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A Movie on Bachat, Nivesh, Badhat by IDFC

So IDFC has created a movie on Investing - in two parts:

The Value Of Money

From Manish Chauhan's Facebook page, I got to this fascinating video about the value of 5 rupees (by Veyilon Thirai, Tamil with English subtitles)

I

I've had my instances in my childhood too, of knowing the value of money. It would cost two rupees for three minutes at a video game, and you had to finish the seven or eight levels of Super Mario in that time to qualify as a champ. It would take me a couple days running errands, like getting milk or vegetables, where my folks would let me keep the 50 paise or so that would be left over as change. (I'd ask if I could keep it, but most of the time I just wouldn't give the small coins back :) )

Conversations with Manish Jain: Tech, Advisors and Mega Deals

In a 20 minute free form conversation, Manish from MProfit speaks with Deepak from MarketVision talk about:

  • Technology and Trading in India
  • How Distributors have started to become Advisors and,
  • The Reliance - DE Shaw deal.

Manish and Deepak worked together briefly during Deepak's Moneyoga days of building algo trading systems in Bombay. According to Manish's twitter profile - he loves Cars, technology, finance, fitness and a certain fruit from Cupertino, Calif.  He moved to India 5 1/2 years back to focus on technology driven businesses. His latest venture is MProfit - a desktop portfolio management software.

(As a disclosure, there is no commercial relationship between our companies)
 

Visit MarketVision at http://www.marketvision.in
Visit MProfit at http://www.mprofit.in

Manish also writes at http://www.celestri.org.

Sokol is not So Cool

image David Sokol, (now former) executive at Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, recently disclosed that

  • he bought 2,300 shares of Lubrizol on December 13, the day he told Citi to arrange a meetting between Lubrizol and Berkshire for a potential acquisition.
  • Supposedly the first overture was rejected by Buffett.
  • By Jan 7, Sokol had bought 96,400 shares of Lubrizol.
  • Soon after, Berkshire bought Lubrizol, and David S. made off with $3 million as per today's valuation.

Making Data Open For India

Nikhil Pahwa makes the case for Open Data In India.

Earlier today, we received an email from a Government of India organization (we’ve been advised not to name them), asking us to remove certain posts that we had published, on the basis of data published online by them. We’ve been publishing our analysis of publicly available Government data relevant to the Internet and Telecom domains since our inception almost three years ago, and are now pro-actively seeking more data from the Government for our data journalism initiative MediaNama Charts; Our take on this unexpected take-down request:

- We do not believe that raw data published online by Government organizations, for citizens to peruse, is or should be under copyright.
- Our act of analysis and reportage on the basis of that data is not a case of copyright violation, and any move to prevent us from publishing the data or asking us to remove it impinges on our freedom to report on developments, as a media organization.
- We could have acquired the same data by filing Right To Information Act requests, and published the data, so why ask us to remove it?

I would be horrified if the Indian Government actually tried to defend the copyright that they may or may not actually have (since that data is available for public domain use through RTI anyhow) . I use government produced data often, and it would be a shame if they refused to let us actually use the data, while at the same time publishing them for public consumption. They could try and go to court and that is a deterrent in that many of us don't have the money or time to fight a court case - but if it comes down to that I'm happy to share in the costs and time, regardless of who is attacked.

At Yahoo: Accelerated Correlation

On Yahoo, you'll find me writing about Accelerated Correlation.

(Reproduced in Entirety)

Accelerated correlation

I heard recently that a $1 change in crude oil would impact our fiscal deficit by 0.80%. The calculation is simple. India imports about 750m barrels of crude per year. A $1 hike in crude is equivalent to $750 million more to be spent buying crude, which at the rupee rate of Rs. 45 is Rs. 3,375 crores. That will push up fiscal deficit of about 400,000 crores by another 1%. Ceteris paribus, or "all else being equal".

But ceteris is not paribus, if you'll excuse the bad Latin. All else is, as usual, not equal. The fiscal deficit is impacted by multiple things — oil subsidy, fertilizer subsidy, interest paid by the government on borrowings and so on. In good times, these are reasonably independent of each other. But a rapid crude price increase changes the picture dramatically.

A 1% increase is likely to be subsidized as well. But when crude goes up 10% or 20% there is no room for the subsidy and the price increase has to spill over to actual fuel prices, which that hurts everyone through inflation. High inflation will be countered with high interest rates, which even the government will have to pay on its borrowings. Fertilizer creation involves natural gas, which moves with crude; and so up goes our fertilizer subsidy as well. The impact to the deficit, on an extreme move, is probably much higher than the 0.8% assumed.

At Yahoo: The Japanese Fallout:Is Nuclear Power Dead?

I write at Yahoo on The Japanese Fallout:Is Nuclear Power Dead?

(Reproduced in entirety)

The Japanese Fallout:Is Nuclear Power Dead?

At least for the near future, it seems doomed.

The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan has brought Nuclear Safety to the forefront again. In the Fukushima Daiichi plant, three explosions occurred, which have caused alarm that the reactors may release radioactive emissions into the atmosphere. Reactors have a core consisting of fuel rods which, on the nuclear reaction, emit heat. The heat is used to generate steam, which runs a turbine and generates electricity.

Must See: Excellent visualizations of reactor shut downs, failures and meltdowns in the NYT.

In a crisis, reactors automatically shut down. Control rods are inserted between fuel rods to prevent further reactions. But they're all still very hot and emanating heat. During this time, the reactor needs to be continuously cooled — and that is done by using water, draining out the steam, putting fresh water, etc. This process needs some power, which wasn't there with Japan's electricity gone due to the Tsunami reaction, and the limited capacity of backup generators. The process is now being carried out by supplying water from the ocean, even that is steaming up so fast that water levels are dangerously low.

10 Tax Saving Avenues : MV Chronicle

At the March 12, 2011 MarketVision Chronicle, we present 10 Tax Saving Avenues for you to consider. And, of course, all else at MV.

 

You need to register (free).

Video: Open and Closed Ended Funds

We've got a new (Free) video over at MarketVision on Open and Closed Ended Mutual Funds.

(9 min)

What I Learnt At Two Value Investing Meets

I attended a couple of interesting meets, consisting of a number of value investors, over at Delhi. They were two separate groups - "Perfect Research" and "InvestmentSuperGrowth" which met, but there seemed to be a significant overlap.

Note: I am a beginner at this "value" investor concept.

Let's get to the interesting stuff.

Mistakes

First, a presentation by Sanjay Bakshi, a famous value investor and Professor at MDI Gurgaon. He spoke about a few mental habits to get killed in the stock market. He's a value person so he abhors trading; there was a time when I would find that view silly because it ignores the excellent returns traders have made. But now I think everyone should be allowed their biases, and if hating trading is what makes him a better investor, more power to him.

He mentioned a great example of how our mind plays tricks on us. If you were in a shop for a lamp costing Rs. 10,000 rupees, and the salesperson said, "Listen, we have another store that we're shutting down, just a mile down the road, and the same lamp's available at Rs. 9,000". Will you go?

Many of us in the audience, including the stingy me, raised our hand.