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Monday, 26 September 2022

Thoughts on the Market: Interaction with ET Now


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Thoughts on the Market
Thoughts on the Market
I shared some thoughts on the current markets and the sectors I am finding interesting.

Friday, 23 September 2022



Multidisciplinary learning is one of the best ways to improve our investment acumen. Here is a summary of some of the best learnings of the week. If you like this collection, consider forwarding it to someone who you think will appreciate it.

You can sign up to https://www.getrevue.co/profile/intelsense to receive all blogs from me directly into your inbox.

To subscribe to any of Intelsense Research services, visit www.intelsense.in. If you wish to know more about our PMS offerings, mail us atequity@intelsense.in

Blood tests for detecting cancer
Doctors have told health services to prepare for a new era of cancer screening after a study found a simple blood test could spot multiple cancer types in patients before they develop clear symptoms.
The Pathfinder study offered the blood test to more than 6,600 adults aged 50 and over, and detected dozens of new cases of disease. Many cancers were at an early stage and nearly three-quarters were forms not routinely screened for.
Beyond spotting the presence of disease, the test predicts where the cancer is, allowing doctors to fast-track the follow-up work needed to locate and confirm a cancer. “The signal of origin was very helpful in directing the type of work-up,” said Schrag. “When the blood test was positive, it typically took under three months to get the work-ups completed.”
Humans never change. The stock market never changes.
I don’t mean that in a dismissive way as in, “Oh, people are so bad. That will never change. We’re doomed.” When I talk about human behavior, I talk about it in a non-judgmental way. I try to understand what we usually do, and not necessarily whether it’s good or bad.
To be a good investor, we should not only focus on learning the fundamentals or technicals of investing, we should also learn about the behavior of humans. Not just in the stock market but in life.
When you let go of your expectations to get rich in the stock market, you can focus on the beauty of the market. It’s truly one of the most fascinating inventions of the world.
Where else can you go to learn about money, businesses, psychology, history, and most importantly: About yourself. The stock market is a ruthless system that punishes your mistakes with a vengeance. But it also rewards you when you do the right thing.
That’s what makes it so beautiful; because it’s honest.
Determination is fueled by ambition
Most people don’t know how ambitious to be, especially when they’re young. They don’t know what’s hard, or what they’re capable of. And this problem is exacerbated by having few peers. Ambitious people are rare, so if everyone is mixed together randomly, as they tend to be early in people’s lives, then the ambitious ones won’t have many ambitious peers. When you take people like this and put them together with other ambitious people, they bloom like dying plants given water. Probably most ambitious people are starved for the sort of encouragement they’d get from ambitious peers, whatever their age.
Achievements also tend to increase your ambition. With each step you gain confidence to stretch further next time.
So here in sum is how determination seems to work: it consists of wilfulness balanced with discipline, aimed by ambition. And fortunately at least two of these three qualities can be cultivated. You may be able to increase your strength of will somewhat; you can definitely learn self-discipline; and almost everyone is practically malnourished when it comes to ambition.

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Monthly Q&A - August 2022


I do a monthly Q&A on topics related to investing posted by our subscribers. This month I cover interesting topics like investment checklists and using stop loss in investing.

Monthly Q&A - August 2022
Monthly Q&A - August 2022
A detailed post on using stop losses while investing - http://blog.intelsense.in/2020/04/using-stop-loss-in-investing.html
Booklist on Intelsense Blog: http://blog.intelsense.in/p/blog-page.html
To explore our subscription offerings, please visit www.intelsense.in
To enquire about our PMS, please drop us an email at equity@intelsense.in

Thursday, 15 September 2022



Multidisciplinary learning is one of the best ways to improve our investment acumen. Here is a summary of some of the best learnings of the week.

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

You can sign up at https://www.getrevue.co/profile/intelsense to receive all blogs from me directly into your inbox.

To subscribe to any of Intelsense Research services, visit www.intelsense.in. If you wish to know more about our PMS offerings, mail us at equity@intelsense.in

The goal is to sit less
A study, which involved more than 3,700 men and women in Finland, found that many dutifully exercised for a half-hour, but then sat, almost nonstop, for another 10, 11 or even 12 hours a day. These were the study’s active couch potatoes, and their blood sugar, cholesterol and body fat all were elevated.
But the study found, too, that men and women who got up and moved around even a little more often, whether by strolling gently or fitting in more exercise, were substantially healthier than the active couch potatoes.
The results tell us that a single 30-minute, daily workout “might not be enough” to alleviate the downsides of prolonged sitting.
The lesson from the research is that in addition to a brisk workout, we need to move lightly and often, cleaning, taking the stairs, strolling the halls or otherwise not remaining still. The sweet spot in this study involved about 80 or 90 extra minutes of light activity, “but any additional movement should be beneficial.
Growth is good for stocks
Philip A. Fisher is well known as an advocate of investing in growth stocks, but he was no speculator. He counsels investors to avoid promotional situations and to be cognizant of the danger of paying a price that already discounts very high growth far into the future.
There is no doubt that Phil Fisher’s approach was more venturesome than the policies advocated by Benjamin Graham, but both men demanded rigor in their analytical process. Warren Buffett was clearly more influenced by Graham in his early years but came to appreciate Fisher as well. Charlie Munger’s approach tilts more toward Fisher and less toward Graham.
When asked about the distinction between value and growth during the 2001 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, Warren Buffett clearly explained the fallacy of thinking in such terms. Charlie Munger chimed in with the observation that selecting companies with growth prospects reduces the number of decisions that they would have to make over time.
The invention of the x-ray
There is no overemphasizing the profound effect that the discovery of the X-ray had on the broadest range of human existence. The finding was a scientific bombshell that warranted interest from scientists and laymen alike. Newspapers and magazines printed stories, true and false, about the newly discovered rays. Women were cautioned that handheld X-ray devices could peer through their clothes. Men were warned that police would adapt X-rays to spy on nefarious activities. There was even the suggestion that X-rays might be exploited to see through walls into private spaces and spy on people’s intimate activities.
By 1900, the use of X-rays passed beyond simple demonstrations of skeletal ab­normalities or detection of metal objects in the body. It became apparent that X-rays killed rapidly dividing cells, an observation that intrigued cancer researchers and brought about the beginnings of radiation oncology. Although surgeons would no longer be the only practitioners at the forefront of advances in radiology, their early appropriation of the new technology demonstrated that the X-ray machine was an indispensable medical and surgical device.

Monday, 12 September 2022

Relative & Absolute Momentum

At Intelsense.in, we run our own proprietary quant based systems - Q10, Q30 and Quiver (only on smallcase).
You can take a look at https://intelsense.smallcase.com

We hear the term momentum investing a lot. Most of us don’t really understand it. What we understand is in momentum investing we buy stocks which are in momentum, meaning, stocks that are going up. But, there are different types of momentum. Absolute (Time Series) and Relative (Cross-Sectional) momentum are the two main types. Let us understand these two with two very simple examples.

Imagine you are taking a train ride. Relative momentum is wanting to be in the fastest train. So it compares the train speed with all other trains and tells you the one which is running fastest and you jump on to it. Sometime later you check again. And find out if it’s still the fastest. If some other train becomes faster, you switch to the other train. So in relative momentum, we rank the stocks based on their speed and quality of momentum relative to other stocks and select the top ones. And keep switching by checking periodically. 

In comparison, absolute momentum just checks if the train is running and running fast. It doesn’t compare with any other train. If the train slows down, we get off. If the train stops we get off. This train may be among the top ones on relative momentum criteria or it may not be. We are okay as long as the train is moving ahead at a decent speed. If we can’t find such trains we wait. 

What does it mean in practical terms? The entry and exit points and holding periods differ basically. To take a simple example, in one of our strategies that I use, we will exit a stock even if it is going up but it has become slower than other stocks. Due to this difference in entry and exit and holding period, it is expected to give a diverse set of stocks and the equity curve is expected to behave differently providing us with a diversified combined basket of stocks which has a smoother equity curve. 

It may appear the same because in any case, we are buying stocks which have been going up. The first sentence of Leo Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina reads, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”. Stocks also behave in a similar manner. They all look similar when they are in their bull phase. But when studied deep, there are a hundred ways of filtering them with different results. 

Gary Antonacci’s book Dual Momentum is a good read to explore this subject in a bit more detail.

Friday, 9 September 2022


Multidisciplinary learning is one of the best ways to improve our investment acumen. Here is a summary of some of the best learnings of the week.

This week onwards, I am changing the format of the newsletter. Instead of sharing 5 articles each week, now I will share 3 articles, 1 audio/video and 1 quotation of the week that I am thinking about.

Do let me know our feedback on the changed content.

Intelsense Updates
I shared my thoughts with The Economic Times on the markets and the possible sectors that are likely to throw up winners in the medium-to-long term.
1. It’s supposed to be hard
Every investor knows, or should know, the truth about money management: More than 80% of professional investors underperform their benchmark (more depending on how you calculate it). Those stats are used in an often cynical way to show how the industry is broken, crowded, and ineffective.
But wouldn’t it be weirder if it were different?
Wouldn’t it be strange if every slightly ambitious investor could pick a few stocks and earn returns capable of generating dynastic wealth with other people’s money? Or even most of them? How and why could that world possibly exist? The reason Warren Buffett is interesting is because there’s only one of him.
About 1% of college basketball players make it to the NBA. That funnel doesn’t seem odd – no one would say college basketball is broken, or a scam, or ineffective at developing great players. It’s obvious that getting to the NBA is really hard, and you can be talented and still not make it. The entire reason pro sports are exciting is because the players do someone almost no one else can do. Michael Jordan is interesting because there’s only one of him.
2. Truth-seeking is important for self-improvement
Most highly successful people have been really right about the future at least once at a time when people thought they were wrong. If not, they would have faced much more competition.
Self-belief must be balanced with self-awareness. I used to hate criticism of any sort and actively avoided it. Now I try to always listen to it with the assumption that it’s true, and then decide if I want to act on it or not. Truth-seeking is hard and often painful, but it is what separates self-belief from self-delusion.
This balance also helps you avoid coming across as entitled and out of touch.
3. A little inefficiency is wonderful
Psychologist Amos Tversky once said “the secret to doing good research is always to be a little underemployed. You waste years by not being able to waste hours.”
A successful person purposely leaving gaps of free time on their schedule to do nothing in particular can feel inefficient. And it is, so not many people do it.
But Tversky’s point is that if your job is to be creative and think through a tough problem, then time spent wandering around a park or aimlessly lounging on a couch might be your most valuable hours. A little inefficiency is wonderful.
Nassim Taleb says, “My only measure of success is how much time you have to kill.” More than a measure of success, I think it’s a key ingredient. The most efficient calendar in the world – one where every minute is packed with productivity – comes at the expense of curious wandering and uninterrupted thinking, which eventually become the biggest contributors of success.
Audio/ Video of the Week
The metaverse explained in 14 minutes.
The metaverse explained in 14 minutes | Matthew Ball
The metaverse explained in 14 minutes | Matthew Ball
Thought of the Week
Huge sums have been lost by investors who have held on to securities after the reason for owning them is no longer valid. In investing it is never wrong to change your mind. It is only wrong to change your mind and do nothing about it.
~Seth Klarman

Friday, 2 September 2022

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.

Investing is an act of arrogance
Investing is an act of arrogance. You are basically saying, “I am right and the person on the other side of the transaction, who is buying a stock from me or selling it to me, is wrong.”
This arrogance requires amnesia of your past successes and failures; it is earned with your current sweat, through thorough research. Your research leads you to conclusions that often disagree but sometimes agree with the prevailing trends in the market. Arrogance – belief in your process and research – allows you to follow through on your conclusions, even if the market scorns them. 
This is how we try to close the gap between theory and practice created by volatility. We continuously build and update our financial models, talk to companies and their competitors and to industry insiders, do a lot of reading, and debate companies with our peers. We have to keep earning the right to be thoughtfully arrogant through our hard work. When time passes, facts change, and new information comes out, we have to have the flexibility to change our minds.
When you are making thoughtfully arrogant decisions, you are ignoring both what the crowd thinks and, just as important, your past successes. You are arrogant (I am paraphrasing Seneca here) because through your research you have discovered the truth (what the company is worth) before time did. 
Focus is the most critical factor of success
The tendency of people and organizations is to lose focus. So one way to identify outstanding people is by their ability to commit and focus on something for a long period of time.
The only people you should hire are focused ones. The only competitors you should worry about are the focused ones.
People naturally lose focus when they forget that focus means saying no to good opportunities and good people. Average ideas are everywhere, and they try to pull you in. The more successful you are, the more people will want to work with you. If you start saying yes to average ideas, you quickly lose the space and time you need to execute on great ones.
Organizations lose focus in many ways, but the one that causes the most damage is bureaucracy. An organization where committees make decisions will always end up losing focus. When an organization loses focus, it opens the door to competitors who can focus.
Focus is hard, and because it’s hard, it also creates a hidden place to find opportunities.
Satisfaction = what you have ÷ what you want
All of our evolutionary and biological imperatives focus us on increasing the numerator—our haves. But the more significant action is in the denominator—our wants. The modern world is made up of clever ways to make our wants explode without us realizing it. Even the Dalai Lama, arguably the world’s most enlightened man, admits to it. “Sometimes I visit supermarkets,” he says in The Art of Happiness. “I really love to see supermarkets, because I can see so many beautiful things. So, when I look at all these different articles, I develop a feeling of desire, and my initial impulse might be, ‘Oh, I want this; I want that.’ ”
The secret to satisfaction is not to increase our haves—that will never work (or at least, it will never last). That is the treadmill formula, not the satisfaction formula. The secret is to manage our wants. By managing what we want instead of what we have, we give ourselves a chance to lead more satisfied lives.
Focus on output rather than input
Traditional corporate culture has an obsession with input—hours worked, etc.—when what really matters is the output. It seems obvious, but as a manager or employee, always push for a focus on outputs vs. inputs. It takes time to shift cultures, but it’s worth it in the long run.
As a solo entrepreneur or freelancer, seek to detach earnings from hours. Rather than charging by the hour for your service or offering, charge based on deliverables. As you find new leverage in the system, you’ll be able to scale your time efficiently and rapidly increase your income and wealth creation potential.
A simple pain job can save lives of birds from wind turbines
Each year, turbine blades kill hundreds of thousands of birds and bats. As wind power becomes more prevalent, this number may rise into the millions—although it’s important to remember that other power generation methods likely kill far more birds than wind farms do. 
This concern has led to a number of proposed interventions, from turning off wind farms during migrations to installing special whistles only bats can hear. A new study presents a relatively low-cost, set-it-and-forget-it option: just paint one of the turbine blades black. 
While the raw numbers were quite small, the intervention was effective. “Overall, there was an average 71.9% reduction in the annual fatality rate” at painted turbines, the researchers write.