I have been investing now for a few decades. Initially it was difficult to get balance sheets. One had to go to Raddiwalas (old paper shops) to collect balance sheets. Then you sat down with a paper and pencil to calculate ‘ratios’ over the past 4 years, then you had to make the cash flow (Cash flow statement is a recent addition to the Annual Report), there was no MDA, and research meant going to talk to a few people.

No, there was no Internet. When internet came, news was not available in an organised form (we then bought VANS data and CMIE data). Ha now data was better – all figures were in kg or meters (imagine one company would give yarn in kgs and one in mts.!!). CMIE gave us industry figures (their man would come to our office to load the data!!)..then came ASA software.

God, we have come a long way. However, I feel the quality of data is suspect. I always felt that. Doing CA was perhaps the best (or worst) thing to do. Every data to me is ‘suspicious’. The ‘Settlement Claim Ratio’ of the life insurance industry is a joke. The Policy illustration based on which people buy ulips is a Fraud. Data, data, data – has to be smart, organised and sensible.

I used to wonder whether I was alone – to be so damn suspicious of every piece of data that came my way. However for me research has now meant talking to the kids who do research. I do not crunch nos. but am stubbornly suspicious of what I see. GDP or micro.

See why a fund closed down. After reading this letter I was convinced that there are many old people like me who do not trust the data that is being thrown at us. Technology did matter, but I had no clue on the impact of the HFT (high frequency trading) on my ‘buy and hold philosophy, in fact I still do not). I have been brought up in the super high standards of audit where we would not touch an audit till the accountants had finished one level of scrutiny so that we were not told ‘it is just a clerical error’ kind of shit. I am sure standards have changed. Read this letter, it is hard hitting. I feel sorry for today’s analysts, assuming of course that they set high standards for themselves.

Read on…http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-05/why-15-billion-nevsky-capital-shutting-down-full-letter

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  1. Wow! What an honest and relevant letter.
    It is good to know such people exist.

    Truly hard hitting points that cannot be ignored.

    After those stellar returns in their 20 year run, i am sure they could have gone on to manage a lot of money for their clients, but
    to choose the correct way or exit in the interest of the clients is brilliant!

  2. Most surprising was when India GDP growth was suddenly revised from 5.3 % to 7.5%. All over the world economists do not believe Indian data any more.

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