5 Types of Stocks That Every Investor Should Know

5 Types of Stocks That Every Investor Should Know: There are thousands of stocks publicly listed in the Indian stock market. And researching them one-by-one to pick the one that suits you the best may take weeks. That’s why these stocks are divided into different categories to help investors/traders classify these stocks to help them study better.

Stocks may be categorized based on different factors like their size, industry, location, etc. In this article, we are going to discuss five popular types of stocks that every investor should know.

5 Types of Stocks That Every Investor Should Know

— Based on Company Size (Market Capitalization)

To classify stocks based on their size, we use Market capitalization or market cap.

Market Capitalization refers to the total rupee value of the company’s share. It is calculated by multiplying the total number of shares by its present market share price.

Here, according to the size of the company, companies can be broadly divided into large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap stocks. In general, the commonly accepted classification of companies based on their market capitalization in the Indian stock market is:

  1. Market cap Less than 8,500 Cr → Small cap
  2. Market cap Between 8,500 Cr to 28,000 Cr → Mid Cap
  3. Market cap Greater than 28,000 Cr → Large-cap

Note: You can read more about Small cap, Mid Cap and Large Cap Companies here.

Here are two more types of stocks based on the size that you should know:

  • Penny Stocks: Those stocks which trade at a very low market price (less than Rs 10) and have a very low market capitalization (typically under 100 crores) are called penny stocks in the Indian stock market. Penny stocks are the darlings of new investors. The low market price of these stocks makes them quite attractive to beginners.
  • Blue-chip stocks: Blue chip companies are large and well-established companies with a history of consistent performance. These companies are financially strong (usually debt-free or very low debts) and are capable to survive in tough market situations. Most of the blue-chip companies are the market leaders in their industry. A few of the common examples of blue-chip companies in India are HDFC Bank, ITC, Asian Paints, Maruti Suzuki, etc.

In addition, the stocks may also be classified as Mega-caps and Micro-caps based on their size. However, they are not frequently used.

— Based on Industry

Stocks are often categorized based on the sector or industry they fall like— Automobile stocks, Energy stocks, Technology stocks, etc. For example — all the companies that are related to automobiles will be considered as automobile stocks. Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, Hero Motocorp, etc.

However, sometimes it might be a little difficult to quickly classify companies when their business model lies in two or more industries. For example, ITC Limited is a conglomerate, although it generates more than sixty percent of their revenue from tobacco products.

— Based on the Business Cycle

Based on the business cycles, the stocks can be classified as Cyclicals or Non-cyclical (Defensive) stocks.

  1. Cyclical Stocks: As the name suggests, cyclical stocks are those that move in the direction of the market. That is when the economy is doing well, the stocks go up and when there is a downturn in the economy, the value of the stock goes down too. Cyclical industries usually may include services like automobile, construction, hotels, travel and tourism, luxury products, etc.
  2. Non-Cyclical/Defensive stocks: The revenue and cash-flows and share price of non-cyclical companies continue to do well during an economic slow-down or depression as they are industries that produce the basic needs of life that people will continue to consume. Defensive stocks include goods and services in industries that are not affected by market fluctuations such as utilities, food, and medicines. It is basically any good or service that people will buy whether or not the economy is doing well. Moreover, Tobacco, Alcohol producing companies may fall into this category as people continue to consume these products even during a bad economy.

Also read: Cyclical and Non-cyclical stocks: How do they differ?

— Based on Investment Style

Based on the buying or investment style, stocks can be classified as growth stocks, value stocks and dividend stocks.

  1. Growth stocks: We can define a growth stock as a company that is growing at a very fast rate compared to its industry or market index. The share prices of these companies appreciate at a fast pace and the investors are ready to pay high prices for these companies to compensate for the faster growth.
  2. Value Stocks: The concept of value investing was famously introduced by Benjamin Graham, the mentor of Warren Buffett, back in the 1930s in his famous book ‘The Intelligent Investor’. A value stock has completely different characteristics than the growth stocks. These companies do not have a high growth rate, rather they grow slow. However, these stocks trade at a low (discounted) market price compared to their true/intrinsic value.
  3. Dividend Stocks: This is the third way to invest apart from the value stocks and growth stocks. An income stock approach is investing in those stocks which pay a high, regular and increasing dividend. The high dividend yield of these stocks mostly generates consistent returns for passive investors.

Also read: Growth Stocks vs Value stocks – A logical Comparison

— Based on Location

Finally, companies can also be classified based on where they are located. If the company is located in the same country as the investors, it is considered domestic stock. Otherwise, it will be regarded as International stocks. A lot of investors invest based on categories like the International market stocks, emerging market stocks, etc to diversify their portfolio.

Also read: 3 Easy Ways to Invest in Foreign Stocks From India.

Closing Thoughts

As discussed in this article, stocks can be classified in different types based on their characteristics. A few of the popular types of stocks that every investor should know are –

  1. Based on Size: Large caps, Mid caps, and Small caps,
  2. Based on Industry: Automobile stocks, Pharma Stocks, IT Stocks, etc.
  3. Based on Business Cycle: Cyclical and Non-cyclical,
  4. Based on Style: Growth stocks, Value stocks, Income stocks,
  5. Based on Location: International stock, Emerging markets, etc.

Classifying stocks makes it easier for investors to study the companies based on their preferences. That’s all for this article. Please comment below if you’ve any queries. I’ll be happy to help. Happy Investing.

How to find where the big players are investing in the market cover

How to find where the Big Players are investing in the market?

Track where the Big Players are investing in the market: There are many investors who keep an eagle-eye on where the big players are investing in the market their stock portfolio. It makes complete sense to track where the big players are investing in the market as these players have already proved their expertise in stock picking through their success in the share market and created huge wealth for themselves.  Moreover, a common investor cannot match the mastery, opportunity, resources, and expertise available to these investors.

Therefore, a retail investor can avail the maximum benefit of their expertise by keeping an eye on where the big players are investing in the market.

NOTE: Tracking the portfolio of successful investors is a good idea. However, investing blindly in the stocks where these big players are investing, might get you in trouble. Please do a proper study of the stocks before investing. After all, even these big players are humans and are capable of making mistakes. (Also read: Is Copycat Investing Hurting Your Portfolio?)

How to track where the big players are investing in the market?

There are a few ways by which you can track the investments of big players of the stock market in any share. Let’s discuss those ways.

1. Check the block/bulk deals list

This list of the block and bulk deals are publicly disclosed on NSE/BSE website daily. Investors can check the block and bulk deals to track where the big players are investing in the market.

In a block deal, either the minimum number of 5 lakh shares or an investment amount of Rs 5 crores should be executed. On the other hand, a bulk deal happens when the total quantity of shares bought or sold is greater than 0.5% of the total number of shares of a listed company. Read more here.

You can use this list to find the names of the big players in any stock. Here’s the link for the bulk/block deal on BSE website: Bulk Deals / Block Deals

bse website bulk and block deal

(Source: Bulk Deals / Block Deals)

2. Check the shareholding pattern of the companies

Every company discloses the names of those investors who are holding 1% or greater of the total number of shares. You can check the shareholding pattern to find the name of big players in any stock. You can find the shareholding pattern of a company on the company’s website, NSE/BSE website or financial websites like money control, investing, etc.

For example, here’s the publicly available shareholding pattern for TITAN COMPANY. We all know who holds a large chunk of this stock (RAKESH JHUNJHUNWALA)!!

titan company rakesh jhunjhunwala

(Source: Shareholding Pattern Public ShareHolder)

3. Track Portfolio using financial aggregator websites

There are many financial websites that track the latest portfolio of these big players. For example TRENDLYNE- Superstar Large Shareholder Portfolios. You can follow these financial websites to get the names of the big players in any stock.

trendlyne superstars

Similarly, you can also use the Stockedge mobile app or website to find out the portfolio of big investors in the market. Here’s the link to Stockedge web.

stockedge web investor portfolio

Here are links to the portfolio of a few of the most successful investors in the Indian stock market:

That’s all for this article. Using these simple strategies, any common investor can track where the big players are investing in the market.  I hope this post is useful to the readers. If you’ve any questions, feel free to comment below. I’m eager to help. Till next time. Happy Investing.

How to Invest in Share Market_ A Beginners Guide

How to Invest in Share Market? A Beginner’s Guide

Hi Investors. Today we are going to discuss one of the most basic topics for a beginner- How to invest in share market? I have been planning to write this post for a number of days as there are many people who are willing to invest, however, do not know how to invest in share market.

Please note that this post might be a little longer as I am trying to cover all the basics that a beginner should know before entering the stock investment world. Make sure that you read the article till the end, cause it will be definitely worthwhile reading it.

Pre-requisites before you start investing

For investing in the Indian stock market, there are few pre-requisites that I would like to mention first. Here are the few things that you will need to invest in share market:

  1. Savings account
  2. Trading and demat account
  3. Computer/laptop/mobile
  4. Internet connection

(Thanks to Reliance Jio, everyone has 4G internet connection now.. 😀 )

For opening a demat account, the following documents are required:

  1. PAN Card
  2. Aadhar card (for address proof)
  3. Canceled cheque/Bank Statement/Passbook
  4. Passport size photos

You can have your savings account in any private/public Indian bank.

Where to open your trading and demat account?– This will be discussed later in this post on the section ‘choose your stock broker’ (STEP 4).

Get your documents ready. If you do not have a PAN card, then apply as soon as possible (if you are 18 years old or above).

3 basic advice before you start investing

When you are new to the stock market, you enter with lots of dreams and expectations. You might be planning to invest your savings and make lakhs in return.

Although there are hundreds of examples of people who had created huge wealth from the stock market, however, there are also thousands who didn’t.

Here are a few cautionary points for people who are just entering the world of investing.

— Pay down your ‘High-Interest’ debts first

If you have any kind of high-interest paying debts like personal loans, credit card dues debts, etc, then pay them first. The interests of these loans can be even as high as your returns from the market. There is no point in wasting your energy to give all the returns you made from the market as interests of your debts. Pay down these debts before entering the market.

— Invest only your additional/ surplus fund

Stop right there if you are planning to invest your next semester tuition fee, next month flat rent, savings for your daughter’s marriage which is going to happen next year or any similar reasons.

Only invest the amount that won’t affect your daily life. In addition, investing in debts/loans is really a bad idea, especially when you are new and learning how to invest in the share market.

— Keep some cash in hand

The cash in hand doesn’t just serve as your emergency fund. It also serves as your key to freedom. You can take big steps like changing your little flat, or quit your annoying job or simply shifting to a new city, only when you have cash in hand.

Do not get trapped by investing all your money and later losing your freedom. Do not sacrifice your personal freedom in the name of financial freedom.

Also read: 7 Things to do Before You Start Investing

Now that you have understood the pre-requisites and the basics, here are the seven steps to learn how to invest in share market on your own. Do follow the step sequences for an easy approach to enter the stock market world.

How to invest in share market?

Step 1: Define your investment goals

investment goal

It’s important to start with defining your investment goals. Start with end goals in mind. Know what you want.

Do you want to grow you saved money (capital appreciation) to beat inflation and get higher returns? Do you want to build a passive income from your investments through dividends? Are you investing for a specific goal? Or do you just want to have fun in the market along with creating wealth?

If you want to just have fun and want to learn, that’s okay. But make sure that you do not over-invest or get too much attracted to the market? Moreover, most people start the same way and define their goals later.

Anyways, if you are starting for Goal-Based Investing, do remember that the time frame for different investment goals will be different. Your goal can be anything like buying a new house, new car, funding your higher education, children’s marriage, retirement, etc. However, if you are investing in your retirement, then you have a bigger time frame compared to if you are investing in buying your first house.

When you know your goals, you can decide how much you want and for how long you have to remain invested.

Step 2: Create a plan/strategy

Now that you know your goals, you need to define your strategies. You might need to figure out whether you want to invest in the lump sum (a large amount at a time) or by SIP (systematic investment plan) approach. If you are planning small periodic investments, analyze how much you want to invest monthly.

There’s a common misconception among our society that you need large savings to get started. Say, one lakh or above. But that’s not true.  As a thumb rule, first, build an emergency fund and next start allocating a fixed amount let’s say 10-20% of your monthly income to save and invest. You can use the remaining portion of your earnings for paying your bills, mortgages, etc. Nevertheless, even if your allocated amount turns out to be Rs 3-5k or more, it’s good enough to build an investing habit.

Step 3: Read some investing books.

There are a number of decent books on stock market investing that you can read to brush up the basics. Few good books that I will suggest the beginners should read are:

Besides, there are a couple of more books that you can read to build good basics of the stock market. You can find the list of ten must-read books for Indian stock investors here.

Step 4: Choose your stock broker

Deciding an online broker is one of the biggest steps that you need to take. There are two types of stockbrokers in India:

  1. Full-service brokers
  2. Discount brokers

— Full-Service Brokers (Traditional Brokers)

They are traditional brokers who provide trading, research, and advisory facility for stocks, commodities, and currency. These brokers charge commissions on every trade their clients execute. They also facilitate investing in Forex, Mutual Funds, IPOs, FDs, Bonds, and Insurance.

Few examples of full-time brokers are ICICIDirect, Kotak Security, HDFC Sec, Sharekhan, Motilal Oswal, etc

— Discount Brokers (Budget Brokers)

Discount brokers just provide the trading facility for their clients. They do not offer advisory and hence suitable for a ‘do-it-yourself’ type of clients. They offer low brokerage, high speed and a decent platform for trading in stocks, commodities and currency derivatives.

A few examples of discount brokers are Zerodha, ProStocks, RKSV, Trade Smart Online, SAS online, etc.

Read more here: Full service brokers vs discount brokers: Which one to choose?

I will highly recommend you to choose discount brokers (like Zerodha) as it will save you a lot of brokerage charges.

Initially, I started trading with ICICI direct (which is a full-service broker), but soon realized that it was too expensive when compared to discount brokers. It doesn’t make sense to pay extra brokerage charges even if you get similar benefits. And that’s why I shifted to Zerodha as my broker. (Related Post: Different Charges on Share Trading Explained- Brokerage, STT & More)

Zerodha (a discount broker) charges a brokerage of 0.01% or Rs 20 (whichever is lower) per executed order on Intraday, irrespective of a number of shares or their prices. For delivery, there is a zero brokerage charge in Zerodha. Therefore, the maximum brokerage that you’ve to pay per trade while using the Zerodha platform is Rs 20 and it doesn’t depend on the volume of trading.

open account with zerodha

This is way cheaper compared to ICICI direct (full-service broker) which asks a brokerage of 0.55% on each transaction. If you buy stocks for Rs 50,000 in ICICI direct, then you have to pay a brokerage of Rs 275 for delivery trading i.e. when you hold the stock for more than one day in your demat account.

Further, as this amount is charged on both sides of the delivery transaction (buying & selling), hence you have to pay a total of Rs 550 for the complete transactions in ICICI direct (way too expensive than Zerodha).

In short, if you are planning to open a new trading account, I would recommend opening accounts in a discount broker so that you can save lots of brokerages. If you’re interested to open your account with Zerodha, here’s the direct link to fill account opening application!

Zerodha-open-an-account

Related Posts:

Step 5: Start researching common stocks and invest.

Start noticing the companies around you. If you like the product or services of any company, dig deeper to find out more about its parent company, like whether it is listed on the stock exchange or not, what is its current share price, etc.

Most of the products or services that you use in day to day life — From soap, shampoo, cigarettes, bank, petrol pump, SIM card or even your inner wears, there is a company behind everyone. Start researching about them.

For example- if you’ve been using HDFC debit/credit card for a long time and satisfied with the experience, then investigate further about HDFC Bank. The information of all the listed companies in India is publicly available. Just a simple ‘Google search’ of ‘HDFC share price’ will give you a lot of important pieces of information. (Try it now!)

Similarly, if your neighbor bought a new Baleno car lately, they try to find out more about the parent company, i.e. Maruti Suzuki. What other products it offers and how is the company performing recently- like how are its sales, profits, etc.

You do not need to start investing in stocks with hidden gems. Start with the popular large-cap companies. And once you are comfortable in the market, invest in mid and small caps.

Also read:

Step 6: Select a platform to track your performance

You can simply use an excel or google spreadsheet to track your stocks. Make a spreadsheet with three tables containing:

  1. The stocks that you are interested in and need to study/investigate,
  2. Those stocks that you have already studied and found decent,
  3. Miscellaneous stock- for the other stocks that you want to track.

This way, you can easily follow the stocks. Further, there are also a number of financial websites and mobile apps that you can use to keep track of the stocks. However, I find using google sheets the easiest for tracking my stocks.

Related post: 7 Best Stock Market Apps that Makes Stock Research 10x Easier.

Step 7: Have an exit plan

Its always good to have an exit plan. There are two ways to exit a stock. Either by booking profit or by cutting a loss. Let’s discuss both these scenarios.

Basically, there are only four scenarios when you should sell a good stock in your portfolio: 1) When you badly need money 2) when the stock fundamentals have changed 3) When you find a better investment opportunity and 4) When you have reached your investment goals.

If your investment goals are met, then you can exit the stocks happily. Or at least, book a portion of the profit from your stock portfolio and shift it to other more safer investment options. On the other hand, if the stock has fallen under your risk appetite level, then again exit the stock. In short, always know your exit options before entering.

That’s all. There were seven steps that will help you learn how to invest in the share market. Now, here are a few other important points that every stock market beginner should know:

10 Additional points to take care

1. Start small

Do not put all your money on the market in the beginning. Start small and test what you have learned. You can start even with an amount of Rs 500 or 1000. For the beginners, it’s more important to learn than to earn. 

You can invest in a large amount once you have more confidence and experience.

2. Diversify your portfolio

It’s really important that you diversify your portfolio. Do not invest all in just one stock. Buy stocks from companies in different industries.

For example, two stocks of Apollo Tyres and JK Tyres in your portfolio won’t be called as a diversified portfolio. Although the companies are different, however, both companies belong to the same industry. If there is a recession/crisis in tyre sector, then your entire portfolio might be in RED.

A diversified portfolio can be something like Apollo tyres and Hindustan Unilever stocks in your portfolio. Here, Apollo Tyres is from Tyre industry and Hindustan Unilever is from FMCG industry. Both the stocks are from different industry in this portfolio and hence is diversified.

Also read: How to create your Stock Portfolio?

3. Invest in blue-chip stocks (for beginners)

Blue chips are the stocks of those reputed companies who are in the market for a very long time, financially strong and have a good track record of consistent growth and returns in the past many years.

For example- HDFC banks (leader in the banking sector), Larsen and turbo (leader in the construction sector), TCS (leader in the software company), etc. A few other examples of blue-chip stocks are Reliance Industries, Sun Pharma, State bank of India, etc.

These companies have stable performance and are very less volatile. That’s why blue-chip stocks are considered safe to invest compared to other companies.

It’s recommendable for beginners to start investing in blue chips stocks. As you gain knowledge and experience, you can start investing in mid-cap and small-cap companies.

Also read: What are large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap stocks?

4. Never invest in ‘FREE’ tips/advice

This is the biggest reason why people lose money in the stock market. They do not carry enough research on the stocks and blindly follow their friends/colleague’s tips and advice.

The stock market is very dynamic and it’s stock price and circumstances change every second. Maybe your friend has bought that stock when it was underpriced, however now it’s trading at a higher price range. Maybe, your friend has a different exit strategy than yours. There are a number of factors involved here, which may end up with you losing the money.

Avoid investing in tips/advice and do your own study.

5. Avoid blindly following the crowd

I know a number of people who have lost money by blindly following the crowd. One of my colleagues invested in a stock just because the stock has given double return to another of my college in 3 months. He ended up losing Rs 20,000 in the market just because of his blind investing.

Related post: 6 Reasons Why Most People Lose Money in Stock Market

6. Invest in what you know and understand

Will you buy ABC company which produces Vinyl sulphone easter and dye intermediates even though you have zero knowledge of the chemical industry?

If you will, then it’s like giving some stranger 1 lakh rupee and expecting him to return the money with interests.

 If you are lending money to someone, you ask a number of questions like what he does, what is his salary, what is his background, etc.

However, while investing Rs 1 lakh in a company which people do not understand, they forget this common logic.

7. Know what to expect from the market

Do not set unrealistic expectations for the stock market. If you want to make your money double in one month, from the stock market, then you have set your expectations wrong. Have a logical expectation form the market.

People are happy with 4% simple interest from the savings account, but a return of 20% in a year sounds underperformance for them.

Also read: How To Select A Stock To Invest In Indian Stock Market For Consistent Returns?

8. Have discipline and follow your plan/strategy

Do not get distracted if your portfolio starts performing too well or too bad in the first few months of investing. Many people increase their investment amount just in few weeks if they see their stock doing too well, and end up losing in the long run.

Similarly, many people exit the market soon and are not able to get profits when their stocks start performing.

 Have discipline and follow your strategy.

9. Invest regularly and continuously increase your investment amount

The stock investment gives the best returns when you invest for the long term. Do not invest in lump sump at just one time and wait for the next 10 years to see how much returns you got. Invest regularly whenever you get a good opportunity. 

Further, increase the investment amount as your savings increase.

10. Continue your education

Keep learning and keep growing. The stock market is a dynamic place and changes continuously. You can only keep up with the stock market if you also continue your education.

Besides, there are a number of more lessons which you will learn with time and experience.

Ready to start your journey to become a succesful stock market investor? If yes, then here’s an amazing course for newbie investors: HOW TO PICK WINNING STOCKS?

That’s all for this post on how to invest in the share market. I hope this is helpful to the readers. If you have any doubts, feel free to comment below.

Top Down and Bottom Up - Stock investing Approaches

Top Down and Bottom Up – Stock investing Approaches!

Top Down and Bottom Up approach of Stock Investing: While performing the fundamental analysis of companies, two of the most common strategies to research stocks that are used by investors are top down and bottom up approaches. In this post, you’ll learn what exactly is top down and bottom up approach.

Here, we’ll learn how top down and bottom up approach work, the difference between them and which one may be more suitable to you. Let’s get started.

Top down approach

Have you ever heard any investor/analyst saying something like- “The electric vehicle industry looks particularly promising now. The industry is growing at a fast pace and I should invest in this industry”.

Well, here the investor is following the top down approach to find stocks.

In the top down approach, the investors first look into the macro picture of the economy and later work down to research the individual stocks.

The overall steps involved in top down approach is to first look at the big picture of the world i.e. which economy is doing great, then look at the general market in that economy, next find the particular sector that may outperform and finally research the best stock opportunity to invest within that sector.

For example, let’s say you studied that the European economy is growing at a very fast rate. Next, when you looked further into the European market, you found that especially the biotechnology industry in outperforming. And finally, you researched some appealing stocks in that industry to invest. This is the top down approach for stock investing.

Here, you start with the big picture and ultimately move down to find the suitable investing opportunity. Top down approach looks at the performance of the economy & sector and believes that if the industry is doing good– the chances are that the stocks in that industry will perform too.

A few of the major areas where the top down analysts pay attention are economic growth, GDP, monetary policy, inflation, prices of commodities, bond yields, etc before moving into the specific industry study.

top down approach investing

The biggest advantage of top down approach is that there’s no pre-conceived notion about what may work and the selection of economy, industry & stocks are based on the real-time studies. Further, as they focuses on the strong sectors, the chances of underlying companies performing well are favorable.

However, one of the major flaw of top down approach is that here you may miss out a few good bargain stocks in the eliminated industries.

Also read:

Bottom up approach

This approach is exact opposite of the top down approach. Here, you first start with company research and later move up to find the other details.

Bottom up approach tries to study the fundamental of the company regardless the market conditions, industry or the macroeconomic factors. While performing the bottom up approach, the investors studies how fundamentally strong the company is by focusing on its revenues, earnings, financial ratios, products/services, sales growth, management etc.

The key here is to find the potentially strong company which may outperform the industry and market in future. If the fundamental factors are good, then regardless of what the industry is doing, the bottom up investors will pick such companies to invest.

The biggest advantage of the bottom up approach is that the investors may find the best potentially strong company which can outperform even if the economy or industry as a whole declines. Bottom up approach helps in picking quality stocks.

On the other hand, one of the cons of bottom up approach is that the investor may have some pre-conceived notion of the company and in such condition, their investment decisions may be a little biased. Further, as these investors ignore the longer economic influence and market conditions, some investment returns may be adversely affected because of these factors.

Closing Thoughts

Top down and bottom up are entirely different approaches to analyze and invest in stocks. However, both have their own advantages and disadvantages.

The top down approach first looks at the broader economy and macroeconomic factors, and then move to the specific industry and the company within. On the other hand, bottom up approach starts at the company level and later moves up for the other important details.

In general, top down approach can be a little easier for the less experienced investors as they do not have to perform the intense stock research and analysis. They can start studying the most appealing industry and find the companies within to invest.

Anyways, both approaches have their own effectiveness and hence, difficult to say which one is better. Moreover, it also depends on the knowledge and preference of the investor. My final advice would be to better try out both the approaches and find out which one suits you the best for your investment strategy.

Stock Market Timings in India cover

Stock Market Timings in India

Stock Market Timings in India: There are two major stock exchanges in India- Bombay stock exchange (BSE) and National stock exchange (NSE). However, the timing of both BSE & NSE is the same.

First of all, you need to know that the stock market in India is closed on weekends i.e. Saturday and Sunday. It is also closed on the national holidays. You can find the list of the holidays of the stock exchange here: NSE India

The normal trading time for equity market is between 9:15 am to 03:30 pm, Monday to Friday.

The trading time for commodity (MCX) market is between 10:00 AM to 11:30 PM, Monday to Friday.

The normal trading time for Agri-community (NCDEX) market is between 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM, Monday to Friday.

(Quick Note: Revision in MCX trade timings – Due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak and nation-wide lockdown, MCX has revised its trading hours. MCX will open at 9:00 AM and close at 5:00 PM from Monday, March 30, 2020, to April 14, 2020.)

In addition, there is no lunch break or tea break in the Indian stock market timings.

The timings of the Indian stock market are divided into three sessions:

  1. Normal session (also called continuous session)
  2. Pre-opening session
  3. Post-closing session

Now, let us discuss all these sessions to further understand their importance in the stock market timings in India.

Also read: Indian Stock Market Holidays 2018

Stock Market Timings in India.


NORMAL TRADING SESSION:

  1. This is the actual time where most of the trading takes place.
  2. Its duration is between 9:15 AM to 3:30 PM.
  3. You can buy and sell stocks in this session.
  4. The normal trading session follows bilateral matching session i.e. whenever buying price is equal to the selling price, the transaction is complete. Here transactions are as per price and time priority.

PRE-OPENING SESSION:

The duration of the Pre-opening session is between 9:00 AM to 9:15 AM. This is further divided into three sub-sessions.

  1. 9:00 AM to 9:08 AM:
    1. This is the order entry session.
    2. You can place an order to buy and sell stocks in this duration.
    3. One can also modify or cancel his orders during this period.
  2. 9:08 AM to 9:12 AM:
    1. This session is used for order matching and for calculating the opening price of the normal session.
    2. You cannot modify or cancel buy/sell order during this time.
  3. 9:12 AM to 9:15 AM:
    1. This session is used as a buffer period.
    2. It is used for the smooth translation of pre-opening session to the normal session.

The opening price of the normal session is calculated using multilateral order matching system. Earlier, the bilateral matching system was used which caused a lot of volatility when the market opened. Later, this was changed to multilateral order matching system to reduce the volatility in the market.

However, most people do not use the pre-opening session and only use the normal session for trading. That’s why there is still huge volatility even in the normal session after the pre-opening session.


The time between 3:30 PM to 3:40 PM is used for closing price calculation.

  1. The closing price of a stock is the weighted average of the prices between 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM.
  2. For the indexes like Sensex & nifty, its closing price is the weighted average of the constituent stocks for the last 30 minutes i.e. Between 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM.

POST-CLOSING SESSION:

  1. The duration of the Post-closing session is between 3:40 PM to 4:00 PM.
  2. You can place orders to buy or sell stocks in the post-closing session at the closing price.If buyers/sellers are available then your trade will be confirmed at the closing price.

NOTE: Pre-opening session and the Post-closing session is only for the cash market. There are no such sessions for future & options.

Overall, the stock market timings in India can be briefed as:

9:00 AM to 9:15 AM Pre-Opening Session
9:15 AM to 3:30 PM Normal Trading Session
3:30 PM to 3:40 PM Closing Price Calculation
3:40 PM to 4:00 PM Post-Closing Session

Stock Market Timings in India

(Pic credit: BSE India)

In addition, if you are unable to trade between this time periods, you can place an AMO (Aftermarket order). There is no actual trading here but you can place your buy or sell order.

Further, the Indian stock market also opens a special trading session during Diwali, the festival of light. This is known as Mahurat Trading’. Its trading time is declared a few days before Diwali. However, generally, Mahurat Trading timing is in the evening. You can find more details about mahurat trading here: 60-minute ‘Muhurat Trading’ on BSE, NSE this Diwali  

BONUS

By the way, if you are new to investing and want to learn how to start investing in the Indian stock market, check out this video. I’m sure it will be helpful to you!

Final Tip: When you enter the share market, you’ll need to open your demat account to start investing/trading. We’ll highly recommend opening an account with Zerodha, No 1 stockbroker in India. Here’s a detailed post on how to open Zerodha account step-by-step. 

That’s all. I hope this post on the ‘Stock Market Timings in India‘ is helpful to the readers. If you have any doubts regarding the Indian stock market timings, feel free to comment below. I will be happy to help you.

Virtual Stock Trading in India

3 Best Sites to Learn Virtual Stock Trading in India (Without Risking Your Money)

3 Best Sites to Learn Virtual Stock Trading in India (Without Risking Your Money): Entering the Indian stock market can be a tedious job for beginners. First, you need to open your brokerage account (demat and trading account). This means that you have to pay the account opening charges and go through the complex documentation process. Further, as stock market trading involves market risk, you can always lose some money— especially, you are a beginner.

So, how to solve this problem? How to Learn stock trading in India without actually risking any money. The answer is by using virtual stock trading platforms.

In this post, we are going to discuss how to use virtual stock trading platforms in India. It’s going to be an exciting post. Therefore, without wasting any time, let’s get started. Here are the topics that we’ll cover today:

1. What is Virtual Stock Trading?

A virtual stock trading (also known as paper trading) is similar to the actual trading where you can buy and sell stocks. However, here no real money is involved. You invest only in virtual money. Such platforms that provide virtual trading facilities are called stock simulators.

When you register in these stock simulators, you will get virtual money (Say Rs 10 lakhs or 1 Crore) in your account. You can use this money to practice trading.

Stock simulators provide real-time stock data, which means that you can try out different strategies of trading in stocks just like the real world stock market, but risk-free.

Also read: 7 Must Know Websites for Indian Stock Market Investors.

2. How do virtual stock trading platforms work?

It’s a really straightforward process to use a stock simulator to do the virtual stock trading. Here are the steps required to start virtual stock trading in India-

  1. Open a free account (using your email-id) on a simulating platform (discussed below).
  2. Get instant virtual money in your account.
  3. Start buying/selling stocks like real trading scenarios.
  4. Monitor your portfolio and track profit/loss.
  5. Try different strategies and learn the trading basics.
  6. When you get enough confidence and experience- move to real trading.

3. What are the pros and cons of using the virtual trading platform?

Nothing is perfect in this world. Although there are many advantages of using virtual trading platforms (especially for beginners), however, there are also a few disadvantages. Let’s discuss them- one by one:

— Advantages of using Virtual stock trading platforms

  1. No need to open a demat/trading account or go through any documentation process.
  2. No real money is required to start virtual trading.
  3. Real-time market scenarios to try out different strategies and to learn the basics.
  4. Risk-free trading practice.
  5. Okay to make mistakes and take risks as there’s no real loss here.

— Disadvantages of using virtual stock trading platforms

  1. There’s no emotional attachment as real money is not involved. 
  2. You can quickly get bored as winning/losing virtual money is not much exciting.
  3. The real market scenario might be a little different than the virtual trading environment. (In the virtual trading platforms, participants take extra risks and bets than they would actually take in a real scenario.)

Also read: 7 Best Stock Market Apps that Makes Stock Research 10x Easier.

#3 Best sites to learn virtual stock trading in India.

1. Moneybhai

MONEY BHAI - Virtual Stock Trading in India

Website — https://moneybhai.moneycontrol.com/

Moneycontrol website offers Moneybhai. It is a free virtual trading platform where you’ll get Rs 1 crore virtual cash on registration which you can use to invest in shares, commodities, mutual funds, or fixed deposits on the platform.

At Moneybhai, you can also compete with fellow Indian traders by joining different leagues. There’s also a free forum on this website where you can ask your queries or participate in the on-going discussion threads.

2. TrakInvest

TRAK INVEST - Virtual Stock Trading in India

Website— http://www.trakinvest.com/

TrakInvest is a global trading platform that helps you to learn, develop and improve your investing skills. Currently, it provides a curated market data and news from 10 exchanges. It also offers beginners’ guides and videos, certification courses designed by industry experts and simulations for competing for rewards.

At TrakInvest, you can also track other traders and dig deeper into their trading activity (portfolio) where you can replicate their trades using the ‘Copy Trade’ facility. Overall, TrakInvest provides a simple and friendly platform for ‘Social’ virtual trading for beginners.

3. Dalal Street

DSIJ Virtual Stock Trading in India

Website: https://www.dsij.in/Stock-Market-Challenge

Dalal Street Investment Journal (DSIJ) popular virtual stock trading platform in India which helps you to understand the different trading nuances and to test your investment strategies.

On registration, you’ll get virtual cash of Rs 1,000,0000 to create your portfolio. At DSIJ, you can also discuss strategies with like-minded participants in the discussion group.

New to stocks? Confused where to begin?  Here’s an amazing online course for beginners: ‘HOW TO PICK WINNING STOCKS?‘ This course is currently available at a discount. 

Bonus: Investopedia stock simulator

Website: https://www.investopedia.com/simulator/

This is my favorite stock simulator.

Investopedia provides a FREE stock simulation platform where you can easily learn how to place trade orders (like market order, limit order, stop loss, etc), how to create a portfolio, how to create a watchlist and more. On registration, you’ll get $100,000 as virtual cash which you can use to trade. You can also compete with thousands of Investopedia traders/players on the same platform.

The reason why I didn’t place this platform in the top 3 is that you cannot trade in Indian stocks on the Investopedia stock simulator. Therefore, if you’re looking to learn virtual stock trading in India, then it might not be a good option. However, if you are comfortable with trading in foreign stocks like Apple, Google, Amazon, etc, then feel free to check out this simulating platform.

Closing Thoughts on Virtual Trading

Virtual stock trading in India is an excellent way to learn the basics of trading in the stock market. Using these platforms, you can try different investment/trading strategies without any fear to lose your real money. It’s always advisable to try paper trading (virtual stock trading) for a few weeks before directly jumping into the market.

What is Nifty and Sensex? Stock Market Basics (For Beginners) cover

How Does The Stock Market Affect The Economy?

The stock market and the economy are in a lot of talk in recent days. Seeing the market indexes declined by over 30% within a month, an obvious question among people is to understand how does the stock market affects the economy.

In this article, we are going to answer the same and discuss the effect of rising or falling stock market on the economy. In addition, we’ll also answer whether the stock market and the economy are the same or not. Let’s get started.

Why do we have a stock market?

A stock is a type of security that represents an individual’s ownership in a company and a stock market is a place where an investor can buy and sell ownership of such assets. Trading stock on a public exchange is essential for economic growth as it allows companies to raise capital through public funding, pay off debts or expand the business.

The stock market exists for two main reasons, the first is to provide a company with the opportunity to raise capital that can be used to expand and grow the business.

If a company issues one million shares that can sell at $4 a share, this allows them to raise $4 million for the business. Companies find it favorable to raise capital this way so they can avoid incurring debt and paying steep interest charges.

The stock market also provides investors with the opportunity to earn a share in the company’s profit.

One way to do this is to buy stocks and earn regular dividends on its value- that is the investor earns a certain amount of money for each stock they own.

Another way is to sell the stock to buyers for a profit when the price of the stock increases. If an investor buys a share for $20 and the price eventually increases to $25, the investor can sell the stock and realize a profit of 25%.

Also read: Why do Stock Markets Exist? And Why is it So Important?

How the Stock Market affects the Economy?

The increase and decrease in stock prices can influence numerous factors in the economy such as consumer and business confidence which can, in turn, have a positive or negative impact on the economy as a whole. Alternatively, different economic conditions can affect the stock market as well.

Here are a few ways the stock market can affect the economy of a country:

— Movements in the Stock Market

The movements in the individual prices of stocks give the stock market a volatile character. As stock prices move up or down, their volatility can have a positive or negative impact on consumers and businesses.

In the event of a bull market or a rise in the prices of stocks, the overall confidence in the economy increases. People’s spending also increases as they become more optimistic about the market. More investors also enter the market and this feeds into greater economic development in the nation.

When the prices of stock fall for a continuously longer period, also known as a bear market, it has a negative effect on the economy. People are pessimistic about the economic conditions and news reports on falling stock prices can often create a sense of panic. Fewer investors enter the market and people tend to invest in lower-risk assets which further depresses the state of the economy.

Also read: What is Bull and Bear market? Stock Market Basics

bull and bear market

(Image credits: 5paisa.com)

— Consumption and the Wealth effect

When stock prices rise and there is a bull market, people are more confident in the market conditions, and their investment increases. They tend to spend more on expensive items such as houses and cars. This is also known as the wealth effect which is how a change in a person’s income affects their spending habits and eventually leads to growth in the economy.

In the case of a bear market or a fall in stock prices, there is a negative wealth effect. It creates an environment of uncertainty among consumers and a fall in the value of their investment portfolios decreases spending on goods and services. This affects economic growth as consumer spending is a major component of Gross Domestic Product.

A common situation of the wealth effect was during the US housing market crash of 2008, which had a large negative impact on consumers wealth.

what's the economy

(Image credits: Investopedia)

— Impact on Business Investment

Apart from consumer spending, business investment is also a key indicator of economic growth.

When stock prices are high, businesses are likely to make more capital investments due to high market values. Many companies issue an IPO during this time as market optimism is high and it is a good time to raise capital through the sale of shares. There is also more mergers and acquisitions during a bull market and firms can use the value of their stock to buy out other companies. This increased investment feeds into greater economic growth.

When the stock market is bearish, it has the opposite effect on investment. Confidence in the economy decreases and businesses are no longer eager to invest in the economy. The decrease in share price makes it harder for companies to raise funding in the stock market.

Other factors

The stock market also affects the bond market and pension funds. A large part of pension funds are invested in the stock market and a decrease in the price of shares will lower the value of the fund and affect future pension payments. This can lower economic growth as people who depend on pension income will tend to save more and this lowers spending and eventually the GDP.

While a fall in share prices has a negative impact on economic growth and GDP of a nation, it has a positive effect on the bond market. When there is a depression in the stock market, people look for other assets to invest their money in such as bonds or gold. They often provide a better return on investment than shares in the stock market.

Remember, it is always important to diversify your investment portfolio and spread your risk. Don’t throw all your eggs into one basket.

Final Thoughts: Stock market and Economy are not the same

Contrary to popular belief, the stock market and the economy are two different things. The GDP of an economy and the stock market gains are incompatible and, in fact, there is little comparison between the two. The major reason for this discrepancy is the difference in the size of the two markets. The economy depends on millions of factors that can have both a positive and negative impact, while the stock market is only affected by one factor, the supply and demand of stocks.

Also read:

For investors in the stock market, it is better to err on the side of caution and focus on the fundamentals of each stock rather than on the economy as a whole. As the saying goes ‘an economist is a trained professional paid to guess wrong about the economy’.

10 Best Youtube Channels to Learn Indian Stock Market cover

10 Best Youtube Channels to Learn Indian Stock Market

10 Best Youtube Channels to Learn Indian Stock Market: With the boom of the internet, self-education has never been easier. Now, you can learn any skill that you crave by sitting on your couch and watching youtube videos. And that too for FREE. There are tons of information and resources available on youtube to learn whatever you want. And if you want to acquire financial literacy without spending a dime, Youtube is definitely one of the best places where you should be.

Anyways, if you are a newbie to investing world, you might not know the best youtube channels to learn Indian stock market. After all, there are thousands of youtube channels that discuss stocks. But which ones give the best information? We’ll answer this question today. In this post, we are going to discuss ten Best Youtube Channels to learn Indian stock market.

Quick Note: There may be a few more good channels that we might miss in this post. This may be because we never watched their videos or the channel is launched recently. If we miss any of your favorite youtube channels feel free to mention in the comment box. We’ll be glad to add it to our list of best youtube channels for Indian Stock Market. 

Nonetheless, you might not synergize with all the channels as they may cover different core areas like fundamentals, technicals or future/options trading strategies. Only subscribe to the channels that suit you the best and whose ideology you would like to follow. So, let’s get started with our list of 10 Best Youtube Channels to Learn Indian Stock Market. Here it goes.

10 Best Youtube Channels to Learn Indian Stock Market

— FinnovationZ

This channel uploads animated financial education videos on stock market tutorials, mutual fund basics, book summaries, case studies, etc. FinnovationZ has uploaded over 320 videos on their channel and had got +41 million views on their videos with +670k subscribers. The videos on this channel are mostly in the Hindi language and very simple to understand. If you are a complete newbie to the stock market, this is a definite channel to subscribe.

— Pranjal Kamra

Also known as Finology, Pranjal Kamra runs this channel and teaches the philosophy of value investing. On his channel, you can find over 130 videos on investing, stock analysis, mutual funds, and behavioral finance. Along with educational videos, Finology also offers courses, workshops, Excel tools, Advisory & research services etc on their website.

— Elearn Markets

With over 550 videos and +210,000 subscribers, Elearn Markets is definitely ranked among one of the best youtube channels to learn Indian stock market. They cover videos on financial literacy, stock market trading, fundamental analysis, technical analysis and more. Besides, one of the most popular segments on their Youtube channel is ‘Meet market rockstars’.

Quick fact: The founders of Elearn markets are also the creator of one of the most downloaded and highest rated stock analysis app in India, named Stockedge.

— Trade Brains

This channel is hosted by Kritesh Abhishek and is focused to teach stock market investing and personal finance to the do-it-yourself (DIY) Investors. On Trade brains youtube channel, you can find simplified investing videos on stock market basics, valuations, mutual funds, investing strategies and much more. You can subscribe to the channel using this link.

— Sunil Miglani

Sunil Minglani is an expert on behavioral aspects of Stock Market and has rich experience in analyzing stock chart patterns which he has co-related with human psychological patterns at a deeper level. He has uploaded over 250 videos on his channel and got over +410k subscribers. On Sunil Miglani’s channel, you can find videos on stock market basics, human psychology, Q&A with Sunil Miglani, etc.

— Nitin Bhatia

Nitin Bhatia is a Youtuber and founder of the blog nitinbhatia.in. On his youtube channel with over +549k subscribers, Nitin Bhatia uploads videos about stock trading & investing, Real Estate and Personal Finance to provide ‘Smart Ideas for Your Money’. He’s very consistent in making videos and has uploaded over 690 videos on his channel.

— Yadnya Investment Academy

This channel uploads simple investing videos in Hindi & English on the stock market, mutual funds, taxes and other investment options in India. The videos are extremely simple to understand. They have uploaded over +720 videos on their youtube channel and received over +190k subscribers. Invest Yadnya also offers different services like financial planning on their website.

— Ghanshyam Tech

This channel is run by Ghanshyam Yadav, a trader and trainer in stock market from Mumbai. This channel focuses on stock market trading and technical analysis. Ghanshyam has uploaded over 1,400 videos on his channel and here you can find videos on Nifty Trading, Technical analysis, Candlestick patterns, charting software and more.

— ProCapital.MohdFaiz

This channel is run by Mohd Faiz and the objective of this channel is to help the subscribers create wealth. Mr. Faiz has uploaded over +4,700 videos on this channel which has received over +95 million views. This channel upload videos on current news, technical analysis, stock charts, patterns and more.

— Varun Malhotra

The host of this channel, Varun Malhotra, Director EIFS, started investing at an age of 17. He dropped out of his Campus placements at IIM-A to continue his journey in the investment world. Since 2010, Varun Malhotra has trained over 500,000 Investors including the entire 250,000 strong force of Border Security Force. On his youtube channel, he uploads videos on stock market investments & mutual funds. Varun Malhotra has uploaded over +45 videos on youtube and earned+225k subscribers.

— Market Gurukul (Bonus)

The marketGurukul channel is managed by Mr. Edward and is one of the best technical analysis youtube channels in Hindi. He uploads videos on Indian Stocks, Commodity or Forex Trading including Trading Psychology, Money Management along with hardcore Technical Analysis. You can find over +170 videos on this channel teaching technical analysis, Strategies, and Indicators to know the markets better, demo trading platform and more.

 

Also read: 7 Must know websites for Indian stock investors

Closing Thoughts:

If you are not from a finance, commerce, business background or from a family of stock market enthusiasts, the chances are that you do not know the stock market lingo or even the frequently used terms like dividends, market cap, etc. Moreover, if you are in the learning stage, it’s a little difficult to master everything by yourself. Enters Youtube.

With the help of youtube channels, you can find online mentors who can help you to make your investing journey a lot easier. Further, interacting with Youtubers is also not very difficult. You can simply leave a comment on the videos and if the Youtuber is active, most likely, you’ll get the reply.

Final advice, watch the videos but do not copy their entire investment strategy or stock picks of the Youtubers. Ideally, Copycat investing doesn’t work. Be original and create your own investment style.

That’s all for this post. I hope it was useful for you. Have a great day and comment below which is your favorite YouTube channel to learn Indian stock market. Happy Investing!

6 things you should NOT do when the stock market is volatile cover

6 things you should NOT do when the stock market is Volatile!

What ‘NOT’ do when the stock market is Volatile: Investing in the stock market is known to provide some of the highest long-term returns and can earn investors a profit in manifolds over the years.

People invest in stocks to reach their financial goals and earn a profit on their savings. It is a way to make money work for you rather than you working for the money.

What is stock market volatility?

Investing in stocks is a risky business. While investors can earn a high return on shares, we cannot overlook the volatility that comes with it.

Volatility can be described as the continuous change in the prices of stocks over a short period of time. Here, the price of stocks can rise on a certain day and can fall the very next day. For example, you may have seen situations where Sensex may have fallen over 400 points in a day and recovered on the very next. This can be considered as volatility.

High volatility also increases the VIX ratio (Volatility Index) also known as the Fear Index. It measures the amount of fear in the market as a result of the volatility.

The fear caused by a volatile market makes investors react in many different ways. Some start to panic as their investments get riskier and try to sell & exit the market. On the other hand, there are contrarian investors, who prefer investing only in situations when others are selling. Anyways, as shares start to lose value, investors often make hasty decisions that can result in terrible outcomes.

6 things you should NOT do when the stock market is volatile!

Here are six things investors should not do when the stock market is volatile:

1. Don’t Panic!

The number one reaction investors have when there is volatility in the market is to panic and make speculations. It is important not to be influenced by fear and do something irrational. Investors can consider buying a stock at a lower price but should not panic-sell. Instead, they should use this period of volatility to evaluate the stocks in their portfolio.

There are often many reasons why a person invests in a particular stock in the first place. If the fundamental values of why you invested in the stock are clear, then you should remain invested. However, if you are not sure of a particular investment, meet with your financial planner to decide a course of action to exit the market.

Remember, volatility in the market is only short-term, don’t panic-sell if your long-term objectives of investing in the market haven’t changed.

panic selling

2. Don’t buy JUST BECAUSE prices are low!

When there is volatility in the stock market it is not advisable to invest in the market just because prices are low. This is because there is no guarantee that a stock with a low price today will increase in value in the future. In fact, the price may go even lower and you could end up in a value trap. (Also read- What are value traps?)

You need to analyze the stock’s fundamentals and track record. Look into factors like revenue growth, profit margin, price to earnings, debt-to-equity ratio etc as well as its future potential. If the stock shows a history of riskiness and volatility it would be best not to invest in them. Don’t be a bottom fisher!

3. Don’t believe everything you see on the news!

A sudden ‘breaking news’ segment on the stock market can cause people to make investment decisions that can prove to be disastrous in the future. News reports are not always authentic and often mislead or misguide the investor which can affect the sustainability of a stock.

News reports about the volatility of stock markets are usually short-lived and stock prices will bounce back like a ping-pong ball before you know it. This short-term volatility is often due to a current event in the economy. Once the event has passed, your stock price should be back to normal. As a serious investor, be aware of ‘breaking news’ but don’t follow it blindly.

news

4. Don’t make decisions based on international markets!

During certain periods, there can be a correlation between local and international stock markets. For example, a change in the leadership of a country could affect numerous economies around the world. But statistically speaking, such a correlation does not exist most of the time.

Volatility in the stock market is a reflection of individual events in an economy or movements in the economic cycle. The stock prices are a result of the anatomy of the local economy. For example, the Dow Jones in the US is completely independent of the stock prices in NSE’s NIFTY. Hence, investors should not be influenced by volatility in international markets, there may be various factors that could affect these stock prices.

5. Don’t rush to invest in volatile sectors!

An important rule for investors is to study trends in the market before investing. If there are particular stocks that drive bear markets- avoid these.

A stock that has a financial risk and a low standard of corporate regulations often leads to long-term problems and has a low chance of recovering. These stocks will have short bursts of upward movements but will have a long-term downward trend.

Do a market analysis of the sector you are investing in, if the industry shows a history of high volatility- you should remain cautious before you invest too much money into it.

6. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket- Diversify your portfolio!

diversification do not put all your eggs in one basket

One of the biggest mistakes an investor can make is not investing in a variety of stocks. If a certain industry shows potential for high returns, it is not a wise decision to invest all your money here. This is because if a certain economic event has a negative impact on the industry- it could result in a huge financial loss for the investor.

It is better to spread your risk and invest in different stocks that are stable, have a strong market presence and good growth potential. Here, even if you face volatility in one of your assets, you have a diverse portfolio of stocks to cover your losses.

An investor looking to reduce their risks and control losses should diversify their portfolio and not invest in too many volatile stocks. Greed can often take over fear and this can prove to be disastrous. Investors need to perform a thorough analysis of the stock market before picking stocks to invest in. If they do not have the bandwidth to do this, they can consult a financial advisor.

Also read:

When the stock market is volatile, follow the tips listed above to help you get through a period of high stock market volatility. While it is important to safeguard your portfolio from the effects of a volatile market, remember the biggest risk is not taking any risk at all.

why do stock market exists cover

Why do Stock Markets Exist? And Why is it so Important?

A stock market is a public market where people can buy and sell shares on the stock exchange. The stocks, also known as equities, represent ownership in the company.

Stock markets have existed for centuries. The oldest stock exchange was started in Belgium back in 1531. The brokers and moneylenders used to meet there to deal with the businesses. However, they never used actual stocks but traded in promissory notes and bonds. Later, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange was established in 1602 by the Dutch East India Company and regarded as the first real stock exchange.

Since its inception, stock markets have served many purposes, the most important being to provide companies with a source to raise capital for investment and expansion.

Why do stock markets exist?

Stock markets exist to serve the wider economy. It helps individuals earn a profit on their income when they invest in the stock market and allows firms to spread their risks and receive large rewards. It also enables the government to increase spending through the tax revenue they earn from corporations that trade on the stock exchange. The government uses the revenue to increase re-investment and employment capacity.

The stock market plays an important role in the economy of a country in terms of spending and investment. Without stock markets, many countries would not be as developed as they are. Alongside this, it has helped individuals become wealthy and increases the overall standard of living in many economies.

Following are some of the most important functions of a stock market in the economy:

— Stock market helps companies raise capital

If stock markets did not exist, companies would have to resort to borrowing from the bank to raise money for expansion. This would be a burden on the company as they would have to repay the loans with interest.

Fortunately, with stock markets, businesses have the ability to create an initial public offering and raise large amounts of cash without having to worry about repayment. Moreover, publicly traded companies have no obligation to pay dividends when they incur losses.

Capital raised this way can help companies expand operations and create jobs in the economy. From a greater economic perspective, consumer spending increases,  governments can benefit from tax revenues and there will be lower levels of unemployment.

— Stock market helps create personal wealth

One of the most important benefits of the stock market is its ability to help generate personal wealth in the economy.

For the individual investor, the stock market provides a way to invest your income to earn a share of the companies’ profits. The revenue they earn can increase spending in the economy that can have a multiplier effect. The increased spending by individuals leads to increased investment and employment.

— It helps increase investment in the economy

One of the key drivers of Gross Domestic Product is the level of investment in the economy. Governments often create fiscal and monetary policies in the economy to promote greater investment. The stock market is considered to be one of the most prominent sources for people to invest money in.

Furthermore, investors are always looking to invest in companies with high growth potential. If the stock market is performing well, this not only increases investment from local investors but also attracts foreign direct investment as people abroad invest in the local stock exchange. For example, people in India can invest in the NYSE which helps increase GDP of the US economy or vice-versa.

— Market serves as an indicator of the state of the economy

sensex last 30 years

(Sensex last +30 years graph)

The performance of the stock market is a rough indicator of how well the economy is performing. This often depends on speculators and perceptions of investors in the market. A rise or fall in the price of shares represents what cycle the economy is in such as a recession or a boom.

There is a symbiotic relationship between the state of the economy and the performance of the stock market. Economists use this as a way to analyze the past performance of investment and spending which helps them in the creation of new economic policies. The stock market serves as a barometer for the economy.

Also read:

— Stock Market also affects non-investors in the economy

All members of society are affected by the stock market performance regardless of whether or not they invest in stocks.

People with pension funds and retirement accounts are impacted by low stock prices as the value of their accounts is tied to the stock market. Companies can also reduce employee benefits (pensions) as they can no longer afford to spend money on this which can delay the retirement age. Furthermore, when a company’s share price goes down, it affects job security as firms cut back on spending and many people could end up losing their jobs.

The stock market also impacts the rate of taxes and interest rates set by the government. During the Great Depression, the US government lowered taxes to induce borrowing but once the economy was out of depression, the government increased interest rates to encourage investment. Interest rates can affect a non-investor because a person renting out a home does not have to pay interest on a home loan directly but the landlord is likely to increase the rent to cover the high-interest expense.

Closing Thoughts

The stock market gives opportunities to the businesses and the public to transfer capital and ownership in a controlled, secure and managed environment. In addition to providing a convenient way for companies to raise capital and for individuals to increase wealth, the stock market helps keep a check on corporate regulation and increases the economic growth and prosperity of the nation.

Investing vs Trading

Investing vs Trading: What’s the difference?

Investing vs Trading: What’s the difference? — There are two common approaches to make money from the stock market. The first one is investing and second is trading. However, the difference between them might not be easily understandable for beginners. A lot of people trade in stocks and confuse them by investing. In this article, we are going to discuss the difference between investing vs trading.

Investing vs Trading

To start with, while investing aims to create wealth over the long term by buying good companies and holding it for a long duration, trading is quite the opposite of it. Trading aims at generating profits by frequently buying and selling stocks.

Example 1: If you buy a stock today and commits to holds the stock for the next three years, then you are investing. Here you believe that the price of that stock will be way higher after three years than what it is today.

Example 2: If you buy a stock today morning and commits to selling the stock by evening (before the market closes on the same day), then you are trading. Here you believe to make a profit by the difference in your purchase and selling price.

The time period for investing is long term and many a time the holding period maybe even decades. You can find many peoples investing for their children or grandchildren. In fact, a lot of people inherit the stocks that were bought by their parents and they might worth millions today.

On the other hand, the time period for trading is short-term. It can be minutes, hours, day or a few weeks. Sometimes the trading period is even less than a minute when traders buy/sell stocks with explosive movements and book profit soon enough.

Further, the attitudes of the people who follow these approaches are different. The investors are inclined towards stress-free sound investment for wealth creation over the long term. However, traders tend to make big profits in a short period of time. They also have a love for the game of trading and find it entertaining.

Investors tend to make sound investments and relax. On the other hand, traders are actively involved in the market and require their time & presence to make profits.

Also read: How to Invest in Share Market? A Beginner’s guide

Basic Comparision: Investing vs Trading

 InvestingTrading
AimCreating wealth over a long period of time by buying and holding.Generating profit by frequent buying and selling of stocks.
Daily market fluctuationsDaily market fluctuations do not affect investors as they aim for long-term.They tend to get benefit of the daily market fluctuations by buying and selling stocks
Add on benefitsInvestors enjoys perks like the bonus, dividends, stock split etcTraders hold the stocks only for short interval and hence doesnÕt enjoy these perks.
Protective elementInvesting in the fundamentally strong company that will bounce back to true value over time and losses will be recovered.Stop loss is used to limit the losses.
IndicatorsFundamental indicators like Earnings per share, Price to earnings, current ratio etc are used.Technical indicators like moving averages, stochastic oscillators, RSI etc are used.
PeriodLong termShort term- day/week
StrategyCreating wealth by compound interest and dividendTiming the market (finding the right time to enter and exit a stock)
RiskLow risk but low potential return in short term. Good returns in long term.High risk but higher potential return in short term.
Factors affecting the approach.Business fundamentals like industry, economy, financials, market, competitors etc.Technical indicators, the psychology of the market, money management, risk-reward etc
BeliefThe company will perform well in the future and will reward its shareholders.Share price will move in a direction to achieve the target profits.
Expected return15-20% return per annum (compounded).8-10% return per month.
Brokerage chargesVery fewer brokerage charges are involved due to buying and holding strategy.Trading involves high brokerage due to frequent buying and selling.
Involvement requiredInvestors make the sound investment after deep study of a company and relax afterward.Require activeÊinvolvement in the market to find the correct time to enter and exit in order to book profits.

Quick Note: If you are new to stocks and want to learn stock market investing, here is an amazing online course for the beginners: How to pick winning stocks? Enroll now and start your financial journey today #Happy Investing.

Conclusion

Both these approaches are a successful way to make money from the stock market. However, if you planning to choose one approach, think about the time that you can spend ‘daily’ on market activities. If you can daily spend hours in the market, then trading suits you. Otherwise, investing is a better approach for you.

Moreover, it also depends on your knowledge. If you have an interest in reading financials, accounting, news, economy, etc then investing is good for you. On the other hand, if you are good with trends and charts, trading makes more sense.

Finally, comes your preference. As discussed in the post many people enjoy the game of trading while many want to be relaxed once they invested their money. Your personal preference has a high weight for selecting your style.

11 Catalysts That Can Move The Share Price

11 Must-Know Catalysts That Can Move The Share Price

11 Catalysts that can move the share price: While investing in the stock market, a number of times you may find that a new announcement regarding any company drastically spikes its share price within a few months. These are called catalysts.

The catalysts are certain special events (actual or potential) that are capable to push the share price of a company upwards or downwards in a short (accelerated) time period.

These catalysts may ‘not’ always push the share price upwards. However, most of the time, these catalysts allow the investors to get a fast profit by holding the share for a shorter period of time.

Moreover, the outcomes of these catalysts are comparatively easier to predict. Depending on the catalyst type, you can analyze whether the share price will go up or down. In this post, we are going to discuss the top eleven must-know catalysts that can move the share price of a company.

DISCLAIMER: Although most of the times these catalysts can move the share price of the company, however, there is no guarantee that the things will always work out as expected. Sometimes these catalysts may not be able to move the share price as much as logically predicted.

11 Must-Know Catalysts That Can Move The Share Price

1. Earnings release

A strong earnings report (which is more than what expected by the market experts) can be really good for the stock. The public takes this report enthusiastically and hence, the company’s share price is pushed higher. Further, this also raises the ‘bar’ for the future earning potentials of the company.

2. Mergers & Acquisitions

A merger occurs when two separate entities combine together to form a new joint organization. You can consider a merger as a corporate ‘marriage’. Whereas, when a company takes over another company and establishes itself as a new owner, then this action is called acquisition.

Mergers and acquisitions can push the share prices of the ‘acquiring’ and the ‘target’ company. However, here do take care of which company will get more benefits after the merger.

Read more here: What are Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)?

3. Stock buybacks (Repurchases)

A share buyback is a situation when a company buys its own share back. This means that the company will purchase the outstanding shares and hence will reduce the total number of shares available in the market.

As stock buyback increases the value of the remaining shares. Hence, it increases the demand for the stocks of that company and pushes its share price in an upward direction.

4. Significant dividend announcement

A significant dividend announcement by the board of directors means that every shareholder will get a greater dividend per share. This will increase the demand for the stock and hence a rise in the share price can be expected.

However, in such scenarios, many times the share prices increase till the ex-dividend date of the company and might move a little downwards after the record date.

Also read: Dividend Dates Explained – Must Know Dates for Investors

5. Product launches

If a company announces the launch of a new product or the opening of a new plant that can help to generate more revenue in the future, then it will be taken positively by the public.

6. Stock splits

In a stock split, the company splits the share price into different parts. For example, in a stock split of 1:1, stock price splits into two parts. In a stock split of 1:5, stock splits into 5 parts. The fundamentals of a company remain the same in a stock split. There is neither an increase or decrease in the share capital or reserve in a stock split.

Stock splits make the company more affordable for an average investor. Further, it also increases the liquidity of the stock and its trading volume.

7. Bonus  

The bonus shares are the additional shares given to the shareholders by the company. This is a method of rewarding shareholders.

Although, there will be no noticeable difference in the wealth of shareholders as the share price of the company will fall in the same proportion after the bonus date. However, the announcement of the bonus shares is considered a piece of positive news as it will increase the dividends that you’ll receive in the future (as you will hold more stocks which will be added as the bonus in future).

That’s why the bonus announced by the company is taken eagerly by the crowd resulting in an increase in the share price.

Also read: Stock split vs bonus share – Basics of stock market

8. Spinoffs

What are spinoffs? – A company may have several products or services. When a larger company ‘Spins off” a division and split the company up in two, then it is called spin-offs. Shareholders receive stocks from both companies.

Here, the independent companies perform better as the management can focus more on the individual company. In addition, after spinoffs, there’s a better stock valuation for each company sedately as opposed to one big entity. The announcement of spinoffs will easily move the share price of the company.

9. Liquidation

Liquidation is bad news as it means that the business went bankrupt and will be terminated. While liquidation, the company sells everything it owns.

The shareholders who are owning this company might want to get rid of it or start selling their shares to some other people. Hence, the liquidation announcement acts as catalysts that can move the share price in a negative direction.

10. Lawsuits and investigations

Many public companies are sometimes investigated. There can be various outcomes while dealing with lawsuits and investigations. The company share price can move in different directions once the public finds out about it.

In general, during the investigation time, the share price of that company moves in a downward direction. It declines further if the company is found guilty. However, if the company is found ‘not guilty’, then its share price may jump in the upward direction.

11. Addition to the index

When a company is added to the index (such as nifty or Sensex), then the index funds have to purchase that company. This increases demand and pushes the share price.

Also read: What is Nifty and Sensex? Stock Market Basics for Beginners

Bonus:  A few other catalysts that can move the share price are ‘change in management’, takeovers, a spike in interest rates, political reasons, global issues, etc.

What can you do with this information?

Usually, most of these catalysts are ‘unpredictable in nature‘. It’s really difficult to predict when the company will announce the next bonus or a significant dividend (although few of these catalysts can be predicted by the experts, however, the exact news is known only after the announcement).

That’s why don’t make an entire investing strategy just based on this info. Take these catalysts into account and be ready for it.

In addition, you also need to follow the news regarding these catalysts in a ‘smart’ way. There are a lot of fake news or rumors in the market. Filter out the correct news before processing. You can use google alerts to get the relevant news.

Also read: How to Use Google Alerts to Monitor Your Portfolio?

Summary

There are a number of catalysts in the market that can accelerate the share price. These are the bonus information if known to the investors, can help to get profit within a short time period. Here are the top 11 Catalysts that can move the share price which we studied today.

  1. Earning release
  2. Mergers & Acquisitions
  3. Stock buybacks (Repurchases)
  4. Significant dividend announcement
  5. Product launches
  6. Stock splits
  7. Bonus  
  8. Spinoffs
  9. Liquidation
  10. Lawsuits and investigations
  11. Addition to index

Quick Note: New to stocks? Want to learn how to select good stocks for long-term investment? Check out my amazing online course: HOW TO PICK WINNING PICKS? The course is currently available at a discount.

That’s all. I hope this post is useful to you. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any doubt or want to ask any questions. I’ll be happy to help you out. #HappyInvesting.

Why Nobody Talks About VALUE TRAP

What is a VALUE TRAP? The Bargain Hunter Dilemma!

Have you ever bought a cheap stock, which later got cheaper and cheaper? If yes, then you might already have met with- Value traps.

Value traps are those stocks that may seem like a value stock because of their cheap valuation. However, in actuality, they are garbage stocks. Unlike value stocks, these value traps do not have true potential to give good returns to their investors and that’s why their price keeps on declining for a continuous period of time.

Why do investors fall in value trap?

There are some stocks which may appear cheap because they are trading at a low valuation metrics such as PE, price to book value ratio, cash flow ratio, etc.

The bargain hunters keep an eagle eye on these stocks as they appear cheaper compared to their historical valuation or relative to the market.

These investors buy these stocks at a low price considering them as a value stock. However, the problem arises when the price keeps on dropping for an extended duration of time.

Here, instead of purchasing a value stock, the investor has fallen for a value trap.

Also read: #9 Things I Wish I had Avoided During my Initial Days in Stock Market.

VALUE TRAP 4

What actually is a ‘value trap’?

The value traps are those stocks that are ‘not’ cheap because the market has not realized their true potential or because of some temporary setbacks. These stocks are trading at a cheap valuation because the company has either lost its fire or else its fire is fading away.

A value trap is that stock which is not able to generate any significant profit growth or revenue. A few of the general reasons for the underperformance may be rising production/operational cost, declining market share, lack of new product/services, change in competitive dynamics or inefficient management.

The investors who buy such stocks just by evaluating its low valuation (without giving any regard to the reason why the valuation is low) falls in the value trap.

Also read: Why Warren Buffet Suggests- ‘Price Is What You Pay, Value Is What You Get’?

Real value stock vs value traps

The real value stocks are those stocks that are trading below their intrinsic value. The reason for their cheap valuation may be either temporary factors or because the market has not yet realized their true potential.

A few common characteristics of value stocks are consistency, strategic advantage, strong business plan, growing cash flow and high-quality financials. Further, these stocks can be considered value stocks only if they are bought at a significant margin of safety by the value investors.

On the other hand, value traps are those stocks that are trading at a low valuation because of long-term or permanent setbacks (factors). These stocks are not actually trading below their intrinsic factor. They are just trading at a low valuation compared to their historical valuation or relative to the market (which might be even above its true intrinsic value).

Value trap stocks lack catalysts or momentum to retrace their original growth track.

Also read: SWOT Analysis for Stocks: A Simple Yet Effective Study Tool.

Traits of value traps

Although these value trap stocks might be trading at a low valuation compared to its past valuation or market, however, the chances of these stocks bouncing back to their historical valuation are quite low.

Most of the value trap stocks suffer from lack of innovation, degrading competitive advantages, high debt, low-interest coverage potential, poor management, declining profitability, and no future growth prospects. Proper research is required while investing in these cheap stocks to understand the reason behind their low valuation.

For example- if the average PE of an industry is 18x and stock is trading at 5x, then considering the PE valuation, it might look like a value stock. However, whether it’s actually a value stock or a value trap can only be found after proper investigation.

Similarly, if a banking company is trading at a price to book value of 4x compared to the industry average of 9x, then again the bargain hunters first need to investigate the reason behind the low valuation of that stock before concluding it as a value stock.

Also read: Why You Should Invest Inside Your- Circle of Competence?

VALUE TRAP 3

A few common signs that the cheap stock is actually a ‘Value Trap’

1. Declining earnings

If the earnings and cash flow of a company are consistently declining for the past few couples of years, then the stock might be a value trap. The low valuations of these stocks are because of their dull future prospects. The market works on future expectations and if investors cannot see any future growth potential in the company, then the stock might even degrade further, no matter how low is the valuation.

2. Business plan

A company with outdated technology or a non-profitable business cannot be a value stock. Take the examples of the 2G/3G technology-based telecommunication companies. Most of such companies ran out of business just because of outdated technology.

3. Poor Management

Poor and inefficient management of a company is a sure sign of a value trap. If the management lacks the driving force and their strategic vision is cloudy, then the investors of that company might suffer from value traps.

4. High Debt

Huge debt and leverages are never favorable for a business. Big debt is an actual trigger for the most deadly value traps.

5. No change in management compensation structures

If the earnings have declined and still the management keeps on giving huge bonuses to their top management structures, then definitely they have not adapted to address the problem. During declined earnings or troubled times, a company needs to change its fundamental behavior in order to get back in the race.

6. Poor financials and accounting principles

The financial accounts should be clear and transparent enough to give the true snap regarding the company. If the accounting of a company is not credible, they might be hiding some financial difficulty or even solvency.

7. No change in capital allocation method

With the shift in the scenarios, the company needs to change its capital allocation method like how much capital they want to allocate in their growth, dividends, capital expenditure or to get rid of big debt.

8. Strategic disadvantages

Declining market share, declining competitive advantage, and company not being able to contain its costs are again a few big signs of a value trap.

9. No growth catalysts

When the company starts moving in the wrong direction, it might need some kind of catalysts to move back to the growth track. These catalysts can be new innovations, products/services or even earning growth. If the company is lacking any sign of growth catalyst, then again that cheap stock might be a value trap.

Also read: 11 Must-Know Catalysts That Can Move The Share Price.

Although, there can be a number of other signs that a company is a value trap, however, these nine are the top signs.

Quick Note: New to stocks? Want to learn how to select good stocks for long-term investment? Check out this amazing online course: HOW TO PICK WINNING PICKS? Enroll now and start your investing journey today.

Closing Thoughts

The actual goal of a value investor is to avoid value traps. Therefore, my first suggestion to every value investor would be to research the stock properly before investing.

However, even seasoned investors sometimes fall into the value trap and buy garbage stocks considering them undervalued.

In such a situation, the best you can do is to understand the problem and cut off the stock as soon as possible. Do not purchase more stocks in order to average down or hold the stock long enough with an expectation to break even. The faster you can get rid of that stock, the better it is for you. In the end, let me tell you the law of holes: “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”.

Is Debt always bad for a Company cover 2

Is Debt always bad for a company?

While evaluating a company to invest, one of the biggest element to check is its debt level. Ideally, it is said to look for a company with Zero-debt as it means that the company is able to manage its finances predominantly through internally generated cash without any external obligations.

However, is debt always bad for a company? Should you ignore a stock just because it has some debt. Moreover, what if the debt level increases after you invest in a stock? Should you exit that company because the company is adding debts?

In this post, we are going to answer these questions and discuss whether debt is always bad for a company or NOT. Let’s get started.

How a company finances its debt?

A company can raise debt either by issuing debt securities like bonds, notes, corporate papers etc or by simply borrowing money as loans from banks or any lending institutions. However, once the company has taken a debt, it is legally obliged to pay it back based on the terms agreed by the lenders and lendee.

In general, if a company is currently debt free and later starts taking some debt, it might be good for the business as the company can invest that money in expanding its business. However, the problem arises when the company which already has a big debt in its balance sheet, decides to add more. This increasing debt level can negatively affect the shareholders as by norms, debts are to be paid first by the company and shareholders will always be the last in line to receive profits.

When debt is not bad for business?

Although a few matrices like declining profit margins or negative cash flow from operating activities for a consistently long period is considered as a bad sign for a business. However, the same is not true in the case of debts. The debt is not always bad for business.

If a company has a low debt level and decides to take a new debt to start a project which may double or quadruple their revenue, this debt may be good for the business and add more value to the investors in the long run. However, an important question to ask here is whether the company can afford the debt at that point in time. If yes, then it may not be a point of concern for the company or you as a shareholder.

To check whether the company can repay the debt or not, you can look at the free cash flow (FCF) of the company. As a rule of thumb, if the company’s long-term debt is less than three times the average FCF, it means that the company will able to repay its debt within three years using its free cash flow. Of the other hand, consistently negative free cash flow with increasing debt level can be a warning sign for the investors.

Quick note: Also check out this post by Harvard business review on When Is Debt Good?

Debt is cheaper than equity

For growing a business, the management may decide to raise money from investors (equity funding) or they may borrow money from banks as debts. However, an important concept to understand here is that debt is cheaper than equity.

In other words, equity is a comparatively expensive method of financing for a company. Why? Because, first of all, raising money by equity dilutes the ownership and control of the promoters. Second, the cost of equity is not finite. Here, the investors may be expecting bigger returns as they are taking higher risks.

On the other hand, the cost of debt is finite and they are sourced at lower rates. This is because the debt is less risky financing as the firm is obligated to pay it back (unlike equity funding where the company is not obliged to pay any dividends to the shareholders). Moreover, the company has no obligation to the lenders once the debt is paid off.

Further, debt financing doesn’t result in any dilution and change in control. Here, the lenders take no part in the equity of the company and hence the promoters and shareholders can enjoy the benefits.

How to evaluate the debt of a company?

Although checking the liability side of a balance sheet is always the first step to evaluate the debt of a company. However, there are a few financial ratios that you can use to evaluate the debt level. Here are the three most frequently used financial ratios to evaluate the debt of a company:

1. Current Ratio

This ratio tells you the ability of a company to pay its short-term liabilities with short-term assets. Current ratio can be calculated as: Current ratio = (Current assets / current liabilities)

While investing, companies with a current ratio greater than 1 should be preferred. This means that the current assets should be greater than the current liabilities of a company.

2. Quick ratio

This is also called the acid test ratio. Current ratio takes accounts of the assets that can pay the debt for the short term. It doesn’t consider inventory as current assets as it assumes that selling inventory will take some time and hence cannot meet the current liabilities.

Quick ratio = (Current assets — Inventory) / current liabilities

A company with a quick ratio greater that one means that it can easily meet its short-term obligations and hence quick ratio greater than 1 should be preferred while investing.

3. Debt/equity ratio

This ratio is used to check how much capital amount is borrowed (debt) vs that of contributed by the shareholders (equity) in a company. As a thumb rule, prefer companies with debt to equity ratio less than 0.5 while investing.

Also read:

Closing Thoughts

Contrary to the general belief, debts are not always bad for a company but can help it to speed up the growth. Moreover, debts are a more affordable and effective method of financing a business when it needs cash to scale up. The problem arises only when the management does not control its debt level efficiently.

Circle of Competence - Why You Should Invest Inside It?

Circle of Competence – Why You Should Invest Inside It?

Although the idea of the Circle of Competence is quite old, however, it was popularised by the billionaire investor Warren Buffet. Here’s one of his quotes regarding the circle of competence.

“What an investor need is the ability to correctly evaluate selected businesses. Note that word ‘selected’: You don’t have to be an expert on every company or even many. You only have to be able to evaluate companies within your circle of competence. The size of that circle is not very important; knowing its boundaries, however, is vital.” – Warren Buffett (1996 Letter to the shareholders)

In this post, we are going to understand what exactly Warren Buffett meant by the Circle of competence. Moreover, you’ll learn how by understanding the concept of the circle of competence, you can significantly improve your investment strategy and returns. Let’s get started.

What is the Circle of Competence?

“I’m no genius. I’m smart in spots-but I stay around those spots.” – Tom Watson Sr., Founder of IBM

Because of different background, qualification, or experience, everyone has built up a greater knowledge in a specific area. In this certain field, these people have the expertise and hence, have a significant advantage. This is called the circle of competence.

Further, the circle of competence might vary from people to people depending on the criteria mentioned above.

For example, a doctor might have expertise in medicines, healthcare or pharmaceutical and he can consider this area as his circle of competence (COC). However, if he also runs his family, which is involved in the banking industry and he might have acquired a good knowledge of that field (through his family background). In such a case, both pharma and the banking sector lies within his COC. In other words, he has a bigger circle of competence.

An important point to mention here is that your circle of competence need not only be related to the career that you are pursuing or the education/qualification that you have. It could be ‘anything’ that you have a good knowledge of.

However, it’s really important that you should define your circle of competence and understand to operate inside it. The problem arises only when you do not exactly know your circle of competence and unknowingly believe yourself as an expert and invests in something that’s outside your circle.

circle of competence

Also read: #5 Things Warren Buffett looks for before investing.

Why You Should Invest inside your Circle of competence?

“We have to deal in things that we are capable of understanding.” Charlie Munger

If you cannot understand a business, then you will not be able to evaluate it effectively. Investing in something which you do not have much knowledge will lead you to the wrong evaluation and overall, it will turn out to be a bad investment. Warren Buffett’s right hand, Charlie Munger always says that the investors who get outside their circle of competence find themselves in a lot of trouble later.

Although this sounds obvious and you might be thinking – “Why would I buy something that I do not understand?”. However, most investors are not much disciplined to invest inside their circle of competence. The temptation of investing in a ‘hot’ or popular stock where most of their friends are making money is too strong.

Anyways, as mentioned earlier, you need not be an expert in a lot of areas. Just stick to where you are good and avoid the areas where you do not have much expertise. By doing so, you can maximize your chances of success.

How can you widen your ‘Circle of Competence’?

If you think that your circle isn’t too big, do not worry. With time, you can work on it and expand your circle of competence. How? By continuously learning new things. Just Read, Read, Read!

That’s the only way how experts increase their circle of competence. In fact, even an engineer can have a circle of competence is the pharmaceutical sector if he starts reading regularly. Here’s a quote by Charlie Munger highlighting the importance of reading:

“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time – none, zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads – at how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.” -Charlie Munger

Further, to end this post here is an amazing quote by Warren Buffett that you should take away with you.

“Everybody’s got a different circle of competence. The important thing is not how big the circle is. The important thing is staying inside the circle.” – Warren Buffett

circle of competence warren buffett quote

I hope this post is useful to you. If you’ve got any questions regarding the concept of the circle of competence, feel free to comment below. I’ll be glad to answer them. Take care and happy investing.

thematic investments

Why You Should Try Thematic Investments?

Suppose you believe in an idea and confident that it will perform well in future. For instance, let’s say you are optimistic towards the renewable source of energy. Here, you are assured that the grid and other conventional sources of energy will be replaced by the renewable source of energy like solar or wind energy in the future. And therefore, you want to invest in this idea.

However, you are not certain of the best leading company in this segment to invest. Moreover, you also do not want to invest in the entire energy sector through any sectoral mutual fund as you want to focus just on the renewable energy-related companies. How to proceed further with your investments? Enter the thematic investments.

What is Thematic Investment?

As you might already know, mutual funds also provide an option to invest in different sectors via sectoral funds. For example, pharmaceutical funds focus on pharma companies or banking funds focus on investing in companies in the banking Industry. However, thematic funds are different from the sectoral fund.

Thematic funds are growth-oriented equity funds that focus on investing in a set of companies based (or closely-related) to a particular theme. They follow a top-down approach and targets a broader macro-economic theme on which the fund manager has a good knowledge of. Here, the thematic fund investors studies and understand the impact of structural shift in economics, political, technological, corporate or social trends on sectors, demographics etc which may reveal investable opportunities.

For example, electric vehicles (EVs) can be considered a theme. Here, the thematic fund based on EVs do not just need to focus on one automobile industry, rather they can include a set of industries which are a part of the theme. For example- this theme may include companies from the automobile industry, battery industry, Metal companies involved in making battery parts like Graphite, Aluminium, Carbon, etc, auto-ancillaries industry or any other companies related to the EVs.

A few other popular themes in India right now are digital India, make in India, technological progress, Internet of things, blockchain, environmental sustainability, social security etc.

thematic investments approach-min

Mutual funds vs Thematic funds

As I already mentioned above, thematic funds are different from the mutual funds and here are a few major differences between them:

— Mutual funds are over diversified while thematic funds are compact. Mutual funds invest in somewhere between 40–100 stocks. On the other hand, the number of stocks in thematic funds are smaller, typically between 5–20.

— Mutual funds are rigid and not easily customizable. Although there are thousands of mutual funds available in the Indian market, however, they are not customizable. On the other hand, it’s easier for investors to choose their ideas/sentiments and factor their risk appetite through thematic funds.

— The costs involved with mutual funds are high. For managing a popular active fund, the fund house may charge an expense ratio as high as 2.5-3%. However, the fees involved with thematic funds are comparatively cheaper.

Advantages of Thematic Funds

Here are a few common advantages of thematic funds:

—  Thematic funds are potentially more rewarding compared to diversified mutual funds.

— As thematic funds offer a compact theme, they have a concentrated impact because of news or happenings in other non-related industries.

— There are a lot of publicly available popular themes in the Indian market and hence, finding the right investment opportunity is not a tough task for investors. For example, you can use FYER’s thematic investment platform to try new different themes.

— Thematic funds allow strategic exposure to the investor’s portfolio and encourage common sense investing as themes represent the investor’s ideas and thoughts.

The risk associated with thematic funds

There’s no denying the fact that no investment strategy is perfect. And the same goes to the thematic investments. By making investments in thematic funds, you are preferring a concentrated theme. This portfolio concentration makes these thematic funds comparatively riskier over diversified mutual funds.

Moreover, there’s also a controversy regarding thematic investments which says that investing in a concentrated idea which is still untested and underappreciated, may not be a sound approach.

Also read:

Closing Thoughts

A major difference between thematic investments and traditional ones is that the thematic investors look into the future and makes decisions based on the predictions on the future trends or upcoming shift in the structure. On the other hand, traditional investors check the history and weights more importance to past performance, market behavior etc.

Moreover, we cannot deny the fact that themes change fast with time. In the last two decades, we have witnessed massive changes in the industrial and technology theme. Therefore, if you are planning to make thematic investments, be observant and careful regarding the entry and exit decisions. Only enter these funds after you have researched the idea thoroughly.

Nonetheless, if you are able to invest in right thematic funds, they are capable of giving huge returns to the investors compared to other index or diversified funds.

How Dilution Affects the Companys Valuation cover

How Dilution Affects the Company’s Valuation?

Dilution of a company’s shares is a common scenario in the equity market. However, there is multiple effects on the valuation of the company in terms of market value and EPS (earning per share) calculation after dilution. In this post, we are going to discuss how dilution affects the company’s valuation.

This is going to be a technical yet interesting post and we would advise our readers to read this carefully. Feel free to reach out to us or post comments in case of any doubts or clarifications.

1. What is dilution?

share dilution

Simply define dilution is the term used to describe the reduction in ownership or voting rights in a company.

Let’s understand this through the following example.

Assume a Company A’s equity is divided into 100 shares and we own 10 shares in the company, i.e we own 10% equity in the company. Now, let us assume that the company decided to fund its expansion plans by issuing new shares in the stock market (follow-on offerings). So, on the day of issue, the company issued 100 new shares in the market and a foreign firm with interests in the Indian market acquired all of the new shares issued.

Now, the company’s new equity is broken up into 200 shares out of which the foreign investor owns 100 shares (50% of equity) while we own 10 shares (5% of equity).

In the example, the follow-on offering is said to be dilutive for the company’s shareholders since their effective ownership has decreased in the firm.

Also read: Shareholding Pattern- Things that you need to know

2. What causes dilution?

Dilution can happen due to various some of the reasons are given below (may not be an exhaustive list)

  1. Follow-on offerings in capital markets
  2. Conversion of options and warrants by the holders
  3. Conversion of convertible bonds into equity
  4. Offerings of new shares to partners during acquisition or Joint-Ventures

3. How to identify companies where dilution is likely?

In most cases dilution happens when the company has desperate needs for infusing capital into its operations. Since modern financial ecosystem provides multiples routes and opportunities to achieve this aim, the most common strategies used by companies are to raise capital through debt offerings or through the issuance of new shares in the secondary public markets.

In case the company raises money through debt, this route need not always result in dilution of equity holdings for the investors. Dilution through debt happens only in case the company pledges to give its equity as collateral for a certain amount of debt.

Also read: How to Find the Shareholding Pattern of a Company?

4. How to calculate the shares outstanding after dilution for calculating market cap?

The shares outstanding after dilution would simply be as per the following equation,

Total dil. shares outstanding = common shares +newly issued shares

where, the newly issued shares could primarily come from (but not limited to) conversion of convertible preferred shares, conversion of convertible debt and also from shares issuable from stock options

This is shown by the following expression,

Newly issued shares
= shares from conversion of conv. preferred shares + convertible debt + issue of stock options

The calculation of the new shares from convertible preferred shares and convertible debt are pretty straightforward since most of the time these shares and debt are issued at a fixed conversion rate.

For example, Assume a Company ABC has issued 1000 preferred shares and 50,000 convertible bonds amounting ₹50 Lakh in debt. Also, the company on the date of issue stated that each of the 10 shares of preferred shares could be converted for 1 common share and 5,000 of the bonds could be converted for 100 common shares.

The newly issued shares post-dilution would be the sum of 100 (from preferred shares) and 1,000 (from convertible bonds) which is equal to 1,100 new shares.

(The shares issued from stock options is slightly complicated and is usually calculated using the treasury stock method. We shall review this method in another post.)

5. How dilution affects the company’s valuation?

Dilution affects the company’s valuation of terms of its different calculations. Here’s how dilution impacts the company’s market value and eps calculation-

— Market Value

Due to the rise in the total number of shares outstanding after the dilution, Market Value may change significantly after dilution, depending on the extent of the dilutive effect of the newly issued shares.

The formula for calculating Market Value remains the same, except that we will now use.

Total Diluted Shares Outstanding instead of Total Common Shares Outstanding.

Market Value = Price per share Total Diluted Shares Outstanding

— Earnings per share

The impact on earnings per share due to dilution is may become quite profound depending on the extent of dilution and is very important since EPS is very commonly used by investors in the final calculation of the intrinsic value of a stock.

Since companies normally get a tax benefit for interest paid on debt, after dilution this benefit is no longer applicable and we may see our net income being boosted by the after-tax amount of debt.

Another change that happens is due to dilution of the convertible preferred shares, in case the preferred shareholders were paid the dividend out of the net income of the company earlier, they need be paid anymore after dilution since they have the same status and rank as the common equity holders in the company. The change in the formula due to the dilution is illustrated by the following expressions,

The basic EPS of a company is given by the following formula,

The diluted EPS of a company is using from the below formula,

diluted eps

Also read: #19 Most Important Financial Ratios for Investors

6. Bottom line

In this post. we understood the impact of dilution on the valuation with the help of equity dilution example. Today, we learned that dilution can have a significant impact on the Market Value and EPS calculations of a company and may distort the true value if it is not incorporated during the analysis of a company. 

Since dilution mostly comes at the expense of the common investor, we advise that our readers scrutinize the annual report to find whether dilution is good or bad for them. A careful look at the financial statements is required to make the necessary changes during dilution analysis. Afterall, a decrease in the existing shareholder’s ownership in a company also means a decreased profits. 

That’s all for this post. I hope this is helpful to the readers. Happy Investing.

3 Past Biggest Scams That Shook Indian Stock Market cover-min

3 Past Biggest Scams That Shook Indian Stock Market

3 Past Biggest Scams That Shook Indian Stock Market: Do you know that if you had invested Rs 100 in the Sensex in 1979, your corpus would have become over Rs 30,000 by the end of 2017? There is no doubt in saying that the Indian stock market has yielded enormous returns to investors in the last few decades.

However, there were also times, when the market witnessed extreme malpractices carried out by a few wicked minds. Many people with foul intentions applied brainstorming techniques to manipulate the Indian stock market prices. You can have a look at this blog to understand a few common types of scams in the Indian stock market.

In simple words, a scam is referred to as the process of obtaining money from someone by deceiving him/her. The majority of the securities market scams that took place in India eventually led to a lot of financial distress to the retail investors. They adversely affected the normal functioning of the markets and degraded the trusts of lakhs of investors on the Indian share market.

3 Past Biggest Scams That Shook Indian Stock Market

Although there are hundreds of scams reported by the equity investors every year, let us have a brief study of three of the past biggest scams that shook the Indian share market.

1) Harshad Mehta Scam

During the early 1990s, Harshad Mehta, a stockbroker, started facilitating transactions of ready forward deals among the Indian banks, acting as an intermediary. In this process, he used to raise funds from the banks and subsequently illegally invest the same in the stocks listed in the Bombay Stock Exchange to inflate the stock prices artificially.

harshad mehta scamBecause of this malpractice, the Sensex moved upwards at a fast pace and reached 4,500 points in no time. The retail investors started feeling tempted seeing the sudden rise of the market. A huge number of investors started investing their money in the stock market to make quick money.

During the period from April 1991 to May 1992, it is estimated that around five thousand crore rupees were diverted by Harshad Mehta from the Indian banking sector to the Bombay stock exchange. After the fraud was revealed, the Indian stock market crashed consequently. And as guessed, Harshad was not in a position to repay crores of money to the Indian banks.

Conclusively, Harshad Mehta was sentenced to jail for 9 years by the honorable court and was also banned to carry out any share trading activity in his lifetime.

(Credits: Finnovationz)

2) Ketan Parekh Scam

ketan parekh

After the Harshad Mehta scam, a Chartered Accountant named “Ketan Parekh” had similar plans of arranging comparable securities scam. Coincidently, Ketan used to work as a trainee under Harshad Mehta earlier and hence also known as the heir of Harshad Mehta’s scam technique.

However, Ketan Parekh not only used to procure funds from the banks but also other financial institutions. Like Harshad Mehta, he also used to inflate the stock prices artificially. Apart from the Bombay Stock Exchange, the other stock markets where Ketan Parekh actively operated were the Calcutta Stock Exchange and the Allahabad Stock Exchange.

Nonetheless, Parekh used to deal mostly in ten specific stocks, also known as the K-10 stocks. He applied the concept of circular trading for inflating their stock prices. You might be surprised to know that even the promoters of some companies paid him to boost their stock prices in the market. Anyways, after the Union budget in 2001 was announced, the Sensex crashed by 176 points. The Government of India carried out an intensive investigation into this matter.

At last, it was the Central Bank who determined Ketan Parekh to be the mastermind behind this scam and he was barred from trading in the Indian stock exchanges till 2017.

3) Satyam Scam

satyam ramalinga rajuThe Chairman of  Satyam Computer Services Limited (SCSL), Mr. Ramalinga Raju confessed to SEBI of the manipulation done by him in the accounts of the Company. This corporate scandal was carried on from 2003 till 2008. It is estimated that the fraud took place for around Rs five thousand crores of cash balances as the company by falsifying revenues, margins.

The stock price of Satyam fell drastically after this incident. Eventually, CBI took charge of conducting the investigation into the matter. They filed three partial charge sheets against Satyam. Subsequently, these three partial charges were merged into one charge sheet.

In April 2009, Raju and nine others involved in the fraud were sentenced to jail by the honorable court. Consequently, Mahindra Group acquired SCSL and it was renamed as Mahindra Satyam. It subsequently merged within Tech Mahindra in 2013.

Bonus: A few other popular corporate scams

Apart from the above-mentioned scams, here are a few other famous corporate scandals which also deserve to be mentioned in this post.

1) Saradha Scam

Sudipta Sen, the Chairman of the Chit-fund company called Saradha Group, operated a plethora of investment schemes. The schemes were called the Ponzi schemes and did not use any proper investment model. This scheme is alleged to have cheated over a million investors.

The Saradha Group collected huge funds from the innocent investors in West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, and Odisha. The money collected was used to be invested in real estates, media industry, Bengali film production houses and many more. The Saradha scam came to the fore in April 2013 when Sudipta Sen fled leaving behind an 18-page letter.

Although the Saradha scam didn’t have any direct impact on the Indian stock market, it had an indirect impact on the stock exchange. The Foreign Institutional Investors (FII) took a step back seeing such unregulated Ponzi schemes being floated in the market.

2) NSEL Scam

National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) is a company that was promoted by Financial Technologies Indian Ltd and the NAFE. Two individuals named Jignesh Shah and Shreekant Javalgekar were held guilty for this scam. The Funds that were procured from the ignorant investors were siphoned off. This is because most of the underlying commodities did not have any existence at all. The transactions of commodities were being carried out only on the paper.

NSEL attracted the attention of the retail investors by offering them fixed returns on paired contracts in commodities. Around 300 brokers have been alleged roles in the ₹5,500-crore NSEL scam in 2013.

Also read: NSEL scam: 300 brokers face criminal action

Closing Thoughts

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) was established in India in the early 1990s to administer and regulate the functioning of the Indian securities markets. It is the apex authority which regulates the affairs of Indian securities market participants. If you are a follower of the financial market, you would know the frequent amendments that come every year in the SEBI Act and Regulations.

Although the occurrence of stock market scams and corporate scandals has reduced subsequent to the establishment of SEBI, but hasn’t completely stopped.

Additional resources to read

What are the Different Career Options in the Stock Market in India cover

What are the Different Career Options in Indian Stock Market?

Different Career Options in Indian Stock Market: The equity market has opened a lot of career opportunities in recent years. This market is getting bigger day by day and the opportunities for employment in the Stock Market are growing every day. People from all backgrounds whether science, commerce or humanities, are showing more and more interest to pursue their careers in Stock Market today.

On one hand, many people are opting to become a financial market participant and work independently. On the other, a significant number of Startups are establishing innovative ideas to create disruption in the Indian Securities Market.

In this post, we are going to discuss a few excellent share market career opportunities in India. Let’s get started.

Different Career Options in Indian Stock Market-

— Stock Broker

As you might already know, if you want to trade or invest in the Stock Market, you must open a trading and Demat Account. These two accounts are offered by stockbrokers. So, given the largely growing investing population of India, you can easily guess how prospective the career as a Stock Broker could be.

For example, If we take of Mr. Nithin Kamath, the founder of Zerodha (discount broker), he started off his career as an Engineer and subsequently started taking interest in the Stock Market. Later, he found the financial market so fascinating that he switched his profession as an engineer to a Stock Broker. In the year 2018, Zerodha, his stockbroking company was awarded the best discount broker entity in India by NSE.

nitin kamath zerodha founder

(Image: Nithin Kamath & Nikhil Kamath – Zerodha Co-founders)

Further, in order to become a Stock Broker or open a stockbroking entity, you don’t require a strict eligibility criterion in terms of academics. Nonetheless, you need to clear NISM exams and get your license from the SEBI. Anyways, if you plan to be a Stock Broker, it is important to gain a practical understanding of the Market. So, it is better to work with a Securities Broker for at least 5 years to gain requisite experience if you are willing to start your own venture.

Next, if you want to get employed in a Stock Broking Firm, you will need to clear 12th standard at the minimum. Graduating in Accounting, Economics or Finance will help you start your career from a decent level. Qualifying Post Graduation is not necessary but it might help in fast promotion in the industry. In case you have qualified professional courses like CFA, CA or FRM, no doubt your career path would become really smooth.

(Note: You can read detailed information regarding making a career as a Stock Market Broker here.)

— Financial or Investment Advisor

If you want to start your own consultancy business in the Financial Market, becoming a Financial Advisor or an Investment Advisor is a perspective option.

In recent years, AMFI has been trying hard to bring the income earners in our country to invest in the Mutual Fund industry through their campaign “Mutual fund Sahi hai!”. However, just AMFI is not big enough to educate and convince billions of people in our nation to invest their money in the financial market. As an Investment Advisor, you can reach a plethora of prospective clients.

Preparing customized financial plans, providing consultancy services on wealth management and educating people on financial products can assuredly help you to build a career and make good money in this industry.

To become a Registered Investment Advisor, you will require an education and certification criterion. If you have a graduate degree in Finance/Commerce or at least 5 years of work experience with a financial company, you meet the educational criteria. Note that if you are an engineer with just a B.Tech degree, you do not meet the educational criteria by SEBI. Here, you need work experience in the finance field for at least 5 years or a post-graduate degree in finance.

Anyways, if you are a Post Graduate degree in finance, you won’t require any work experience to apply for your license from SEBI. Further, whether you are a Graduate or a Post Graduate, you mandatorily need to clear the NISM Investment Advisory Certification exam to apply for the SEBI registered Investment advisor. Once you meet all the educational and certification criteria, you can apply to SEBI and get your license. (Note: You can read this post to learn further on how to become an Investment advisor in India.)

Besides, completing CA, CFA or CFP will also help you get the required knowledge you need to render professional services to your clients.

Also read: What is SEBI? And What is its role in Financial Market?

— Research Analyst

Apart from becoming an investment advisor, Equity Research Analyst is also a lucrative career option nowadays. Let us have a brief understanding of this.

Equity Research includes Buy-Side Research and Sell-Side Research. In the case of the former, the researcher work with a financial service organization that directly invests people’s money in the Stock Market. Here, you need to research the stocks to help the Fund Managers make decisions with respect to managing the available financial assets. In the case of Sell-Side Research, the researchers analyze equities and equity derivatives for the clients who are retail traders and investors.

If you want to start your own business as an independent Research Analyst, the eligibility criteria are similar to Investment Advisory option. Further, if you want to take a job as a Research Analyst, the top financial service entities in India look for candidates who are MBA graduates from Tier 1 institutes. Nonetheless, you can also make a career as a Research Analyst if you have completed CFA or CA. (Note: You can read further regarding Equity Research Analyst profession here.)

— Portfolio Management Services (PMS)

If you are a Mutual Fund investor, you might know that your investments are managed by experienced and skilled Portfolio Managers. The Wealth Management firms operating in India handle clients’ money via professionally qualified Fund Managers. Portfolio Management could be an extremely rewarding career if you are good at managing money and have a strong understanding of the Financial Market.

In order to enter this field, you will require professional qualifications like CA, CFA or MBA (Finance). Moreover, if you are a fresher, it is extremely hard to get into this field. Here, you may need experience of at least a decade of working in the Finance domain as you need to grasp the level of maturity of handling assets which amount in crores. Therefore, if you are considering to become a Portfolio Manager, you may first start working in the marketing and research for 5 to 10 years. (Note: Here is a blog that can answer your additional questions on the career as a Portfolio Manager)

Conclusion

In this article, we tried to cover different career options in Indian stock market. Parting advice- if you are planning to make a living from the Stock Market, you need to have an in-depth understanding of the financial world.

Although possessing academics and professional qualifications are necessary but having practical exposure to how the market exactly works is more important. Besides, whichever stock market career option you choose, having strong communication and analytical skills are always add-on advantages.

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