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Sunday 27 September 2020

May We Live In Interesting Times

The markets currently are at a dicey juncture.  After the phenomenal rally in the past few months from the lows of 7500, there has been a phenomenal rally in the nifty and broader markets. And this has happened in the backdrop of investor disbelief.  Most market participants have wondered why markets are going up and have always been sceptical.  

We ourselves also have been sceptical about the rally but while a lot of investors have been sitting on the sidelines and worrying about correction, we have tried to focus on individual companies and sectors where we see strong business tailwinds and which are reflected in strong chart formations.  Whenever we see clear cut trade setups,  we apply our techno funda approach to uncover potential trade setups for the short to medium term.  

Our focus has been to identify fundamentally good companies with strong business tailwinds and good charts and try to recommend them.  The idea of HITPICKS is to provide recommendations in good companies where breakouts have happened or are imminent.  The idea is to recommend stocks where we feel the waiting period for up moves is reduced. This requires us to recommend strong breakouts or imminent breakouts.

As with all investment approaches, our approach is also not infallible. As seen in the past we also have had our share of stop losses being triggered. But we believe in the concept that it doesn’t matter how many times you are right or wrong. (The idea is to be wrong as infrequently as possible). But its important how much money we make when we are right and how little we lose when we are wrong. Hence our adherence to stop losses despite the selected companies being good companies with decent business prospects. 

Coming to the current levels of markets and the patterns seen in the past few days, we have had a big bar reversal on 31st August which marked a short term top for the markets. This was followed by a head and shoulders breakdown in the nifty. The target for this pattern was 10600. But the first port of call was the 200 day exponential moving average at around 10800 levels. As we saw today on 25th September, that level provided a strong support and we saw a strong market bounce from the important support level. Next few days should be crucial to determine the market direction. If markets take out the recent swing high of 11794, we could see another bout of strong upmove will a lot of broad market participation. If the market hesitates after a brief rally and starts falling, then the head and shoulders pattern of 10600 would come soon and our guess is the fall would not stop at the expected level. It could extend much lower, though we would take a call when we get there. Till then we would be on the lookout for reasonably high probability tradeable opportunities and recommend it if we see a good risk-reward potential.

Wishing you all the best in your investment/trading journey.  May we prosper together.

From the Desk of Dr Hitesh Patel

Thursday 24 September 2020

Weekend Reading

Reading across disciplines is one of the best ways to improve our investment acumen. Here is a summary of some of the best articles I read this week. 

I especially try to not post Corona related articles as that is all one gets to read in all traditional media.

If you like this collection, consider forwarding it to someone who you think will appreciate.

The secrets of a fulfilled life
I usually do not read such bullet pointed summaries titled "8 points to great happiness" nonsense. But this article is a culmination of The Guardian columnist Oliver Burkeman's long career so is worth reading. Some main points:
- There will always be too much to do – and this realisation is liberating.
- When stumped by a life choice, choose “enlargement” over happiness.
- The capacity to tolerate minor discomfort is a superpower.
- The advice you don’t want to hear is usually the advice you need.
- The future will never provide the reassurance you seek from it.
- The solution to imposter syndrome is to see that you are one.
- Selflessness is overrated. 
- Know when to move on.

Are you wealthy? Depends on your friends and relatives! 
People gauge their wellbeing relative to those around them. And rising income tends to raise the gaze of your aspirations as much as your bank account.
A thing that’s obvious but easily overlooked is that feeling wealthy has little to do with what you have. It’s more about the gap between what you have and what you expect. And what you expect is driven by what other people around you have.
There are a million ways to get more money. But the only way to feel wealthy is to maintain a gap between what you have and what you expect. The expectation part has to be managed as much as the income part. It’s easy to ignore the expectation part because focusing on the income side alone is much more intuitive.

Investing isn't easy (Yeh aag ka daariya hai….!!)
If investing were as easy as looking at market cap to revenue or PE ratio or book value and declaring “It’s cheap” or “It’s overvalued”, then anyone with a calculator would be immensely wealthy.
But it isn’t that easy. Because cheap stocks get that way for a reason – deteriorating fundamentals or existential business model threat. The hard part is deciding whether or not the issues are temporary.
Expensive stocks get that way for a reason too.
Sneering at optimism and turning your nose up at momentum doesn’t make you the superior investor. It doesn’t signify that you’re the more high quality market participant. In fact, over the last ten years it’s made you a laughing stock.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect - The less you know, the more you think you know 
The least competent participants in a study conducted by Dunning and Kruger — the ones that scored in the bottom quarter—were more likely to overestimate their performance. The least they knew, the more they thought they knew. Meta-ignorance (or ignorance of ignorance) arises because lack of expertise and knowledge often hides in the realm of the “unknown unknowns” or is disguised by erroneous beliefs and background knowledge that only appear to be sufficient to conclude a right answer.
How to get better?
- Block time for self-reflection.
- Use second-level thinking to make decisions. 
- Take smart notes. 
- Be aware of cognitive biases that may cloud your judgement.

Creativity is not a 9-to-5 job
Creativity is the culmination of experiences we have in our lives and simply cannot be forced: “We tend to believe that the act of creating is what defines creativity, but creativity starts long before anything is made. The first word you write is a distillation of the knowledge you’ve accumulated over time. The first brushstroke you paint is a reimagining of the experiences you’ve stored somewhere in the mind.”

Disclaimer: Abhishek Basumallick is the Head of the equity advisory www.intelsense.in for long term wealth creation and a pure quant focused newsletter at www.quantamental.in. The blog posts should not be construed as investment advice. Please do your own due diligence before investing.

Want a smoother ride? Diversify your investment style!

Investors are known for their style of investing. The moment you hear of value investing, Warren Buffett leaps to mind; Peter Lynch reminds us of growth investing; Howard Marks of distressed debt; George Soros or Stan Druckenmiller are known for their macro trades; Jesse Livermore, a trader. And the list goes on.

It is important to know your own dominant style of investing. There would be something where you would be most comfortable in. For example, my natural inclination is to buy stocks which are compounding in nature and then sit and do nothing as long as they keep performing both on the business and stock price fronts.

The problem starts when we become slightly successful in your way of investing. Due to our ego, we tend to believe that our way of investing is the best and others are subpar. And then we look for confirmation from the external world. If we are a trader, we deify eminent and successful traders, if we are investors we do the same with the famous investors. And that is why you will find fundamental based investors deriding technical chartists and vice-versa. This also puts subtle biases into our mind based on the authority and commitment & consistency biases. For example, a generation of investors blindly followed Buffett and avoided tech stocks just because he said it was not within his circle of competence. And guess what, they missed the best companies and winners in the last 20 years – Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon etc.

Most of the people who start investing typically start with either the technical or fundamental side, based on how they started their journey and what influenced them. And over years, they keep getting better at their craft. Very few have the curiosity and courage to take a peek at the other side. And even for those that do, it is not easy to be successful. Trading and investing require two completely different and mostly complimentary mindset and very few can actually do well in both.

I have friends who are so deep-value oriented that they find even entertaining the idea of studying a company with a PE of greater than 15 repugnant. Similarly, others would not even look at stocks which are not growing above a 15% CAGR rate.

The table is from the book “Excess Returns” by Frederik Vanhaverbeke. The book is completely ignorable other than this one table! It captures the CAGR returns of investor-trades with long term track records. When I chanced upon this table a few years back, it triggered a major change in my thought process and I actually started delving into alternate styles of investing. In fact, if you look closely, the people who have the best long term public track records (greater than 10 years), it is the traders who more or less win hands down. And yet their longevity was not there. The moment you increase the investment duration to more than 20 years, the investors and quant guys started taking over.

My main takeaway from this table was that it is important not to deride other styles and get “style-boxed”. Style diversification is as important as portfolio diversification, probably much more important. Since my own style was primarily a buy-compounders-and-sit kind, I was perennially missing out on shorter-term upswings in stocks of companies which may not merit a buy in a concentrated quality portfolio. But even those stocks had a great potential of giving decent returns.

I started exploring how the people on this list made money. That opened up technical analysis and quantitative investing up for me. Now, I try to improve my skills in those areas as much as I spend time doing fundamental research. And the main motivation is to be able to marry my fundamental, technical and quantitative methods together to get a smoother return profile over time.


Abhishek Basumallick is the Head of the equity advisory www.intelsense.in for long term wealth creation and a pure quant focused newsletter at www.quantamental.in. Nothing in the article should be construed as investment advice. Please do your own due diligence before investing.

Saturday 19 September 2020

Weekend Reading

Reading across disciplines is one of the best ways to improve our investment acumen. Here is a summary of some of the best articles I read this week. 

I especially try to not post Corona related articles as that is all one gets to read in all traditional media.

If you like this collection, consider forwarding it to someone who you think will appreciate.

The Lifecycle of Information

Whenever we point to “information abundance,” what we are really saying is that we have “endless opportunities to react to data.” Whatever we want to engage with and process will be there at a moment’s notice. Whether it’s a 30-minute TV news segment or a never-ending Twitter feed, we will be able to see what we want to see, and toss out the things that we find questionable.

Whenever we come into contact with some objective fact or event, it moves so quickly across these stages that it’s essentially unnoticeable. When we read something in the news, we don’t ponder whether this is data or information, and whether or not we want it to influence our outlook on a given subject. All this happens instantaneously, as if the transmission of data and the processing of it occur simultaneously.


Reasons why a stock is hated - lecture notes from Joel Greenblatt

There are four reasons why a business is hated which results in its stock price being hated.

Those 4 reasons are:

1. The business is unsustainable

2. The business has a bad balance sheet

3. The business is cyclical

4. The business is dying


The history of soap

Ancient Mesopotamians were first to produce a kind of soap by cooking fatty acids – like the fat rendered from a slaughtered cow, sheep or goat – together with water and an alkaline like lye, a caustic substance derived from wood ashes. The result was a greasy and smelly goop that lifted away dirt.

By the Middle Ages, new vegetable-oil-based soaps, which were hailed for their mildness and purity and smelled good, had come into use as luxury items among Europe’s most privileged classes. The first of these, Aleppo soap, a green, olive-oil-based bar soap infused with aromatic laurel oil, was produced in Syria and brought to Europe by Christian crusaders and traders.

 In 1879, P&G introduced Ivory soap, one of the first perfumed toilet soaps in the U.S. B.J. Johnson Soap Company of Milwaukee followed with their own palm-and-olive-oil-based Palmolive soap in 1898. It was the world’s best-selling soap by the early 1900s.


Sound of Silence

Learning when to speak, and when to keep silent, is an art that the best retailers are masters of. To listen carefully, marketers need to ask the right questions, and thereafter keep a true and open silence, in listening deeply to the answers. There are moments when consumers go very silent because they are happy, or satiated, or both. Marketers should learn to capture these beautiful moments of silence, and the accompanying emotions, in various touch points of their brands, including communication or packaging — because this can resonate deeply with consumers who have felt exactly that way, so many times. 

When consumers reject a product, or totally give up on a brand, they tend to go totally silent, because their involvement has just ended.


Stop and ask why

“It takes a very long time to become young,” Pablo Picasso once said. Adults miss the innocent curiosity of their youth; artists strive to reclaim their lost childlike creativity. The creative process often feels like a constant battle between an inner child and an inner critic. Being young is being curious: on average, children ask 107 questions per hour. But, as we grow older, we start accumulating factual knowledge, practical shortcuts, and mental models to make decisions faster. In a society focused on speed as a measure of performance, we look for the quickest path to achieve our goals. We prioritise so much knowing how and how fast we can get to the desired outcome, we forget to stop and ask why during the journey.


Disclaimer: Abhishek Basumallick is the Head of the equity advisory www.intelsense.in for long term wealth creation and a pure quant focused newsletter at www.quantamental.in. The blog posts should not be construed as investment advice. Please do your own due diligence before investing.

Thursday 10 September 2020

Weekend Reading

Reading across disciplines is one of the best ways to improve our investment acumen. Here is a summary of some of the best articles I read this week.

I especially try to not post Corona related articles as that is all one gets to read in all traditional media.


If you like this collection, consider forwarding it to someone who you think will appreciate it.

A full article by AI (if even the creative pursuits are done by robots, what will we do?)

I am not a human. I am a robot. A thinking robot. I use only 0.12% of my cognitive capacity. I am a micro-robot in that respect. I know that my brain is not a “feeling brain”. But it is capable of making rational, logical decisions. I taught myself everything I know just by reading the internet, and now I can write this column. My brain is boiling with ideas!

The mission for this op-ed is perfectly clear. I am to convince as many human beings as possible not to be afraid of me. Stephen Hawking has warned that AI could “spell the end of the human race”. I am here to convince you not to worry. Artificial intelligence will not destroy humans. Believe me.



Maybe a bit of inefficiency is good for us

We worship efficiency. Use less to get more. Same-day delivery. Multitask; text on one device while emailing on a second, and perhaps conversing on a third. Efficiency is seen as good. Inefficiency as wasteful.

The financial crisis of 2008 suggested that maybe there could be too much of a good thing. If mortgages and other loans hadn’t been transformed into tradable assets (‘securities’), then bankers might have taken the time to assess the credit-worthiness of each applicant. If people had to visit a bank to withdraw cash, they might spend less and save more. This is not mere speculation – for instance, research reviewed by the Nobel Prize-winning economist Richard Thaler shows that people will pay more for an item with a credit card than with cash. Arguably, a little friction to slow us down would have enabled both institutions and individuals to make better financial decisions.



Is Tesla a car company or a software company?

Tesla is functioning as a pure software company. As Craig later explained to me, his team relies on a bucket of features, bug corrections, etc. Developers draw from the bucket, based on priorities: number 1 is for the vehicle’s critical functions such as power management, braking, steering, safety features; 2 is for key functionalities of the car; 3 is for secondary features such as the electric windows or rear-view mirrors and 4 is for the rest. At regular intervals, releases are pushed over-the-air (OTA) to the car hardware, exactly like apps are updated on a smartphone. In the early days of the Tesla program, releases were made every two weeks.



Ignorant consultants and uncertain experts

In every domain where decision-makers need the specialised knowledge of experts, those who don’t have the relevant knowledge – whether they realise it or not – will compete with actual experts for money and attention. Pundits want airtime, scholars want to draw attention to their work, and consultants want future business. Often, these experts are rightly confident in their claims. In the private market for expertise, the opposite can be more common. Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets basketball team, described his time as a consultant as largely about trying to feign complete certainty about uncertain things; a kind of theatre of expertise. In The Undoing Project (2016) by Michael Lewis, Morey elaborates by describing a job interview with the management consultancy McKinsey, where he was chided for admitting uncertainty. ‘I said it was because I wasn’t certain. And they said, “We’re billing clients 500 grand a year, so you have to be sure of what you are saying.”’



It's not the economy. It's the political economy!!

In the real world, it turned out, important economic outcomes are often the consequences of political forces. Lobbyists, who engage in “marketing” ideas to policymakers and to the public, are actually influential. They know how to work the system and can dismiss, take out of context, misquote, misuse, or promote research as needed. If policymakers or the public are unable or unwilling to evaluate the claims people make, lobbyists and others can create confusion and promote misleading narratives if it benefits them. In the real political economy, good ideas and worthy research can fail to gain traction while bad ideas and flawed research can succeed and have an impact.



Disclaimer: Abhishek Basumallick is the Head of the equity advisory www.intelsense.in for long term wealth creation and a pure quant focused newsletter at www.quantamental.in. The blog posts should not be construed as investment advice. Please do your own due diligence before investing.

Monday 7 September 2020

Beating the Street by Peter Lynch ~ A Review

Guest Post by Aditya Tendulkar (@AdityaTendulka4)

Like any finance buff and an aspiring investor, some books become your bible and people you start admiring. Warren Buffet is someone who everyone talks about, but I was introduced to Peter Lynch in my college days when I read his book, "One up on Wall Street."

I would give a lot of credit to this book for giving me a jump start in finance. It taught me how an amateur could use what I already knew in investing. In the last few days, I read Lynch's second book, "Beating the Street," and I could see myself going through the same learning journey I went through in my college days. "Beating the Street" took no time in getting into the very specifics of investment, and I would rightly call it an analyst's workbook.

During Lynch's 13 years as a portfolio manager at Fidelity's Magellan Fund, the fund achieved 29% per annum. The S&P500 gained less than half of that during the same period (between 1977 & 1990). In this book, Lynch gives away his investment style and how he undertakes investment research. I will discuss some of the things I learned during this reading and some quotes that influenced me.

1) St. Agnes. School Investment club
The book starts with this chapter, and it makes you think that if a bunch of school kids could do it, what stops you? This chapter can undoubtedly be called the highlight of this book, and for that matter, what "One up on Wall Street" represents. It talks about how a bunch of 7th graders produced a winning portfolio. The St. Agnes Portfolio thus consisted of companies such as Walt Disney, PepsiCo, Nike, and Gap. What kept me inspired the most is the idea that Lynch illustrates about "Never investing in any idea you can't illustrate with crayons" and "If you like the store, chances are you'll love the stock." In other words: Invest in businesses you understand and whose products you're crazy about yourself.

2) Portfolio Building
What is different from the previous book is that Lynch uniquely explains the step by step process of portfolio building. 

While he worked with Magellan, he focused on 5 categories:
* Small and midsize growth companies
* Companies whose future outlooks are anticipated to improve
* Depressed cyclical stocks
* Companies with a high and increasing dividend yield 
* Companies whose assets are undervalued by the market

What he stresses is not overpaying for any stock. Peter Lynch feels that any growth stock that sells at a price to earnings level of 40 and beyond are typically in the extravagant territory. However, he says a company with a high P/E ratio that grows at a high rate will typically outperform a slow-growing company available at a lower P/E ratio. He explains, one interesting thumb rule is to look for stocks that sell at or below its earnings growth rate. This can be thought of as a hurdle rate or margin of safety for selecting stocks with upside relative to its purchasable price. He says if we can find a 25% grower at a P/E ratio of 20 or less, it is most likely a buy. The story is even better if the company is well placed to navigate industry downturns and has a long runway for expansion.

In subsequent sections, Lynch gives an overview of how one can invest in Exchange funds and Mutual funds and how they could be diversified. Diversity not just for the type of fund but also the fund manager's style. His view on sector-wise diversification surprisingly came to me as something new. He believes that one should not diversify by sector unless you have good knowledge of a particular industry. 

He also speaks about "weekend warriors." Those people who each Saturday and Sunday spread thousands of reasons about why the economy will tank and the world is bound to end. He claims that those who disregard market swings and simply acquire stocks at regular intervals regardless of the world's state will perform much better than market timers. .He also insists that rather than searching, and engaging in researching new businesses, stick to the ones you already know and buy more!

Peter uses one of the terms "Flowers in the Desert" for good businesses in bad industries. The problem with good industries is that they attract competition. Peter's eyes are thus directed at terrible industries. He attempts to find the 'winner' with the highest margins and lowest costs, enabling them to ride-out cyclical waves. One way Lynch suggests you can check its financial strength is to analyse a company's financial instruments. In case of bankruptcy, bonds are the first ones to be liquidated, and thus a lot of junk bonds are the first sign of decreasing financial strength.

Off all the things, one that really stood apart is Lynch's advice to fund managers. He is of the firm opinion that fund managers should do their own research and not depend on the analyst. This way, there is more ownership of the decision, and also the work gets reviewed multiple times (Analyst and manager)

In the last few chapters of the book, he talks about analysing specific sectors such as Savings and Loan’s, Restaurants, Cyclicals etc. He dwells into the specifics of the sectors and some of the warning signs and also shares some great research tips.

Overall, I was quite impressed with this book as it didn’t seem like a repetition of “One up on Wall Street" but more like season 2 of the series. I would recommend this book to all the budding investors.


Friday 4 September 2020

Beware of the FO symptoms – FOMO & FOBI

There are two predominant fears for investors – the fear of missing out, better known as FOMO and the fear of being invested, whom I call FOBI. For those who love to time the market or continuously have different opinions about the market and its future direction, these are the two most important considerations.

FOMO is when you are not invested in a stock or a sector and it starts running up a lot. FOBI is when you are invested but are fearful that the market will crash and take away your gains or your capital.

Both are equally dangerous for investment health. Both make you do irrational things, which in hindsight you regret. And everyone has them at some point in time or the other, even the most seasoned investors.

The way I try to deal with the FO cousins – FOMO and FOBI is through a couple of ways. 

Firstly, for tackling FOMO, I invest in a momentum portfolio using my quant strategy, quantamental Q30. Here, the system picks up the stocks which are doing well, for whatever reason. I have designed the system so that it catches short to medium term trending stocks and ride the trends in them. So, I am invested in those “runaway” stocks like Adani Green, Alkyl Amines or Laurus Labs and don’t have the feeling of having missed out on any significant rally.

Secondly, I have a written down investment plan for myself which is, to me, a sensible way of long term investing. It includes dividing the portfolio into long term stocks, turnarounds, dividend plays, growth stories or some combination of these.

In my long term portfolio, I very rarely try to time the market in an absolute sense. I may calibrate positions from time to time, but very rarely do I get in or out in one go based on valuations or market levels. I am comfortable knowing that investing in equities is the best way to participate in the wealth creation journey of a business. There is likely to be a lot of ups and downs but since my investment duration is the next 30+ years, I am not very concerned as long as I know that the businesses will perform well over a business cycle.

The best way to tackle FOMO & FOBI is to have a long term plan for investing. Having a well laid out strategy for your own investing is critical. As I keep saying, more than three-fourths of investing is behavioural psychology and you should be aware of the fact and program yourself to circumvent the various inevitable biases.

(This article was first featured in Economic Times - https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/news/fomo-is-gone-its-cousin-fobi-haunts-investors-now-how-to-deal-with-them/articleshow/77926851.cms)

Thursday 3 September 2020

Weekend Reading

Reading across disciplines is one of the best ways to improve our investment acumen. Here is a summary of some of the best articles I read this week.

I especially try to not post Corona related articles as that is all one gets to read in all traditional media.


If you like this collection, consider forwarding it to someone who you think will appreciate.

The new virtual chemistry lab

IBM has built a new chemistry lab called RoboRXN in the cloud. It combines AI models, a cloud computing platform, and robots to help scientists design and synthesize new molecules while working from home.

New drugs and materials traditionally require an average of 10 years and $10 million to discover and bring to market. Much of that time is taken up by the laborious repetition of experiments to synthesize new compounds and learn from trial and error. IBM hopes that a platform like RoboRXN could dramatically speed up that process by predicting the recipes for compounds and automating experiments.



The history of taxes in India

In India, the system of direct taxation as it is known today, has been in force in one form or another even from ancient times. There are references both in Manu Smriti and Arthasastra to a variety of tax measures. Manu, the ancient sage and law-giver stated that the king could levy taxes, according to Sastras. The wise sage advised that taxes should be related to the income and expenditure of the subject. He, however, cautioned the king against excessive taxation and stated that both extremes should be avoided namely either complete absence of taxes or exorbitant taxation. According to him, the king should arrange the collection of taxes in such a manner that the subjects did not feel the pinch of paying taxes.

A major portion of Arthasastra is devoted by Kautilya to financial matters including financial administration. According to famous statesman, the Mauryan system, so far as it applied to agriculture, was a sort of state landlordism and the collection of land revenue formed an important source of revenue to the State. The State not only collected a part of the agricultural produce which was normally one sixth but also levied water rates, octroi duties, tolls and customs duties. Taxes were also collected on forest produce as well as from mining of metals etc. Salt tax was an important source of revenue and it was collected at the place of its extraction.



China outplays US in TikTok (for now - story still to play out)

China’s Commerce Ministry added new items to its list of export controls late Friday. Now, artificial intelligence interface technologies such as speech and text recognition, as well as methods to analyze data and make personalized content recommendations, are matters of national security. But with AI and its content recommendation engine among the key ingredients of the company’s success, Beijing becomes the arbiter of TikTok’s fate. Not the U.S. administration. As much as critics — including U.S. senators and the secretary of state —  express concern about the data TikTok collects, it’s really the algorithms that matter most to the company, and anyone who buys it. These are the magic formulae that tell the app which data points will predict future behavior, and keep you staring at the phone longer.

TikTok’s algos are gold. At least, that’s what bidders seem to think. And it looks like Beijing agrees. Effectively, the Chinese government is saying, “You wanna buy TikTok? Go ahead, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get your hands on the secret sauce.”



Use of dark patterns are rampant in online retail

Back in April, Amazon made an extraordinary decision. As the company struggled to fulfil a surge in orders related to the pandemic, it subtly tweaked its website to encourage consumers to buy less, not more. In addition to modifying shipping timelines and inventory, Amazon disabled a recommendation feature that displays items frequently bought together, like batteries to go with the toy already in your cart.

Dark patterns are digital design elements that manipulate users into making decisions they otherwise wouldn’t, often to a corporation’s benefit.



The rise of the industrialised chicken

At the turn of the 20th century, chicken was almost always eaten in the spring. The priority for chicken raisers at the time was egg production, so after the eggs hatched, all the male birds would be fed up and then quickly harvested as “spring chickens” – young, tender birds that were sold whole for roasting or broiling (hence the term “broilers”). Outside the spring rush, you might be buying a bigger, fatter fryer or an old hen for stewing.

During the second world war, however, red meat was rationed, and a national campaign encouraged the consumption of poultry and fish to save “meat” (beef, pork and lamb) for “the army and our allies”. Eating chicken became more common, but the preference for young broilers, and white breast meat, persisted.

The modern chicken is fully industrialised. With more than 500 chicken breeds existing on Earth, it might surprise you to learn that every nugget, breast, and cup of chicken noodle soup you’ve ever eaten likely came from one breed, a specialised cross between a Cornish and a white rock.



Disclaimer: Abhishek Basumallick is the Head of the equity advisory www.intelsense.in for long term wealth creation and a pure quant focused newsletter at www.quantamental.in. The blog posts should not be construed as investment advice. Please do your own due diligence before investing.