Sunday, October 28, 2012

The year of 2008


What I did in 2008 or rather what 2008 did to me...!
(Not that anyone would be interested, but this is just [like] a last page of my personal dairy '08)
  • Bought a 2 bed-room apartment in Bangalore and leased it
  • Wayanad Trek (pre-cursor to my long-lasting desire of Kerala tour)
  • U.S. Trip
    • Visited lot of places in Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • Long week-end to Tampa, Florida with Pavan and his friends
    • Road trip to Miami, Florida
    • Adventurous day @ Universal Studios, Orlando
    • Proud owner of an iPhone 2G
  • Started working on some ideas with my friends
    • Bought iPods for friends and a MacMini for myself
  • Gave CAT exam
  • Vacation and Himalayan trekking at Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh

Other minor things:
  • Treks:
  • Coolandhra Mangalore trip
  • Sivanasamudram
  • Skandagiri with Adventura
  • Anthargange with Adventura
  • New subscriptions:
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Adventura (Trekking group)
  • eBay
  • Audible
  • Pownce
  • Facebook
  • Gave Microsoft interviews
  • Got a job offer from mKhoj but did not take it up.

Which day were you born?

Back in school I learned this quick formula to calculate which Day_of_the_week a given date is. I made a quick Facebook app to return the day_of_the_week for any given date between
1st January 1900 and 31st December 2100.

Please try it out and let me know your comments.
https://apps.facebook.com/day-of-birth/

My adventures with Indian stock market

Long long ago (re: around 5 years ago) in my early days of share trading adventures (...it's not an excuse but really those are the days when I started trading and pretty naive), I bought this company's stock and learned a lot (re: lost a lot of money). Narrating the sad story here hoping some of you would pick a bone or two from my experiences.

1. Bought a penny stock blindly because it's of low value. 
My thought process was something like this... "Since each stock is worth only 2 rupees, how bad a loss can be? It won't be more than 2 rupees, right?"

I wonder how I did not realize that this loss multiplied with huge number of stocks would essentially be the whole amount I invested in it!!!

On the other hand, I thought, "since I get a huge number of stocks even if a single rupee raise in the price would fetch me a lot of rupees ;-)". You can clearly see how I failed in this reasoning too.

2. Did not research much about the company
I browsed a little bit about the company, details of which I do not remember even on that evening. As I look back since I was so determined to buy that stock, I might have overlooked all negative signs and looked at only the positive decisions which I *wanted* to see for helping my buying decision.

3. Squared off by doubling the number of stocks I had without retrospecting what I did wrong.
At the time of panic, I did not retrospect and investigate more. Instead I invested more to square-off my investments. That's unlike me, but may be I am destined to learn a lot from this. It's written.

4. Bought 6000 stocks by mistake, instead of selling them.
I placed a BUY order instead of SELL order again by mistake. Hmm... so many mistakes all happening with a single stock. Is it a co-incidence???

5. Did not knew about special brokerage on penny stocks
On top of the losses by above mentioned reasons, I can to know that a minimum of 10 np brokerage is charged on stocks worth < Rs.50/- in my DMAT account. This is a huge percentage considering the fact that this a stock worth two rupees.

6. Company restructured the portfolio and I didn't even know about it
I still don't understand completely why 'x' number of stocks priced @ 'y' in my DMAT account were replaced by 'x/10' number of stocks priced @ '10y'.

7. Sold for huge losses and got a surprise gift (re:blow) from brokerage firm
Satisfied with all the learning I got from this whole episode, recently I decided to sell ALL (and NOT buy more ;-) ) of the stocks on one fine day. My brokerage firm with-held around 20% of the earnings (after all the losses, I can't really call them earnings, can I?), as "Exchange Margin for the day" probably because mine was the only transaction of that stock on that "fine day". Need to find more about it after publishing this post.

Morale: Half cooked knowledge is dangerous, so don't invest money in share market if you can't invest time in it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Today's news papers and paid journalism


I am absolutely disgusted seeing last Saturday's Times Of India news paper. The space was so exploited for advertisements that there were 3 pages of ads for each page with news (It was 48:16 approximately). It's basically around 75% of space in advertisements. Needless to talk about "Bangalore Times" edition, which is even more worse. This on top of certain articles which appear to be news but are actually paid articles makes it lot worse than readers paying for pamphlets/hand-outs distributed on the road.

Here's Citizens Jain report in New Yorker on Times Of India. Why India’s newspaper industry is thriving.

Shame on Jain brothers for erasing the border between actual news and paid articles. I have seen this causing a lot of people falling for get-rich-quick schemes like the ongoing EMU birds craze which is a complete SCAM.
THE HINDU article: The rise and fall of EMU farming (August 12 2012)

I wonder why are people even buying/subscribing-to such a paper making it an English-language newspaper with largest circulation in the world!!!