Ralph Nader said about General Motors long ago.

I am saying this about the Indian Equity markets, now. The problem with investors, wannabe investors, scared of the market investors…is they keep learning, but most of the times the learn the wrong lessons.

‘I have made money on ESOPs’: Well if you had Esops of Indiainfoline, Edelweiss, etc. you may not have made much money. Largely investing earns you money if you were lucky (smart) to have been investing in 1989, 90, 2001, 2002-5, 2008…you would have made money.

Let us take the case of Indiainfoline. It has a book value of Rs. 38 and a market price of 46. It is available at a dividend yield of 6.5% (very close to the gilt yield, and this is an equity share dammit!).

This share has seen a high of 385 and a low of 34. Yes I know standard deviation and variance in an equity share is not to be scoffed at…

June 3rd somebody called me and said…’Rs. 385 was the high, how much can I lose buying at 46′. The honest answer? I do not know.

Broking is not a high margin business. It has to be done diligently and with very low overheads. The big brokerage firms never got back the volumes that they got in 2009. The BSE membership which was once like a ‘millionaire card’ is now available for Rs. 10 lakhs. I have seen 4-5 people get together and ‘buy’ a card just to save brokerage. This not just in the financial capital but even in smaller cities like Jaipur, Ahmedabad, etc.

What is attractive is businesses like lending money against shares, lending for gold, lending to traders (who lose!),…and if this is so, one needs to look at balance sheets the way you look at a bank.

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  1. Hello Sir

    I had posted this in another of your thread.
    I thought mebbe you missed it and hence putting it in your recent post.
    Apologies for the inconvenience

    I know you don’t give out advice on stock names.
    I also know you had mentioned about colgate, coromandel etc

    I have a question – because I seriously need some reliable advice.

    I am looking for a long term (>15 yrs) investment and feel FMCG would be a good bet. I have FMCG MF.


    what would you suggest.

    I am preferring HUL since it has most of the brands and people won’t stop buying detergents etc

    i am preferring ITC since people will still smoke and they have some brands (FMCG) as well.

    What do you advice? I am not sure about Colgate (only toothpastes compared to HUL but super stock) or Marico or Nestle or ……

    Please advice


  2. What is very interesting for me from the sidelines is how many things get quickly “commoditized”.

    (off topic: I had left a link for that will thing, maybe it has gone to spam folder or maybe you prefer not to post. anyway)

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