Day 11 – More on Stocks – Part 2- #IndiaFightsCorona #Lockdown21

Marketing Business Corporate Start-up Facebook Cover

Disclaimer: The views here are PURELY personal. But, they do have some weight because I have completed all the required studies certifications to become a SEBI registered Investment Advisor. Unfortunately, I could not get one required NoC. I still don’t have it. So SEBI has put my application on hold for 7 months. However, I still continue to study stock markets with the same rigor. Please read it but make sure you do understand the logic behind my interests in these stocks. Besides, if you make a decision for your investment based on this input, you still are ON YOUR OWN. In case you lose money, you can curse me but that you may do anyway to many other people anyway. So if I am added to the list, no sweat on that 🙂

If you wish to read part 1 of this blog series, then please go to this link. (Remember, disclaimer remains the same irrespective of the sequence of your reading the blog).

The current state of mid-caps and small-caps is extremely precarious.

See the chart for NIFTY MID 100 index below:

NIFTY MID 100

And chart for the NIFTY SMALLCAP  100 Index below:

NIFTY SMALL 100

Quite natural that such a beating opens a large opportunity for value picking. Remember that mid and small caps are more exposed to risks. So volume traded becomes a big consideration point in their selection.

Below are my mid-cap thoughts. Note that these are not recommendations of any kind but are ‘thoughts’.

  1. IRCTC – There is hardly anyone in the country who is not familiar with their website.
    • Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation is the primary and the only provider of following services to the Indian Railways –
      • Primary web portal for e-Ticketing for all of India Railways
      • Holiday planning
      • Station catering services etc
    • In Oct 2019, the IPO was awarded at Rs. 340/- per share.
    • Current price is Rs. 1002/-
    • Peak price before the meltdown was Rs. 2000/-. So market is ready to accept this valuation for the stock.
    • The train and so the reservation services are adversely affected due to the lock down. And the rail traffic will not be same for at least 3 more months. Given that the stock will be range bound for some time.
    • However, as it has a brute majority in the ticketing space, it should achieve its glory of March 2020 again.
    • In addition, with the emphasis on luxury segment by the Indian Railways, IRCTC would gain as the segment expands.
    • A great value play if you are patient enough.
  2. Finolex Cables – A market leader in wires and cables, Finolex has been in the wiring business for a very long time. The company had a rough 2018 due to the family feud between cousins over the ownership of business under the Finolex Industries umbrella. With that in the past, the company is doing the following –
    • It has forayed into the consumer electrical goods space with water heater, fans, switches, LED lighting etc.
    • A similar story was started by Havells few years ago giving multi-fold return
    • Given the current regime’s push on affordable housing and the long pending turn around in the real estate sector, the company is going to gain with expanded market for electrical goods and parts.
    • The consumer sentiment will take some time to pick up from here so one needs to be patient if they buy this thought.
  3. Federal Bank – A bank with a very old heritage, Federal Bank, has seen completely organic and conservative growth over the years. Here are some interesting things about this stock –
    • An extremely strong balance sheet with all the perimeters marked by RBI adhered to in the most convincing way.
    • One of the lowest NPA percentage in the banking industry. With anymore Yes Bank type episodes (RBL Bank and IndusInd Bank not hinting at you guys), Federal Bank is bound to gain for the consolidating market.
    • Current market sentiment puts it at a very interesting entry point.

AS promised, I did my bit of sharing my thoughts. Whether to align or not is your choice.

Dont forget the DISCLAIMER!

 

Day 10 – Interested in Stocks – Part 1- #IndiaFightsCorona #Lockdown21

Grayscale Architecture Twitter Post

Disclaimer: The views here are PURELY personal. But, they do have some weight because I have completed all the required studies certifications to become a SEBI registered Investment Advisor. Unfortunately, I could not get one required NoC. I still don’t have it. So SEBI has put my application on hold for 7 months. However, I still continue to study stock markets with the same rigor. Please read it but make sure you do understand the logic behind my interests in these stocks. Besides, if you make a decision for your investment based on this input, you still are ON YOUR OWN. In case you lose money, you can curse me but that you may do anyway to many other people anyway. So if I am added to the list, no sweat on that 🙂

The last few sessions, well plenty now, have seen a significant selloff in the stock markets. By any analysis, we are in very very bearish territory.

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Image credit: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4233929-stock-exchange-bear-market-relief-rally

While the downturn was long coming, multiple factors led to this meltdown.

  • Started with China COVID-19 crisis
  • Got compounded by the withdrawal of Russia from OPEC to compete with the US in the open oil market
  • Reached its zenith with the recent global COVID-19 outbreak.

Conventional wisdom says that such events are very good opportunities for value picking, of course with the disclaimers in italics above. Remember no one is forcing you to enter the stock market or invest your hard-earned money into something that requires some specialized skills and also is sensitive to multiple external factors as well. Many times, value investing requires a lot of patience and ‘SPINE’ to weather any future storms like this one.

If you are still interested, please read on.

Large Caps Thoughts

  1. Reliance Industries – At current levels, Reliance industries is trading at lower than its true valuation even after paring the debt factors. The group has multiple businesses with the primary focus on –
    • Oil exploration and refining – The company has monopolized the sector with only some PSUs and few smaller private players competing in this space. There is some concern about the heavy dependency on the revenue from this business for the group. However, in the last few years, the company entered into multiple other businesses at scale to expand its revenue streams.
    • Telecom – With Jio, the company has emerged as a clear disruptor in the space. With the adjusted gross revenue verdict and implementation, the Indian telecom sector may become a duopoly with Jio being one of them. Clearly, great value play. When combined with the other digital infra and services areas that the company has entered, this is a great value creator for the group.
    • Retail – With Trends, Reliance Industries is the only serious omnichannel player in the country. When combined with its Jio capabilities and reach, it is a top bet for the group. The COVID-19 situation crippled the gig economy completely. Reliance with its omnichannel strategy has beaten the odds out of even Flipkart and Amazon India.
    • In many ways, the company has entered its golden decade, to quote the company’s Chairman. In the next 2-3 years, we should see value unlocking with the listing of Jio and Trends as separate stocks of the group.
    • For many and sound investors, this could be a retirement bet 🙂
  2. Bajaj Finance –  The share price of the primary retail lender for the short term, small packet loans in India is at a very interesting price point. From the current price level, there still some pain left in the stock. But following are few things to know about the stock –
    • The RBI issued moratorium offer has put some pressure on its cash flow. The collection is adversely affected due to this
    • The lending cycle has completely stopped due to a dip in the consumption cycle
    • Interest rates will need to be readjusted to attract the customer back.
    • The primary thing in favor is the fact that the moratorium still accrues the interest. So the backend gains once the economic cycle moves again will offset the temporary setback in collections.
    • The long term consumption trajectory for India remains intact
    • With current governments’ aspiration to become a USD 5 Trillion economy, consumption and so consumption enabling loans will become an important element in the overall cycle.
    • There is a rebound for sure in the stock that should happen provided you have the spine to stay invested.
  3. Titan Industries – The one thing that is timeless in civilizations like India is the love for gold jewelry. Every year millions of families crowd the showrooms of the flagship brand Tanishq, all over the country at Gudi Padwa, Akshay Trithiya, Dhan Teras, Diwali, marriages, etc. The company has launched multiple brands like Mia and Aveer. In addition, frequently it collaborates with Bollywood to build a custom jewelry line for movies with an appeal. Here are a few additional things about the brand –
    • Titan also has very strong presence and brand recall in watches and clocks with brands like Titan, fastrack, and Sonata. It leads the market share with these three brands combined by double percentages over the nearest next competitor.
    • To secure the brand of Titan watches, the company is continuously refreshing its product mix to include wearables.
    • It has also ventured into eyeglasses space with Titan EyePlus+. Given the kind of growth other brands like Lenskart.com etc have witnessed, there is sufficient headroom for the brand to capture the market and come to lead position here.
    • It has a perfume brand also known as Skinn.
    • The cash cow stays Tanishq for the company.
    • With COVID-19, there will be secondary and tertiary impacts on consumption pattern changes. The first preference like to be is essentials, then durables, consumables, etc and last would be luxury items.
    • This means that the jewelry segment may see more pressure in the coming days. This, in turn, would impact its smaller competitors more.
    • Compounded with the raw material cost in gold escalating, many small players and mid-level competitors may face significant headwinds as compared to Tanishq.
    • The brand should be able to prevail over them. So this is the reason for it being my recommendation.

I shall list 3 mid or small-cap stock in the coming days, most likely tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Don’t forget to read the DISCLAIMER above before following this thought!

Part 2 of this is here

Day 9 – The PYTHON Debate – #IndiaFightsCorona #Lockdown21

Green and Black Snake Edgy Monochrome Halloween Grownup Party Invitation

One of the key programming skills that are required for all AI/ML and Data Science enthusiasts is Python. While in general, its the full-stack combination of statistical skills, data ‘cleaning’ skills, and then python programming. However, for many of the youngsters and experienced alike whom I come across, AI/ML in Python.

These are some of the things that I hear –

  1. Python is the game-changer for AI/ML. I always thought its a high availability of data after years of digitization (as a result of massive computerization courtesy Microsoft and likes) and a tremendous reduction in computational costs given the advent of cloud computing etc.
  2. Python is being learned by bankers too. Its a must to thrive in banking.
  3. Python will replace all MS excel kind of tools as there is no better tool than Python for data analysis and visualization.
  4. All enterprise applications would move to Python as it is more robust than other languages.
  5. Myths like ‘You can learn Python in 24 hrs, it’s so easy.’ Even a 5 year old can learn it.
  6. Java, C, C++ are legacy and Python is future etc…
  7. You will be out of job in 5 years if you dont know Python and AI/ML.
  8. Python is most searched programming language skill by recruiters in job sites.
  9. Python jobs are highest paying jobs in Tech.
  10. Some have gone to the extent that in some parts of the world, arranged marriages will have proficiency requirement in Python.

Some of these claims are invalid but a recent study by Stackoverflow.com found that Python has pipped Java in overall ranking of most commonly used programming language based on their methodology. This is what they say –

“For the seventh year in a row, JavaScript is the most commonly used programming language, but Python has risen in the ranks again. This year, Python just edged out Java in overall ranking, much like it surpassed C# last year and PHP the year before. Python is the fastest-growing major programming language today.”

Diagram of popularity of Python, C#, C++, Java, JavaScript, and R, from 2009 to 2020. Python is highest from 2018 onwards.

I came across an interesting post that countered this view that Python is the thing of the future with the title of the blog literally saying-

‘Why Python is not the programming language of the future?’

The author here in this blog speaks about slowness in python, white spaces, scope, mobile adaptability etc as key reasons why it is not a long lasting language. In the author’s opinion, languages like Rust, Go or Julia should replace Python.

Now this is a highly debatable subject as I see many of the young engineers latching on to Python as their preferred choice. This made me thinking about the following –

  • Whether Python is preferred language by many young engineers as it is easy to learn and use?
  • Is it because of the growing demand (and at times over the board marketing) of AI/ML and Data Science opportunities that Python is so popular?
  • Is Python capable of running enterprise scale solutions?
  • Most importantly, with the number of python training courses available and mad rush to become python coders, do we have enough problems in the world to solve with python?
  • In conjunction to above, are we heading towards a situation where we would have a glut of python coders in the world with fewer problems that Python can solve?

I reached out to some of my young colleagues who are still interning or are less than 3 years experienced but I do see them to have two things in common –

  1. Their resumes say that they are interested in AI/ML and Data Science and so Python.
  2. Irrespective of their project’s tech stack, they do have some basic Python skills.

The debate started slow but soon I realised that I may have knocked down a beehive. My contrarian view was pummeled, dismissed and completely badgered by my young colleagues. I did a give a good fight but towards the end reached a common ground that said… only time will tell.

But one thing became clear to me in this discussion that there is definitely abundance of passionate Python lovers in the world.

Who imagined that the word that represents one of the most feared and detested creature in the real world has so many admirers and followers in the virtual world, in form of a programming language?

What are your views?

 

Day 8 – Few Funny Numbers – #IndiaFightsCorona #Lockdown21

Porcupine Speech Bubble iPhone Layout

 

I have experimented a lot with this blog. That is when I am regular on it. However, I do love writing here and try to be regular… despite really long hiatus. I hope the momentum built this time stays, for a reasonable amount of time, if not forever.

One such experiment that I enjoyed a lot was playing with numbers to explore weird and at times ‘wicked’ correlations/factors of things and forces around us.

Below are a few of those experiments. I enjoy reading these even today 🙂

Sehwag's Century

  • In the same year 2017, HBR published a study that claimed that as per research by few highly accomplished research scholars, pollution has an adverse effect on the stock markets. Living in Delhi, easily the world’s most polluted, and a stock markets enthusiast (I am still very positive in my portfolio despite the market meltdown), I decided to run a study of my own. Here is the complete blog. Its a long read but a comprehensive one.

NOx vs Sensex

  • The year 2017 also saw the release of Bahubali 2, The magnum opus from the Indian movie industry for a long time. It made me wonder if the stock markets had any interest in such mega releases. My naivete had me probe whether such movies have any behavioral impact on the stock markets, essentially algorithmic trades designed by humans. This study was another interesting exercise but unfortunately, did not give any indication of human desire for entertainment and the greed to earn more money. Here is the full study.

image(14)

No of fatalities and Mobile Phone

  • Lastly, a very obtuse but interesting study to see if there is any correlation between the age of Miss India and the number of people killed in road accidents in Meghalaya. The correlation came a whopping 82%.

chart(1)

Bye for now… Enjoy reading!

Day 7 – The Week Long Learning – #IndiaFightsCorona #Lockdown21

Home Learning Tips for Students Instagram Carousel

 

Today, here in India, we completed one full week of lockdown as enforced by the Government of India. This is in response to COVID-19 pandemic that has led to widespread infection and in some cases fatalities.

Here are a few thoughts:

  • Not need, not desire and certainly no intention, a virus was needed to put a pause to the ‘buzz’ in the world.
  • We still can do most of the household work. Its an outsourced practice that can be easily in-sourced.
  • The effect of climate change is clear, visible and dangerously closer than we think it is. In my hometown Delhi –
    • I can see a clear blue sky every day
    • There is rain every alternate day
    • The air is fresher and does not lead to any breathing strain

AQI - 1

AQI - 2

AQI - 3

  • Nothing beats homemade food. Its the best source of energy, nutrition and most important together time for families
  • Fresh air does bear a lot of importance in our lives. Sitting in a confinement makes one feel dull. Some people are reporting that they are getting upset and behaving differently.
  • We are still digital slaves and need perhaps a global internet outage for a proper detox in our lives, from digital.
  • Whatsapp is source of a disproportionate amount of negative and fake news. Some filters are surely required on this medium.
  • Ramayana and Mahabharat are still national TV pullers. They were so in the 1980s and are still in 2020.
  • The gig economy is not prepared for a black swan event like this. My order for a baby diaper pack for scheduled for delivery on April 20, 2020, in Grofers. Amazon did it better with April 9, 2020 schedule but that also seems impossible.
  • People are more humane in quieter times than in their busy lives.
  • Indian businesses like microfinancing and NBFCs are far from digital culture and will take a long time to digitize.
  • Home fitness products like treadmills and ellipticals have a lot of potential markets available and should see an uptick in the world.
  • There are many poets, writers, artists, musicians, dancers and standup comedians in our close circles 😉

Another two weeks to go. Hope I can retain the momentum going.

Day 6 – Some Numbers & Facts – #IndiaFightsCorona #Lockdown21

Pink and Blue Nerdy Math Formula Birthday Card

 

Here are some interesting numbers:

COVID-19 capture

  • The current count of the COVID – 19 patients and victims are here – Worldometers.info
  • Another great visualization and chart are here. Google link.
  • The span and extent of this disease are so deadly that the country closing in on the number of cases to India is Iceland.

COVID Map

  • In the last 1 hours, I have received 330 (approx) messages on WhatsApp. Close to 300 of these messages are on COVID-19 and remaining are on politics over COVID-19 crisis management.
  • Countries that have escaped the virus so far.

COVID - Escaped

Day 5- The Storyteller – Part 2 – #IndiaFightsCorona #Lockdown21

Jungle River Trails Twitter Post

This is the concluding part of the story that sharted here…

The Storyteller Part 1

The captain announces that good news is that they will make a landing now as they see an open area to land. All three friends have a big smile on their faces.

But their happiness is short-lived as the captain also instantly announces that it’s going to be an emergency landing. And just as he says that the plane nosedives towards the open ground.

The captain invokes emergency measures and the parachutes attached to the airplane are engaged to give them some safe landing.

Once on the ground, all four realize that they are in the middle of an African jungle. The captain informs them that it would take them months to fix the plane again and fly again.

The captain engages a few locals to help him rebuild the plane. Since it is Africa, there are a lot of jungle safaris. The pilot and his crew start stealing parts for their airplane from the passing safari jeeps and other vehicles.

Meanwhile, the four friends walk down a long dusty road and reach a huge water body. There they realize that there are multiple tribes around the water body.

Mr. A tries to tell everyone there that they have come from the confinement and that they are just like them. He feels though that he is familiar with the place. Soon the head of the Tribe comes with his wife and asks him who they are.

Mr. A raises his hand and has a strange birthmark on his palm. This catches the attention of the wife of the Tribal Head. She tells her husband that Mr. A is none other but their lost son. Mr. A is stunned and so are the rest of his friends.

However, they are easily accepted now in the tribal society.

Mr. B finds new friends and is very playful with them. Miss D makes Mr. E her boyfriend while Mr. C thinks his life is not worthwhile without her. Mr. C almost commits suicide by offering himself for self-sacrifice. He is rescued by Miss. D who realizes that perhaps Mr. C is the right guy for him.

Due to an internal coup from the tribe, the tribal head loses his position to a trickster who traps Mr. A into an uneven contest to prove his worthiness. Mr. A decides to salvage the pride for his parents and his community.

Soon the water in the reserve starts to deplete. Mr. A and Mr. B quickly decide to go upstream to find out what’s happening. They find that the tourists from who’s vehicles the captain had stolen the parts have formed a dam on the river to serve their purposes.

The captain comes just in time to help Mr. A destroy the dam with the help of the plane and the water to the tribe is preserved.

This act of social bravery makes Mr. A as a hero. The tribe decides to make him the head but he shares it with his father as the co-head. The rest of his friends also settle down in the tribe with their respective groups.

All four friends seem to finally settle down in the new home they found, away from the confinement.

The plane takes off without them this time.


This is the jumbled story of Madagascar and Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa.

Mr. A is Alex or Alakay

Mr. B is Marty

Mr. C is Melman

Miss. D is Gloria

Thanks to my little one, I have watched this at least 15 times in the last 5 days of confinement… starting at a different point every time.

——————————————————————————————————————————————-

In addition, I received this wonderful forward on attitude today from a friend. Hope you enjoy it. I liked it a lot. Hope you enjoy it too.

It talks about the importance of attitude in life and takes the example of the Lion. With Lion’s example, the video demonstrates how attitude makes one better than the rest, no matter their size and their strength. Enjoy watching it.


 

Lastly,  our young one made a generous contribution to the #PMCares fund.

 

Have a great next week… More to come!

 

Day 4- The Storyteller – Part 1 – #IndiaFightsCorona #Lockdown21

The Wild

So here is a story today…

4 friends – Mr. A, Mr. B, Mr. C, and Miss. D – have been staying in a confinement for years. No one knows for how long. Mr. A is a musician and a dancer. Mr. B joins him sometimes with no specific skill of his own. Mr. C is a doctor and Miss. D is one of the prettiest girls in the town. Their daily routine is something like this.

  • They wake up in the morning
  • Have their meals
  • Then they go to sleep again.
  • In the evening they have some visitors, who entertain them sometimes and they entertain them more often.

This is the routine for them day after day, week after week and month after month.

Soon Mr. B’s birthday comes and he tells Mr. A that he wants to explore the world and go out. He is convinced that he does not belong there. Mr. A does not know any life outside so he tells Mr. B that this is their destiny and that they should be happy where they are. With a heavy heart, Mr. B cuts the cake and then becomes very sad. It goes into solitude and does not want to speak to anyone.

In the night everyone goes to sleep. However, Mr. C wakes in the middle of the night to respond to nature’s call. To his surprise, he does not find Mr. B in his room. So he immediately alerts the rest of the gang.

Very soon, they all start searching for him and they realize that Mr. B may have gone towards the harbor to explore another country.  Mr. A, Mr. C, and Miss D are able to catch hold of Mr. B while he is on his way to the harbor. They think they should not go back to the confinement. But soon the authorities come and take hold of them.

Soon they realize that they are onto a journey to a place unknown on a ship. There they are rescued by some of their own friends who pull them out of the ship. They start their return journey to the confinement, as they have nowhere else to go. Their friends arrange a chartered plane for them.

However, somewhere over Africa, their plan hits a snag. The aircraft starts to tailspin. Mr. A, Mr. B and Mr. C are very terrified. Will they survive or not. Miss D, on the other hand, is very relaxed is in a deep sleep with her eyes hidden behind an eyelid cover. She also doesnt seem to hear the noise.

Fearing what happens next, Mr. C confesses his love to Miss D. However, she is still not awake.

All three friends are now worried. Will they survive? They stare at the cockpit with the hope that the captain will announce something.

The captain lifts the in-flight communication phone with the speaker on. And he starts.

‘Dear Passengers, I have some good news. But I also have some bad news.’

All three friends are eagerly waiting for the next part of the captain’s announcement.

(To be continued…)