(Public Sector- Asset Rich, Profit poor. Will they find the mojo that they seriously lack? Who will be the new owners? Will the new owners be able to kick profits north? Will they lose the umbrella they had due to the ownership? One thing is clear. Government getting out of business is always great. My column in today’s Deccan Chronicle) Play the momentum if you must. The new owners can either make it grow or simply strip it. Do not know what will be done)
Selling investments- Do we have a plan for exit when we invest? It helps to have one. This piece is just to prod you in to thinking. Similar to a medical emergency. Have you written down your plan of action if there is a medical emergency? Same is the case with a financial emergency or a planned need which becomes an emergency because we did not plan for it. This piece appears in today’s Deccan Chronicle.
No selling can ever be perfect in the sense that it maximises your arithmetical returns. Having a plan ensures that you avoid disasters. The trick is in managing return expectations. If you keep a 40% compound returns target, obviously you will not get an exit. How much above the interest rate you set your goals is key.
Mao Dun literary prize winner Zhou Daxin’s latest novel to be published, “The Sky Gets Dark, Slowly”, is a sensitive exploration of old age and the complex, hidden emotional worlds of the elderly in a rapidly ageing population.
In it he writes, “…Many elderly speak as though they know everything, but of old age they are in fact as ignorant as children. Many elderly are in fact, completely unprepared for what they are to face when it comes to getting old and the road that lays ahead of them.
In the time between a person turning 60 years old, as they begin to age, right until all the lights go out and the sky gets dark, there are some situations to keep in mind, so that you will be prepared for what is to come, and you will not panic.
1. The people by your side will only continue to grow smaller in number. People in your parents’ and grandparents’ generation have largely all left, whilst many your peers will increasingly find it harder to look after themselves, and the younger generations will all be busy with their own lives. Even your wife or husband may depart earlier than you, or than you would expect, and what might then come are days of emptiness. You will have to learn how to live alone, and to enjoy and embrace solitude.
2. Society will care less and less for you. No matter how glorious your previous career was or how famous you were, ageing will always transform you into a regular old man and old lady. The spotlight no longer shines on you, and you have to learn to contend with standing quietly in one corner, to admire and appreciate the hubbub and views that come after you, and you must overcome the urge to be envious or grumble.
3. The road ahead will be rocky and full of precarity. Fractures, cardio-vascular blockages, brain atrophy, cancer… these are all possible guests that could pay you a visit any time, and you would not be able to turn them away. You will have to live with illness and ailments, to view them as friends, even; do not fantasise about stable, quiet days without any trouble in your body. Maintaining a positive mentality and get appropriate, adequate exercise is your duty, and you have to encourage yourself to keep at it consistently.
4. Prepare for bed-bound life, a return to the infant state. Our mothers brought us into this world on a bed, and after a journey of twists and turns and a life of struggle, we return to our starting point — the bed — and to the state of having to be looked after by others. The only difference being, where we once had our mothers to care for us, when we prepare to leave, we may not have our kin to look after us. Even if we have kin, their care may never come close to that of your mother’s; you will, more likely than not, be cared for by nursing staff who bear zero relation to you, wearing smiles on their faces all whilst carrying weariness and boredom in their hearts. Lay still and don’t be difficult; remember to be grateful.
5. There will be many swindlers and scammers along the way. Many of them know that the elderly have lots of savings, and will endlessly be thinking of ways to cheat them of their money: through scam phone calls, text messages, mail, food and product samples, get-rich-quick schemes, products for longevity or enlightenment… basically, all they want is to get all the money. Beware, and be careful, hold your money close to you. A fool and his money are soon parted, so spend your pennies wisely.
Before the sky gets dark, the last stretches of life’s journey will gradually get dimmer and dimmer; naturally, it will be harder to see the path ahead that you are treading towards, and it will be harder to keep going forward. As such, upon turning 60, it would do us all well to see life for what it is, to cherish what we have, to enjoy life whilst we can, and to not take on society’s troubles or your children’s and grandchildren’s affairs on for yourself. Stay humble, don’t act superior on account of your own age and talk down to others — this will hurt yourself as much as it will hurt others. As we get older, all the better should we be able to understand what respect is and what it counts for. In these later days of your lives, you have to understand what it means, to let go of your attachments, to mentally prepare yourself. The way of nature is the way of life; go with its flow, and live with equanimity.
This appears in today’s Deccan Chronicle. Timing the markets. Here I argue that if you want to time the markets, do not stop SIP. But if you feel markets are bad, then invest additional amounts. Investing ought to be a habit and not an indulgence.
(Today’s Deccan Chronicle. I have been talking about RBIs role as a regulator. It is unlikely that RBI will ever be able to prevent scams or frauds. As a depositor, it is time we started to think about where we keep our money. A bank is no longer going to be as safe as one imagines)
My column in Deccan Chronicle today. People get carried away. Especially if they own the stock and there is a discovery of wrong doing. They refuse to let go. And some games that get played
Note: One error has crept in. Discuss 3 types in the article. Investments for the long term will go in to type 2. Where we can check promoter . In the article I have perhaps wrongly typed it as type 1. Apologies.
Aarey Colony. Goregaon East. Jaiprakash Nagar-Where I grew up. From our chawl, we could see the hills and the lights. It was our ‘backyard’.
Aarey Colony was a go to place when we had visitors from our ‘native’ place. To show them the bottling plant of Aarey. It was open to the public and it would be a full day picnic. From Goregaon East, we took a BEST bus and it wound its way through the forests (starting from a ‘check naka’, which still exists I guess) and passing mango trees and other trees, a few stray people walking, past the ‘observation post’ called OP or “Chhota Kashmir” and on to the Dairy Farm. Join the queue there, go through the plant and then come out. There was a stall selling ‘flavoured’ milk (much later, it was branded as “Energee”) and each one would savour the taste for long. Rose, pista were the early flavours and other flavours were introduced much later.
After the swig of cold flavoured milk, we would take a bus back and get down en route at “OP”. Walk up the steep road to the garden, play there and finish the food that we had packed from home. There was no plastic to dispose. Everything was brought in steel or aluminum vessles and carefully put back in to the nylon wire-net bag that was woven by mother. There was a tap dispensing cold water and we had our fill. Chased each other round the garden and those who had money would buy some peanuts or bhel from the vendor. But the cold water was free.
After spending some time there, it was time to get back. Walk down, wait at the bus stop and take a bus back to Goregaon station.
There was also the “PICNIC SPOT” beyond OP and before Aarey Colony that has vast open grounds, had swings, merry go rounds and other playing things for the children.
Very often, schools in Goregaon would take children for a full day picnic to that place. It has some wonderful old trees, some banyan trees and a water body that was close by. The fun of the picnic was the open spaces to run about, the trees to climb and the food that was a treat. Teachers would mix “Bhel” and some rich kids would try to sneak to an ice cream shop that was housed in the “aarey market”. It would be bhel, ‘patti samosas’ and lemon juice. And we would go home with our clothes colored in the red clay of the parks.
There was a building at the highest point, that was called ‘New Zealand Hostel”. I recall that the Govt of New Zealand had been generous in putting together the dairy farming and there was a college up there.
At night, from our chawl near the station, we could see the clock face of the New Zealand Hostel, which was at least a distance of four to five kms as the crow flies. The air was pure and there was nothing. There were clusters of ‘tabelas’ which were labelled as ‘units’. Unit number five, unit number seven etc. And there was a quaint fire brigade station inside, with a water body close by. The entire place was an escape from the yet to be crowded city.
On the Western Express Highway after we crossed from the Seminary on Aarey road, there was the check naka. To the left of the check naka, there was the “CIBA Research Centre”.
There used to be one bus route that would go through Aarey Colony and beyond. It was route not 341 (I think it still runs) from Goregaon East to Sion bus depot and back. For the longest period, I recall that the ‘full’ ticket for a trip from Goregaon to Sion was 45 paise! And to Aarey Colony, it was 20 paise. Apart from that, there was 342 and 343, which would go up to Aarey/New Zealand Hostel only. Private vehicles were a rarity and cabs would not go through that property. Auto rickshaws were not yet born.
OP was a location liked by our Bollywood. Quite a few films had some songs picturised there. That gave birth to the name, “Chhota Kashmir”. Poor man’s Kashmir. With bright sunshine.
To get your supply of Aarey Milk, you had to have a permit (a metal card embossed with the name of the ‘head of the household’ and the quota were mentioned in it). You had a steel wire carrier, to which the card was tied by a locking wire. You got milk in glass bottles.
So you carried your empty bottles, paid money for the milk (recall price of 85 paise for the ‘blue cap” and 52 paise for the ‘white’ cap bottle of 500 ml). The blue was ‘whole’ milk and the white was ‘toned’ milk.
Come rain, come shine, you went to the milk booth every day (I recall timings of between 1230pm and 2pm) and got your quota of milk. This price was in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Private dairy milk was around twice this price, but would be delivered before 6am at home. Goreagan still had a few ‘tabelas’ (stables), which were within the city and outside of Aarey Colony.
Sometimes, a few of us would hire bicycles and cycle up to OP, have a swig of water at the tap at the top and come back. Twenty to thirty minutes of furious pedaling. Around 5 kms each way. And on the climb from the base of OP to the tap, it was pushing the cycles. And coming down was one scream as we did our stunts of ‘hand free’ and what not. Those were joyous times.
During our later school and college years and also the early years of working, a few of us would walk after dinner in to Aarey colony. Cross the check naka, go in a few hundred meters, talk what young boys of that age would talk, sneak in a cigarette and walk back home. It used to get cool in the nights and Aarey was a part of our life. Green and refreshing.
On a few adventurous days, we would go in to the side roads (there were a few pathways from the Western Express Highway in to Aarey Colony) We were the locals and experts. We would go in, ‘steal’ some raw mangoes in season and generally spend time walking and talking. Aarey was very much part of our lives.
As we grew older, the politicians have grown bolder and the builders’ mafia has got in. Gokuldham did not exist as open space. It was forests. That was the first encroachment. And since then, it is only encroachment.
I weep for the children of tomorrow who will never know this green belt named Aarey. As politicians give away to builders what is our children’s, I know that the move is in place to make sure that no leaf of grass will remain over time.
We will have ugly buildings and unhealthy children coughing away in them. In a way, I am glad that I left Goregaon in the mid-eighties. Gokuldham was the first blot. And now the ball is in motion for more and more encroachment. Allowing private vehicles to pass through Aarey Colony was another sad development. It is sad what our politicians can do for a few rupees.