Saturday, December 14, 2013

Selling in market high ?

Many friends called me to find out if I am selling as the market hit historic highs. The answer to this is blindingly obvious to me and to most people who have understood our philosophy, You don't make 55% (since Jan 2012) for nothing, recall my blog in Jan 2012  Cash for Clunkers.
Our decision to sell is not based on stock prices but instead on the growth prospects and other fundamental filters. The case in point is when we sold titan stocks recently because the whole business model went awry as the rbi regulated gold imports and titan lost the great advantage it had through leverage. On the other had if we had sold out Cera , again a stock we recommended to buy at 2 high levels, we would have lost out on its continual growth prospects.
I recently met up with an investor with whom I resonate in investing philosophy. He always looks at making 5 times the money in as many years. But now the most key information, he has not made a single investment in the last 2 years. He passes an opportunity unless it is very obvious, with sufficient margin of safety.

In our philosophy too, we believe once invested, money is made by waiting for the business to grow. The investor I met believed money is made when investments are done in distressed situation that offer sufficient margin of safety and the great companies are available at juicy valuations. In out constant research to identify such business gems, we found this company that was silently making a kill in its business with its product used by all and found everywhere around. Its Killer balance sheet, with no net debt, pre tax return of 65% on operating assets, continually paid dividends form operating cash flow, demonstrated continuous eps growth. And to our surprise, it offered margin of safety, something which has become difficult to find these days.
Many of my family members had disapproved of my decision to invest in stocks as they felt it was risky. Sure enough, an investor takes risk, but only when the odds are in his favour.  You need huge patience and hence you can’t have this as a primary job, as a job is an activity and you can’t have an activity of waiting. I therefore believe, investing is not supposed to be an active profession; it can be developed as a hobby that yields income. And one piece of advice, if you want to get rich in stocks, save at least 20% of your earning and invest regularly.
 When the next crisis appears in the horizon, may be in the form of a fed rollback or bad election results, most investors will rush to the exit gate. Do have cash ready to go all in, preserve your buying power till then. But for those who have bought those gems, keep holding and enjoy the roller-coaster ride. Someday you will have more than you wanted.

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