Adrift - The Honest Truth By Ajit Dayal
Investing in India - Honest Truth by Ajit Dayal
Adrift A  A  A
15 MAY 2008

The Indian land mass is moving 2 inches per year towards Tibet and China. It has been adrift for some 50 million years. The Himalayas were created when the large mass of land that is India banged into Asia. The recent earthquake in China was a result of this continuing, constant pushing.

Eight bombs are set off in Jaipur in a terrorist attack that reminds us of the dangers we face every day. "There is no reason to panic", a senior city official is quoted as saying, "everything is under control".

Oil was USD 26 a barrel when the US vowed to go into Iraq and secure oil supplies. It is now trading at USD 126 a barrel.
And while the price of oil is soaring, the Indian government continues to fool around with what the price of oil should be to the end consumers.
And how much of the "oil subsidy burden" must be shared between the government, the oil producing companies, the oil refinery companies, and the oil marketing companies.
And they change the formula when they want - for any reason.

So now the focus is on changing the name of Bombay to Mumbai - everywhere.
Bombay Stock Exchange will be Mumbai Stock Exchange.
Bombay Dyeing will be Mumbai Dyeing.
Meanwhile the local trains will still kill some 3,500 people every year.
The total number of deaths due to terrorist attacks all over India is estimated at 2,500 every year.
A normal 9-bogey train is supposed to carry 1,700 people but - at peak times - there are 4,500 people at any time. But how to make Bombay a better place to live does not occupy that much time for our leaders. A name change must be the correct answer.

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Presidential candidate Obama may end up being the candidate for the Democratic Party but he cannot win the votes from people who are white, not educated, and earn less than USD 30,000 a year. That sounds like a lot of people. This mass of people has said that, if Obama is the candidate, they will vote for the other side - the Republicans. Meanwhile, Presidential candidate Clinton cannot win votes from the blacks in America and from those who are educated. The "melting pot" that was America is at risk: it looks more like a "thali" now. Rich food is served in silver bowls and the other food in plastic cups.

On Tuesday, May 13th the Indian stock markets opened strong but, by the end of the day, they closed in negative territory. On Wednesday, May 14th it was the reverse - the markets opened weak and closed strong. We don’t know what it will do tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month.

In fact, we don’t know what the "news" will highlight tomorrow.
All that we read is actually "olds", not news.
The actions of the past have set in motion a series of events that will crop up at random times but with predictable results.

When India drifted towards Asia millions of years ago, an earthquake in China was a guarantee. The timing was uncertain.

When a government steals land from the poor to give it to the rich, naxalites are born. When a government uses religion to win votes and determine policy, terrorists are born. Yesterday’s citizens are today’s terrorists - disenfranchised from the mainstream. Creating earthquakes they hurt innocent bystanders in a shameful way.

When India fumbled on what to do when oil prices rose from USD 26 to USD 50, it was a given that it would fumble even more when oil is at USD 126.

When the US became a country of the rich, for the rich, and by the rich the split votes of the elite v/s the blue collar were a given.

When India opened the doors to foreign punters under the P Note policy, it invited earthquakes, terrorist attacks, and plain stupidity to play a part in funding the country’s long term economic development. Every day about USD 2 billion worth of shares are bought and sold by FIIs. At the end of the day the net flow into India is sometimes plus USD 40 million, or sometimes negative USD 40 million, at an average.
So these P Note folks trade USD 2 billion and then end up buying or selling, on a net basis, about 2% of that total.
So 98% of their trades are "noise". They make the brokers rich for sure, but what do they do to India’s long term standing in the global capital markets?
India is a joke amongst the long term investors.
India has taken a massive "tenure" risk: we have taken capital from short term folks to fund our long term plans.
And everyone is carrying on with policy making in complete bliss.

But somewhere in this mess, somewhere in this drift, we need to find our anchors.
We need to look for answers that make sense.
Changing the name of the Bombay Stock Exchange to Mumbai Casino or the National Stock Exchange to Bharat Casino may be a good start.
At least then we will know who we really are and then try to work out what we want to become.

Suggested allocation in Quantum Mutual Funds
Quantum Long Term Equity Fund Quantum Gold Fund Quantum Liquid Fund
Why you should own it: An investment for the future and an opportunity to profit from the long term economic growth in India A hedge against a global financial crisis and an "insurance" for your portfolio Cash in hand for any emergency uses but should get better returns than a savings account in a bank
Suggested allocation 80% 15% 5%

Disclaimer: Past performance may or may not be sustained in the future. Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, fluctuation in NAV's and uncertainty of dividend distributions. Please read offer documents of the relevant schemes carefully before making any investments. Click here for the detailed risk factors and statutory information"

Note: Ajit Dayal, the author is a Director in Quantum Information Services Private Limited and Quantum Asset Management Company Private Limited. Views expressed in this article are entirely those of the author and may not be regarded as views of the Quantum Mutual Fund or Quantum Asset Management Company Private Limited or Quantum Information Services Private Limited.

Mutual Fund Investments are subject to market risks. Please read the offer documents of the respective schemes before making any investments.

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