All investors are value investors. Or they at least like to believe this – so let us see why V. I. is so difficult to achieve, even though philosophically it is easy to understand.

You just need to be buying when everybody is selling, it is so simple!!

Well one amazing sentence that ‘market experts’ use commonly on the idiot box is “It is all there in the price”. God, I wish the guys who say that DROP DEAD by the time they say this.

Let us take a share like Tata Docomo. At 13 was the court case in the price? If yes why did it go to 8? and when the court judgement came why did it go to 11? So when was the court case in the price?

If you say ‘It is all in the price’ – you are saying ” I know what SHOULD be the intrinsic value of the share” and more importantly ‘How much is the foam’ in the price. Frankly I do not know both. So how can I say ‘it is already in the price’? You realize with experience that what Keynes said is true “Market can be irrational far longer than you can be solvent”. Having said that when I bought Cholamandalam at Rs. 65 I knew I was buying very good value. At a price of Rs. 535, I have no clue how much is value and how much is foam. The only thing I can say in its defence ┬áis shares which are quoting much higher have no value, so this may be carrying value. However it will take 30 horses to pull me to BUY the same Cholamandalam today.

Let us take Infrastructure. From when have people been seeing value? I have not been able to see value in India’s infra companies. I prefer the cement, tiles, banks, and not the GMR and GVK – any way they do not match my Hyderabad bias too. If you had bought Infra in 2009, maybe you would have been too early.

Likewise we all know that oil is at $ 50 and soon it will be available FREE…and after sometime they will pay you money to use oil. So one sector NEVER to go near (as of now) is Oil and Gas. I can assure you that if you take a contrarian view on say Reliance, you will make money. LISTEN I AM NOT PUTTING A GUN on your head and saying “Buy RIL TODAY or you will be dead”. I am just saying that at Rs. 825 it looks attractive. Period. Can it go down from here? sure!! I am saying this is a good price to buy. Period.

I have no clue where the market will be tomorrow, one month from now or one year from now. I can see some shares which have been beaten down too much and some in which the foam is MORE than the substance. You should know what to buy. When I say market I normally mean my portfolio. So If RIL gave me a 14% p.a. growth over the next 5 years, I would be thrilled. This is including dividends. This means the share should be quoting around Rs. 1500 in 2020. I do think it will.

I am not enamoured by FMCG, but hey like the stupidly over priced BFSI space this too has kept me in the money. I am convinced at the current market capitalisation both Tata Power and NTPC are good buys, but again they can fall 20%. Are you ready for that?

Can you spot value? If yes can you write how and why this value will be unlocked? Can you also say honestly why the market is not willing to pay this extra price that YOU think it deserves? Be careful, the path of value investing is paved with stones.

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  1. incidentally today a consultant to the well known business channel advocated to buy BFSI, manufacturing and capex related companies in view of today’s repo rate cut and anticipated repo rate cuts in this yr and next yr.

  2. @bharat sir, I would not have been impressed even if he had given the same recommendation before the actual rates cut. Raghu himself told it last year.I also said so in a comment on aifw a few days ago when I told somebody to delay home loan by 2 years to pay much lower emi.

  3. very nice and informative article…as usual…

    what I like the most is simple and straight forward English (which we Indians are used to) than a complicated one…

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