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Welcome To Insight

I'll come straight to the point-the goal of this magazine is to help you get

I'll come straight to the point-the goal of this magazine is to help you get richer. We'll sometimes try and write things that are fun and entertaining and promote world peace and harmony but those are not the priorities. Let me explain.

The idea came up in a conversation I had with Anup Bagchi, CEO of ICICIdirect.com, which is India's largest online stockbroker, as well as India's largest stockbroker. This fact came as a surprise to me-frankly, till that time I hadn't noticed the magnitude of the shift to using online broking.

After that it was an obvious step to realise that the online stock investor must be the cream of India's investment community in his approach to looking for and absorbing information. Anup wanted to provide to ICICIdirect.com's customers an extra advantage in terms of information and knowledge. At the same time, the idea was to avoid giving them something that is as jargonised and dry as traditional research that comes from brokers. More importantly the goal was to deliver something that was clearly independent, which research from a broker (or from any other interested party) can never be.

Most people get attracted to the stock markets only when prices are rising. In the past, bull runs on the Indian stock markets were much shorter, sharper and had a sense of falseness about them. This is not just hindsight-the uncomfortable fact is that practically every previous bull run in India has ended in a scam. Another reason why those bull runs felt fake was that there was never any solid reason to expect them to be reflective of any long-term trend.

I think the situation is a little different now. Not only are there some fundamental changes happening in our country's economy, these changes are clearly visible to all of us. In fact, these are kind of changes that bull runs of the past two decades were premature responses to. The boom of 1991-92, which collapsed spectacularly in a scam, was a response to the opening up of the Indian economy. Of course it couldn't survive because it was a fake response drummed up about fifteen years too early.

Today, there is finally a real basis for being a long-term investor in India that is what this magazine is all about. However, just because some companies are good long-term investments today doesn't mean that all of them are. It also mean that there are many sharp operators who have highly developed methods of creating illusions of good investments and robbing investors of their money.

During these last months or so, many investors have realised that while the media is full of happy talk about the big Sensex stocks recovering much of their losses, the small stocks that gullible investors had picked up after listening to dubious advice are still in heavy losses. Of the 2400 stocks that were traded on the BSE around the market peak May 10, more than half are still down by more than 30 per cent! If this magazine has a mission, then it is to help its readers learn how to figure out the difference between good, bad and ugly investments themselves. When you invest, you should be able to do it with the confidence that even if the markets go down, the investments you have chosen are good ones and will come through. It is this 'beyond fear' style of investing that is the difference between those who sleep well at night and those who have bad dreams about what the markets will do the next day.

Those are the goals, and it's up to you to decide whether we are meeting them. I'm looking forward to hearing what you think. No matter what you think, please do write to me at [email protected]