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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Nifty 10,000:From Here to Where and the China factor?

So the indexes have hit another new high.Since December 2016 its been one way traffic not just in India but globally too.With crude prices hovering at historic lows and the general situation appearing to be better the markets have not found any reason to go down.

Its funny how every time there is a new high the "experts" come out of the woodwork predicting all kinds of numbers in the next 5 years.Everytime.

Yet its been a slow journey to reach new peaks.From 5K in 2007 its taken a decade to double yet during the heady bull run of 2006-07 there was talk of nifty getting to 25000 by 2020.

That dream remains a dream.

I have a feeling that the Indo-China standoff,the Fed and regulatory action by the Indian government will become the reason for some profit taking in August - September 2017.

For long term investors that would be a chance to add some more quality businesses to their portfolio but i fear for those dealing in penny stocks that will once again leave them holding worthless stocks at improbable prices.

Pharma,infrastructure,some Banks,some NBFCs look like continuing the positive trend and the focus once again will shift to quality managements,moats,margins(3Ms).

A level of 9400 -9500 would be a comfortable entry point for those with a longer term view and the inability to not look at prices daily.

Employment generation has been poor,infrastructure development has been poor,the Cow was made the central issue by this government and it might become its achilles heel.

PM Modi is not the maverick everyone thought,he is a dyed in the wool bureacrat who despite his thumping majority believes in the traditional ways and means with policies that are more PR than reality.Disappointing.

Yet India and its economy will continue to grow and with slight management a growth rate of 7-8% should continue.

Xi Xinping the Chinese president is a throwback to medieval princes and I worry about a new belligerent China that has discarded its victim approach and appears set to be a bully in the mould of imperial Japan and Nazi Germany of yore.

"Made in India" has been a complete failure till date and unless the trade imbalance and the growing clout of Chinese companies in the domestic economy is taken care of we might lose the economic war with China before losing militarily,because surely this is war.

Other than Modi there are no leaders in India,only cattle.

Hence there is no plethora of ideas just the ONE way.Sad to say.

Yet the inherent energy of India and its people will prevail.A lot needs to be done and that is where opportunity lies.In building roads,ports,heavy industry and human values!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Tale of Two Brothers:Losing my Sandy

December 2015.It is a strange but common tale I am about to tell.

Three weeks ago my daughter brought home two stray pups from the road outside.Of a mother dog that survived and scavenged on the streets.We fed them and tucked them in our room at night.In two weeks they developed the curiousity to venture out on the streets.To try anything that looked new.

How important environment is I have learned at this age.They adapted to the TV in the room,the doormat and towels that provided warmth and slept in my daughter's arms.Ate out of a bowl.

In their naivete there was no difference between pampered pets and these survivors.

I have learnt a lesson in attachment.Soon we as a family were worried if they looked sick,if we did not see them for a few hours.Calling up from office to ask after their welfare.

I have learnt a lesson that intelligence and talent is everywhere,even in those whom we disparage.In the curiosity of these two fluffy brothers one a little plump the other a runt we found two lovable rogues with their individual personalities.

There is no cast,no creed,no religion.Just the necessity to survive Life.They have given us such a time,chewing sandals as their teeth developed.Running at each other,mock fighting to develop the skills they would need to live.

And I have learnt the hard lesson that Life is unpredictable.One of the brothers sickened yesterday,did not see him for the night and today my daughter came home crying that our 'chottu'was dead.

This while we were busy as its brother was already sick and we were feeding it with specially bought chicken(my wife is a vegetarian).Sacrifice.

In one day our routine was devasted.How one can love and lose and feel an abyss.All in four weeks.Just shows its not the quantity but the quality of the relations in our life that matter!!

As I write the surviving little pup has eaten a little and drunk some water.It seems a small victory.

Today I know why I have always supported all the 'underdogs' of the world.

Why I have never cared about the rich - poor,insider or outsider.People talk of building legacies and long term views but who knows what tomorrow will bring.

I can but try to understand a microcosmic bit of what Buddha or the other Indian sages have tried to say.Its not difficult to hold on.

Its most difficult to let go.

17th July 2017.The surviving little pup now one year and nine months old just died from jaundice.By the time we realised he had sickened and his usual naughtiness was missing it was too late.

12 days of IV and a host of antibiotics and a tale of doctor negligence latter my Sandy is gone.Gone the verve with which he welcomed us back home from work.Gone the morning biscuits,gone the running like a greyhound from one side of the house to another.
Gone the standing on table and nibble the ear.Gone standing on two paws on the balcony  to see us of to office.

He came into our life as a storm and left as a tempest,coming to us sick and weak and dying of a heart attack quietly on the bed surrounded by his foster family - us.What moments of affection of sheer joy of(especially)for me coming to know through him so many purely humanistic traits - a love of bengali sweets,a love of mutton.

The sense of loss is beyond belief.The house seems empty and I keep expecting him to pop up out of the other routine.Not having to get up on time to cook chicken or fish or mutton for him,his empty food bowl and water container stares at me accusingly.Too young,too full of life to go so suddenly leaving behind the memories of his shadows.

Somewhere up there he waits to be reunited......