I think this is not an article, this is a caveat. When you read my articles, please understand that I suffer from the following biases:

1. City bias: I have lived my life in the comfort of a city with good infra. The infra has been deteriorating over a long period of time, but I have actually seen the Municipal trucks WASH the roads of Mumbai with water. Today there is a drinking water shortage.

2. Equity bias: I eat, live, breathe and sleep equity. No, I do not claim I understand equity markets, but there is surely an equity bias. I have seen the down turns, have lived through 2 scams (it is difficult to hold on to your Rs. 100 share all the way up to Rs. 12000 in 14 months, right? or your Rs. 10 share all the way up to Rs. 1650, right?). Been there done that.

3. I do not think I have a gender bias, but have grown up among Tam Brahms and Gujjus. In my professional life have interacted with Marwaris, Sindhis, and of course Maharashtrians. Difficult to say I do not have a bias – not sure if it comes out in my writings. Have found good and bad people in all these communities. I have a few Muslim and Christian friends (studied in a Christian school too) and I would like to believe that I have no religious bias too. In the Mumbai that I grew up, frankly I never knew which friend was what caste. So there should not be a caste bias too.

4. Geography bias: My portfolio is predominantly Mumbai, and Chennai biased. I do not as a rule invest in companies from Hyderabad (long long ago much before Global Trust Bank and Satyam happened!). Though I do have companies from Bengaluru, and a couple of companies from Delhi, but clearly there is a geographic bias.

5. Understanding limitations:  My limitations of understanding equity markets and being biased towards the past cannot be done away with easily. For example it is easy for me to take the last 30 years data (1980 to 2011) and say “If you do a SIP for 8 years you CANNOT lose money”. What I actually mean is “If you had done a SIP ANY TIME in these 30 years and done a SIP you could not have lost money. FRANKLY I understand that the past is not an indicator of the future, but all of us will be biased with our own experience. I heard Jeremy Siegel say (I think it was on Bloomberg International) ‘market is at a p/e of 11 and historically the Dow has a p/e of 16. Again this is a HISTORY bias.

6. Recency bias: the fact that the latest information is better than old information is also a version of recency bias (oops!!). Also the bias that what has happened in the immediate past will continue is the recency bias – I hope I do not have that.

7. I am more biased towards Ayn Rand than towards Karl Marx. However capitalism as understood by AR is no longer in existence. So AR’s theories may not hold correct in today’s circumstances.

…will write about this later…

 

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  1. Good pointers. That’s why I wonder what exactly an objective advice means. The advice I provide is based on my knowledge, experiences and some biases which I may not even be aware of. Also I can think about only what I know. How do I know and think about what I don’t know:-)Not sure whether atleast I know what all I don’t know.

  2. I feel advice can be safely assumed to be objective as long as it is tailored to a client’s need and delivered without any intentional bias or extraneous influence. It is always subject to advisor’s knowledge limitations and circumstantial bias. No advice can be termed PERFECT as long as it is delivered by humans and computers are not intelligent enough to offer such advice.

  3. Hi ,

    I am not baised with region. However I am developing biased towards not investing in any company based in Hyderabad. After reading your bias , it is getting strong. There is some DNA issue. I think it is do with people greed towards land and grow big in society by hook or crook. Examples are many ( Satyam, Maytas,IVRCL( 174 – 32), Farmax(Cheat penny), Deccan Chronicle(200 -40) etc..)

    Regards

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