We are all traders – with a 30 minute view or a 30 year view that is all. We do think that by holding on to a share for a longer time we will make more money and hence we are not selling it off today. When I bought Orkay, Nirlon, Cadbury, Kodak, Hoganas, I thought so too. I was lucky enough to sell Orkay and Nirlon at good prices, but the other shares I was FORCED to sell in a buy back. Terrible decision in case of Cadbury and Hoganas and damn damn lucky in case of Kodak. These sell decisions were forced.

Now look at my portfolio of terribly over-priced shares – Hdfc, Hdfc bank, Nestle, Gillette, PnG, Siemens, Biocon, Colgate, HuL, ….the list is endless. Either I should call myself a stupid momentum investor (and hence holding on to these) or find value in these investments. Of course being an absolute return investor and not handling public money I do not need to subject myself to scrutiny or pass a ‘label’ test, but just for argument sake.

So I redefine value. As simple as that.

If I want to buy an Amazon or Flipkart, I tell myself “I see value coming from the GROWTH that this company will do”.

If I want to buy Hdfc bank, Hdfc, Cholamandalam Investment, Sundaram Finance I tell myself “I see Value in the ESG of these companies”.

If I want to buy NTPC, Power finance…..I tell myself “I see value in the dividend yield….”.

See how I change the definition of Value Investing?

Clearly to make money in the financial services Industry you need to master the jargon that we have created for ourselves. If you master or even understand the jargon that we have created you will earn money. If you do not understand the jargon, we will make money from you. Make no mistake, we need you.

Recently I got some work done in my house and I engaged the services of a sophisticated and suave broker who called himself an interior decorator. That was of course what he said, and as you know – in India you do not need any qualification to call yourself anything. Electrician, plumber, carpenter, financial adviser, ….does not matter. If you have some alphabet soup behind your name it helps, but largely it does not matter. So this goon would take us to shops he choose show us 4 products costing X, 3X, 5X and 200X. The last item was rubbished as “too expensive” and the first item as “too cheap”. Then he would say 5X is what he has in his house and his daughter’s house and all his intelligent clients house. Intelligent in his mind (in a conversation with me or my wife of course) was a SOUTH INDIAN, Professionally qualified, and paying by cheque. What his definition of intelligent was when he was talking to my Punju neighbor was I do not know.

This guy NEVER gave us the price of any product directly….

a) arre I will not over charge you, do not worry.

b) the cost of wood is…,,, labor is more expensive than the material…etc.

I never found out the cost of a wardrobe, book shelf, sofa, a new sink in the kitchen, bathroom tiles……….NOTHING.

Far more importantly when things went wrong he said “but sir you choose….”.

I was wondering how a client feels when he is talking to a bank manager. Would it be somewhat similar?

Is there a Value furnishing for your house? Have i missed it? I need to learn before 2029. Till then I think this will work. Amen.

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