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Enjoy the weekend..it could be your last! - Views on News from Equitymaster
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  • Mar 29, 2007

    Enjoy the weekend..it could be your last!

    No, we don't like these morbid headlines and these depressing thoughts.
    But what else can one think about these days?
    India is out of the World Cup,
    15 British sailors have been captured in Iran supposedly in Iranian waters, and Dell Computers has just said that there may be some mischief in its accounting.

    But, hey, don't worry, be happy! There are more jobs being created in Europe and people are still shopping.
    So European stocks gained 1% and the US markets notched up a plus, too, while we were sleeping.
    So, guess where India will be "on global cues"?
    Up, most likely.

    We have a lot more to offer!
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    With the Index aiming towards our own Sunita Williams, stuck up in the space station with no rocket to get her back home by the end of June.

    The Space Shuttle, probably costing the equivalent of US$ 1 billion or 500 apartments in South Bombay, which is the equivalent of 20 buildings of 6 floors each - hmm, what does that tell us, the Space Shuttle is cheap or apartments are expensive (click here to get our views on stocks) - but to get back to the point, a lousy hail storm knocked the rockets and the Space Shuttle launch has been postponed to some unknown date.

    Imagine you design the most elaborate vehicle in the world. You find the perfect combination of metals and composites and plastics to withstand a fire-of-hell on take-off and all that friction from the atmosphere when that 2,000 tonne (that is 100 Tata 20-tonne trucks) gleaming white giant lunges into the atmosphere. The fuels to use, how much to use, the communication equipment needed to stay in contact with mission control, the people trained to stay out there is space for months at a stretch. The folks on the ground designing relentlessly, pioneering new worlds, breaking barriers.

    And then one lousy rain and ice combination comes hurtling down and Sunita Williams has to wait to get back home. A Tata Motors truck can carry 20 tonnes through rain and messy roads. One hundred Tata trucks muddle their way through India in terrible driving conditions. But that masterpiece of technology, the Shuttle, is grounded in a hailstorm.

    So we are feeling down.
    Man creates, God may not help.
    But most of the time, man creates and man destroys.

    It has been centuries now where history is dotted with names of great men who created and built only to be overshadowed by the equally long list of conquerors who plundered and axed their way to fame and fortune. And friendships and loyalties - what value have they? None, my good friend, zero - zilch - shoonyuh - the made in India number.

    Friendships and loyalties have a price, though. You can buy them and you can sell them. Today your wife is your wife, tomorrow she is gone - or you are gone into some other orbit, some other energy field.

    Life, said Buddha, is suffering.

    So, maybe this is the end of the world, then. Iran refuses to back down, and they all go into yet another war. Maybe on Saturday, maybe Sunday after breakfast?
    Or maybe not.
    Maybe it rains and no one feels like fighting when its wet and mucky. So, maybe there is no war and there will be more weekends and more newspapers to read and TV channels to watch.
    So, celebrate, we will live!

    Yes, but it also costs money to live. And you need to earn it - honestly. So you can invest it - honestly. And spend it - honestly.
    So, who should you trust for advice? The people carrying financial certificates and diplomas from various trade bodies and universities? Your friend at work? Your wife?

    "The source of all man's unhappiness", said Goethe, "is that he cannot sit quietly in one room." Imagine if Bush had sat in one room and not ventured into the war on terror. Or Osama bin Laden had sat in one room. I could have got visas to any country pretty quickly rather than going through all these out-sourcing agencies. (click here for a tour of our views on mutual funds)

    And what if our cricket players had all sat alone in one room - the sponsors of the least-viewed, disastrous World Cup could have saved a lot of money.

    Well, on the other hand, Bob Woolmer was in one room and look what happened to him. Maybe he was not alone?

    Maybe it is time to head to the hill stations already and cool this over-heated mind worrying about things that only worriers worry about.

    Yes, I will take a break.

    The laptop, the research reports to read, and some sleep...I will return refreshed hoping that there is still trust and faith in this world. Hoping that there is a world.

    And if we survive, to continue to survive, what should we invest in?



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