Price or Value: You should know how to search!

A man was searching for something in a dark room. He was crying, weeping, screaming and yelling. He was upset. He was making a mess of the things kept in the room. He broke some and tumbled on others. Yet, what he was searching for, he could not get. He was blaming his wife, children, and the servants but was not able to find it.

A friend came to the threshold and asked for the reason of the man’s misery. He replied: “O my friend, I have lost my wrist-watch. It is gone.”

The friend said: “How can it go away from here? But, what a fool you are to search for it in the darkness! I have brought the light. Now, calm yourself. Think deeply and try to remember where it ought to be. You will soon discover it.”

The man did so, and got the wrist-watch.

The friend explained: “The watch was not lost, nor have you gained it now. It was there all the time. But because of the darkness that prevailed in the room, and because you were searching for it where it was not, you did not get it. You were ignorant of its whereabouts. Now that the ignorance is removed, you think you have got it. It was ever yours and was never lost.”

There cannot be a better story for people in the equity markets! All your equity shares or mutual funds may from time to time be quoted at a different price. However if you have really bought value, one day the price will surface. This is the reason why a Ken Fisher, Peter Lynch or a Warren Buffet can make money. They buy value and once in a while if it loses price, they do not panic. We panic. We are in darkness about value. So to be in equity markets you need to know the difference between Value and Price. The friend can be a physical human being, a good portfolio manager, a good equity show which allows you to learn from great fund managers – you have no clue Saraswati (Goddess) comes to you in which form!

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