Thursday, August 22, 2013

Over-Rated Success

I have recently started investing (my time) in value investing. The journey so-far has been amazing, not because i am going to make tons of money but being acquainted to some of the greatest minds and amazing knowledge one gets acquainted with.

This post is about one of the key lessons in value investing "Importance of avoiding failures". As i believe this learning has far reaching applications beyond investing.

Most of us believe it is success which is important and is the only path to change one's destiny. I believe that it is more critical to avoid failure / making mistakes to achieve your destiny. 

The above quote says it all, know where are you going to make a mistake and avoid it. Such a simple thought but amazingly effective.

One of the key things my firm's Partner advised me during a personal interaction after my promotion was avoid making failure.

How should one use this in investing, it is not always important to emphasize on "return on capital" more critical is return of capital. Make sure your capital/principal is secure only then one should look at returns. 
If this simple rule is clear one will avoid investing in enticing real estate deals, dubious financing schemes which promise phenomenal returns in short period. 

In life know what irritates/dangerous for you and try avoiding it. If peak traffic irritates you trying starting a bit early, if you are used to a sedentary lifestyle try getting out (to be frank i need to start doing this myself). If i look back at my life only thing i have been consistently doing to not achieving success but avoided failures. May be i played it safe but i am happy with my present state.

A little digress from the topic: [There is an interesting mental model called "contrasting affect" or boiling frog affect. If changes are minimal across time then your mind will not be able to detect it and will get adjusted to the change without a revolt. A frog if put into a boiling water will jump right out of it, but if it is put in a water at room temperature and if the water is heated gradually with very minimal increase frog never notices the gradual change leading to its death in the boiling water.
I will try to use this to get up early and start exercising let's see how this works. The target is to get up early by 10 minutes for first week and then by 20 minutes for next week and so on. Will keep you updated if this works, hopefully it should work.]

I will end this post with this : When someone interviewed Michelangelo on how did he make such a beautiful creation "David". He replied " I simply removed what is not david". It is not always the right way to strive for success it is extremely important to avoid mistakes.

P:S : I will try to keep up to my earlier promise of regular updates. 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Chasing through Changi

I was off to Indonesia for work.
It was interesting work and clients were happy with our work.

Anyways that is not the point of discussions for the post. It is about an interesting incident that happened at Changi airport.
8:05 pm : I had a flight back to Hyderabad from Singapore which got delayed to 9:05.
8:20 pm: I was at business lounge (yes!! i had business class booking) and was reading Stieg Larsson's book "The girl with the golden tattoo" (Awesome book) and completely lost track of time and realized I had a flight to catch.
I started walking towards my departure gate.
8:30 pm: Half way to the departure gate, there was a feeling as if i forgot something. I checked through my bag (This stupid dell bag, can hold nothing in it and makes my shoulder sore due to side on design) and realized i forgot my camera. Then i started literally running through the airport almost crashing onto a trolley and reached the lounge.
8:40 pm: Thankfully they had my camera, which they gave back to me after inquiring about the model. As i was packing it back into my bag i had a shock! i could not find my passport. I went back to the lost and found section they almost gave me a glance as if i was a kid who keeps loosing his pencils.
8:45 pm: I was rushing all through the lounge to all the places i have been to check if i have left my passport. But i could not find my passport anywhere. Then i almost thought i had to spend a night at the airport.
Then i explored my options, without passport they might even deport me in Singapore for lack of passport and also i will have to go through the trouble to get the renewed passport.
I wanted to give it one last try, to check my trail from the departure gate to the lounge.
8:55 pm: I was again running across also checking if i have dropped my passport anywhere. I was certain that if there was any one who saw me running twice could feel that i am either a mad guy or a con who is escaping the police. And to my surprise i found my passport on the chair where i checked my bag. I thanked my fortunes for my luck.

9:10 pm: I am in my seat panting but made it. I realised that i need to exercise to improve my stamina.

P:S : I have decided to post something on a regular basis, but might not be a full post but with few lines on what i think is important. Inspired from sumanth.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Charge from the Deccans

It started with a simple step of winning the initial two matches. It was considered to be a blip or a fluke. Team's captain was content saying that they did better than the previous performance.

Fans like me were happy with the performance and were hoping that there was something big in store.

Then for the unimaginative we won, can you believe it we won shattering the hopes of delhiites and many other such cities. Not even Nostradamus would have predicted this. Best part was every department did well, expect few drop chances. More importantly bowling was a revelation, with only 4 full time bowlers we did a commendable job. The quality can be assessed by the fact that we won despite keeping Vas on bench for most part of the tournament. I think it’s a complete team effort which made this happen.

Though repeating myself, key aspect of this win, it did not happen because of one individual or because of one brilliant performance. Some of the key moments were Ohja’s bowling against Mumbai (This guy is going to spearhead the spin department for India in future), Rohit sharma’s all-round performance (earth shattering knocks against Punjab and Rajasthan, hattrick figures), Christ like innings by Gilchrist against Delhi, consistent performance by Symonds, economical bowling by R.P  and many more.

I don’t remember experiencing such drastic change in fortunes of any team/individual in any form of sports. Kudos to the team it brings hope to one and all that they can succeed despite their failure. 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Madness for Fitness

Recently i have been observing that my conversations either end or start with discussions about a healthy life style, maintaining a good physique. I am not sure if i am following the general trend or 
this is something inherent.
Its all load shedding around (cant take 'work' out of my mind), everyone wants to bring down weight and become fit, may be that has influenced to think about it. Unfortunately my interactions have been restricted to my colleagues. During these interactions we end up talking about reducing weight building muscles. I never ever in my life counted the calories before or after the meal, but now i am being careful. May be its just temporary, but i started jogging and exercising daily. I don't see slightest of difference in my appearance but certainly it feels good. I hope i can sustain this in future. 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gulal - Add color to life

Indian political system, has been considered the reason for india continuing to be a developing country.
This movie provides some insights into the reasons for such a state. Very few educated join politics and those who join politics are guys worse than the uneducated.
Apart from the message, every actor in the movie just lived the character, none of them acted they were living the characters. I would like to believe its the director who bought this remarkable work out of the actors. I strongly feel that movies are getting bolder and practical by the day.
Who would expect movies to freely show abuses, infidelity. Music is another aspect of this movie which is remarkable change from the rest of the movies. Though there are shades of communist idealogies in most of the songs, they are quite refreshing from the existing lot. 
Do watch it to feel the magic, its different in every aspect. 

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Randomness has no logic

It has been long that i updated my blog. So some random thoughts to fill space.
Lately i have been reading "Foundation" by Issac Asimov. I can rave about the book for days, we will reserve this for some other day.

One clear strategy used by foundation to keep its hegemony over other kingdoms is to help them in developing atomic power and make them completely dependent on foundation for daily survival.

If you try to find analogy with the present logic that World bank, ADB functions you feel skeptical. For the unaware junta, these funding agencies help economies to develop regulations, promote private participation, set up regulators through their funds. So the CPI guys have some element of truth in their blabber about world bank funding.
Though the logic is very trivial and lacks enough analysis, i have my reservations about the motives of world bank funding.

I have started reading about the book "the great crash" on 1929 great depression, which tries to bring into perspective the events that lead to the crisis. One major factor was unabated speculation in the stock market, real estate and other trading arenas. I havent completed the book, but i could see that the present events treading the same path with the latest being $50 bn fraud by Nasdaq official.

Lets close the randomness with a joke i saw in the latest episode of "oye its friday". Abdominal guard in cricket was invented in 1874, where as helmet was invented in 1974, women say men took 100 years to understand the most import part of their body.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Trip to the Valley

Once in a while my company comes up with surprises and shocks. This time it was surprise a pleasant one to cherish. We had an offsite meet for all the employees of my SBU at "Aamby Valley" -- the same place where the indian team members of 2003 finals were gifted houses.

The same was planned some 2 months ago, leading to an excitement till the day i saw the agenda of the program. It could not stop cursing myself to believe something exhilarating can be expected from our guys. But the 4 day meet was amazing to say the least.

It was place to cool off, vent our common frustrations about work and all other such stuff. It was nice catching up with friends from other offices, making new acquaintances (its tough to make friends in 4 days).

Few things that i can recall right away was the 2 dj nights, the partying was amazing, It was a long time that i got a chance to shake a leg, which i love doing. some of the side effects of not having a girl friend is no entry into dance venues ;(.

some adventure activities were also part of the package, rafting (its ok i can call it rafting) was great fun which tested our inhibitions. Water has always been a scary place for me, may be i should do something about it, learn swimming may be.

I will share an interesting incident which happened during this trip. I met a girl couple of times before we met during the buffet lunch organized. i cant even call her an acquaintance because i dont know her name as well. I was at the dessert section trying to serve myself some rasmalai, the dish was almost empty but i managed to get a small piece of it, this girl was beside me during this. She makes a statement saying that she could not get any rasmalai, me trying to be a bond said that i managed to get something referring to the piece on my plate. The next thing she did was she bought the plate close to my plate and peacefully transferred the piece into her plate, despite me trying to oppose this. I was shocked for a minute as to how can someone be so desperate. Or is this natural and i am being over reactive.

All in all a nice trip i would say. Every year i manage to take off for a week n visit some interesting locations in India, this time we were planning pucket kind of place but unable to get consensus on timings, lets see if i can manage some foreign travel (at least to Kathmandu ;)).