Saturday, June 10, 2006

Sensex: Does it reflect anything?

Probably the one thing thats got every one curious in 2005. The word NFO or "Mutual Fund" may be something to which most of have subscribed to....

Since May 11 a new routine, reassuring friends and relatives about the markets and that their money is safe. The phone turns into an alert like the bell in the stock market, a sound which now is a sign of much more I would lose, begining of the carnage and relief @ 3 pm that the carnage has ended.

In all this carnage, porfolios being shaved, NAV's eroded one thing that emerged and was long overdue was the INEVITABLE CORRECTION. And honestly thing that the best thing that could have happened to the markets. Yes!!!!!!!!! its is best thing. Reason
1. The obvious valuation gap.
2. Unwinding of over leveraged postions.
3. The most imptr. , the fact that the Market has presented its full face and what it can offer.

Ever since the sensex which is nothing but a 30 stock index of the best and large cos in India(maybe a moot point), has got the retail investor to consider a shift to equities. Equities/Capital markets have got a face lift and their perception among amny has changed. People are ready to part with their savings and actually consider shares or Equities as an investment which years back would have been veiwed as nothing but an alternate avenue for people who gamble with their savings in stocks that are manipulated by a bunch greedy brokers residing at dalal street.

For a period between which the markets rallied from 6000 to 8000 and then back to 7500 retail investors(RI) have passive and engrosed in thoughts whether the market was a good place to invest also whether it was the right level to enter. And when 10,000 wasnt expensive there was a rush of investors some o my knowledge who even broke thjeir FD's to invest when ? not in an expensive market but when it peaked for the first time. Investors then took assurance of the markets when it then rallied to 12,000 when stocks like HLL were quoting @ 40 p/e!!!!!!!!!... The biggest stamp of assurance came from the Reliance Equity fund and collected a record rs 5700 cr. And then the Tsunami, similar in nature to the havoc it played, A word never heard before and never seen and everyone's caught off guard.. And all this led to the most unwarrented aspect about investing and I repeat investing (not trading)..

Coming back to my earlier point about why this is the best thing, Cause the retail investor is now convinced about the disclaimer which follows each MF ad. In this bloodbath there wasnt any scam, no Ketan,no Harshad or UBS. Just a playout of our markets being integrated globally and unwinding of positions which is part of every market.

Maybe Investors would now look at this as check whether they had invested cause they watched the sensex or whether the India Story was something they wanted to invest in. If it were the India story then its pretty clear that an Index @ 9000 levels and worst @ 12000 levels. No doubt the India stor is intact but expectations out equities need now be more on valuations rather than prices being misguided cause of liquidity be it domestically or the FII's.

Somehow Sensex like the Dow suffers from legacy. Reflective to many as a sign of the Indian Economy and every rise as a stamp of faith in the concept that health of the economy is reflected in a mere 30 stock index.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Celebrity Activism: Legitimate Cause or Convenient Mumblings

Should Celebrities endorse social causes? In the light of Amir Khan opining on the Narmada issue, another question or issue that has been brought to the forefront is the right of celebrities to align themselves with social causes.

Should Celebrity activisim be seen as a flash in the pan or as an instrument to move towards something more concrete in light of the larger social cause that they stand for. Is it a reflection of Social conscious or gaining a piece of media attn.

Celebrities endorsing causes that they wish to be identified with or conrtibute to, enjoy attention of the people . Breaking through the clutter celebrities exploit attention and bring issues and facts in normal discourse and in to the public domain. Issues which we conveniently forget. Celebrities enjoy attention. Period. Their voice reaches larger section, unfortunately more than those who have been championing respective causes for years. Theses issues have been brought to the forefront in the sense of the average person questioning whether enough is being done instead of being conveniently forgotten and kept in the backburner.

But given the priveldges that a celebrity enjoys one would expect his/her conduct to be responsible and consistent. Consistency would extend to not only their views but supporting the causes over a period of time ensuring that they are a part of public discourse by leveraging their status in society.

Critics often question the intent or the motive behind a stance, whether it is the media glare through which they wish to benefit from or whether the credibility of the person is appropriate towards the cause. Effectiveness of a endorsement towards a cause can be gauged only with time.

However the one criticism that is Valid is that when celebrities support causes the larger motive of bringing facts or sending across a message meant to invoke a response, is lost with a subtle view that the celebrity is a "good guy" and in this appreciation of the intentions of the celebrity that larger picture or motive of invoking response is lost. At times conversations about the issue surround the credibility of a certain activist or celeb being a part of the cause rather than being about the cause itself.

Questions celebs about why similar causes are not being supported and why hasnt their support extended elsewhere in a ludicrous as in s self-centered society having issues being raised and constantly being monitored is worth its dose!!!

The Last Day at ABN-AMRO

Its been a good one year at ABN-AMRO. A memorable stint, not in terms of the vast knowledge or managerial experience I gained but it being my first proper Job. Call center was just another excuse to earn a quick buck. But ABN-AMRO has and will be special for various reasons.

Made close friends and hopefully that will last forvever. Apna yaar DD(Daxesh Dasani), apna item boy ---Suryakant Shah a.k.a. Surya, Vishal D'Costa----- Marketing Manager's Dream, Customer's Nightmare!!!!. Costa could sell anything, Ice in the Glaciers to Heaters in the Summer, Sea water to the thirsty to whatever your imagination permits.......

Daxesh Dasani aka DD the stud whose curls women die for, apna yaar guy who takes life as it comes and knows how to enjoy every moment of it. Jalsa as he says!!!! Rock on Dude!

Sudha Laksmi Suryanarayan aka Sudhlaks, a person who epitomises Sincerity, hard work, Discipline, passion commitment and Honesty @ work like no other. Life or the corporate world may have not been very kind to her but like she says gotta be patient with what you pick up in life and believe in the values you stood for. Hats off to you!!!!!

Eldon Vaz- The lord of Excel and man did he excel at it. Nishith Bhatt my TL, who got the shock of his like with a series of resignation letters that he received from his team and also gave us one when he gave his own. Miss his Accent(nothing personal) the Cash letter prounouced as Gay-sh-letter and Check as 6 in hindi Chey-K.

Miss the fact the work was peaceful, noy many to create problems and no pressure enjoyed working and miss working with them but yes do not miss work, do not wanna hit any other case (Kay-se) and report another time.

Call it a day, hang up my boots and embark on a journey together with 1.5 Lakh people. Yes the Baap of Entrance Exams CAT........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and hopefully will make it this time into the big league of B-schools..........................!!!!!!!!!