Friday, 31 May, 2013

The importance of Slowing Down ... ... ...

Slow Down, and Relax!

Came across a rather interesting article in the blog section of HBR:

This triggered a few thoughts in my mind - or, rather, re-kindled old memories which led me to choose my life style the way I did...

A lot of financial experts tend to focus on:

  • Enhancing income-earning and wealth growth prospects
  • Maximising income and wealth on a sustained basis - For ALL human beings

Interestingly, the above thought process of financial experts has been internalised by the vast majority of people all over the world - cutting across race, religion, financial position, health condition, ideological leanings, etc.

In a way, this is a good thing as it motivates people to improve their standard of living. However, there is a critical downside to this sharp focus on increasing income and accumulating wealth. No, I'm not about to launch a sermon on declining moral standards (though that would be a valid concern as well).

Here goes:

The primary purpose of earning and/or accumulating money is to Live. I guess that this process of Living would include a wide range of activities ranging from formal education, entertainment, medical care, dining out, socializing with friends and relatives, playing / watching different sports, etc.

Initially, the purpose of every scientific advancement (starting with the invention of fire, the wheel, the typewriter, the automobile, the computer, etc.) led to a distinct improvement in the quality of life. People were able to achieve a greater productivity with lesser efforts, enabling them to spend more time on actual Living. However, in the past couple of decades, especially in the past 5-6 years, we have been observing a disturbing trend. Increasingly, people (especially those between the age of 20 and 60) seem to be extraordinarily busy with something or the other, virtually for 95% of the time they are awake. And mostly, they are busy with work related matters or in activities directly or tangentially related to preparing for or reviewing their work life.

You know the usual "crib story": Too much competition, unable to avoid phone calls, got to check mails, got to respond to emergencies, need to think about my next promotion, have to retain my job, Am at too senior a position and hence can't afford to take things easy, Am at too junior a position to take things lightly, Have to stay updated with the latest trends and developments in my field, Must finish reading this journal before this weekend, etc.

The end result: A vast majority of people are "Physically Existing", but are not Living any longer.

Is there a solution to this dangerous situation? I think that there is a rather conceptually simple (but extremely difficult to implement) solution:

Just Slow Down and Relax!

I can hear you screaming (either openly or to yourself) that it is easier said than done. I can almost hear you saying: "But How"?

Guess that you'll have to wait for my next blog post on the subject. In the meantime,

Just Slow Down and Relax!



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Saturday, 25 May, 2013

Stick to Blue Chips

Stick to Blue Chips

If there's one thing that I've learned over the years of investing in shares, it is something quite basic and simple:

Stick to Blue Chips. And keep reviewing them regularly to ensure that they continue to be blue chips!

If, in the hope of grabbing that elusive multibagger, you get tempted to invest your money in an unknown company (often a penny stock), be rest assured that you're likely to be stuck with it for a long period of time. And, at the end of it, you'll be lucky if you can get your capital back.

I had learned this lesson over the years through personal experience as well as through hearsay from experts.

I recently came across another interesting proof that re-affirmed my faith in blue chips:

While every word in the above article is quite valid, the moral of the story for me has to be:



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