July 28, 2008
I got this list forwarded by someone and the write ups. Its a list of analysts who have been rated by Business Today (based on inputs from various fund managers) as the top ones in India today. They are believed to have a hand on the pulse of the stock market and the various companies.
Personally, I am not an industry or company type of guy – because then you are stuck. What you need to understand is the economy and which will be the best stock going forward given its price. Do you agree with list, btw? Have you interacted with any?
33, Senior Investment Analyst
Research House: CLSA
Sectors: IT Services, Education and Internet
He’s a star analyst who almost didn’t become an analyst to begin with. Until 2001, Bhavtosh Vajpayee was an investment banker at JM Morgan Stanley, happy doing deals for India Inc. Then, one day, “a Bschool friend who is also currently my colleague at CLSA recommended me internally,” and that’s how Vajyapee ended up trading his suits for smart casuals. Since then, there has been no looking back for Vajpayee, an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and IIM Ahmedabad.
Vajpayee’s best call last year was the downgrade of IT services sector, a move that, he says, “was a quarter too early but eventually turned out well”. Vajpayee also took on some unique themes, such as CLSA’s “Chain Reactions” project that quantified, for the first time, the impact of the IT sector on the broader Indian economy. “There is always something new to explore, understand and communicate,” says Vajpayee, father of two, about his job.
No doubt, it’s that spirit that makes him a favourite among fund managers.
Research House: Enam Securities
Sectors: Metals and Cement
In February this year, Jagdishwar Toppo tore through 1,500 km of southern India in just four days. No, the 38-yearold wasn’t doing a cross-country rally, rather he was trying to figure out how cement capacities were shaping up. To his surprise, most of the new capacity was behind schedule. That led him to conclude that till the end of March 2010, demand for cement will continue to outstrip supply.
Sure, Toppo, who also visits China at least once every year to get a bottom-up view of the global metals industry, had to put up with bad roads, poor infrastructure and unhygienic food, but his unorthodox research technique has huge pay-offs. “The management of a company may say good things, but to know the ground realities, I travel to their plants and meet industry people,” says Toppo, who was in BT’s Best Analysts list in 2005 as well.
Yet, even Toppo’s best efforts can be tripped up by powers that be. Take, for instance, his positive call on the cement industry. Soon after he advised his clients to buy cement stocks, the government cracked the whip on manufacturers, putting a ban on cement exports and asking them to rein in prices within the country. But for Toppo, who received his MBA from IIM Calcutta in 1994, such surprises are nothing new. In the 10 years that he has been with Enam, he has seen and lived through highs and lows of the metals and cement industries.
Now, Toppo is scouting for the next big thing. One such sector that he has zeroed in on is fertilisers. In fact, a report he wrote on the sector last year ended up putting most of the sector stocks on fire. “There is going to be a boom in agriculture, besides which new gas (from Reliance Industries) is coming in; this bodes well for fertiliser companies,” he says. However, Toppo was surprised that many of the fertiliser stocks moved far ahead of his price targets. “(But) you have to trust the market,” he says.
Even in these times, it’s hard to disagree with that.
Picking stocks and investing is not as easy as it seems. There are many who go around thumping their chests because they think they can pick winners (yours truly included!). But real winners are few and far between for anyone. Only very few investors and the top ones do it most often!
One thing, however, is very clear to the smart investors (again, yours truly included – lol) that trading often and buying and selling at the drop of the hat is never a good strategy. Many people still do it – despite the fact that the best in the world have succeeded due to lesser trades as opposed to more. Buffett is legendary for not selling his stocks. He has sold very few. Now, a study confirms this for us:
In one study, Odean and his frequent collaborator Brad Barber looked at the buy and sell decisions of 78,000 households over a five-year period in the 1990s. When they divided the investors into those who traded more and less frequently, they discovered that “trading can be hazardous to your wealth.” Those who bought and sold most often earned a net annual return of 11.4 percent, whereas those who traded least often earned 18.5 percent (remember, the period studied overlapped with a significant bull market).
Barber and Odean note that the typical investor trades frequently, turning over 75% of his or her portfolio annually. They attribute this fact, and its unfortunate effect on the bottom line, to profound overconfidence on the part of individual investors. Picking winners is much harder than it appears to the average investor.
Most often people spend more time and do more analysis buying a pair of shoes worth $40 as opposed to buying $10,000 worth of stocks! Even the size of their investment doesn’t help them realize the context. Since an individual investor can really not take into account all the factors and so really good stocks are hard to come by, it makes sense to invest in few but really good stocks! And if you are in India, where long term capital gains tax from stocks is 0, it makes sense to go long on things!
Meditation is a bastardized word. People have made it into practices into exercises into methodologies.. everything other than what it is supposed to be. The word for meditation in Sanskrit or Hindi was “Dhyan” – which means “to contemplate”. The eternal question is the most suitable for contemplation – “Who Am I”? It is this question and this alone which takes you to the very edge of creation and beyond.
One of the accompanying step in this contemplation is that one is in the present (the here and the now). Bringing the baggage of the past or the anticipation of the future to a moment, prevents that awareness. Some call it “Mindful Meditation”.
Scientists have just discovered that Mindful Meditation slows the progress of HIV in patients.
CD4+ T lymphocytes, or simply CD4 T cells, are the “brains” of the immune system, coordinating its activity when the body comes under attack. They are also the cells that are attacked by HIV, the devastating virus that causes AIDS and has infected roughly 40 million people worldwide. The virus slowly eats away at CD4 T cells, weakening the immune system.
But the immune systems of HIV/AIDS patients face another enemy as well — stress, which can accelerate CD4 T cell declines. Now, researchers at UCLA report that the practice of mindfulness meditation stopped the decline of CD4 T cells in HIV-positive patients suffering from stress, slowing the progression of the disease.
Interesting! It seems this meditation – of losing ones self – not only gets you spiritual dividends but also health dividends.. and what amazing ones!