Famous quotes

"Happiness can be defined, in part at least, as the fruit of the desire and ability to sacrifice what we want now for what we want eventually" - Stephen Covey

Monday, July 30, 2007

another cue on niit

he rupee factor + wage hike did impact the Q1 margins, also a 1 % decline QoQ in volume growth created the 20% decline in profits QoQ, well, it has been a bad quarter for all the IT cos, whether it is Infy, TCS, Wipro or Tech Mahindra or Satyam. The mid cap ones have been hit somewhat more, but then the midcaps also show growths of 20 % QoQ compared to 5 to 10 % for large caps. Anyway, for most shareholders of IT cos it has been a tough time, and their conviction has surely been tested severely. For NIITTech, the last 4 quarters, the consolidated EPS stands at, 6.85 + 8.93 + 11.83 + 8.97 = 36.58, and at a price of 470 it trades at 12.84 times the last 4 quarter EPS. I think this has been the lowest profit multiple for NIITTech for a long time, and the reason is fairly known to everyone, the rupee appreciation has made the IT sector go out of favor, coupled with a bad Q1 has lead to a drastic fall in the profit multiples. For an investor, if u decide to sell NIITTech, you would park your money in some other stock, then compare what profit multiple you are paying against the growth expected. This is called the PEG ratio, for example, a company expected to grow its bottomline by 50 %, and has a profit multiple of 50, then the PEG ratio is 50/50 = 1, the lower the ratio, the better it is, bcoz u r paying less multiple compared to the expected growth rate. For example, considering that rupee does not appreciate steeply in the rest of year as it did in Q1, i still expect NIITtech to have a top line of 1050 to 1150 cr, and a profit of 175-185 cr, which is a growth of 35 to 45 % in the bottom line in FY 07 over FY 06. At a profit multiple of 12.8, u will get a PEG ratio of 12.8/40 = 0.32, which is one of the cheapest PEG, and also the cheapest amongst its peers. Anyway, use this methodology when u shift ur portfolio. In the stock marketet, what matters is conviction, and conviction comes from selecting a good company, and paying the lowest possible price. Both parts are very important, while most people can identify a good company (it doesnt require special skill to know that Infy, TCS are excellent cos in their sector, or HDFC and ICICI are in banking), but it requires a special type of emotional aptitude and fortitude to have the second skill. While many analysts can run discounted cash flow analysis on a excel worksheet, the only thing for a layman investor as per my opinion is to pay as less a profit multiple, and then hold for as long as possible. At some point of time, ur conviction will be tested in every sector, if u look at Bharti\\\\\\\\`s results closely u will realize the consistent fall in ARPU\\\\\\\\`s (Average revenue per user), and the day the growth in user base matches the fall in ARPU, the growth in bottomline will taper of. In Q2, u will see further impact of high interest rates on Banks and real estate. So, at some point in the year, the market will favor some, while some of these will go out of favor. As a investor, u get the opportunity when a sector gets badly beaten up due to some event, and some companies within that sector get a much sever beating than others, and then u buy those stocks which nobody wants. Be greedy when others are fearful, and be fearful when others are greedy-this is the only maxim which works on the market, but it is very very hard to follow, so damn hard that even after so many years i still get sucked into the wrong side, that is being fearful when others are fearful and being greedy when others are greedy, it is battle which will go on forever, but u will improve if u keep at it. Like any other game it requires practice, even Sachin Tendulkar fishes at a ball outside offstump and edges it, when he knows very well that he should leave it, it is something like that, the temptation to hit a ball which you should be leaving. The difference between a Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli was not talent, it was emotional strength. Take ur call on NIITTech, if u hv identified a better option, relook the PEG ratio and other parameters, get the conviction in whichever stock u r entering, otherwise u will end up paying brokerage fees and commissions, it has been a very tough quarter for IT cos, and i think it will be by the end of second quarter when they may start turning around, so take ur call, if u wish to stick with NIITTech u will hv to broaden ur horizon to atleast another 3 quarters. I hv downsized my targets for end of year for NIITTech, and i think with a profit of around 175 to 185 cr, and a profit multiple of 15 times, it is a market cap of 2800 - 3000 cr, which is a price of approx. 720, of course, there is a potential upside as and when the market turns in favor of IT cos, and in that case, it might go upto 900, but on a safer side, a target of 720-750 by April 08 is reasonable, approx. a return of 60% in 8-9 months fm todays price of 465. Again, lot of assumptions rest in this projection, and do ur own analysis and believe in that, ther is no other way, happy investing!

Friday, July 27, 2007


went and attended the interview in annanagar for bhaskar&co in chintamani which is near my house, so i think that i can start working tommorrow itself but i have tried KPMG as well.and they have told me to come there on monday.so its better for me to wait and watch as i gain experience first through this firm first and them maybe i can try and see whether i can take the grind of the work of a big firm.anyways i was browsing through you tube as usual and i came across a channel which has some nice clips and i'm posting one of them here

this is a clip about a coming boom for indian bio tech companies in united states

Thursday, July 26, 2007

finally no more movie club

i have cancelled my membership in movieclub which i thought about doing for a long time.finally i have done it and got the refund of 500 rs as well.i will use it purposefully anyways i saw an interesting clip on you tube which i think i should share it here

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

posted it on youtube

i have posted the last 10 minutes of the movie ocean's 13 i don't think they will allow me to post the entire movie on the site but it feels good to be an uploader

not impressive

today i went to the firm i didn't like it that much perhaps should go for a bigger firm should have searched for it myself rather than going for sir anyways finally my portfolio is rising now i'm at par hopefully i can get some decent returns there are rumors that niit tech will reach 625 within 2 or 5 trading sessions and even autoline india is fundamentally strong so its better to wait for some more rather than to get out quickly i believe.i would have like to spread my risk but with such a small amount i can't do much can i. i'm yet to see the full movie "transformer" am not gettin into that mood.tomorrow i will go the institute and search for a firm myself.

Monday, July 23, 2007

first job

Coming Wednesday i may enter into my first job which is most intriguing i believe .I saw ocean's 13 which is good and better than expected.It is better than the second part and as one of the reviewers said there is room for more sequels.They have done a good job and full compliments must go to the director Steven Soderbergh. i have downloaded the movie transformers and looks good till now.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

just kiddin

thought about writing the detailed review of the movie "ZODIAC" but opted against it as it was nothing more than a documentary of a dreaded killer who basically mocked the police and the public and still managed to escape from the claws of the law.i'm very happy to have got the harry porter 7th book ,not that i'm any great fan of the series just that everyone is so hung upon this to get it even at the cost of 1000rs but i manged to get it for free which makes it all sweeter ,man am i good or what.anyways i have completed downloading ocean's 13 today perhaps i will watch it today so that hopefully i can make a video review on youtube.

Friday, July 20, 2007

another advice on niit tech

For all boarders who are sweating at the daily price movements of NIITTech, and who had expected the price to move as the book closure date approaches, but has not performed to their expectations, I would like to present the price performance chart presented on page no. 35 of the annual report of the company (rather than wasting time on trying to find out explanations for price movements it would be better if all boarders who wish to be long term shareholders of niittech read the annual report - that would be a better usage of time rather than fretting about inconsequential price movements on a daily basis)

Month Sensex High Low Mcap
(in cr.)
Apr 06 12043 239 202 849
May 06 10399 242 180 722
Jun 06 10609 191 131 684
Jul 06 10744 194 171 724
Aug 06 11699 202 179 721
Sep 06 12454 204 186 726
Oct 06 12962 262 184 941
Nov 06 13696 289 237 1006
Dec 06 13787 311 238 1179
Jan 07 14091 443 287 1541
Feb 07 12398 535 387 1542
Mar 07 13072 482 391 1706

Can u learn anything from the chart above ? Can u explain those price variations ? Imagine somebody buying at 242 and then seeing the price go down to 131 in 2 months, and when he would have got desperate and tired of holding and would sell, then he would see it go up to 262 in 3 months.

The biggest lesson is nobody on earth can time the market or any price movement of the stock, everything seems very neat and perfect when u analyze past data, unfortunately that is a mirage. But for anybody who had held out since April 06 through the price variations would have doubled is money in approx 13 months. Compare it with the sensex return and u will realize the fantastic return this stock gave, but look deeper and u will realize the high volatility which would have thrown 99% of the investors off balance and they would have sold and got out.

So, the biggest question is how do u have the emotional fortitude to face price volatility. That is why u have a portfolio, when u have a portfolio, the volatility cancels out and the overall volatility reduces as the number of stocks increase in ur portfolio. But the catch is, as the number of stocks increase in ur portfolio, the overall return of the portfolio goes down. Good sleep comes at a price.

The best is to have a single stock in the portfolio, but I dont think there is anybody who can withstand the volatility of 25% without any reason, because most stocks will show this kind of volatility, NIITTech is more volatile just because it is in midcap space, bcoz with 1 to 2 lac share trading volume a 20000 shares order for buy can make it jump substantially and same way a sell order can make it fall, however it requires huge volume to make a Infosys or Reliance to move up or fall. So NIITTech will always be more volatile till it reaches a market cap above 10000 cr, from where onwards its volatility will reduce bcoz it would have become big enough.

U will realize there are two basic emotions which exert pressure on u daily, one is greed, as the price rises u feel the pressure of greed, all internal voices tell u to sell and book the profits, as it falls u get into the grip of fear, of losing ur money. These are the emotional traps, and that is why, there are lot of people who boast of making money on the market but really very few do. So learn to tackle these forces of greed and fear, stop worrying about price movements. If ur money doubles in 2 years what is ur problem ? Where will u get such returns ? Why the hell do u want to hurt urself ? The daily price quotes, the TV, the analysts, the whole

Thursday, July 19, 2007

yeehaw cleared the first hurdle

finally i have cleared the ca exams now awaiting my cs results nest i have to go to articleship time for me to work i believe recently i saw the movie zodiac which is a movie about the serial killer who was an enigma to the san francisco police in the 60s and the case is still open now which means that no one has even been charged in this case which is kind of weird and the reason why it has been made into a movie i believe.anyways i dont know about the articleship probably should get ready to work i believe.

Monday, July 16, 2007

awaiting results

tommorrow is my result day hopefully it will be good news, i did my first upload on youtube yesterday.hopefully this is a start and i could give some more interesting videos on youtube.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

editing software

windows movie maker
final cut pro
these are some of the famous editing softwares

an interesting observation found on moneycontrol

My answer to arora81. I understand ur plight, but these situations help to learn the right lessons. I wont answer ur question directly, but give u some guidelines. Rule 1 is " Dont lose money ", and Rule 2 is " Dont forget rule 1." Did u really study TVS before u entered the stock ? Did u analyze its results of past 5 years ? Never enter any stock without proper study, Never, Never, Never.

The first lesson is that dont invest in the stock if u r not ready to hold for 10 years. Why ? I will tell u the reason, see if u have invested in NIITTech at 540, say approx 540 x 3.91 = 2110 cr market cap, so in effect u hv paid 2110 cr if u hd bought the whole company, anyway, at a profit of 129 cr, u get a return of 129/2110 = 6.11 %, so the stock is like a bond which gives u a return of 6.11 %. But the difference between a bond and a stock is that a bond has a fixed coupon rate, while a stock has an increasing coupon rate. If u assume that Niittech increases profits by 25 % every year, then as per rule of 72 of finance, dividing 72 by the growth rate gives u the number of years it takes to double, so at 25 % it takes 2.88 years to double, so in 10 years it is 3.50 doubling, that is 129 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 1.50 = 1548 cr. So, ur return on ur initial payment is 1548/2110 = 73.36 %, now u can see that from 6.11 % u hv reached 73.36 %. Assume that 20% of 1548 cr is distributed as dividend, that is, 310 cr, which gives a dividend return of 310/2110 = 14.7 % on ur initial investment in the 10th year, and the capital appreciation is not included. I hope u understand why equities are considered long term investments.

So the key is finding good growth companies. And the second is, not pay any price, but buy them when they are available at 50 % discount to its fair value price. In short, for Niittech, if we assume that the company has a profit of 1550 cr by year 10 from now, and assuming that it trades at 18 times, then its market cap will be 27900 cr, assuming that our target is a 15 % return on equity investments every year (if u r able to earn 15% every year for 15 years u r a very very smart investor), it means approx. 2 doubles in 10 years, so the maximum payable price is 27900 divide by 2 and then again divide by 2, which gives a answer of 6975, and we will buy only when the quoted price is 50 % below the maximum payable price, and that is 6975 divide by 2 = 3487 cr mkt cap divide by 3.91 cr shares = Rs. 891 per share. Did u understand ? It is simple, but u need to apply some mind and time. Once u learn to do this u will not rush into any stock at any price, and when u learn to do that, u will uphold rule 1 "Dont lose money".

I know u will be frustrated by my answer, u just want to know whether the stock will reach 1000 in a year. I think it will, but dont take it seriously, it might not also, if the rupee appreciates substantially from here. If u ask the question to God, he will not know, if u ask to Rajendra Pawar (Chairman of NIITech) he will not know, if u ask to Arvind Thakur (Jt MD and CEO of NIITech) he will also not know, and if u ask me frankly, I dont know.

I hv said before that only thing that matters on the market is "conviction", conviction that u hv made the right decision, and that comes from our own study, any amount of external advice will not help, bcoz conviction helps u to take the opposite direction from that what the general public does, and it is only those people who take the opposite direction make money, following the crowd might be a right strategy in social environments, not on the stock markets. Conviction gives u stability when others are jittery, conviction gives u the courage to fight greed and fear. And if u cant do all this, then just invest in a few good companies and go to sleep, dont watch the prices, dont watch TV, dont read economic times, dont visit these boards, and pass the stock holding to ur children. Invest only that amount in stocks which u will not need for the next 10 years, and also be mentally ready that u can lose all that in a crash. Otherwise, u will keep shifting fm one stock to other and making losses in each deal. So cool down, relax, read my post a couple of times, and get in control of urself. Every trade has its secrets, and I have revealed many of them in my posts, and these hv been revealed by the best investors, the only problem is that while everybody can understand, only one in a thousand can diligently follow that path. All the best, Happy Investing!
i have bought niittech at 545 so hopefully what he said is true

Thursday, July 12, 2007

28 days later

Got a chance to download this movie , it was a nice movie made with a low budget but it was really good better than any studio film.no wonder it was a hit when it was released in 2002.anyways its nice for once here its not the zombies alone who are the villains but the humans as well. this is a more realistic version of any virus attacks i would say nice movie to watch once.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

veyyil movie review

i recently got the dvd version of this movie and decided to watch it,i knew that this movie was a hit but i wasn't impressed by the trailer and didn't go by its box office records cause even dhanush starrer "thiruvilaiyadal arambam" was a hit and that was the worst crap i have ever seen. but i regret my decisiosn now cause veyyil is an amazing movie and it completely blew me away atlast a nice village movie with "bharathiraja style" looks like back to the 80s.This is extremely well made and hats off to the director Vasantha balan ,he has made the best tamil ovie in recent times noe lets go to the review
Where can i start everything about this movie is excellent it starts with Murugesan- Pasupathy (virumandi fame)killing a group of people and threatening them to give him the location of the villain and after that he cuts his throat.at this moment i thought this was going to be another bloodfest like virumandi but i was pleasantly surprised. ,from there pasupathy tells his flashback from his childhood days.
The picturisation of the life of a village kid was wonderful with the song "veyilodu vilayadi" a tune to our ears.We follow the life of murugesan along with his brother and how he flees from his village after the public beating he suffers at the hands of his father.He is a film addict so he basically spends his day by watching movies in theatres with the money he stole from home.He basically loses that money also and starts working in the theatre itself.The scene then moves after 20 years where he is an operator in the theatre and falls in love with the girl living opposite to the theatre ,her parents don't agree to this and her father tries to hang murugesh but she tries to stop him by commiting suicide,murugesh survives.now his life has turned to the worse with his lover dead and the theatre owner planning to close it down as it is no longer financially viable.this forces murugesh to return back to his village but he is hesitant as he stole before he ran away.Left with no other choice he returns to his village,there he finds that his brother(bharat) is doing well with an advertising company and is the bread winner in his family.His father doesnt accept him but his brother accepts him whole heartedly.the rest of the film is about murugesh's mental turmoil of his brother's love for him and his guilt of not being a responsible son or elder brother.there is a parallel love story between bharat and bhavana which provides some comedic scenes not to mention the story of pandi(played by shreya reddy of ss music fame) .then it results in the climax where the fight between his brother and his rival agencies goons resulting in bharat getting injured and murugesh taking revenge at the cost of his own life.finally it ends with the scene where the father is making posters of his sons death anniversary stating that he is atlast proud of his son who he has rejected when he was alive.
i would like to mention certain scenes which moved me like the one when murugesh talks to pandi about that his house will be quite when he is around but lightens up once when his brother returns from work.Also the scene where murugesh tells his fatherthat he wouldnt have run away if he hadnt made to suffer the public humiliation dealt to him by his father. this is probably a lesson to all the parents and how they should try to understand a child's psyche when dealing with them.this is a classic movie for the ages i would strongly recommend it to all and even non tamil viewers to watch this movie cause this is a must see. hope you liked my review.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

excerpt of an interview with rakesh jhunjhunwala

my idol in stock is certainly rakesh then how come you can start with 5000 rs and now earn around thousands of crores from shares moreover he's a chartered accountant just like me now thats an inspiration for me hopefully one day i will become like him.
this is the full interview he gave to cnn ibn regarding his life,growth and the struggles he faced in his life.He made it big with stocks like karur vysya ,aptech,praj indetc he specializes in identifying the small cap gems with huge returns.anyways lets go to the interview:

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala has made his fame and fortune by calling the markets right. How he has gone with a starting capital of Rs 5,000 to a net worth of a few thousand crore rupees is now the stuff of urban legend.

One of the big bulls of the stock market, Jhunjhunwala is quick to point out that he is bullish first and foremost on India's growth story. For the chartered accountant who bet big with the Madhu Dandavate budget of 1989, Bombay Stock Exchange is where it all started.
Excerpts from CNBC-TV18's exclusive interview with ace investor, trader and Chairman of Aptech Rakesh Jhunjhunwala:
Q: It's 9 o'clock in the morning and we are outside Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Do you feel sentimental, when you pass by this road? This is where you started your career about 20 years ago.
A: I can tell you Anuradha, I started here in 1985.
Q: You have been saying hello to a lot of people here.
A: I know a lot of people here. I had no office here; I used to come here with a bag. We used to get a ticket to enter the ring. I couldn't get the permission, so I used to stand outside the ring and see trading take place. And that's how I learnt. And I remember how I struggled and how I raised money. It's a moment of great happiness. There was a samosa-wala here, right there in the garden and we used to eat samosas. Lovely samosas he used to make.
There was a bomb blast in the BSE and I was in the ring on the day of the blast. And two of the samosa-walas died here. We had 12 exits from the ring. There was such panic after the bomb-blast. And I was afraid of a stampede and kept shouting, "Don't worry, if we die, we'll die together. Don't try to save only yourself." And I saw a view in the gallery ring. Glass broke off and a person's head got cut in the ring. Very vivid and tragic memories of that day. But this street really reminds me of how I used to come here.
Q: Everyone saw how Mumbai, how the stock exchange, was back to its feet so quickly after the blast. Now is there something about making money, about trading and business that is linked with this survival instinct?
A: You know, trading always keeps you on your feet, it keeps you alert. That's one of the reasons why I like to trade.
Q: What are these attitudes in life that you have got from your profession?
A: First thing I've learnt is that markets work. They are the best mechanism to build societies.
Q: You are philosophical about what you do, isn't it?
A: I am passionate, I don't know whether I am philosophical or not. I am observant surely.
Q: The India shining story, are you the face of that story, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala?
A: Well, that's not for me to say. I entered the market at Index 150. Today, the index is at 12, 000. It's eighty times. And you know, I too could have gone abroad, I am a qualified chartered accountant. I could have practiced. It’s a fact that a person who started in 1985 in India in stock markets, could meet with success. Which speaks for the volume of opportunities available here.
Q: Today, every move you make, every investment you make, every stock you put your money on is tracked, there are people who jump into the bandwagon, whether you like it or not. Does that pressurise you?
A: See Ma'm, I've no clients except my wife because I don't want to be answerable to anybody. But with her, I've no choice.
Q: Does it pressurise you, this performance anxiety? Like if I am a cricketer or a soccer player, and if I start performing well, there's always an expectation that every time I go into the batting field, I'll score a 100. Look at what's happening to Sachin Tendulkar?
A: But Ma’m, whether anyone's watching or not, I'm always paranoid about all my actions. And the likelihood of my actions being successful, say five years ago, or ten years ago or today, is only better to the extent of what better experiences I've had. I am fearless. I am not concerned about what people think. I am only concerned about my deeds.
Q: You are an icon, when it comes to someone who's successful at the stock market. Are there lot of Bunties and Bablis who want to become Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, you think?
A: I do get mail from a lot of people, who say they want to invest in markets, and follow my career path. What did I do, they want to know.
Q: Ordinary investors, retired people. Do you think there's an understanding that they want to be educated or they just want to make a quick buck?
A: See, markets are about money, but markets are also about knowledge. Markets are also about egos; markets are also about the satisfaction of having been proved right. Especially, when that right is from an original thought and not from a guided source or following somebody. So I feel the anxiety, curiosity and the anxiousness to know about the market; it's quite general. But markets being markets, the ability is quite limited in my opinion.
Q: Greed and fear, you said, are the two traits that have to be balanced. How does one balance them? Give us an anecdote, where you had to balance it.
A: Anuradha, it's like this. Suppose I invest in Titan. I bought 'x' number of shares, I was extremely bullish, right? And you know, I would have been greedy if I had put in more than certain percentage of my wealth into Titan. And I didn't do it out of fear that Titan might not do well. I might lose my principal.
Q: What about ACC? You sold ACC at lot less than what it actually went on to be?
A: Ma’m, about markets, they say, either don't come to markets or don't regret what you have done. Right? Naya gilli, naya dao. I think the second quarter 1991 result was the best ACC produced for the next 10 years. And after those results came, I sold the shares. I bought them for 300 and within three months, I'd sold them for 3,500. And the price went to 10, 000. I've no regrets.
Q: You have no regrets, but what principle drove you at that point, fear or greed?
A: I think I was neither being greedy nor being fearful, I was just being rational.
Q: Celebrating three years of the bull run, the BSE Index has gone from 3000 plus to 12,000 plus in just three years. And this investor says, it's going to continue that way.
A: You know, Sensex has gone from 3000 to 12,000 in the last three years. You know people are excited, everybody's making money and that's why markets are making headlines. As they say Teji me sab ka bol bala, mandi me sab ka muh kala.
Q: Every time the markets run up, people get extremely euphoric and they get very very nervous, isn't it? And you are the guy whom they run to defend the Bull Run?
A: There's no question of defending the bull run. See, we forget what markets are. Markets reflect economic truth and fundamentals. And I think India is going into a lot of unprecedented economic growth, I think the markets are only recognising that.
Q: Why is it so difficult to believe what you are saying? Why is there this fear psychosis, that if things are good, then they are bound to go bad?
A: I think for two reasons - past experiences and the inertia of the mind that India can have continued economic growth. And also because we've had two scams in the stock market, this also made people very suspicious of the markets. I think there is a combination of reasons.
Q: Are you saying that we should not be suspicious at all this time round?
A: Well, I don't think there's a need to be suspicious, although I think you need to be alert. I don't think there's any scam in the market.
Q: Now, in the past, in the secondary markets, where we've seen these two scams happen, the primary market has been a safer place for retail investors. Now it looks like the primary markets are also a suspect, isn't it?
A: Let us understand one thing that misuse of mechanisms is part of every market. All markets have to evolve. So therefore, we've to go to a stage of evolution where people are going to take advantage of the law. But law will catch up, right?
Q: You have always defended the regulator very strongly saying that the regulator is in place and that regulator systems and processes are just fine. Do you stand by that?
A: See Ma'm, we may be critical of some mistakes that the regulator might have made, but we should realise that in the Indian stock markets, we have gone from the wild west to being one of the most modern trading system in the world. And in a very short span of time. Every regulator has to evolve. And mistakes are going to be made during evolution. So I think it's a matter of a glass being half full or half empty.
Q: Ironically, while Jhunjhunwala has all the trappings of success, he still clings to his middle-class south Mumbai roots. Proud to be a self-made man, he can’t help spouting Jhunjhunwala-isms. What I want to know, how important is it for you that people are always guessing how much you are worth? It's important, isn't it that people don't really know?
A: What irritates me, is how does it matter to them. And see, I am not running any relay race, I am not in any rat race with somebody and I want to be richer than somebody or I want to be the richest man. My purpose in life is to do what I enjoy and enjoy what I do, right? And wealth is a bi-product of what I do. Why do people want to know what my wealth is. How is it relevant?
Q: Maybe only because your claim to fame is the money you made on your own, the first generation from scratch starting with Rs 5,000?
A: I think what is more needed to be appreciated is not the wealth I have as such but, how I made it. By God's grace, I am a rich man. How rich I am, how is it important? I can tell you one thing, I am rich enough for my wealth to matter internationally.
Q: You just mentioned that you are not in the rat race, how do you react when you see these lists that come out - 100 richest men in the world, 100 richest Indians, 50 most powerful Indians? Because you have figured in some, haven't you?
A: Well, I have no press agent and I have no press agency, right? And I am not seeking any publicity. But as long as any list is a recognition of human effort and human achievement, then I would be lying if I said I don't like to be in that list. So, I like it to be there, but I am not making any special effort to be on this list. Being on the list is coincidental and not the purpose of my work.
Q: Then obviously there's no ambition to be on any other list and on higher number on any list?
A: Not at all.
Q: You have often and emphatically pointed out that there's a lot of research, a lot of data gathering and a lot of knowledge accumulation that goes into this business of yours. What do you read?
A: See, I read Economist and India Today, which I read cover to cover every week. In the Economist, I read the entire business section and the science and technology section. These are my constant reads. Then I read broker reports and go through balance sheets.
Q: There are five screens here, could you quickly tell us which one does what?
A: Well, these are all of the BSE NSE live screens, where I track the prices. The first one right here is my investments. These are the futures.
Q: There are 31 scripts there?
A: Yeah, except CL, all of them are my investments. These are all my shares in which I have some short-term positions. These are just some companies whose prices I want to follow. And these are the futures that I trade, right? This is the live Reuters screen, from where I get information. And this is the Internet. And there's the television.
Q: Can you go through a single day without having, if you want to, conversations with anybody outside.
A: There are a certain people whose views I value, some friends with whom I discuss matters, so I talk to them. Essentially, the decisions in trading and investment are very lonely decisions. And I, of course, can trade without talking to anybody. But I do tend to talk to people.
Q: You know I have spoken to a few people, who say there's a contradiction in Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. There's this long time view he has on some shares and he stays and he stays and he stays. Hangs in there, tight. And here on his trading screen, he can make and lose 20 crores or 50 crores in a blink. As we talk, can you do that?
A: Well, I don't do that kind of trading. I hold investments for a long time because I read somewhere and time has taught me that we should be greedy, but long term greedy. So, when you have something good, stick to it.
Q: What about the other screen?
A: Ma'm, I had no capital when I came to the markets, and no father gifts and no father-in-law gifts. So I had to earn the capital to invest. How do you invest if you don't have the capital? And I got the capital by doing all this future trading.
Q: And you can lose and make up to how much, say as we are talking?
A: I would not like to quote figures. I only make mistakes, which I can afford, where I can lift to begin again.
Q: You get in actually before the trends start, isn't it? For the investment decisions?
A: By God's grace, I think from 1985-86 to 2006, I had been able to catch most; say if there are 10 cycles in the market, then I have been able to catch 9 rights. So investment wise, the cycles have been good. In trading, we make mistakes everyday. You know one author once said beautifully, that it's important that you are right or wrong in trading; it's important how much you lose when you are wrong and how much you make when you are right.
Q: If you lose money, do you feel stressed?
A: No, never. I feel it for five minutes. Because Ma'm, I am not staking more than two or three percent of my wealth in these. I always remember Churchill's words.
Q: You've quoted Churchill. You quote very regularly. Do you read anything else that these people have written? The non-investing legends.
A: Well, Churchill was not an investing legend at all.
Q: Exactly. So, do you read beyond the quotes that have come in the books?
A: I am very fascinated by the Second World War. I have seen so many movies on the Second World War. I saw 25 CDs on the war and that gives you lot of quotes. Now, my non-market, non-economic reading is much lesser. I was a voracious reader before 35.
Q: Even by international standards, your good wealth is what you sell. Does that mean you are ready to trade and to invest in international markets? What's stopping you? Is it legality or is it scale?
A: There are two to three reasons. First, even if I desire, I cannot do it because all my wealth is in India. By 2010, we will have capital ready. That's my guess. Second, the opportunity in India itself is so huge. And, so nascent. When we are getting good food at home, why think of a restaurant? And third, to invest at international scale, I need to build a bigger and broader organisation. I think I will have all the three by 2010.
Q: What in terms of capital you need to invest to be considered of a notable investor?
A: I don't want to go into any market to be noted, I want to go there to make money.
Q: So, capital is not a limitation?
A: No, capital is never a limitation.
Q: You work with money. To put it very simplistically, where do you save your money?
A: Where do I save my money? Well, whatever I earn, less my expenses is my saving.
Q: Away from the stock markets, are there any areas you would save your money - art, real estate?
A: No art really. I bought one painting last month. I have a house apart from this office, so no real estate either. I've invested in some real estate funds.
Q: So what is saving for Jhunjhunwala?
A: My wealth is a valuable portfolio, that's my saving.
Q: Can that be notional also because today depending on the markets, it's x today and goes down tomorrow?
A: I wouldn't say it's notional, it's fluctuating.
Q: Doesn't it bother you sometimes that you are not the guy with the ideas; you are the guy who is backing the guys with the ideas?
A: I don't think so. There are various parts of creating anything. So when I invest in a company at an initial stage, I am handling with that company. I distinguish between my chairmanship of Aptech and my directorship of other companies. In Aptech, we are under management control of the company. So we are exactly running it.
Q: What's the experience like? For you it's a new experience, isn't it?
A: It's a challenge, Ma'm. I don't know whether I will be successful. I will know in five years. But I love a challenge. Funds worldwide have made billions of dollars by taking over management control of companies. Now I had never taken management control of any company prior to Aptech. I think it will take 4 or 5 years. I still come to the year 2010.
Q: Is 2010 a year when a lot of things will happen to Rakesh Jhunjhunwala?
A: Yes. I will be fifty that year.
Q: So you set a lot of milestones for yourself?
A: I never said that. They are very flexible milestones. In a stock market, people come on CNBC and give targets. I think of targets but they are very flexible. If I succeed in reviving Aptech and we get a very good profitable company then I will get courage to buy management control of larger companies.
Q: We talked about how markets are all the time on a bull run. And when Sensex keeps climbing, there is great excitement and fear. Does it bother you that people like you are scrutinised very intently at these times?
A: Ma'm, I am concerned about one thing. I follow the law in letter and spirit and we live in a democracy. I act in accordance with the laws in government institutions. Now if the government has a right to examine everything, whether we like it or not, we have to accept it. And that's part of life.
Q: But this suspicion that comes up every time, especially in this business, does that bother you?
A: Not at all. Whatever I have done in life, people have looked on with suspicion. Imagine a chartered accountant in 1985 coming from a bureaucratic family, going to this stock market and standing on the streets. My father is a member of the Wellington club from 1973. I am a qualified chartered accountant. I don't think culturally I have done anything wrong. But they don't want to make me a member of Willington club. It's their choice. Initially, I used to react to this with anger. Now I react to it with maturity. People will have any opinion; time will change their opinion.
Q: If you have made your money as a trader or investor in the stock market, somehow it is not as respectable as the captains of the industry? Does that bother you? Because you are putting in huge amounts of education and knowledge to make the kind of investments you are making?
A: Ma'm let me tell you one thing. Let me be very candid. For the kind of recognition I have got, I don't think it's not respected. It's now not respected in antique minds. If capitalism is the only method of government, then the only temples of that form of government are the stock markets. And believe me, I am not doing anything to be recognised by anybody. The recognition is incidental. I am doing what I enjoy to do.
Q: But Rakesh, it bothers you enough today to remember the incident of Willington club not giving you membership?
A: But that maybe was 10-12 years ago when I might have felt a little pinch. Now I don't feel it.
Jhunjhunwala chooses to live in a joint family. Without the economic and emotional support of his parents, he is clear that he would not have managed to throw a conventional career to the winds. His family including his sisters and brothers are the only people who benefit from his stock tips.
A: My dad is the person who has taught me the most in my life. And I think whatever I am in life, he has a very substantial contribution in it. He's the most democratic father. I had a curiosity and he has nurtured that curiosity.
Q: So you are not a mummy's boy; you are a daddy's boy?
A: No, I am both mummy and daddy's boy. I am the baby of the family at 46. And the youngest tend to be both. I live with my parents and we are a very close-knit family.
Q: You have a daughter, Nishtha. I remember hearing you say that you have several challenges in front of you; the first challenge is to be able to look after your health i.e., cut down on drinking, smoking, so that you can spend a minimum of 35 years with your daughter Nishtha. How are you doing on that challenge?
A: Well, I am just starting to work on it.
Q: What I am quoting is what I heard two years ago. And you are still trying to work on it?
A: I think it's better late than never.
Q: You are still trying to work on it?
A: Yes, and I will eventually.
Q: But you are talking about 2010, you are talking about Nishtha, about parents who've supported you in your career choice and with who you live today out of choice. Surely it bothers them that you are not dealing with this challenge upfront and with the kind of effort that's needed? What do you have to say to them?
A: Well, I have no face to face them. Here I have lost a battle but I have not lost the war.
Q: Ok, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, on one of those stock quotes. I am going to wish you all the very best in this battle. And I hope that the markets continue to rise and nobody pays a price for it.
A: Well, that's a hope which may not be very legitimate, because in markets, some are going to win, some are going to lose. My hope would be to let India's economy prosper, let all Indians have at least basic needs. Let us build a society, which is egalitarian, where we allow people's skills to flow.