On This Day - 22 APRIL 2020
Honouring Equitymaster's Pledge for 25 Years
Editor's Note: Join us in celebrating our anniversary here...
You may have to pay the bank to safe keep your money.
A petrol pump may pay you to buy oil.
Thanks to coronavirus, we are living in a world where uncertainly is bordering on the possibility of bizarre outcomes.
Negative interest rates have become a reality. Negative oil prices could become one soon.
In such a scenario, investors who seek some degree of predictability, in asset prices, have tough times ahead.
At Equitymaster, such unpredictability has never scared us.
What scared us, is the possibility of not being able to honour our pledge.
Well, here's the story...
Twenty four years ago, on April 22, 1996, there was an ad in the Economic Times. It announced the birth of www.QuantumIndia.com, India's first financial website.
The country had barely 10,000 VSNL internet connections then, with speeds of 28-56 kbps.
The idea of fetching information on the internet was completely alien. And the commitment to make honest, sensible, well-articulated information and views available to all investors was truly radical.
But the man behind this vision knew entrepreneurs have to be stubborn. They must be clear. They must be devoted to the cause. And, yes, they need to listen.
So, in 1990, when Ajit Dayal, founder of Equitymaster, set out to build the Quantum Group, he encountered a fair share of skepticism. Mr Hemendra Kothari of DSP told him 'Tum paagal hai. Koi foreigner nahi aayenge India ke share bazaar mein.'
Decades later, Mr Kothari walked out with a big cheque from Merrill and Blackrock after selling his businesses to those foreign companies!
Skepticism about whether an honest company can become a large, profitable, successful institution is something Equitymaster has lived with since day one.
But we firmly believed that the Indian investors deserve to know the truth! And that belief has guided us all along.
Twenty four years later, over 300,000 valued readers of Profit Hunter, testify to that.
Ajit also laid four key pillars that have been at the core of everything we do.
- There is a huge difference between building a company and building an institution. Building an institution is a far, far more difficult job.
Having met managements for over two decades, we have seen a number of founders diligently build companies. For them, it's all about profit growth, market share, and market cap. But then there are entities we call 'institutions'. Institutions also end up with some profits, market share, and market caps. But those come as a result of the trust they enjoy. For Equitymaster, winning the trust of readers like you has been and will be the one and only way to grow. Whatever success we achieve is thanks to honesty...unbiasedness...trustworthiness...and truth.
- Regulators cannot protect you from your own greed. The financial industry is inherently crooked: It works for its own enhancement of wealth, not for yours.
So, we can never be 'wrong' as long as we are empowering investors with credible, honest, and above all, unbiased opinions. There have been and will be cases like the IPO of Reliance Power and the debacle of IL&FS where our opinions may be challenged. But we will never hesitate to put forth the truth that investors deserve to know.
- Money and market cap is are useless measures of success when accompanied by fraudulent practices, diluting the focus of being customer-centric or unethical acts. This bad model survives because people have short memories.
Even at the cost of turning away readers and subscribers, Equitymaster has and will dissuade you from putting your hard earned money into certain stocks. Expect us to keep reminding you of...
- There is a saying that you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot force it to drink. In a similar way, I believe that there are many people out there who wish to stay thirsty: they have no desire to learn and understand. They work hard, they save money, then - at some dinner party - they are sold some story and they give away their savings to a smooth-talking financial intermediary. And their wallet is gone. In a bad world, Equitymaster is an open oasis: those who wish to seek shelter and shade are welcome.
Whether it is helping a low-risk investor pick safe stocks or showing a high-risk investor the best way to build wealth with high-potential small caps, we can help any investor achieve his financial goals. But what we are most proud of is helping cheated and dejected investors win back their trust in sensible investing.
These pillars have been and will continue to be the guiding light for Equitymaster for decades. It is our pledge to never distance ourselves from the very reasons you trust us.
It is this pledge that has pushed us to write to you, each weekday, for the past twelve years.
It is this pledge that has given us the conviction to say 'no' to the hottest stocks and largest companies.
It is this pledge that has encouraged us to welcome hundreds of you at the Equitymaster Conferences year after year.
Equitymaster Conference 2019
As Equitymaster enters its 25th Anniversary year today, we wish to thank you for being with us.
To show our appreciation, we have few exceptional gifts for you...
A PDF copy of our most successful book - Equitymaster's Secrets. This book contains our greatest secrets and lessons from over 20 years of successful stock picking. It contains the essence of investing, which has made Equitymaster one of the most trusted research houses in India.
A PDF copy of my book: 50 Reasons Why the Rebirth of India is Inevitable (Worth Rs 1,950)
A special guide on picking stocks that could potentially benefit from the post coronavirus market rebound.
My report on 7 stocks that could lead the wealth creating journey during the post coronavirus market rebound.
So, what are you waiting for?
Join us in the celebrations...
Equitymaster Agora Research Private Limited (Research Analyst)
PS: Join us in celebrating our anniversary here...
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