Category Archives: Personal Finance

My Learnings from Stock Market

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Greetings from PenguWIN,

I am sure every investor, especially those who have been investing for more than 3 years, would have their equity returns at all-time high. The compounded annual growth rate, CAGR, has risen to enviable levels, something which I haven’t seen in the past 18 years, since I have been investing.

From a long term perspective we can expect this number to be 11-14% which is Inflation plus our GDP(India’s Gross Domestic Product or aggregate value of goods and services at market price).

I wanted to share a few observations in this scenario:

  • Don’t get anchored on the fancy numbers that you see in your portfolio now and the reality in the long run, atleast the next decade would be 11-14%. No other asset class can come even closer to this, unless you are counting on black money


  • Interest rates are expected to be low. So, you can bid adieu fixed income returns, including Bank FD, Post Office NSC, PPF of more than 8% (8% itself is a little high). Post taxes and inflation this would be negative or close to zero. So, it would be difficult to almost impossible for investors, not to take any equity exposure. In the past there were planners who advised investors to move totally out of equity once they retire and survive with Bank FDs, Post Office MIS, SCSS, Annuities and so on. Those days are gone and unless you build a huge net-worth or corpus or would be receiving inflation adjusted pension from Government, chances are you will not have a peaceful retirement, without exposure to equity 


  • Financial Assets are relatively safe and have high liquidity. You don’t need to run behind your tenants, usurpers, courts or wait for years to monetize your assets. The trend that I see over the past few years is that the youngsters or many in my generation don’t have a liking for Real Estate as an asset class. Women in the same age group are not excited about huge amount of Jewelry or Silk sarees. Sleek and simple is the order of the day. If you leave an asset like golden belt (not sure what it’s called) that is worn by ladies around the hips with silk sarees, the chances are it will never come out of the locker or going to get traded for something of better use.


  • A few of our investors could not take the volatility that the equity markets provide. I normally say that equity investments are for over 5 years’ time horizon and blended or hybrid products can be looked at for 3 years. They listen to it, feel convinced and start the journey. However they keep losing patience whenever there are dips and need to be reinforced.  Nothing comes free and you need to be prepared for the roller coaster ride. 2 of our customers missed the current run, big time, though one has already started again in the last quarter. I wish I could have counselled them better and asked them to hold. The opportunity loss for them was huge. I had a similar situation in 2008-9 crisis when my wealth erosion was significantly high. But, I persisted and stayed quietly. No mentors or anyone to look up to during that period and it was DIY. I have never been let down since then and comfortably rode the numerous falls since then.


  • I keep reading that there are lot of youngsters who take inputs from various sites, applications and there are plenty out there. I have seen atleast 12 people giving market tips, teach stock market basis, defend a few stocks or say they are the next Infosys or HUL or Amazon or Google. Where is DSQ, Pentafour, Satyam, BaaN, Microland now? Where is Anil DAG now, who was given equal or close to (MDAG) that in 2007, the worst corporate story that I have come across in the entire world. How many people know that for a Flipkart or Zomato or Oyo there were dozens of companies that never saw the limelight. Without understanding our markets, people have started chasing Amazon, Google, Facebook FAANG and what not with websites enabling to buy international stocks


           Euphoria of New Fund Offers – 

                                                                                                          …..To be continued

Of Blogs and Tweets

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Greetings from PenguWIN!

                            Some of our investors have asked why I have stopped writing blogs. I have also been asked as why I am not in tweeter. The story goes like this.

” I have been subscribing to a magazine called Value research for over 10 years now. Every year they publish an annual edition too. During the initial years or more than the first 5 years, I used to anxiously wait for the magazine to come and there are certain fund reviews and portfolio changes that I used to eagerly read. In the past 3 years, during the first 2 years I used to glance through the articles and in the last year, I have only opened it and seen the contents. It’s happened with the Monday edition of Economic Times and Business Line too.

Reason, nothing new that I could gain and it’s grinding the same flour “Aracha Mava Araikirathu” like we say in Tamil. So, if I talk about the same funds, financial freedom, market reactions, it’s becoming too much like changing the screen play but tell the same story again and again. Obviously, I can gauge the pulse of the audience through the interactions.

There are tons of Tamil movies (am sure in other languages too) where the story is about love between 2, fighting among themselves, others like family coming in to object and finally get happily married or both die or director leaves it incomplete for us to decide. A bit of comedy scenes here and there.

Of course, some of the new investors will definitely find it interesting (blog, I am least bothered about the movie)

There are areas like international investments, funding start-ups, estate planning that I try to read but don’t have enough competence to write an article.

Direct equity investing, analyzing company’s balance sheet, market share, management capability… has never fascinated me and I don’t spend time with that. Also, every fund house has a large army of analysts to rip these apart and I don’t intend to be smarter than them.

As far as tweeter goes, I guess I got influenced by Dr. Rajan, whom I have very high regards. When a reporter asked him (more than 2 or 3 years ago) as why he is not in tweeter, his response was, I can never articulate anything in such a small sentence – forgot the exact words. My writings are a little verbose and I thought I will find it difficult to express something concrete in twitter unless I start tweeting like ” I had an excellent meeting with x fund manager”, “Had Paradise Biryani for lunch 222 good”. “Met 3 clients today, hectic day”

So, what?

Some of the tweets in personal finance domain goes like this

“Warren Buffet created 84% of his wealth after turning 60!”

“Save for the rainy day!”

“Market is hot. Invest with caution”

” Start investing early and try to achieve financial freedom before 50″

“Bonds are for storing wealth and equities are for creating wealth:”

” Keep your expenses lower than your income”

“Being Debt Free is the best thing that can happen to you”

“Don’t be a trader. Be an investor”

“Don’t invest too much in real estate. Financial assets are the way to go”

I don’t want to comment on any of the above tweets and leave it to your judgement on the quality or benefit of these. But an hour ago, 2 financial advisors were fighting saying if you have taken my tweets, atleast give me the credit. I failed to understand any IP in the tweets and claiming credit. I normally don’t get into twitter – my mobile does not have the twitter app installed but a friend of mine pulled me into twitter, and when I was reading his message, I got to experience the feud.

A very happy weekend to you!

PenguWIN turns 6

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Greetings from PenguWIN, PenguWIN 6th Anniversary

                                           Today, we are 6 years old. Our sincere thanks to each one of you, for your patronage. Trust we are well set for a long innings. Initially, when I decided to move from corporate employment to entrepreneurship (whatever small business that we do), while there was a lot of support from friends and well-wishers, there was some scepticism from family members. It was a call between doing what you might not like the best vs what you love to do but may not be successful in monetary terms. Since I had a flair for Personal Finance from my management school days, I ensured that we (wife & daughter including) were covered for atleast 10 years based on my Networth at that point in time.  Hence, I decided to take the plunge to start PenguWIN.

While it may sound easy to do something that you really like, entrepreneurship has its own set of challenges, especially when you are a first-generation entrepreneur. Anyway, I am happy with my decision and honestly, never in these 6 years did I think of going back to corporate employment.

The Covid 19 pandemic has affected the economies of the entire world during the first half of this calendar year. The medical fraternity is still grappling with unknowns, how to find a cure and a vaccine. I hope they will counter this challenge and come out successfully in the shortest possible time.

Every company in India is struggling to sustain its business and contraction in our economy is unavoidable, given the complexity of problems that they face. The top 10 business groups of India including Reliance, Tata, Adani, Birla reported profit before tax loss of Rs.19,340/- crores in Jan-Mar 2020 quarter (Q4 FY19-20) compared to profit before tax gain of Rs. 48,500/- crores in Jan-Mar 2019 quarter (Q4 FY18-19).

The Indian equity markets have been on a roller-coaster ride in CY 2020. 

Sensex went all the way up to 42,000+ and then nose-dived to around 26,000 (38% fall in about 6 weeks) on Covid-19 fears. Now we are back to around 36,000 level as of yesterday, the 3rd July 2020. Again, no investor or analyst could predict the market. While common sense tells us that when the economy is struggling, market is expected to go down, though the extent might not be predictable. But how did the market go back to 36,000 level from 26,000 when the Covid 19 is doing more damage than initially envisaged.?

One thing that has made a difference during this period is the heightened awareness about Life and Health insurance – Individual spending on life and health insurance has gone up 25% year on year. Interest and enquiries on long term life and health insurance are hitting the roof. Please ensure that you and your family have adequate coverage of Life, Health and Critical illness insurance.

Whenever there is uncertainty and stress in the economy, gold is expected to do well. While too high an allocation of gold and in jewellery form is not a good idea, a small exposure (upto 10% of networth) to gold as a hedge is a good diversification strategy. Sovereign Gold Bonds, issued by Government of India is the best option as it can be held in Demat (no issue of safety as in physical gold) and also provides 2.5% interest rate. There are 6 issues during this year and issue 4 starts on 6th Jul, Monday. The details are provided in the table below. The price mentioned is for 1 gm of 24K pure gold and offline price. You get a discount of Rs.50 i.e. if you apply online through demat, the July 6th issue price would be Rs. 4,802/gm.

On a different note, the Covid spread and consequences is alarming (I know atleast a dozen doctors and healthcare specialists who are directly facing the Covid patients). So, please be extra cautious.

Feel free to reach out to us for any of your personal finance requirements and please do refer your friends and family.

There is only one boss: the customer. And he can fire anybody in the company, from the chairman on down. Simply by spending his money somewhere else. - Sam Walton.

<Blog # PenguWIN 1077 – PenguWIN turns 6>