Saturday, December 08, 2007

Money matters matter

Strange are the ways of lucre, ain't it?
Today, this 8th day of December 2007, I predict that the Bombay Stock Exchange sensex will touch and surpass the 22000 mark in a matter of weeks. Sure, I won't put my money on it, but no analyst ever does. There are reasons behind my prediction, and I wouldn't have made the same a mere two days ago.
For the first time in six months, the once hot and lately pitifully out-of-favor IT stocks are generating buying interest. Market players and fund managers are making muted noises about them being the value buys of the season. It's now only a matter of time before fresh money enters the bourses to fill that value gap. And then it can only go up since power, infrastructure , retail, construction, metals and banking are so strong already.
Wait a minute, why am I writing this? I am no analyst. Nobody gives a hoot for my predictions. So it isn't about prophecy. This post is about the abundant entertainment I had reading and watching the prophets over the years. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against their breed. (Though I might, because I once nearly lost my inheritance listening to them. I was naive and innocent then and Ketan Parikh was milking everybody dry, for those who remember.) Nah, they're good fellas, all. Nice and well scrubbed MBA and CA types.Good show, Gul Tekchandani, Bharat Shah, Rajat Bose and people. I have forgiven you all since 1999.

Like I said, you can't really fault them analysts and experts. They are programmed, by training
, to bullshit us. Envy them I do, however. They seem to take a holiday everytime the stock market notches back 5%. At least you don't get their usual soundbytes in those times.And they seem to be always high on opium. Sorry OPM. Other People's Money. They tell you stories, they sell you stories. The India story, the growth story, the turnaround story, the re-rating story.They work,and you PLAY. The value play, the momentum play, the speculative play. In their enchanted world of jargons and high funda, you are soon inducted into beauties like "some volatility is expected" which translated to English, means you might bleed through your arse. "There is still some upside left" roughly means a few small investors will still be duped into this stock, and the absolute stunner : "market breadth has opened up and retail participation is better", which means it's time for operators to launch into a genocide.

But the elite among the elite, the absolute king of entertainment in this line of work is the creature named the chartist or the technical analyst. Basically he's the statistician of the pack.
He is the super-psychic who sees double shoulders, triple bottoms and twin peaks in a two-dimensional graph of movement of a stock. He is the one who will tell you this stock
has resistance at 232, 241, and 259 on the upside and support at 223, 211, and 199 on the downside. Among these supports and resistances some will be strong and some weak.
Then, on the same breath he will expound: once the stock closes above 235 it will try to breach 252, which is the three month moving average for the scrip. One should enter above valuations of 234 with an interim target of 247 and a mid-term target of 267 and a stop loss of 227. Note that he's covered all the bases. And moreover, you might wonder, as an ignorant person, what's wrong with buying the stock now at 226 since it looks so promising? Don't ever make that mistake, it is beyond your comprehension and therefore, suicidal to outpredict the king.
Lastly, from my humble experience of shedding blood in the bourses, and from a blog post I read sometime back, I will recollect this story. Hope you'll like it.

Once upon a time in a village a man appeared who announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for Rs. 10. The villagers seeing that there were many monkeys went out in the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at 10 and as supply started to diminish and villagers started to stop their effort he announced that now he would buy at 20 rupees.

This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms. The offer rate increased to 25 and the supply of monkeys became so that it was an effort to even see a monkey let alone catch it.

The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at 50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business his assistant would now buy on behalf of the man.

In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers, "Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at 35 and when the man comes back you can sell it to him
for 50."

The villagers queued up with all their saving to buy the monkeys.

Phir na woh aadmi mila na us ka assistant........... Sirf bandar hee bandar.....rah gaye..

1 comment:

Sud said...

Welcome to the world of mark to market!

If the villagers were anything like our friends who trade CDOs, they would mark the monkeys in their book at 35. Some would even claim that they traded bid side with the assistant and that the market really was 35 @ 50, making the real price 42.50.

Others yet, would claim that the monkeys were actually level 3 assets and going by the spread they traded over the donkeys, they should be marked at 60 these days!