Recurring Deposits


wealthymatters.comA Recurring Deposit(RD) is a type of term deposit account opened by a person/persons with a bank or a post office wherein the investor or investors deposit a fixed amount of money every month for a fixed tenure . This scheme is meant for investors who want to deposit a fixed amount every month, in order to get a lump sum at the end of the tenure. The interest on RDs normally offered by banks is one percent below Fixed  Deposit(FD) rates compounded quarterly.Often there is nothing extra by way of  interest offered for senior citizens.Otherwise the rules for operating a RD account are the same as that for a FD account.The PO offers a fixed 7.5% interest compounded quarterly for a 5 year term.

RDs are great for people to develop the savings habit.It is especially useful to teach kids to save especially the Post Office Recurring Deposit (PORD) which has a minimum deposit of 10 rupees per month.Often banks package RDs as schemes to become or to make your child a lakhpati,millionaire etc or as schemes to build the down-payment on a house or vehicle.  Read more of this post

The Perfect Business


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The best and easiest way to make money either as a businessperson or an investor is to get hold of an as near to perfect business as possible.The best businesses have the following features:

  1. High profitability. If the business provides customers a product or service they need or want very much, and only this business can provide it, and there are few substitutes available then this firm can charge a premium price far above the costs it incurs.
  2. High returns on capital. A business with high margins ceases to be very attractive if it is very capital intensive and requires massive amounts of capital to launch and/or remain in business. The greatest businesses require little or no money to start, can grow without major additions of capital, and do not require much maintenance cap ex.
  3. An enormous moat. To ensure high margins and return on capital  in the future it’s critical for a business to have major competitive advantages that are unlikely to dissipate over time. The key here is lack of change .Rapid change as in the hi- tech sector,benefits consumers but is very bad for investors. To quote Warren Buffett, “We see change as the enemy of investments… so we look for absence of change. We don’t like to lose money. Capitalism is pretty brutal. We look for mundane products that everyone needs…. I guarantee that CokeWrigley’s , and Gillette will dominate. The Internet won’t change what brands people like.”
  4. Profitable reinvestment opportunities.  The greatest businesses can reinvest their robust free cash flows back into the business at equally high rates of return on capital. Consider this: Warren Buffett has often lamented the fact that See’s Candies has never been able to expand much beyond its historical West Coast markets. It’s a fabulous company and was one of his best acquisitions ever, but the inability to reinvest its free cash flows back into growing its operations makes it an inferior business to, say, Wrigley, which has been able to grow globally over the years. Read more of this post

Psychology of Wealth


wealthymatters.comThe question why some people accumulate substantial wealth and others struggle so much in this field has attracted the attention of  quite a few psychologists.There have been many studies to correlate various personality traits and behaviour patterns, cognitive patterns , self motivation habits, moods and emotional behaviours and social behaviours with the wealth a person accumulates.

The results of these studies have been used to construct the various quizzes here http://www.marketpsych.com/personality_test.php .They are free and a pretty good way to get to know both one’s strengths and weaknesses as an entrepreneur , investor and/or speculator.

Taking these tests is a great way to get to know the strengths we can play to and the weaknesses to guard against.The results sheets also have many good psychological  tips to work around our individual weaknesses.

The Difference Between Stock Market Investors and Speculators


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The following is an excerpt from Seth Klarman’s ‘Margin of Safety.’I got around to reading this book based on the recommendations of one of the readers of this blog.Thank you Andy!I think the following is a nice way of making a distinction between stock market investment and speculation.BTW the book is pretty nice and I will blog more about it as and when I come across more interesting stuff.

 

 

 

To investors stocks represent fractional ownership of underlying businesses and bonds are loans to those businesses.Investors make buy and sell decisions on the basis of the current prices of securities compared with the perceived values of those securities. They transact when they think they know something that others don’t know, don’t care about, or prefer to ignore. They buy securities that appear to offer attractive return for the risk incurred and sell when the return no longer justifies the risk.Investors believe that over the long run security prices tend to reflect fundamental developments involving the underlying businesses. Investors in a stock thus expect to profit in at least one of three possible ways: from free cash flow generated by the underlying business, which eventually will be reflected in a higher share price or distributed as dividends; from an increase in the multiple that investors are willing to pay for the underlying business as reflected in a higher share price; or by a narrowing of the gap between share price and underlying business value.Speculators, by contrast, buy and sell securities based on whether they believe those securities will next rise or fall inprice. Their judgment regarding future price movements is based, not on fundamentals, but on a prediction of the behavior of others. They regard securities as pieces of paper to be swapped back and forth and are generally ignorant of or indifferentto investment fundamentals. They buy securities because they “act” well and sell when they don’t. Indeed, even if it were certain that the world would end tomorrow, it is likely that some speculators would continue to trade securities based on what they thought the market would do today.Speculators are obsessed with predicting-guessing-the direction of stock prices. Every morning on cable television,every afternoon on the stock market report, every weekend in Barron’s,every week in dozens of market newsletters, andwhenever businesspeople get together, there is rampant conjecture on where the market is heading. Many speculators attempt to predict the market direction by using technical analysis-past stock price fluctuations-as a guide. Technical analysis is based on the presumption that past share price meanderings,rather than underlying business value, hold the key to future stock prices. In reality, no one knows what the market will do;trying to predict it is a waste of time, and investing based upon that prediction is a speculative undertaking.

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