How to save your wife, kids from creditors

found this enlightening article at rediff

Considering that in India people get married at a early age and your creditors really extract a pound of flesh for every Paisa you owe them. Married Women’s Property Act (MWP), 1874 is like the best Chapter 11 Bankruptcy law ever designed for Indians.

What amazes is that this Act was created in 1874 when females rarely owned any property and was at the mercy of the male members of the joint family for all her financial needs.

It takes only a couple of minutes to create a trust. I suggest you buy a term insurance scheme scheme and make its beneficiary this trust. Hence in case you die, family gets all the benefit (and no liabilities) else… you lose nothing.

insurance details


Stock Advice

Recently some of my advice on IPO saw huge activities Tech Mahindra got over 500 hits and the on going Shobha Developers got over a 1000. Hence I thought it would be wise if I published who I am before a thousand souls spend their life fortune on my words.

1) I am a small time investor in the stock market who never allows his Stock Market Portfolio to exceed 50% of my current Assets. ( I will drop it to 33% when I get married and to 25% when I will have a kid)
2) I hate people who believe in hot-tips and day trading. It is too risky and you are more likely to lose than the gain anything.
3) To me stock market is a very calculated risk in which you research and find the undervalued gold-mines and wait patiently till everybody realizes its potential. I hold no more than 4 scrips at one given time and trade less and once every 1-2 months.
4) However even a gold mine will never yield diamonds…. If a stock is trading above what I think it is worth, then quickly exit… maybe later on you can re-enter.
5) I never invest in companies whom I will never consider doing business with. (So no penny stocks. They might not be worth the paper it was printed on)
6) Make a target and buy a scrip in 2-3 phases and sell it off in 2-3 lots. You can never hope to buy at the lowest and sell at the highest price. So buying in lots is the best strategy as it keeps your investment low and allows you to encash on a bubble.
7) Stock market has a history of 1 nano second. It never cares what the stock was worth once. And for all practical purposes (except the Tax calculation) it does not give a damm of what price you paid for the stock. So why do you give a damm…. whenever you think the price is right sell of the scrip and limit your losses.

8. Be extra careful when you invest in IPO.
1.Most IPO are Overpriced/ aggressively priced. So you might make a small listing loss.
2.Under priced IPOs are too oversubscribed that the small allotment you get will not be worth your investment.

9) Be ruthless: If you feel the promoter has cheated you or is telling you fairy tales. QUIT and if possible Short Sell his shares. Stock market is not a Diwali gambling session but it is a serious place where you invest your hard earned sweat and blood.
10) For Mutual Funds/ ULIP check the amount of Asset Management Fees they are charging and see if it is worth the benefits you get.

Stock Market is all about buying a Dollar Bill at 60 cents.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are personal views of a private citizen who has no formal training in Finance or Management. I hold positions in all the shares discussed in the stock.

Photography Quotes

motivational pictures

you won't pass this way
You can only be young once. But you can always be immature.
– Dave Barry
ask for more
Capital punishment is as fundamentally wrong as a cure for crime as charity is wrong as a cure for poverty.
– Henry Ford
the game of love


Gifting Ideas

Often you enter without having a vaguest clue of what you want or what should be the best or appropriate. You talk to the store reception, go around the display shelves and pick something up.

Online retail stores work on the assumption that you know what you want and they will get you the best price on that purchase. They work more as a stockist rather than a retailer. The only USP they have is the best bargain. (and price war is never a good business strategy)

Take a simple Scenario:
1) I want to take my girl out for a wonderful evening (movie/food/shopping etc.) I want something nice, different and new. But I am looking for suggestions.
2) Thanks to Hallmark, there is a gifting occasion every fortnight. I want to buy for my sister/ aunt/ father etc. and I am clueless what I should get.

All I want is that there should be phone number (not online yellow pages) which keeps track of a database of the latest fashion trends. You just dial them and feed all the data. They will work with you and try to list out options you can have.

You give customer clarity and make him happy. After he makes up his mind you offer him:
“If you want, we can pick it up from the store. Wrap it and dispatch it to the specified address.”
“We can reserve a wonderful table for you”

Now who can refuse this offer?


Why Chat Rooms are Popular

Messengers/chat-rooms are the most widely used web-applications. But I often wonder why:
1. You have no idea who the other person is.
a. He could be a pedophile romancing with a teenage from a prison cell.
b. A loser impersonating as someone rich and famous.
c. Or a next door neighbor messing with you.
d. Or a necromancer/cannibal who believes in sacrifices and trying different kinds of exotic meats.

2. It is a complete waste of time. You can spend 5 minutes just to say hi
3. The most important aspect of communication is the Tone of the Voice, facial expressions and body language. Whenever someone asks you “how do you do?” there is a standard reply. But it the enthusiasm which tells the real story.
4. Meeting people whom you meet online is often a disaster. In a chat-room you can be very close friends and communicate endlessly. But in real life you are just 2 strangers. And also the probability of meeting someone who stays across the globe is next to zero.

Then my friend gave me a wonderful reply

    “Therapeutic anonymity”.

Essentially we have tons of emotions bottled up. The only we can get our mind cleared up is by communicating.
Physical world is a very small place. You tell it to one person and everybody knows (even those you do not want to know) But online world is a lot more secure.

It is like a modern day confession box. You do not know who is hearing your rants and the other person never asks your name an identity. Hence the inhibitions and barriers are lowered. Hence online friends communicate at a very deep level and understand each other much better. Guys who never talk about their personal life and their fears to even their closest friends gossip like sisies online.

Do not believe me:
Next time you see your office boy, security guard or a waiter, just ask him his Name. He will immediately get defensive and start blurting out explanations and apologies. (Even though nothing happened)
You know the guy by face; you know his workplace. So what has he to lose?
Still as long as you do not know the other person by name /identity you communicate better.

Most of the self-development books say the person’s name is the most beautiful and sweetest sounding noise known to mankind. Yet many of the writers have a pen-name which is nowhere similar to their real-life name. That is why they are able to express deeper emotions and more vivid thoughts. Similarly most people hide behind their an online name/alias to reveal themselves better.

Humor Miscellaneous

Junk Food

I make lots of crazy observations:
I was today witnessing a cow scavenging out of a dumpster. There were 2 newspapers. One was Hindu and the other was Times of India, but the cow chewed Times of India only.
Looks like everybody loves spicy junk food.


Coffee Cups

I came across this interesting “piece”, thought I’ll share with you all. It goes like this…….

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university lecturer. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the lecturer went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups: porcelain, plastic, glass, some plain-looking and some expensive and exquisite, telling them to help themselves to hot coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the lecturer said:

“If you noticed, all the nice-looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the better cups and are eyeing each other’s cups.”

“Now, if Life is coffee, then the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, but the quality of Life doesn’t change.”

“Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee in it.”

So folks, don’t let the cups drive you…enjoy the coffee instead.
BTW I was recently very pissed of at RapidShare. They seem to be putting in all the sorts of wait counters, download limits, and deleted the files after 20-30 days. Plus if simultaneously 2 or more persons used to access the same file… they used to introduce a cool of period. Hence I moved to 4shared


Profits of MNC

In a international world how are the profits and revenue distributed among the various subsidiaries of an MNC? Usually all the offices are dedicated in manufacturing some component or the other of the same product-line. Hence it is impossible to account for the Value addition of each activity.
eg: Take the case of this hypothetical cell-phone giant.
1. The board and circuitry are designed in England.
2. The stylish casing is designed in Paris
3. The LCD display and GUI in Silicon Valley
4. The software is written by coolies in Bangalore
5. The chips are designed by Scandinavian office
6. They are manufactured in the Fab-lab of Taiwan, tested and assembled in Korea.
7. The assembly is done China
8. Sales are in America.
9. Promoter/Head quarters are in a separate country.

The phone costs 40$ and sells for 100$. So how is the 60$ profit and revenue distributed? To my surprise each of the 9 offices got a small percentage of the profit. While most of the profit (around 50$ per phone) was attributed to an office (which exists only on paper) at Bermudas. Just because it provided the company with a tax-holiday.

Which every country gives a tax-holiday seems to get all the profits and revenue. The company is not cooking any books; it has a legitimately registered investment company at Bermudas. By underreporting the profits of high tax centers, it maximizes the overall profits.

So next time a report says profitability of MNC is dipping etc., take it with a pinch of salt. Companies are in the business of making money. If their international arms were making as much losses as they are reporting they would have closed it down long ago.

Most international arms of Coke/Pepsi make losses. Simply because the overpriced syrup and royalty costs. Similarly some car manufacturer actually under-report revenue of their international arms so that their US factories have extra margins. Extra Margins is a advertising gimmick to demonstrate better manufacturing capabilities of USA and riding high on the patronage waves.


Who will have the window seat?

Has anybody visited a poultry farm? It is a stack of cube shaped cages in which the chicken can barely fit itself.
I always believe that offices/cube-farms are also similar containments for the workforce.
The world is never equal. Then why are offices standardized and equal?

The zeal to achieve standardization is so high that they kill all possible possibilities of enhancements.
1) Towards the periphery there are external windows which are a source of daylight (which improves productivity). But the cubicles next to it will have the standard partition. And Facilities will yell at you if you remove this partition.
2) In the center of a cube farm, there are usually pillars supporting the roof. Since they cannot fit an entire cube in it, conveniently they leave it blank and wasted. Can’t the designers make the neighboring cubicles bigger by one panel so that this extra space could be utilized? NOoooo! That is blasphemy.

If hotels can design rooms such that each room has a balcony facing outside, then why can’t offices?


Human Shield

human Shield
“The Missile Defense System has been rolled into position.”