Feature

Confession of a value investor - Part 1

A tale of how intelligence and serendipity combined to create the killing of a lifetime

This is a story about two stocks that I have owned in my as yet brief stint with investing. Let me start with the story of the first one. This is a few years after I had started out about 15 years ago. The setting was thus. The tech bubble had burst. In the run-up to the bubble, it was IT sector all the way with donkeys and horses alike dancing all the way to the sky. There were two other sectors which had a rub-off from Information Technology (Tech); media and telecom. The three together became the invincible Trinity, and were collectively branded ‘TMT’ by the glorifying media. Some people who could not join the song-and-dance tried their hand at two other sectors, FMCG and Pharma. Besides these sectors, every other sector and every company in those sectors were touted as the old economy ‘touch-them-nots’. Once the tech mania fizzled out as it ought to have, the whole market collapsed, and took the already battered old economy stocks even further down. It was hangover time.

Being faced with a situation which I had obviously never faced in my life in any capacity, I was like the harrowed citizen of a war-devastated country whose psyche has been terribly bruised. The general mood was such that the very mention of stock market initiated nausea. I went back to my basic tenets of value investing. After spending much time on books and contemplation, very reluctantly I started looking out for cheap stocks. Cheap means simply cheap, without really bothering about whether

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