be joking!! Sensex and Nifty fell more than 10% today itself. Sensex is trading near 8500 and Nifty near 2500!!

A : See? I have been telling you all for the last 9 months that the party is over. The days of easy money are over dude. India has run way ahead of itself. And investors can’t expect a compounded annual growth rate of 30-35% each year.

Q : But this day is different from other falls. The blue chips like RIL and ONGC cracked today. That too over 15% !!

A : Yeah…I agree with you on this. Your Finance Minister P Chidambaram also tried to intervene and calm frayed nerves but that did not help the markets. And you know what? He was saying that they were ready to adopt conventional and unconventional tools!! Tools?? These are times to go short. Nothing else. Pure shorting.

Q : So you didn’t even buy a single share today? Some of the blue chips were really attractive today.

A : No!! Why on earth would I do anything like that ?

Q : Sorry. Stupid of me. Sir, where do you see Sensex on 31st December 2008 ?

A : 7000

Q : And sir 3 years from now ?

A : 3000

Q : In the year 2015 ?

A : Base Value

Q : What sir?

A : I mean 100. Sensex at 100.

Q : You must be joking sir. Sensex at 100?? No way.. But at least at 7000, will you buy anything in the Indian market?

A : Well, first I will think of covering my shorts. Buying….? no hurry yet…may be by 2015. Lets see.

Q : Sir what are your views on real estate stocks? The Realty Index fell 25% today. And Unitech plunged 52% and DLF fell close to 24%. Puravankara Projects crashed 45% and Parsvnath was down 21%. There must be a lot of value in them now?

A : Value? In real estate stocks? No way. You can better invest your money in buying bricks. Even if Unitech falls to its 2003 prices of Rs. 1.50/-, I will short it. But DLF around 25 will be a good buy.

Q : Unitech @ 1.50 , DLF @ 25 !! But DLF’s IPO came in at about 500? Even I bought it. It was just too good to miss.

A : Then DLF guys made you a fool 25 times over. [Laughs]

Q : Which is the best buy you think currently?

A : Best buy is “short sell”.

Q : Sir a few personal questions. What is your favourite color ?

A : Red

Q : hmmm…oh I should have guessed it….Why do you have a picture of BEAR in your living room?

A : Oh that? He is Mr. Sharma, my father. And did you see our family picture?

Shankar's Bear Family  

Q : What?? ….Ohhkk sir, it was a pleasure talking to you and thanks for this bearish interview.

A : My [short] pleasure.

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Disclaimer: Unfortunately, this is not a real interview. 😉

Read about his earlier BULLS-BEARS-OSCILLATIONS view here.

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Confusing India Big Time – That’s Shankar Sharma

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To whomsoever it may concern

Shankar Sharma

This is to inform the general public, particularly the investors, that a stupid moron, named Shankar Sharma of First Global is freely making money out there in the markets, by making random & unnecessary predictions about the Sensex levels, after consulting his wife & his ‘dog’.

Shankar Sharma is one guy who should never be relied on when investing in the Indian stock markets. He can change his view faster than you can blink your eyes. Just have a look at some of his previous views –

September 2007

Our view is that India is headed for a market situation in the next six months time wherein we will see index levels get taken out successively. I would be surprised if the index does not hit between 25,000 and 30,000 in the next six-nine months time.

February 2008

I see a journey back to levels, which will approach four digits rather than remain five digits. It may or may not get there, but you will definitely get very close to those levels. By the middle of the year, we should be trading closer to those levels at 20% lower rather than 20% higher.

October 2008

Newsflows are still poor. The markets have still not bottomed out. We don’t see the Sensex rising beyond 12,500 in the current move and expect a further downside in October. The Sensex could head back to 10,000 levels, and may even dip below that.

Now he is the so called expert of the market. I don’t agree with this. He gave a bullish view when the markets were going up and bearish view when the going got bearish. This can be done by guys like you and me too. Even we can recognise patterns and make predictions. Then why do we need experts?

Mr. Shankar Sharma…Go & fish!!

Business Book of the Year 2008 – The Snowball : Warren Buffet’s authorised biography has arrived

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Life is like a snowball. the important thing is finding wet snow and a really long hill.

snowball Wow!!!….Now how much more, can you be right, about life? As expected, Buffet’s life wisdoms continue mesmerizing me.

THE SNOWBALL – the much awaited and highly anticipated book with life experience and life-wisdom of the man known as “The Oracle of Omaha”, Warren Buffet is live and available.

Though there have been ‘n’ number of books concerned about Mr. Buffet’s extraordinary gifts as a businessman and investor, THE SNOWBALL offers an unprecedented look into Buffet’s life, of his values and his strategies, of his total experiences—all of which combine to tell a great American story.

Unlike any book ever written about Mr. Buffet, this book will be both a life story, and a biography of his ideas. It even takes up the earlier secret topics of Warren Buffet’s Love Life.

Warren Buffet, one of the richest man in the world, having once again proved his financial genius in this latest US recession by becoming the Guardian Angel for Goldman Sachs, still maintains his reputation for frugality, wisdom, humor and straight talk which make him seem like just a regular guy, like he might be the billionaire next door! And as you might have seen (if you ever read the About Me section of this blog ), he is the guy who inspires me the most. He is one of my heroes.

The 976-page book is written by former Morgan Stanley insurance analyst Alice Schroeder. She first met Warren Buffet when she published research on Berkshire Hathaway. Her grasp of the subject and insight so impressed him that he offered her access to his files and to himself. Now we could have never expected to get much closer to the God himself than this…isn’t it??

My comments  on Snowball??

Go and grab this Bible!!!

Fernando Alonso read and replied to my letter!!!

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Now this is something amazing. I wrote a letter to the 2 time world champion Fernando Alonso.

You can read the letter – My Letter to Fernando Alonso.

Though I never expected him to reply, but amazingly, he did!! And how? He won the inaugural Night Grand Prix in Singapore after starting 15th on the grid!!

Fernando Alonso

And let alone us, even Fernando was surprised. This is what he said – “It was fantastic. I can’t believe it and I think I need a couple of days to realize we have won a race.”

Fernando…thank you for reading & responding to my letter.