Reblog: The Laws of Unintended Consequences


Lately, I’ve been interested in innocent evil, the evil that results from perfectly innocent choices people make. Moral philosophers generally fall into one of two camps, intentionalist, and consequentialist. Intentionalists argue that you have to judge moral behaviour based on intentions because we can’t predict the consequences of our actions. Consequentialists argue that you have to judge moral behaviour based on consequences because they’re what matters.

Innocent evil is, therefore, moral philosophy’s hardest problem. People with the moral intentions yielding immoral consequences.

A friend asks, isn’t innocent evil just another name for unintended consequences? That got me thinking that the innocent evil that interests me is typically the result of people not paying attention to the potential for unintended consequences, which got me thinking about compiling a list of laws of unintended consequences.

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Nifty pares initial losses to close unchanged on Friday, RIL top gainer


The benchmark Nifty50 pared all its initial losses to settle the first day of the April F&O series flat as investors booked profits in recent outperformers.

However, the index along with S&P BSE Sensex logged their third straight month of gains fuelled by Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP)’s crucial victory in Uttar Pradesh and big foreign inflows in the markets to the tune of over Rs 30,000 crore so far this month.

The S&P BSE Sensex ended at 29,620, down 27 points, while the broader Nifty50 remained unchanged at 9,173. The last time the 50-share index closed unchanged on October 27, 2016 at 8615.25 level.

The broader market outperformed with the S&P BSE Midcap (up 0.8%) and S&P BSE Smallcap (up 0.7%) hitting their fresh lifetime highs for the second day in a row.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was strong. On BSE, 1,620 shares rose and 1,121 shares fell. A total of 232 shares were unchanged.

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Reblog: Latest memo from Howard Marks: Expert Opinion


In August, I mentioned that I had chosen the title “Political Reality” for my memo in part because of my liking for oxymorons.  I classed that title with other internally contradictory statements, such as “jumbo shrimp” and “common sense.”  Now I’m going to discuss one more: “expert opinion.”

This memo was inspired by a thought that popped into my head when the outcome of the election settled in.  You may point out that at the end of my November 14 memo “Go Figure!,” I said I wouldn’t write any more about politics.  True, but I didn’t say I wouldn’t think about politics.  Anyway, this memo isn’t about politics, it’s about opinions.

Last spring I attended a dinner where one of Hillary Clinton’s senior advisers was soliciting input, as she and her campaign were struggling to come up with an effective counter to Bernie Sanders’s populist message.  Most of those present expressed frustration on the subject, until an experienced, connected Democrat assured everyone, “Don’t worry.  She’ll win.  The math is irresistible.”  The Hillary supporters were relieved, and he turned out to be right: she won the nomination going away.

In late October, with the issue of Clinton’s private email server and the FBI’s new investigation further dogging her, that same seasoned Democrat was asked whether the election was in jeopardy.  “Don’t worry,” he said.  “She’ll win.  The math is irresistible.”  We all know the result.

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Reblog: When to sell a stock


It’s better to sell when there is a deterioration in business fundamentals. Here are four triggers:

Most investment writing revolves around telling investors what to buy. But selling a stock at the right time is equally important. Many investors base their sell decisions on stock price moves. They book profits if a stock doubles or trebles.

But this can rob your portfolio of potentially big wealth creators in the long run. Instead, it is better to base your sell decision on fundamental changes in the business itself. Here are four sell triggers that work well in India.

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Reblog: Nifty ends the week at 9,108; logs 1st weekly fall in March; banking stocks gain


The benchmark indices on Friday settled higher thanks to gains in banking stocks following news reports that the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has promised to offer a solution to the growing non-performing assets (NPA) crisis in next few days.

The S&P BSE Sensex ended at 29,421, up 89 points, while the broader Nifty50 settled at 9,108, up 22 points. Both the indices logged their first weekly loss in March, retreating from a record high hit last week.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE Midcap ended 0.1% down, while the S&P BSE Smallcap index gained 0.3%.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, turned negative. On the BSE, 1,471 shares declined and 1,346 shares advanced. A total of 218 shares were unchanged.

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Reblog: Greatest Investors of All Time – How Did They Do It and What We Can Learn from Them


There are literally tens of millions of stock market and private investors today. The personal investing revolution has enabled anyone with a few hundred dollars to trade stocks. But we don’t have millions of great investors. Only a select few will ever be bestowed this title. So, how can you try to be one of them? You can emulate the people who were – or still are – the greatest. Below is our list of 8 of the greatest investors of all time; let us know in the comments below if you think we’ve missed out on any important names.

This list was compiled based on inputs from our members of Value Investing Clubs in UK, France, Belgium and Austria, and from our users at our FinTech company CityFALCON. Our focus at the Value Investing Clubs and CityFALCON remains on long-term fundamental investors who are looking to go through research to buy, hold and sell financial assets to generate strong higher than inflation returns.

Warren Buffett

We will just start off with the obvious case: Warren Buffett. Who doesn’t consider him one of the greatest, if not the greatest investor? Born just in time for the Depression (1930), Warren Buffett was born in Omaha, Nebraska, whence he eventually took his nickname “The Oracle of Omaha”.

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Reblog: When’s the BEST time to invest Subra?


Hmm … When WAS the best time to invest you mean?

Well, the day your dad was born if you had money … this is circa 1959 .. or when your grandfather died …. or … but hey since we did not do any of those things, it has to be today.

It’s not surprising that first-time investors often worry about the timing of their initial share purchases. When you follow stories which keep saying “market is up” or ‘Market is Going down” this has to happen! It looks like you have started at the wrong point in the market’s ups and downs and it can leave you with losses even before you reach the batting crease!

But relax kiddos: Whenever you first invest, time is on your side. So the kid who started at 22 is smarter than the kid who waited till he / she turned 32. In the long run, the compound returns of a smart investment will all add up nicely. How the market was when you began will not matter if you do a sip.

Start Now!

That is what is important! Instead of wondering about when you should make that first share / mutual fund purchase, think instead about how long you will stay invested. If you are 22 years of age, you will stay invested for say 50/60 years! Different investments offer varying degrees of risk and return, and each is best suited for a different investing time perspective. In general, debt instruments like bond funds/ bank fixed deposits, etc. offer lower, more assured returns for investors with shorter time frames (say 24 months). Historically, short-term Treasury bills yielded roughly 5% per year. Savings bank gives you about 3% p.a. taxable. With inflation at 7% these rates may or may not attract you.

Longer-term government bonds like the 10-year gilt can provide higher returns – say 8% p.a. These returns could be stable only in the short run. In the long run even these bonds could be volatile.

Shares have also been very good to sensible and patient investors. Overall, the BSE’s Sensex has returned an average of 19.4% per year from 1979 to 2017 — way ahead of debt instruments. The range of the returns for stocks OBVIOUSLY much larger than the range for debt instruments over the same period. Stocks suffered a decline in 1993 – of 42%, but this was obviously the outcome of an amazing 1992 of about 241% !! It enjoyed several particularly strong years of course, and the period 2002 to 2007 took the cake when the market went up 7x in 4 years!

How long will you stay invested?

The more the time that you have to create wealth, the greater risk you can accept. This comes from having a good income, and ability to save money. And since you’ll have more time to wait out periods of bad returns you SHOULD stay cool.

If you need the money within the next five years, you should put say 70% of your money in bonds and only about 30% in shares. If you need the money within the next three years, you should also avoid long bond mutual funds – you are better off investing in bond funds with duration of 3/4 years. The lesser time you plan to be invested, the less you can afford to lose. On the other hand, shares are an attractive option for long-term goals like children’s education, long term and retirement. The higher returns are simply too good to ignore because you do not understand. Take time to learn it!

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Nifty ends on Friday at record close for 2nd straight session, up 2.5% for the week


The Sensex settled the day at 29,649, up 63 points, while the broader Nifty50 ended at 9,160, up 6 points.

Broader market underperformed the frontline indices with BSE Midcap down 0.14% and BSE Smallcap up 0.04%.

The Nifty has gained 2.5% so far this week, while the Sensex has climbed 2.85%, in what is their highest weekly gain since the end of January.

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Reblog: Warren Buffett : This is the best book I read last year…


Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is out with its annual letter to shareholders.
Near the bottom of the letter, the billionaire investor touches on his favourite reads of 2016.

“The best book I read last year was ‘Shoe Dog’ by Nike’s Phil Knight ,” he writes. “Phil is a very wise, intelligent and competitive fellow who is also a gifted storyteller.”

He adds that Omaha, Nebraska-based retailer The Bookworm will have “piles” of the book, in addition to “investment classics by Jack Bogle,” at the annual Berkshire shareholder meeting in May.

Notably, Buffett is actually briefly mentioned near the end of “Shoe Dog.”

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Markets end flat on Friday as investors remain edgy ahead of poll results on Saturday


Benchmark indices settled the day flat and posted small weekly gains as investors stayed cautious ahead of assembly election results. Exit polls declared yesterday showed BJP ahead of other rival parties in all the five states.

Victory for BJP in Uttar Pradesh will boost PM Narendra Modi’s chances of winning the 2019 general election. It would also give the party more number of legislators in the Rajya Sabha where it doesn’t have a majority, improving the government’s chances of passing key reform bills.

The 30-share Sensex ended 17 points higher at 28,946, while the 50-share Nifty settled the day at 8,934, up 7 points.

In the broader market, the BSE Midcap was down 0.2%, while BSE Smallcap fell 0.1%.