Monthly Archives: December 2008
This precise Article on stock trading is the tri-sectional combination of my experience, acquired knowledge and Intuition. My Readers may be, possibly, more knowledgeable in stock trading rather than me. Even though I dare to put my ideas particularly on P/E ratio, relied upon the most by investors and analysts as one of the important factors to ascertain a quality stock. But, in my opinion, to emphasize this only tool is not wise for a better choice as it may prove to be imperfect just as in a folk story of “Blind men and an elephant”.
Price-Earnings (PE) Ratio is a primary indicator of how much a particular stock is cheap or expensive to deal in or compare with having similar price or sector. Its calculating formula is as PE=Market Price/EPS. In simple way, you may say how many times more the price you pay to earn INR 1 or a unit of any other currency. But, to rely upon P/E solely is risky. PE ratio only can never give you a clear picture of company’s performance. You should take into consideration some other profit indicators also while putting your money into a flaming (!) stock market.
Just to maintain spread of the topic, I’ll continue on the tool of PE only. Base figures of Market Price and EPS (Earning per Share) are authentic but not too effective in this calculation. Market price changes every minute, day or month. Similarly, figure of EPS also fails here as it may be of the previous year/quarter ending. Some analysts calculate average of past four quarters and in modified way past two and two future quarters with projected EPS. What it may be, but it is very clear that EPS figure is delusive and market price is always unsteady.
PE may be a good indicator to start searching a good company but not always a fool-proof tool. PE is the result of past figures and market price is variable aiming to future sometimes. Any company’s EPS may be poor, but its future growth may be bright and this factor may provide fuel to move its price to higher side. EPS of some companies may look lucrative like mirage in desert in case of their other income occurred due to the sale of the assets and they inflate their profit figures highly.
For most of the people, stock trading is their part time activity and it is not possible for them to investigate any stock in its depth. Studying fundamental and technical analysis is the job of the Analysts and Fund Managers. My aim of this brief Article is just to warn investors not to follow PE blindly. They should not overlook other factors such as stable growth, steady profits, regular dividend payments, ROE (Return on Equity), PEG (advanced to PE), Book Value etc. over and above EPS and/or PE.
– Valibhai Musa
(On experimental grounds, some my literary works were published un-titled previously. I had asked my Readers to suggest the title though it was my work to do so. But, here, particularly for this post, I am not going to put any burden on your shoulders for giving the title to this post as it is already given above but in a non-dictionary word. It would be better if you restrict yourselves till you finish your reading to go to Key Notes at the end to set the letters and understand the title. Meanwhile, I hope you will bear with me until you do your job lately in this regard.
My impatient Readers will think that the turban is many times greater than the head. It means that the preamble is extremely extended, but I am helpless as this post falls in category of a certain form of literature. I’ll not explain now, but, the time will say what form of literature this Article is. I’ll not leave you hanging too much longer; but state that, now onwards, a story will follow. There are many kinds of literary stories, but if you are familiar with this peculiar form*, it is good; if not, don’t worry. Now, proceed on to read the story. If you agree with its content, it is great; if you do not agree with it, it is great again.)
“Once there was a man, one of the rarest of the rare genius personalities. I’ll keep his name reserved; if need be, it will be disclosed later on. Meanwhile, let us call him Mr. Nobody. His life was the greatest challenge to science of human behavior. His conversation was efficient, his dialogues were witty and his satires were deep to understand. Sometimes, he asked some absurd questions to the people and at the end he had to answer them himself. People laughed, but he remained neutral not expressing any emotions on his face.
Though his conversations seemed absurd, people regarded him as an intelligent man. His absurd style was just to entertain the listeners and nobody felt insulted even in public. He once asked a Madam who was a Nursery teacher that she taught the kids the wrong pronunciation of alphabet ‘W’. He said that it is not double ‘U’, but it is double ‘V’. He not only stopped there, but said further, “Have you ever thought that the non-capital pairs of ‘b’ and ‘d’ as well as ‘p’ and ‘q’ are nothing but mirror images of each other?”
One day, he was in an extra-ordinary mood and exposed his secret knowledge addressing to a small group of people in the words as ‘I am going to tell you a saying on an elephant. It is that a living elephant is worth INR 1,00,000; but when it is dead, its cost goes to INR 1,25,000.’ Then, he put an acute question ‘What do you think of a powerless President of a democratic nation?’ All were speechless as they could not follow what he meant to say. After the silence of few minutes, he said, ‘When President is in his office, he is a rubber stamp; but when he is no more, he becomes a postage stamp.” Some understood and some did not, all laughed and clapped; but Mr. Nobody was still like a statue. There are many such examples of his wit, presence of mind and sharp intellect; but there is no room for all those to narrate here.
People wondered how he could control his emotions and keep on his vacant face while in conversation. He made listeners laugh, but he won’t laugh. Some youngsters investigated that he had never laughed even in his normal private life. One day they asked him to unveil its mystery and to their surprise they came to know that since his age of 10 to present age over 50, he had neither laughed nor smiled even for a single time. In reply to what about early 10 years, he said that he had only laughed but never cried. He explained plainly that he had laughed while taking his birth also instead of crying as normally new born babies do. His mother said that he was an abnormal child reacting adversely. All the members of his family were used to distinguish his expression of emotions. They took both his crying and laughing otherwise in the sense as we actually mean those.
He had laughed last at the age of 10 when his father had died at his very young age. You will feel it hard to believe how a mentally normal child might laugh on its father’s demise instead of crying. When the members of his family, his mother, neighbors and rest relatives were crying, Mr. Nobody broke out in shouts of laughter in the equal degree to crying on such the sad event. He continued to laugh on until his father’s funeral service was over and his grief was calmed down.
His mother was annoyed great for shameful behavior of Mr. Nobody. She scolded and warned him in anger that she would kill him if ever he laughed until she lives. Mr. Nobody proudly said, “It was my last laughing of my life. My mother is no more now and even though I don’t laugh. I feel guilty still now that I had laughed at the death of my father. It was not my intention to do so, but I was helpless. I can’t understand till now why it happened so with me. There might be some neurological deficiencies by birth or the mechanism of expressing emotions would have failed to function. Whatever it may be, but it was the fact that my styles of expressing happiness and gloomy were exchanged.”
On that day, some youngsters made up their minds to make Mr. Nobody laugh at any cost. They were confident they would succeed nevertheless many would have failed. They all stood around him and began to tickle him in his arm-pits with poking of their fingers. Mr. Nobody felt the titillation so thrillingly that he began to laugh within no time after long past 40 years. Once his laughing started, it began to increase gradually. Within five minutes, his laughing reached its climax. His laughter was now out of control. His parents, Neurologists, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, class-mates, street friends – the list might grow extensive; but all were unsuccessful with this practice that those youngsters did. He laughed and laughed until his cheeks were red and eyes full of tears. He turned curved from the waist while laughing. He sat down on earth and continued his giant-like laughing. The youngsters also enjoyed great. They shouted loudly and laughed fiercely with joy that they had at long last succeeded in their aim.
Now, those young men kept away from him leaving him alone to act upon his laughing. They were excited with the result that the engine of Mr. Nobody’s laughter had picked up and reached nearness to its full motion which had remained sticky for the last 40 years. At least for half an hour, Mr. Nobody kept on laughing. A great crowd of people had gathered there enjoying the non-stop laughter of Mr. Nobody.
But to the surprise of all, Mr. Nobody stopped laughing all of a sudden as if a vacuum brake was applied to the engine of his laughter. Mr. Nobody was no any more!”
– Valibhai Musa
Key Notes for Title ML GRGOV and form of story ZYHFIW*:-
Write all the 26 alphabets in sequence on a plain paper from A to Z in first line.
Similarly, write all alphabets from Z to A in second line.
Now find out related letters of the words “ML GRGOV” and “ZYHFIW” from the second line correspondently standing for each in the first line.
Hopefully, you have found out my title to the post and form of story also.
My today’s Article is a result of my unquenched thirst of being an Actuarial Professional at my very young age. Soon after my graduation in 1966, I was in search of some extra-ordinary course that can be done externally, giving intellectual status and financially paying more. By referring some Booklets on Educational and Vocational Guidance, I had come to know about the Institute of Actuaries, London (U.K.).
Though the doors for this Actuarial Examination were open even for a Matriculate candidate, I dared not proceed further due to my graduation in Arts with Literature and Sociology. No doubt, I was brilliant in Mathematics and Higher Arithmetic in the times of my Old S.S.C. (1959), the Board Examination followed after Std. XI; but, it was not enough to cope with this rather tough examination.
My going through the pattern and syllabus of the examination shook me from my inner confidence with hesitation that Science graduates with Mathematics and Statistics only can succeed fairly in this examination. Gone is gone, but still I can satisfy myself if my post on the subject inspires any of my Readers to make career in field of Actuary or add one more qualification to any Professional degree already occupied.
Above referred Institute was established in London (GB) in 1848. Though India was being ruled by the British then, we had been fortunate late in 1944 to establish our own such institute named as “Actuarial Society of India (ASI) which got its membership of International Actuarial Society Association in 1979. ASI was got registered in 1982 under Registration of Licensing Scientific & Charitable Act.
To be qualified as an Actuarial Scientist through ASI or any such recognized Institution of the world is considered as the greatest achievement and no any other credentials are asked for when you apply for a job or start your own Consultancy Service.
Initially Actuarial Profession was limited to Insurance Industry and the task of its experts was to deal with studying life risk factors, framing tariffs of premiums and counseling financial managements. They used logical abilities and mathematical probabilities to make near to accurate predictions. They helped the Insurance Companies to design Pension Plans, Gratuity, Insurance policies and other financial strategies by estimating the probability and likely cost of the occurrence of an event such as death, injury, sickness or loss of property and other types of risk. But in present days, the services of Actuaries are in hot demand in other sectors also as Project Management, Banking, Health care, Product designing and Corporate planning. There are various Designations of Actuaries as Analyst, Consultant, Manager, Director, Associate Actuary, Pricing Actuary etcetera.
Before summing up this brief informative Article, I would like to suggest that any candidate should get some competent University graduation before, meanwhile or after this Actuarial Examination as the specialized qualification only may limit your scopes of making a career. Specific information regarding eligibility, examination pattern etc. can be gathered by going to web sites of respective Institutes.
Hopefully, you have got good primary knowledge on the topic.
– Valibhai Musa