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Markets at a New High – Sensex at 44K levels

Keeping aside the Corona & Lockdown fear, our economy & the stock markets are upbeat on the future and the surge continues. Some of the indicators from today’s Economic Times, to Cheer us up 😉.

Business recovery at a New High: The Nomura India Business resumption index (NIBRI) touched 87.1 for the last week, against 84.4 the previous week.

Car industry on a High Gear: Maruti being the market leader, has revised its annual production target recently, based on demand & long order book in hand. Earlier it was expecting a 20% decline, with analysts predicting 13-14%, which they have revised it to 5-8% now. Other manufacturers like Hyundai, M&M & Tata, all are all sitting on a strong order book & demand, thereby helping the passenger vehicle industry to an early revival.

IPO Market warms up: Come December, and we have half a dozen companies eyeing for raising funds through IPO. So far in 2020, 12 companies have raised funds through IPO, with the majority of them yielding handsome returns.

Companies likely to raise (IPO) in Dec: Kalyan Jewellers – 1750crs, Suryoday Small Fin Bank – 1000crs, ESAF Small Finance Bank – 1000crs, Nazara Technologies – 950crs, Burger King – 900crs, RailTel – 700crs, & Antony Waste Management – 350crs.

Photo Credit: Economics Times

Market Outlook – October 2020

Today effective yield on debt post tax is 4% to 6%. If I can earn 12% to 15% on equity, I am a king, says Rakesh Jhunjhunwala.

September 2020, the market remained volatile during the month, mainly due to FII selling amid global cues. Even though the market has factored in a gradual recovery of the economy, it is expected to remain range bound and volatile, till the time the economy catches up with market growth. Global & local events like the US election count down, Covid19 vaccine announcement, Bihar elections, will keep the speculation, buzz & the volatility alive.

The current market is at a fair-market-level, at an overview it may look 8-10% away from the Pre-Covid19 levels, but if one excludes the rally of Reliance Industries, the rest of the market is still down by 13-15%. Even If we assume FY21 to be in negative territory in terms of economic growth and FY22 to bounce back (only to reinstate pre-Covid levels), the market still has a potential to deliver a double digit CAGR growth, from the current levels. Any correction (if seen) in coming few months, one should capitalise with a lumpsum investments, for a better averaging.

Gold has corrected by ~10% and it seems to have a strong resistance at 48,000 level. Currently it looks to be at an attractive level to start investing and make it part of the portfolio.

Happy Investing!

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The FOMO effect – The Fear of Missing Out

The FOMO effect is catching up with the Indian retail, which is evident from the number of new DMAT accounts opened since the lockdown started, and the uptake in the daily trades, where leading discount brokers claim that they process 5m to 7m orders a day.

Where will this lead to? Looking at the international markets, we have quite a similar trend, where due to lockdown, online penetration and given options, retail does not want to miss out on this opportunity. Equity markets since June are on an upward swing, showing a V-shaped recovery, hence giving boost to the participants equity and a cascading effect on the new word-of-mouth traders 😉.

The only difference here on the FOMO effect, is the quantum of money invested, where retail participation will go from tens of thousands to few lacs, as it comes from the monthly savings and not cash-in-hand or liquid funds (unlike a HNI client). Even though returns may be way higher on the lockdown investments or even the trading, but the long-term effect will eventually rule on the final returns, i.e. 10 years from now, time will decide and average-out the returns (which is hard to digest).

Ultimately, for a retail participant, it’s not the euphoric moment or even the entry point of investments, which will dictate the high returns, but the time horizon of the investments, i.e. how long one can remain invested, and also, how often one invests (Power of SIP).

A famous quote from Warren Buffet, who turned 90 recently: “Someone’s sitting in the shade today, because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

Happy Investing!

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Market Outlook – SEPT 2020 – what next?

Market witnessed a phenomenal surge till the last day (Aug-20), almost at a kissing distance to the next level, i.e. 12k for Nifty & 40K for Sensex. Even though India’s daily count on COVID19 numbers is still a cause of worry, some of the indicators show a ray of hope, on the curve flattening and numbers to drop, most likely by mid or end-Sept.

The first quarter GDP data was on the expected line, i.e. our economy contracted by 23.9%, with only one sector, i.e. agriculture witnessing a growth of 3.4%. The biggest contributors on contraction were the manufacturers, services, hotel & tourism sector, as they were the worst affected due to the lockdown.

With the economy opening up (since June-20), current quarter (Q2) data is expected to be good, as GST collection as an indicator, looks promising (till now it stands at 1.8lac crores, with one month to go, against 1.85lac crores for entire Q1). Monsoon this year has been above normal, and will most likely will lead to a higher food grain yield & production, resulting in higher income for the farmers, i.e. a very good indicator on growth.

Next quarter, i.e. Oct-Nov-Dec-20 should be a bumper quarter (compared to Q1 & Q2), as all indicators should witness growth & euphoria. Biggest indicator to pull it up, will be the announcement of COVID19 Vaccine, leading to economy opening fully and consumption to return to base normal (i.e. fear to move away), leading to a “Happy Diwali”, as one of our key festive consumption seasons.

If we keep the fear & the political narrative away, and just look at the small cues or success stories, which are emerging now, (it’s a human nature, with bigger stores on focus, we miss out or ignore the smaller ones), the gloom or the dark clouds are slowly fading away.

Happy Investing!

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Market Outlook – AUGUST 2020 – Is the recovery REAL?

July extended the market recovery with an 8% growth, leading to a 28% growth over the last four months (Sensex Growth, i.e. Apr to July 2020). If one would have invested in one of the Index funds, post the fall (March/ April 2020), it would have yielded a fabulous return. It reminds me of Warren Buffet’s famous quote: “We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”

But how many of us act GREEDY when others are FEARFUL?

While the economic recovery is still to show early signs, but the market has decoded and discounted the revival, based on consumption, lockdown easing, monsoon, corporate earnings & other indicators. One of the good indicators for July is the revival in vehicle production, where Maruti’s July numbers, were at par with last year’s production, and they have plans to further ramp it up, month on month.

Aug can be a month of lots of Good News, expected towards Covid19 vaccine trials, medication use-case studies, flattening of the curve with states (Mumbai & Delhi as an example), where one can expect the market to look northwards. But expect volatility to continue, due to lack of control on these data points and surge in Covid19 numbers on unexpected areas.

An international index like Nasdaq 100 and Gold, in the last four months, has given fabulous return. Nasdaq 100 includes companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Tesla, which are at the forefront of the tech revolution and have become market leaders in their respective domain. Gold needs no introduction, a safe haven during the crisis, acts as a hedging tool, having a low correlation with Indian and US market, hence makes it an attractive investment & must-have part of portfolio.

Photo Credit: The Economic Times

The V-Shaped Recovery – How True?

The market is on a surge since mid-June, and it seems that it may continue doing the same, unless we have some major negative event happening. Question is, what is left to happen?

COVID numbers are still on a major surge, and we are now ranked 3rd in the world, on infection count. But slowly & steadily we have realised that we have to live or co-exist with COVID, as it cannot be just wiped out. But eventually, in some time to come, either a medication or a vaccine or herd immunity will take effect.

As per today’s Economic Times, we are witnessing “Better Times” now, compared to the last three months (Apr/May/June), and hope to see same getting stronger in the coming months. Some of the good indicators:

  • GST collection is rising, narrowing the gap on previous years monthly collection.
  • Petroleum product consumption is on the rise.
  • The unemployment rate has fallen to 11% from a peak of 24% in April.
  • Power demand is rising.
  • Post-lockdown, automobile & 2-wheeler sales have picked up.

As per KV Kamath, ex ICICI bank head, “The landing will not be as hard as anticipated. Rebound is faster than what most of us thought would be. The economy may see a shallow U-shaped recovery,” as told to Network18 today.

But economic recovery may take a temporary backseat if state governments or local bodies are forced to impose further restrictions to curb COVID numbers.

Stay Safe & Stay Connected!

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Market Outlook – July 2020

In the last month, the market has delivered a stupendous return of around 7.5%, this is despite the geopolitical tension seen in the India – China border. The main reason behind this sharp increase was the availability of global liquidity with institutional investors, what we have seen is a coupling effect and this rise in equity was witnessed globally across the markets.

Certain companies, especially the one who are largely affected by this lockdown, are expected to defer or merge their quarterly result to soften the impact seen in top-line of Q1 strict lockdown with Q2 quarter with a partial lockdown. Some investors are concerned about market valuations due to current gains seen in the market since on earnings parameters it appears to be expensive, it is fallacious to conclude by just seeing one parameter. Investors must adhere that earnings are just a perspective like other ratios viz Price to book value and Market cap to GDP. Many other ratios still suggest the market being at an attractive valuation due to sharp correction so investors who have missed previous opportunities have not really missed the bus yet. Also, the volatility index though relatively high but has fallen drastically which indicates that the market is closer to trade at the fair market value range.

Global economy is headed for its sharpest contraction but by comparing previous historic events and market reaction, the current phase has seen lesser correction and the recovery seen is quicker since learnings from previous such events has made global leaders more competitive to react proactively and with the amount of liquidity injected into the financial system will prevent the stalling of the economy to a larger extent and the recovery expected is to be relatively quicker.

The government is also expected to announce another fiscal stimulus which will mainly address the demand issue and boost consumption and investment sentiments.

Stay Safe!

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Market Outlook – June 2020

May-20 was relatively flattish for the market. The percentage difference was sub 1%, for the major benchmark index, like BSE 100, BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap. The good part is that the FII’s are back in the market. After selling close to $9.5 Billion in March-20 and April-20, they were net buyers and pumped in $1.67 Billion in the month of May-20.

The major highlight for the month was the RBI announcement, where they indicated that Indian economy will degrow, GDP will remain in negative territory for FY-21 and major part of the recovery will be seen in second half of FY-21. We believe that, the worst phase of economy is behind us and a gradual opening of lockdown will recover the wounds of complete lockdown done in the past, while the Covid19 cases may continue to see a spike, despite that, lockdown has to be eased else the economy may kill more people than Covid19 itself.

In the past 69 years, India has witnessed recession only thrice, i.e. 1958, 1966 and 1980. All three of them,were due to agricultural shock. But this time, the situation is completely other way around this year, above average monsoon at 105% is being predicted, agriculture is expected to support and offset the impact of other sectors of the economy. The worst affected industries could be Travel, Tourism, Hospitality, Aviation and Real Estate. Due to cautious travels and work from home being a new normal, these sectors can be a bigger contributor to overall fall. The sectors that can do well in these phases are Telecom, Internet services, OTT services, E-commerce.

The consumption sentiments are expected to be poor, as due to high liquidity requirement, job losses, salary cuts, all will result into only need based consumption. The shape of recovery, which was expected to be V-Shaped, now looks like a U-shape or L-shape, considering time required to bring back consumption. The Fiscal stimulus package announced, worth INR20 Lakh Crores, is expected to have a relatively lesser impact on our fiscal deficit.

From the valuation standpoint, market data suggest allocation favouring equity.

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COVID CRISIS – How do we see ahead?

COVID crisis, one of its kind, has shaken each one of us (whatever the age group), big time. A highly infectious deadly disease, without any cure till date, only negative stories world-over and never-ending home lockdown. Our elders have also not witnessed such events in their lifetime, as they are the ones who usually guide us through in such crisis … who we fall back on 😉.

CRISIS, however big or small, does not come invited, it just lands-up, the question is; how will you handle it? Or am I prepared for it?

Here the question is, NOT how to handle COVID? which we are doing smartly, as we have adapted, which includes measures like, social distancing, wearing masks, frequently washing hands & many more do’s & don’ts.

Here the question is, HOW do I handle; Financial, Physical & Emotional challenge? which comes with this crisis (or any crisis for that matter).

FINANCIAL Challenge: an emergency fund of cash to hedge against economic collapses, or a business/ salary loss (unemployment). Usually, 6 months to a 1 year of income/ funds are recommended.

PHYSICAL Challenge: nutrition (the food we eat), functional movement (our daily activity), and sleep to strengthen the immune system. Which also means, staying away from alcohol, junk & other bad habits.

EMOTIONAL Challenge: meditation practice, therapy, and other practices to avoid mental breakdowns. Which also means, keep talking to friends & relatives and avoid reading unverified negative news.

If you ask me, Crisis makes us LEARN (& DO) things, which in our lifetime we may not even think of achieving. All the three challenges above, we have it in our mind always, but how many of us really end up with a checklist to say, I have all marked YES?


P.S. – Feel free to write back on your challenges.



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Market Outlook – May 2020

“You’ll never get the Good News and Good Price at the same Time”, a very famous saying.

More often than not, good news is always predicted well in advance, and the market factorises it in the valuation, unless it is a sudden surprise for everyone, like the recent Corporate tax cut. The same situation is with the market now.

We have not resumed normalcy yet, and it looks like we need more time for it to happen. But the market is responding positively, since overall the covid growth rate is in control, started to show signs of getting flat, and eventually to fall. From India’s perspective, the cases are mostly detected in concentrated areas, which is relatively easier to contain, than a dispersed spike occurring sporadically.

As the month of April-20 ends, we have witnessed a partial recovery from overall correction. The Sensex had corrected 39%, from it’s all-time high of 42,273, it shed off 16,635 points to settle down at 25,638. It has now gained back almost 50%, i.e. 8,523 and is now trading at 33,750.

In the last press release of RBI, the governor hinted by stating that since the inflation is in control, they will do whatever it takes to boost the economy, indirectly hinting for a further rate cut. US based weather company, has stated that this year’s monsoon, we will see 105% of average rainfall, which will further ease the inflation as it will support the crop cultivation and overall supply, during the year.

Though the partial recovery has already been taken, the complete recovery will be merit based, depending upon the quarterly earnings of the firm & overall economic recovery. From the valuation standpoint, the market although recovered, still looks attractive at this level, hence one should continue equity allocation further.

Stay Safe! and continue Investing your Savings!

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