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Broker Fraud – is my portfolio SAFE?

It’s shocking to read Karvy Stock Broker’s story this week. What’s the actual fact, the modus operandi, who all have suffered, the quantum? will only come out in due course of time (post the investigation). But my biggest concern is not about these scams (as scams will keep happening in a growing economy), but the speedy trial, or the law & regulators, to take over and act.

  • NSCL scam of 2013 (5000 crores), is still to be resolved & customers refunded their money.
  • PMC Bank crisis, where all the account holders (upward of 50k) are still suffering, with heart-rending stories.
  • Goodwin Jewellers (Gold scheme) scam, still to be traced.

But surprisingly, we have some common threads in all this, and if taken care, will help avoid same. Customers who are stuck in these scams, usually are the ones who wanted higher returns, have disregard to the basics of investment, and above all, didn’t question; as either it’s the GREED which took over, or the HERD mentality of following the others, towards the account opening with these firms.

SIMPLE RULES to follow for any investment account opening:

First, ask as many questions: like, how the returns are generated, its calculation, company founders background, the universal thumb rule on investment basics, etc.

Most Important, nothing comes FREE: hence disassociate from any account or services, offered as free, or on a similar trick, or let say, commission-free.

Second, updated KYC: i.e. ensure that your mobile no & email ID is registered with your Bank, Broker & all your investment accounts. This means that you receive all transactional messages (SMS & Email), as & when it happens.

Third, if something is too good to be true, it’s better to junk it. NSCL scam, I remember, offered very high returns. How can someone generate such returns? Similarly, PMC bank, most of the customers are from just one community. Why just follow others, just because it’s from the same community? Moreover, PMC Bank is a cooperative bank, with a dual regulator, resulting in a lot of grey areas in terms of governance & compliance (which is very well known). We have had many cases of cooperative banks getting into trouble earlier (Madhavpura bank in 2001 going bust, is one such case).

IS MY PORTFOLIO (or account) SAFE?

The answer is Yes (it’s safe), as-long-as you have green ticks on all the above points.

In case you don’t have green ticks on some (or let’s say all), just go back to each account of yours & first update your KYC. Post that, complete the other checks. Now if you are not convinced, go ahead & close your account (& shift to safer investments).

One needs to just learn & adapt … and not worry & panic.

Market Commentary

After months of net selling, FII (Foreign institutional investor) remained net buyers in November month, to the tune of 14,817 crores, whereas DII (Domestic institutional investor) opted for profit booking & were net-sellers.

Today (or Friday), the market witnessed selling pressure due to GDP growth announcement, which is expected to fall below 5% for the first time, since last six years, due to slowing demand, weak IIP data, slump in export, and global slowdown, resulting in further downfall. Sensex settled 336 points down at 40793, and Nifty settled 95 points down at 12056.

The CSB Bank IPO opened with a huge response, subscribed 87 times on Tuesday, and will make a debut on 3rd December, next week

Shares in focus; Reliance industries crossed the 10 lacs crore mark by market capitalization, India-bulls housing finance surged 40% in last three days after regulators gave them clean-chit (did not find any irregularities in loans given to certain entities), and Auto sector gained on scrappage-policy news.

Sensex challenges Naysayers

Sensex is holding onto 40k levels strongly this month, three weeks in a row now, also hitting new highs. All thanks to continuous FII’s inflow, supportive domestic and global cues.

Government’s continuous measures to bring slowing economy on track, offered last week relief to realty sector, which has been performing badly due to liquidity, where Government infused Rs. 25000 crores, along with SBI and LIC, to help in-complete projects.

To save telecom companies, government has given approval to provide two-year moratorium on spectrum payment, which will lead to relief in cash-flow improvement for three major players. Further, tariff hike announcement by three players will help them to improve future revenue.

Towards privatisation drive, the union cabinet approved sale of govt. stake in BPCL, SCI & CONCOR. Also, they have decided to cut shareholding in some public sector firm to below 51% to boost revenue collections, that have been hit by slowing economy.

Zee entertainment share rebounded with 15% jump, after promoters announce to sell 16.5% stake in company to pays dues.

Market Volatility Continues

Indian Benchmark index Sensex and Nifty remained volatile throughout the week, due to domestic and global news, with Sensex still holding 40k plus levels but Nifty lost 12k mark amid quarterly outcomes of companies and slowing factory output, CPI & WPI data.

FII remained net buyer in Indian stock market and infused Rs. 4425.37 crore in the cash segment, whereas DII’s chose to book profit.

We witnessed selling pressure on news that India’s industrial production shrank for the second consecutive month, i.e. 4.3% in September, compared to 1.4% in August. Also, there is a sharp uptick in CPI (consumer price index) to 4.62% in October from 3.99% in September month, which is above target price of RBI (i.e. 4%), with still a hope of small rate cut in the coming month.

Some companies registered positive earnings due to corporate tax rate cut, whereas some lost due to low demand in the economy. Stocks seen rallied are AU small finance bank, HDFC AMC, DLF, Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank.

SENSEX holding 40K levels

The Indian Benchmark index, Sensex recorded its all-time high i.e. 40,688 this week, and Nifty once again crossed the psychological mark of 12k in this week, due to supportive cues from domestic, as well as global markets.

On Friday, throughout the day market remained volatile, post afternoon we have seen profit booking after Moody’s downgrading India’s outlook to “Negative” from “Stable”, but FY20 outlook remains positive.

FII remained net buyer in Indian stock market, to the tune of Rs.2806 crore in cash segment, whereas DII’s opted for a profit booking.

FM Ms Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement to boost the economy, Rs.25000 crore funding towards incomplete housing projects (govt. to invest 10000 in AIF, SBI & LIC to invest 15000), boosted sentiments in realty & cement sectors.

Stocks seen rallied are DLF, due to the announcement of funding in the realty sector, Infosys on not receiving any supporting evidence for whistle-blower complaints, and Varun-beverages on strong September quarter earnings.

SENSEX hitting an all-time high

The gloomy & uncertain market since the last few months has turned euphoric, bringing much-needed cheers to the market.

Even though there is buying with the big players, most of the indicators and data points are still below-par. The big players who generally lifts or starts the momentum, usually starts with a possible positive cues (coming soon); like income tax breather (to be announced) for individuals, some more corporate/ equity market sops (to be announced by the government) and above all, the international factors like the upcoming US & China meet in mid-Nov, towards easing of Trade-war further.

Stocks seen rallied are Tata Motors, SBI, Yes Bank, Infosys, TCS etc. Among this, Tata Motors and Yes bank have shown their vertical upward move, closing above 30%, key reason being, the capital infusion.

In terms of data points: Core Sector output shrinks 5.2%, touching fiscal deficit to 92.6%, the unemployment rate in October rose to 8.5% (highest in 3 years), and weakening auto numbers.

Diwali Muhurat Trading – 27th Oct 2019

The one-hour trading session on the Diwali Day is considered as one of the auspicious trading days, to mark the beginning of the traditional Hindu accounting year, better known as “Samvat”. Stock-brokers across the country perform “Chopra Pooja”, by conducting a pooja of the new accounting book, before the start of the session.

This year, Muhurat Trading will be held on 27th Oct 2019, from 6:15 pm to 7:15 pm.

Stock-brokers believe, that buying a small quantity of shares (as per individuals understanding) on this occasion, brings wealth & prosperity throughout the year. Also, these stocks purchased on this day, are to be held for long (many years).

Historically, the market has remained positive in these sessions, with low volumes.

As per survey, analysts are largely positive about Samvat 2076, with many expecting Nifty to top the 14,000 marks and Sensex at 46,000 level by next Samvat.

For the Week: Indian equity market remained volatile with anxiety on Assembly Election 2019 in Maharashtra and Haryana, and most important drivers the DII & the FII remains net sellers in the cash market. Quarterly earnings session of companies kept market volatile, with some gains and some losses.

Infosys went down by 15% on Tuesday (single day fall) since last 6 years, dragging nifty and Sensex down, after the whistle-blower complaint, stating manipulation in short term revenue statements against its top management.

We Wish You a Very Happy & a Prosperous Diwali!!!

Positive Momentum Continues-Sensex at 39298

With positivity all-around, Sensex ended the week by adding 1000+ points, netting a gain of 2.8% (Nifty at 3.14%) on a weekly basis.

IRCTC IPO, which was oversubscribed by 112 times, got listed on stock exchange this week and delivered a blockbuster market debut, giving 140%+ returns.

IMF (International Monetary Fund) lowered the growth estimate for India to 6.1% in FY19 due to slowing demand, with low IIP no’s (-1.1%), lowest in seven years, slowing auto sales & many other factors. But it also estimated that India will deliver 7% growth in FY20, putting India as the No. 1 country in terms of growth, in-short, India still remains the most attractive place to invest.

The Brexit deal remained one of the main focus points for markets to be volatile, it’s expected for Indian IT companies to get benefit from this deal, as Indian companies are having investments in these countries.

Next Week: other than the global cues, what needs to be seen will be the corporate quarter result announcements, which hopefully should trigger the next wave of gains, leading to a cracking Diwali next week!

Sensex on a roller-coaster ride

The market is on a roller coaster ride due to global and domestic uncertainty. The benefit of the corporate tax cut will be seen in Q2 earnings, which means most of the companies paying tax rate from 35% to 39% including other surcharges, will pay only 25.17%. IT companies are less benefited with the move, as most companies operate in special economic zone (SEZ) & already enjoys below 25% tax.

RBI slashed repo rate by 25 basis points to 5.15%, in a fifth consecutive rate cut to boost growth, but at the same time cut the GDP growth forecast of FY20 to 6.1% from 6.9%.

IRCTC IPO was oversubscribed by 112 times, to debut on Monday, October 14.

Indian Benchmark indices ended in positive territory after positive cues from the global market, over good trade talk between US-China on a Thursday. Sensex settled at 38127 & Nifty 11305. On a weekly basis, Sensex gained 0.72 % & Nifty 0.97%.

Friday IIP (Index of industrial production) numbers were declared, which is worst since 2012, leading to negative growth, i.e. -1.1%, which again shows more measures are needed for recovery.

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

It’s an old saying, any experience which leads to bitter experience, lingers on for a life-time, hence one takes cautious steps towards the similar encounter.

Best explained by Mr. Abhay from Kolhapur, who witnessed the severe flooding recently, leading to many days & weeks for the entire city of Kolhapur without food, clean water, sanitation & above all, emergency money with residents. How did Mr. Abhay survive?

Mr. Abhay, with his early experience, in his childhood, had thought-thru & planned for such natural calamities. He always maintained at home, emergency cash, some extra stock of food & water, basic medical help. Sounds simple & basic. But do we have such contingency planned & executed?

I am not trying to prepare you for natural calamities, but for a far bigger calamity, i.e. savings & contingency. Why is that we wait for some reason (bad or good) to start the same? Buts that’s the usual story for all of us, mainly the millennial.

Contingency means, planning for an emergency, which could be in any format, key being Job loss or Job shift, Health or Medical. They (emergency) don’t come invited but happens. Usually, it is recommended to have 6 months to 12 months of income saved, towards contingency or emergency funds.