Equity Advisory

Are you looking for an honest, transparent and independent equity research and advisory? www.intelsense.in is run by Abhishek Basumallick for retail investors. Subscribe for long term wealth creation.

Saturday 27 June 2020

FAQ answers for Hitpicks - the technofunda advisory

I have been receiving a number of questions on our new Technofunda initiative - Hitpicks. Here are some points that should answer most of the commonly asked questions.

  • All communication will be on email.
  • It is a long-only strategy. All the ideas recommended would be BUY recommendations but if and when we spot an opportunity of a breakdown/reversal in any stock we would bring it to your notice only as a possibility and not as a recommendation.
  • The companies recommended will be companies with decent fundamentals and high liquidity.  
  • The time frame for the given trade will be clearly mentioned along with the recommendation. e.g short term means few days to few weeks, medium-term means few weeks to few months and long term for a few months to more than that. 
  • Ideal allocation to technofunda trading in the overall portfolio should not exceed 30-40% of total portfolio value. One can gradually begin with smaller sums and get enough confidence to bet higher amounts gradually.  
  • We would endeavour to recommend stocks as and when we come across good trade setups and because of that there will be no fixed frequency of recommendations. 
  • A minimum of 12 recommendations would be provided but the number is likely to be exceeded provided markets remain good. 
  • We would clearly mention the course of action which includes buy/accumulate in a price range, stop loss and targets in each recommendation. Whenever targets are achieved or sometimes slightly before that happens, it would be advisable to book atleast partial if not full profits. 
  • Along with technical set up, a brief write up about the fundamentals and possible triggers would be provided with the recommendation. 
  • The recommendations are for delivery based trading on the given time frames, but if someone wants to buy in futures or options, he/she can do so at his/her own risk.  
  • Investors/traders do not need to trade each and every recommendation made.  They can pick and choose according to their comfort levels based on conviction and time frame mindset.

Friday 26 June 2020

Pre-Register for the Introductory offer for Hitpicks

The introductory offer for "Hitpicks" is here. Please register your email id and we will send you the payment details.

The first 100 registered email ids get a discounted price:
1 yr - Rs 16,000 (instead of Rs 20K)
2 yr - Rs 28,000 (instead of Rs 35K)

Google Forms for pre-registration - https://forms.gle/G1WPJxyqmUBSzVk76

Thursday 25 June 2020

Introducing Hitpicks - our new technofunda advisory

It brings me great pleasure to bring to the fore an old friendship and collaboration between Hitesh Bhai (that's what I and most people I know call Hitesh Patel). 

He is the person who enthused me to learn technical analysis which opened the doors of quantitative investing. I also realized that blending technical and quantitative with fundamentals adds superpowers to regular BHP (buy-hold-pray) investing.

My own results improved significantly after meeting Hitesh Bhai. I also ventured into exploring other investing styles, which I think has helped tremendously in expanding my horizons.

The new offering - "Hitpicks" - is focused on technicals with a technofunda approach with a short-to-medium timeframe.

There may be some confusion for investors on which plan should they chose for a subscription. I have already received a few emails with an hour of announcing the new plan on twitter. So, here are a few pointers to help decide.

1. Intelsense Long Term Advisory is for those who are long term investors.

This is ideal for you if you have a time-horizon of a minimum of 5 years and are typically looking to invest for the next few decades. Here the main focus is compounding capital with comparatively lower risk in quality businesses. It is very well suited for retirement planning, monthly SIPs, goal-based investing for financial goals at least a decade away or wealth creation for the next generation. Transactions are infrequent and there may be months or quarters or even years (less likely, but possible) where we just sit and do nothing to our positions.

2. Quantamental is for style diversification, disciplined high risk-high return.

This is a great compliment to Intelsense Long Term advisory. You can think of taking a 10%-20% part of the portfolio in a strategy like this, which in the long run can generate serious outperformance. But, this is much more involved and hands-on approach and requires making transactions once a month. The risk for an investor also is higher as you would not really know a lot of details of the companies you are buying into. Also, since it invests into high growth, high momentum stocks, in a choppy market you can keep losing money. However, it can generate excellent returns in a trending bull market as shown by the backtested performance and also experienced by me since I have been investing in it. This strategy is also great for people who want to just invest in a product where human biases and mistakes are systematically reduced progressively.

3. Hitpicks is for short-to-medium term discretionary technofunda bets

This is basically meant for those who have a short-to-medium term time horizon. The core is technical analysis with an overlay of fundamentals, which basically means we will be looking only at fundamentally strong companies for technical chart patterns and breakouts. Transactions will be frequent. It requires a hands-on approach to the market.

4. Mix and match based on your preference

Based on your preference and requirement, you can choose what makes sense to you. Or if you feel that you want to apportion a part of your portfolio to each strategy then that is also not a bad idea. That is what I personally do. My personal approach is about a 70:20:10 split with the intention of moving to a 50:30:20 split over time.

5. All existing Intelsense and Quantamental subscribers will be eligible for a discounted subscription rate. Always.

Those who are already subscribers to any Intelsense family plan are automatically eligible for a discounted rate. It will be rolled out to existing subscribers directly. In fact, this will be available across the basket of plans. Any existing subscriber will get a discounted rate for any other plan.

6. All 3 plans are separate and complementary. You choose based on what you need.

I don't pick favourites among the 3 plans. They are complementary styles and complementary time horizons. So, a particular plan may not be suitable for all needs. But between the three, I think, we pretty much cover a large part of the equity investing spectrum. 

7. Bottomline is to provide honest, effective and good quality advice to retail investors.

Right from our initial ValuePickr days, we have been driven to participate in empowering the small investors. Even today, both Hitesh Bhai and I continue to spend hours every day on ValuePickr doing just that. And we get a lot more in return - in terms of great ideas, points we may not have thought of, scuttlebutt from across the country and so much more.

After having interacted with literally tens of thousands of retail investors in the few years, I have realised that there is a dire need for actionable advice which was honest and where you are not being "duped" into buying bad companies by fly-by-night advisors. 

The love and affection we have received and continue to receive from fellow members of ValuePickr and the investing community in general, remain the prime mover for us.

Friday 19 June 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 the collection this consider forwarding it to someone who you think will appreciate.

The innings that changed Indian cricket forever

One of the greatest innings of modern times began 18 minutes past 11 o’clock with no television camera to record its brilliance. A bareheaded Kapil Dev, in a full-sleeve sweater and droopy moustache, “squinted up at the sun”, wrote R Mohan in Sportstar, as he walked in to bat.

In his hands a Slazenger V12. On his mind thoughts of survival. A few minutes on, Yashpal Sharma’s dismissal left India at 17 for 5.

Walking in at No.7, Roger Binny remembers Kapil saying: “We’ve got 53 overs to go.”



A sneak peak at the developments of manufacturing artificial organs, at scale

Betting on success for growing organs, Kamen compares scaling their manufacturing to the way Silicon Valley turned an understanding of semiconductors into creating transistors so small and cheap that the tech industry now churns out phones by billions. “So I thought, why don’t we do the same thing for living tissues,” he says. “There ought to be a way to make a high quantity of them, a high quality of them, and at a realistic cost for the American public that’s in desperate need when they have an organ failure.”



The phenomenon called Robinhood

Robinhood took the trend to its logical conclusion — trades that cost $0 — and converted it into an opportunity to connect around money with members of a 90-million-strong generation. It was shrewd: Not only is it easier to reel in newcomers than to peel users away from other services, there’s an opportunity to make them lifetime customers, gradually adding new (fee-based) services. That’s why lots of businesses, including brokerage and financial firms, are interested in young HENRY — “high earners, not rich yet” — clients.



The Big Cycles - Ray Dalio's mega serial soap opera continues

I am not a fan of Ray Dalio. I think he tends to oversimplify complex situations and overcomplicates simple ones!!! Nevertheless, this storytelling on the long cycles is good learning. Also, would urge everyone to read Niall Fergusson's The Ascent of Money or watch the documentary on youtube (link: https://youtu.be/fsrtB5lp60s). The documentary does have some stunning visuals and shooting locations. Worth the 4-odd hours.



Cyber-mercenaries on the rise

Israel is a world leader in private cybertechnology, with at least 300 firms covering everything from banking security to critical infrastructure defense. But while most of these firms aim to protect companies from cyberattacks, a few of them have taken advantage of the thin line between defensive and offensive cybercapabilities to provide clients with more sinister services.

The privatization of this offensive capability is still in its infancy. But it raises broad concerns about the proliferation of some very powerful tools and the way governments are losing the monopoly over their use. When state actors employ cyberweapons, there is at least the prospect of regulation and accountability. But when private companies are involved, things get more complicated.

“If you want to take down a plane, if you want to ground air power, you don’t go through the front door, the cockpit,” said Ben Efraim, a former fighter pilot. “You go after the airport. … You go after the logistics systems. You go after the iPads the pilots take home.” There are no “stand-alone entities anymore—everything is part of a network,” Ben Efraim added.


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.

Friday 12 June 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 the collection this consider forwarding it to someone who you think will appreciate.

Stop using old models to understand a new world

There is a parallel between today’s stock market and Fischer random chess. The last time we faced a global pandemic was in 1918, and this might as well have been in the BC era. Few of us were alive then, but even the history books are not that useful, as the structure of the US and global economy, the central bank system, the diversity and dynamism of society, and the state of technological progress are nothing like the world knew then. Most of the mental models we as investors rely on are based on an environment that no longer exists. The only common denominator between now and then is that humans have not really changed that much – it takes a few millennia to rewire our DNA and thus our fundamental behaviour.

We need to confront this environment on its own unique terms: we have never been here before. We have to incredibly careful not to fall back on using old mental models. With every move we make, we have to reexamine our assumptions.



Rise of Livestream Shopping

Livestream shopping is a natural confluence of several current tech trends—streaming, influencers, social, commerce—and offers companies a new path to consumers' hearts and wallets.

In April, Huang Wei—known professionally as Viya—sold a rocket launch for around 40 million yuan ($5.6 million). The live, online shopping extravaganza the 34-year-old hosts most nights for her fans across China is part variety show, part infomercial, part group chat. Last month, she hit a record-high audience of more than 37 million—more than the “Game of Thrones” finale, the Oscars or “Sunday Night Football.”

Each night, Viya’s audience places orders worth millions of dollars—typically for cosmetics, appliances, prepared foods or clothing, but she’s also moved houses and cars. On Singles Day, China’s biggest shopping event of the year, she did more than 3 billion yuan in sales. The spread of coronavirus, which put most Chinese people under stay-at-home orders, doubled her viewership.



Robinhood investing is here

Professional investors have largely abandoned the stock market amid the coronavirus pandemic, but sports bettors and bored millennials have jumped into the retail stock trading market with both feet.

They may be a driving force pushing U.S. stocks to their recent highs — and potentially driving them further.

43% of North American men aged 25-34 who watch sports also bet on sports at least once per week, and that's the same group that has flocked to Robinhood.



John Bogle did not invent the index fund - A lesson in history of the index fund

In the January 1960 issue of the Financial Analysts Journal, Edward Renshaw and Paul Feldstein published an article entitled, “The Case for an Unmanaged Investment Company.”

The fundamental problem facing individual investors in 1960 was that there were too many mutual-fund companies: over 250 of them. “Given so much choice,” the authors wrote, “it does not seem likely that the inexperienced investor or the person who lacks time and information to supervise his own portfolio will be any better able to choose a better than average portfolio of investment company stocks.”

The solution suggested in this paper was an “unmanaged investment company”, one that didn't try to beat the market but only tried to match it. “While investing in the Dow Jones Industrial average, for instance, would mean foregoing the possibility of doing better than average,” the authors wrote, “it would also mean that the investor would be assured of never doing significantly worse.”



Newton's Law of Productivity

In many ways, procrastination is a fundamental law of the universe. It's Newton's first law applied to productivity. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest. It works the other way too. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. When it comes to being productive, this means one thing: the most important thing is to find a way to get started. Once you get started, it is much easier to stay in motion.


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.


Good, Bad & Ugly! How Covid-19 can churn winners on Dalal Street

My article in Economic Times today:


The full text below:

Thursday 11 June 2020

The Journey to be a Full-Time Investor

Since I turned into a full-time investor, I keep getting a lot of questions on how, when and what to do to quit a salaried job. I don’t have a prescription. But I can share what I thought and did. I hope it helps.

#1 – Not running away from your job
The most important determinant for leaving my full time job was to have a passion that I wanted to follow. If there is nothing to run towards, I figured that the day to day life would become very boring after the initial few days or weeks, even if I had enough money to sit and do nothing. A meaningful occupation or passion is the most important factor for deciding to call it quits.

Luckily for me, investing is my passion. It is something I would do even if I did not make any money from it.

#2 – Make sure your family is onboard with your decision
Leaving a professional career was not easy. It took me 2 years to convince my family that it is not an end of the world if I did not get up in the morning and go to a corporate job. Since, I come from a very typical middle class Bengali family, with practically all extended family members working as professionals or in corporate jobs, there supposedly was a “social” problem if I had no job! My family members were worried about simple things like what would they say if relatives asked what I did for a living.

The most critical aspect, in my experience, was the uncertainty of not having the month-end sms announcing your salary credit! That is something which is not very easy to get over. That leads me to my next point.

#3 – Make sure you get your basic expenses covered from fixed income
This was something that my friend Aveek Mitra told me a few years back. He said if I was planning to be a full time investor it is important to make sure that my investing capital is never ever required for my monthly expenses and that I should be able to run the household expenses from fixed deposits.

I strictly adhered to this. And this made the decision to quit all the more easy. Because it does not really matter at the end of the month if your salary is coming from a company you work for or from a bank FD you have.

This also helped in eliminating the uncertainty of leaving a job that I was accustomed to for nearly two decades.

I understand that this criteria makes it very difficult to consider quitting because it necessitates a fairly large corpus to be put aside for fixed deposits. Unfortunately, quitting a job, in Indian context is more or less a permanent decision. It is very difficult to be able to find a job after a couple of years in case it’s required by financial exigencies. Best to be conservative than to be repent it.

Of course, if you have a spouse who can contribute to covering part of the monthly expenses, then you are in a considerably better situation.

#4 – Think about what you will do with your time
Being a fulltime investor sounds very cool and sexy. But it’s not. It is a lonely pursuit. Unless you love sitting and reading for hours every day, it is very easy to get bored very easily. It is best if you do not work from home. I have found working from home as a full time investor to be very difficult. My family thinks I don’t do anything and keep interrupting!! This wasn’t the case when I was working in my job. Have a network on friends who are also full time investors who you can speak to during the day because most of your other friends or family will be occupied in their own jobs and businesses. It is also important to have a hobby for time-diversification. As long as you are working, investing was possibly your hobby. But once your job is done with, you need something else to fall back on to divert your mind and relax.

#5 – Build a daily routine and be disciplined
Once you are a full time investor, you need to have a routine which you follow. Else you run the risk of slowly falling into chaotic stupor. I, for example, break up my work day into 2-3 big blocks of 1-2 hours each. I spend reading (books, magazines, articles, blogs), listening to concalls or videos or podcasts, stock specific work, moderation work and going through threads in ValuePickr, researching quant ideas etc. I will take each of these and put them on my calendar for each day.

#6 – Enjoy the journey
This is perhaps the most important and most overlooked. Unless you enjoy the process of investing and love the learning process, just running after the returns will be very boring and unrewarding. Only if you love what you are doing and feel energized every day, will it really be all worthwhile.


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.