A complete guide on Value investing in India

There are many successful strategies in the stock market. However, three of the most popular investing strategies are- Value investing, growth investing in india and dividend investing. It’s really difficult to say which one is better as it totally depends on the investor’s knowledge, style, and preference.

india

Nevertheless, value investing is one such proven strategy that has created huge wealth for many investors who have followed this strategy with discipline. In fact, one of the biggest followers of value investing is the legendary investor, Warren Buffett.

What is value investing?

The basic strategy of value investing in very simple. You find an amazing company, calculate its true (intrinsic value) and pay a lot less to purchase the stock (when it is on sale in the market). As you have bought the stock at a discount, you can make a profit by selling the stock when the price reaches its true value.

Few common tools that value investors use in order to find undervalued stocks are- lower than average price to book value, a low PE ratio or higher dividend yields.

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Three Fundamental philosophies of Value investing

Value investors believe that the market overreacts to good and bad news and hence they do not correspond with the company’s long-term fundamentals. Therefore, at a specific time in the market, stocks can be overvalued, undervalued or decently valued.

The strategy of value investing is to find the undervalued stocks -which are trading at a discount because of short-term reasons or market not yet realizing their true potential. Here are the three fundamental philosophies of value investing:

1. Look for the true/intrinsic value

What distingue value investing from other popular strategies is that value investors believe that stocks have an intrinsic or true value. They find this concrete number using different valuation methods like discounted cash flow analysis. When the market value of that stock is below the calculated value, the value investors purchase that stock. Further, as these investors have bought the stock at a discount, they sit back and relax until the stock reaches its true value.

2. Avoid following the herd

Interestingly, you can find a large population of investing community following herd mentality psychology in making various financial decisions like buying a new property or investing in the stock market. Seeing others getting profited with investment, our brain tells us to go for it without a second thought.

However, the value investors avoid herd mentality. They do not believe in group thinking or buying a stock just because everyone else is buying. That’s why, many a time- the value investing strategies looks similar to the contrarian investing

3. Always have a Margin of Safety

The margin of safety is the guiding philosophy of value investing to reduce risk and avoid loss. Here, the value investor gives a benefit of doubt to themselves by purchasing a stock with a margin of safety.

For example, let’s assume that an investor calculated the true value of a company to be Rs 100. Here, buying the stock at any price below Rs 100 can be considered as an undervalued price. However, if the investor wants a margin of safety of 20%, then he/she will buy that stock at Rs 80 or less. Here, the value investor is safeguarding his investment by adding a significant margin of safety in his/her purchase price.

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Does value investing in India works?

Yes, Definitely!! Tell me one thing- If I offer you to purchase a brand new iPhone X at a discount of 50%- Isn’t this deal profitable to you? Even if you don’t plan to keep the iPhone, still you can sell it for a price way higher than your original purchase price. There are a number of online websites like Olx or Quickr where you can easily find a buyer for this phone.

Value investing works on the same concept. Here, you buy terrific stocks at a price below their intrinsic value (i.e. discount price) and hold it till they reach their true value.

So, does value investing in India works? Absolutely!! Value investing is a time-tested strategyFrom Benjamin Graham to Warren Buffett to Joel Greenblatt to Raamdeo Agrawal -all have made a massive fortune by following the strategies of value investing.

Best books to learn value investing in India

Although, I tried to cover most of the critical points related to value investing in India in this post. However, there are still many concepts yet to learn for beginners. Here are the best books to learn value investing in India.

Closing Thoughts

Value investing is a proven strategy to build wealth. And value investing in India definitely works for those who apply this strategy with discipline.

However, value investing is subjective and depends on the investor’s style of investing. While many value investors only look for undervalued stocks, few also consider the future earnings expectations and cash flows to determine the future value. For example, the star fund manager Peter Lynch (Author of One up on wall street) was more interested in undervalued stocks with good growth prospects.

10 Biggest AMCs in India – Asset Management Companies

An Asset Management Company (AMC) manages a pool of funds collected from investors. Investors prefer to invest their money with AMC due to the level of diversification, the skill of the investment manager offered, along with other professional services. AMC’s attract investors who either do not possess much knowledge of the markets and would benefit from an investment manager or those who would rather allocate their precious time elsewhere.

Asset

A small retail investor will be able to invest in a very few stocks with the limited savings he has. By doing so he exposes himself to the additional risk if the shares of the company he invested in make a loss. In products offered by the AMC’s the huge pool of funds collected from investors is invested in a huge number of stocks protecting its investors from the losses of focused investment. AMCs designs various products to suit the needs of different investors. They create portfolios that suit the different risk appetites, tenure, tax benefits, etc. that the investors look for.

10 Biggest AMCs in India 2020

The following are the top Indian AMCs with the largest Assets Under Management (AUM) as of March 2020.

1. SBI Mutual Fund

The SBI mutual fund was founded in 1987. At its inception, the MF was fully owned by State Bank of India (SBI) a public sector bank. In 2004 SBI disinvested 37% stake from its mutual funds which was taken up by global leaders Societe Generale Asset Management. In 2011 the stake held by Societe General was taken up by Amundi as part of a global movement to merge its asset management business with Crédit Agricole. SBI Mutual Fund is currently a joint venture between SBI and Amundi of France.

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2. HDFC Asset Management Company 

The Housing Development Finance Corporation Bank provides mutual fund services through its subsidiary HDFC Asset Management Company Limited. One of the leading AMCs in India, HDFC formed this Mutual fund company with Standard Life Investments and holds approx. 57.4% of its shares.

3. ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company

ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund was established in 1993 with 2 locations and 6 employees at the inception of the joint venture in 1998, to a current strength of more than 1000 employees with around 120 locations. Due to its substantial growth, it currently boasts more than 4 million investors. The AMC is a joint venture between ICICI Bank in India and Prudential Plc, one of the largest players in the financial services sectors in the UK.

4. Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund (BSLMF)

The Birla Sun Life Mutual fund was established in 1994 as a joint venture between Aditya Birla Capital Limited and Sun Life Financial Inc ( Canadian insurance provider founded in 1865)

5. Nippon India Asset Management Company

Nippon India AMC, earlier known as Reliance Asset Management Limited was founded by the late Dhirubhai Ambani and is one of the most popular AMCs in India. It was later run in a joint partnership with Nippon Life Insurance from Japan. In 2019 Nippon Life Insurance went on to own a 75% stake in the mutual fund allowing Anil Ambani owned Reliance to exit the Mutual fund industry.  After this, it came to be known as Nippon India Asset Management Company.

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6. Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company

Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company (KMAMC) started operation in 1998. The Kotak Mahindra AMC is one of the few wholly-owned subsidiaries among the top AMCs. It is a subsidiary of Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL) and boasts an investor base of above 1.7 million investors.

7. UTI Mutual Fund 

UTI Asset Management is India’s oldest and largest mutual fund management company. The mutual fund industry in India originally began in 1963 with the Unit Trust of India (UTI). For a period it was the only source of mutual fund investment for Indian citizens in the 90s. UTI Mutual Fund is a Government of India and the Reserve Bank of India initiative.

8. Axis Asset Management Company

Axis Asset Management Company was launched in the year 2009. It is a joint venture between Axis Bank and Schroder Singapore Holdings Private Limited.

9. Franklin Templeton

The American establishment was set up as Templeton Asset Management India Pvt. Limited in India in the year 1996. Over 2 decades of consistent growth made Franklin Templeton as one of the largest foreign fund houses in India. 2020 however was seen as the worst year for Templeton Asset Management India as they ended up winding six of their debt mutual fund schemes in India. This has led to the company currently facing multiple litigations across the country.

10. IDFC Asset Management Company

IDFC Asset Management Company is one of the leading AMCs in India since its inception in 2000. It formes a part of Infrastructure Development Finance Company Limited a finance company based in India

ROE vs ROCE – What’s the difference?

As investors, the financial ratios have become an essential part of our decision-making process. This is because ratios measure and give us a more comprehensive picture of companies’ operational efficiency, liquidity, stability, and profitability in comparison to the raw financial data from various statements.

ROE

Today we look at two profitability ratios namely the ROE and the ROCE with an attempt to better understand them

Return on Equity (ROE)

The Return on Equity ratio enables us to measure a company’s performance by dividing the annual net returns by the value of the shareholders’ equity. The ROE ratio helps us to judge the effectiveness of a company’s management to use the shareholder contribution available in order to generate profits

— ROE Formula

Return on equity (ROE) can be calculated as Net Income of a company divided by its Shareholder Equity.

ROE formula

Net Income: The Net Income considered here is the income remaining after the taxes, interest, and dividend to preference shareholders is paid out.

Shareholder Equity: Assets – Liabilities

ROE brings together two financial statements. It includes the Net income from the income statement and the shareholders’ equity from the Balance Sheet.

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Example to understand ROE

Take two companies A and B in the ice cream business. Both companies have made a profit of 20 lacs for the financial year 2019-20. But how are we to compare the greater of the two in this scenario. After taking a  closer look we find that the investments received by the 2 companies are: Company A – 1 crore and Company B – 2 crores.

The ROE computed for company A is 0.2 and for company, B is 0.1.

This puts the returns from the two companies in a whole new perspective. Despite both of the companies reporting the same profits, the management of Company A is more efficient in converting the money invested into profits. Hence, it would be wise to invest in Company A as management is more efficient in generating profits.

Return on Capital Employed (ROCE)

The Return on Capital Employed ratio shows us the effectiveness of a company’s allocation of capital. The ROCE ratio is acquired by dividing a company’s operating income by the capital employed.

ROCE Formula

Return on capital employed can be calculated by dividing EBIT (Operating Income) by its Capital Employed.

ROCE formulaOperating Income: The operating income is what we get after the total sales is deducted by the operating expenses like wages, depreciation, and cost of goods sold. In other words, it is the Earnings before interest and tax charged (EBIT).

Capital Employed: Assets – Current Liabilities or Equity + Debt.

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Example to understand ROCE

Let us take a similar example as that taken in the case of ROE. The same companies A and B are in the ice cream business. They have earned a profit of 20 lacs and have an investment as follows: Company A -1 crore and Company B – 2 crores. But in addition to this, the debt taken by the companies is Company A – 3 crores in loans and Company B – 1 crore in loans.

Using ROE and ROCE – The right way?

A shareholder may also use the ROE and the ROCE ratios in comparison to each other. When the ROCE ratio is greater than the ROE it signifies that a major portion of the profits earned is diverted to service the debt of the company. This would not be taken positively by shareholders. However, it is also important to consider that a company with a high ROCE ratio is able to raise debt at attractive terms. The high ROCE improves the valuations of a company. This is because it shows that the company can easily raise debt for its future operations.

What is Ponzi Scheme? And How to Protect Yourself from it?

Frauds and scams are part of our lives for a very long time. From corporate frauds, government official frauds to individual scams, our society has witnessed all. Time and again we have heard of big scams like Indian Coal Allocation Scam 2012 – Rs 1,86,000 Crore, 2G Spectrum Scam 2008 – Rs 1,76,000 Crore, Commonwealth Games Scam 2010 – Rs 70,000 Crore, Satyam Scam 2009 – Rs 14,000 Crore, etc.

Ponzi

However, one such scam which is quite common but never came in a lot of notice or fame for the retail people is “Ponzi Schemes”. Although a lot of people have lost lakhs of rupees in these schemes, however, most of our population still do not understand what exactly are these and how they work. In this article, we are going to demystify this fraud and discuss what is Ponzi scheme, it’s history, some infamous Ponzi Schemes and how investors and common people can safeguard themselves from such fraudulent tricks.

What is Ponzi Scheme?

A Ponzi scheme is an investment scam where returns are paid to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors. In a Ponzi scheme, investors are duped by being promised high returns with little or no risk on their investments. The scammers then rely on cash flow from recent investors to provide returns to older investors. The scam runs along the lines of ‘Robbing Peter to pay Paul’.

Here the investors have no idea from where their returns come from. They are misled to believe that the returns are being generated from the success of a business opportunity or the superior skills of a portfolio manager. At the initial stages, if an investor wishes to withdraw money, the scammers ensure that this is done promptly in order to gain the investors’ trust. The liquidity coupled with the superior returns results in a social feedback loop where current investors amazed by the returns suggests it to their friends and relatives.

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History of Ponzi Schemes

The scheme is named after a man called Charles Ponzi, an Italian who committed the fraud a century ago. He promised to pay investors a 50% profit within 45 days or 100% profit in 90 days. He claimed that he was able to raise the profits by acquiring Postal Reply Coupons from countries where it was cheaper and sell these coupons in countries where they were being sold at a higher.

How is the Ponzi Scheme different from a Pyramid scheme?

A Ponzi scheme may at times be confused with a Pyramid. A Ponzi scheme promises a high rate of return and the source of these returns is hidden from the investors (which is actually from the investments of new investors).

In a Pyramid scheme, it is made clear to investors that in order to gain returns they have to recruit new investors. The new investors further have to do the same after the initial investment and so on. In addition to this investors at times are also given a right to sell a product in exchange for a commission which also turns a pyramid scheme into a marketing and sales campaign.

Some Other Infamous Ponzi Schemes.

— Bernie Madoff

The phrase ‘ Give the devil his due’ suits no one better than Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi Scheme. This is due to the size, period, and the ruse implemented by Bernie Madoff. Bernie Madoff was a pioneer in the investing world as he brought forward the advent of trading using electronic systems, and hence NASDAQ. He was also looked up to as he served as the non- executive chairman of the NASDAQ for 3 terms( 1990-93).

Crypto Ponzi

The success of cryptocurrencies took the world by storm due to the success of Bitcoin and Ethereum. But scamsters somehow have always have managed to be a step ahead adapting to cutting edge innovations. Cryptocurrencies too have not been free from scams as con-artists take advantage of investors who evidently have lesser knowledge of the working of cryptocurrencies.

Plustoken a crypto from China received investments of $2 billion. They did this by marketing themselves as a crypto wallet service. Here the investors were promised higher returns if they exchanged Bitcoin or Ehereum in exchange for Plustoken’s own crypto. This scheme was just another Ponzi were over 3 million investors were cheated.

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How do you protect yourself from Ponzi Schemes?

1. High investment returns with little or no risk

Any investment opportunity that says this is a major flag that actually says you are never getting your money back. It is best to apply one of the basic rules of investing here that only with greater risk comes with greater reward. Low risk is accompanied by lower returns. Investors should also beware of words like ‘ everyone else is doing it and profiting’ as these create a fear of missing out.

2. Overly consistent returns

Investments react to market trends barring a few outliers from time to time. If you are given proof or notice that the investments are able to generate consistent returns regardless of the market going through extended bearish periods, then it is another red flag. Bernie Madoff’s investment firm delivered consistent returns of 8-10% every year regardless of market trends. This was a major red flag that investors missed.

3. Secretive or complex strategies

When you receive investment opportunities it is best to try and understand how the business or investment opportunity works.

Scammers in the crypto world have made use of this obliviousness that investors had towards the working of a cryptocurrency.

4. Believe numbers and data over individuals

Scammers generally have charismatic qualities that attract people towards them. Bernie Madoff was always seen as the most genuine individual until the scam broke out. He was described as a person always reachable by phone. Investors have even claimed that he attended funerals when one of their loved ones passed away as a sign of support. This quality allowed Bernie to gain the trust of potential investors at the synagogues he prayed in and the country clubs he hung out in.

5. Background Checks

It is always best to perform background checks when we are presented by investment opportunities by individuals. This can be done by verifying the firm’s registration numbers.

Bharat Bond ETF? And Is it a Good Investment Option?

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the formation of India’s first Bond Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF). This first corporate bond ETF of the country was named ‘Bharat Bond ETF’. This news came nearly two years after the then FM Arun Jaitley announced a plan to launch a bond ETF in his 2018 -19 budget speech.

ETF

The FM Nirmala Sitharaman announced that this move was in order to deepen Indian bond markets and at the same time provide additional money for Public sector units. Today, we try and decode what these funds newly introduced in the Indian markets really are.

What are Bond ETFs?

Before we look into what a Bond ETF is it is actually better to look into bonds and ETF’s separately so as to understand them better.

A Bond is a financial instrument used by a company to raise funds from the stock market. Here, the investors are paid interest in exchange for the amount lent to the company. It is safe to say that bonds are a means of raising debt. Here the periodical interest is paid to the investor and the principal amount is repaid on maturity. A bond does not give any ownership right to the investor but there exists a risk of default on the loan.

An Exchange Traded Fund(ETF) is a fund that is actively traded on the stock market. If you have noticed mutual funds, on the other hand, do not trade in the stock market. An investor who wishes to invest in a mutual fund does so based on a previous day’s calculated Net Asset Value(NAV) price. In the case of these mutual funds the demand and supply forces of the stock market do not influence the fund price directly and neither can they be bought and sold through the stock market.

An ETF removes this inconvenience faced by the fund. This is because ETFs are the answer for funds that hold different types of securities to be traded on the stock exchange.  This is made possible in ETFs through an arbitrage mechanism to keep the prices on the stock exchange close to the funds’ NAV.

How does Bharat Bond ETF work?

Bharat Bond ETF offers a portfolio to its investors which only includes public sector bonds that have a ‘AAA’ credit rating. Bharat Bond ETF offers investors two products. A BBETF maturing in 3 years and another maturing in 10 years. The main aims of the ETF are realized due to their ability to be accessed by small retail investors. The Bharat Bond ETF allows a minimum investment amount of Rs.1000.

An investor who would otherwise choose to invest in bonds directly would require investments of significantly higher amounts. The ETFs allow a maximum investment Rs. 200,000. The ETF functions as a growth model. Here the returns that are earned on the investments in the fund are reinvested. This adds to the benefits of compounding.

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Why are the benefits of BBETF?

Investing in the newly introduced Bharat Bond ETF offers the following benefits:

— Reduced Investment size

Generally, when an investor would want to invest in the bond market he would be required to make a significantly higher investment. A retail investor would find this amount to be too much to be invested in one company alone.

Tuhin Kanta Pandey, the secretary of Dept. of Investment and Public Asset Mgmt.) highlighted that prior to Bharat Bond ETF retail investors would have no means of accessing bond markets as bond issuances would be done through private placements. The amounts required to be raised here was Rs 10 lakhs. 

— Benefits of diversification

BBETF offers its investors the benefits of diversification. The investors receive these benefits as the ETF invests in multiple bonds. This protects the investors if a few of the investments fail as the investments that perform well set off the losses.

— Liquidity

As the Bharat Bond ETF trades in the stock market, it offers its investors liquidity as they can be bought and sold accordingly.

— Taxation Benefits

Investments in Bonds that are held for more than 3 years receive an indexation benefit. The Bharat Bond ETF also offers the benefits of indexation. Through indexation, the tax imposed on the investors will be adjusted to the amount of inflation.

— Portfolio Quality 

BBETF invests only in funds that are graded as ‘AAA’ securities. ‘AAA’ is the highest rating issued to a bond by a credit rating agency. These ratings are issued based on the issuer’s ability to meet its financial requirements and at the same time have a low risk of default.

— Projected Returns

Following were the projected Yield offered by the two Bharat Bond ETFs

  1. BHARAT Bond ETF April 2023 – 6.7%
  2. BHARAT Bond ETF April 2030 – 7.6%

The post-tax yield after the indexation benefits are considered to stand at 6.3% and 7% for the 3 years and 10-year bonds respectively. These returns are estimates and not guaranteed. They will vary depending on the market conditions and interest rates.

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Who manages the BBETF?

Edelweiss was selected as the Bharat Bond ETF in its first tranche. Bharat Bond ETF has been dubbed as the world’s cheapest fund. This was because BBETF runs at almost zero cost at a 0.0005% charge per annum on the investments. This means that an investment of Rs 200,000 would have a charge of Rs. 1 per year.

Where does the BBETF invest in?

Each of the 2 BBETF products follows separate independently created indexes. The index is constructed with the help of the NSE. These indexes involve only ‘AAA’ rated stocks of public companies. The indexes are rebalanced on a quarterly basis. The maximum exposure given to a bond in the index is 15%.

Is the BBETF without any risk?

The Bharat Bond ETF is not free from risks. They include the innate risks that come with bonds.

The interest offered by a bond will remain constant until maturity. The price of a particular bond reacts on the basis of interest offered by other bond securities.

Say a year after bond ‘A’ is issued the other newly issued bonds in the marked start offering higher interest rates. This will lead to investors selling bonds ‘A’ as they would look for the higher returns from other bonds. This creates a situation where there is reduced demand for bond ‘A’ hence reducing its price.

How can I invest in BBETF?

Bharat Bond ETF is available to investors through two routes

— New Fund Offering (NFO)

An investor has the option of investing in a BBETF at the New Fund Offering. This is made available to investors twice in a year as BBETF is launched every 6 months.

— Fund of Funds (FOF)

Investors are also given the option of investing in the ETF through a FOF. This will be available to the investors throughout its tenure. The FOF also offers the investors to opt for SIP. Investors are not required to have a DEMAT account to invest via the FOF. The investor simply can do so through https://bharatbond.in/.

It should be noted that choosing the FOF route results in the increased cost charged. The added expenses of the FOF bring the cost of investment to 0.0515%.

Is there a lock-in period?

Bharat Bond ETF’s do not have a lock-in period. But they do however have an Exit load in the case of a FOF. An exit load of 0.10% is charged if an investment is withdrawn with 30 days. There is no exit load charged if the investment is withdrawn past the 30-day mark.

Options Buying vs Selling: Which Strategy to Use?

Selling Every transaction, right from the days of the Barter system always has had a counterparty. Every seller got to have a buyer to consume the supply. Similarly, in Options too, every option buyer needs to have a counter option seller willing to give his right on the underlying asset.

Selling

An options buyer is one who is willing to pay a premium in advance, for having a right to buy/sell (depending on Call/Put) underlying asset on expiry. And an option seller is one who receives a premium as a fee for surrendering his right on Asset till expiry.

Benefits of Options Buying

  1. Options give you the power of Leveraging, as with limited capital one is able to ride the bigger move.
  2. The Risk involved here is to the tune of Premium paid. Say, if someone is buying a Nifty call option by paying a premium of 40. And a Nifty lot consists of 75 units. Therefore, the total premium paid will be equal to 40*75 = Rs. 3,000. So, by paying a premium of Rs. 3000 one is able to ride the full move.
  3. The option buyer has the opportunity of earning unlimited profit by just paying a premium and the loss is limited to premium invested.

Benefits of Options Selling

To understand this, let us understand the scenarios option contracts move to at expiry:

  1. When the Spot price moves above the strike price at expiry, the option expires In The Money. Options buyers gains and makes money.
  2. When the Spot price is at or near the strike price at expiry, the option expires At The Money. The Option seller earns the premium received as his income as the contract expires worthless for the buyer.
  3. When the Spot price is below the strike at expiry, the option expires Out Of Money. The Options sellers earns the premium received as income as the contract expires worthless for buyer.

So, from the three scenarios mentioned above, the Option Buyer makes money in one of the scenarios and the option seller stands to make money in two scenarios.

Take for example if the Nifty spot is trading at 9325, and the option buyer buys weekly call option of 9400 by paying a premium of 120, then the

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— Calculation for In the Money Call option P/L

  • Spot price at Expiry: 9700 (Say)
  • Premium: 120
  • Strike Price: 9400
  • Profit for Option Buyer: (9700-9400-120)*75 = Rs. 13,500
  • Loss for Option Seller: Rs. 13,500

— Calculation for At the Money Call option P/L

  • Spot price at Expiry: 9405 (Say)
  • Premium: 120
  • Strike price: 9400
  • Loss for option Buyer: (9405-9400-120)*75 =Rs. 8,625 loss
  • Profit of Option Seller: Rs. 8,625

— Calculation for Out of Money Call option P/L

  • Spot price at Expiry: 9275 (say)
  • Premium: 120
  • Strike Price: 9400

Here, loss for option Buyer: (9275-9400-120)*75 = Rs. 18375 loss. But the maximum loss for an option buyer is to the tune of premium paid. So the maximum loss to Option Buyer in Out of Money Call option is Rs. 9000

Margin Calculation

There is no Margin required to buy an option. Just the premium is required to be paid to option seller. Say, to buy a Nifty call option, the premium required to be paid is 40. Then, the total premium to be paid will be = 40*75 = Rs. 3,000.

But in case of selling options, margin along with exposure has to kept with the broker, to account for day to day volatility. The margin is required to be deposited here because seller of an option is exposed to unlimited risk.

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Which strategy to use?

There is no straight answer as to which is better: Buying or Selling. Each have their own benefits and negatives:

1. In case of buying, the buyers risk is limited to premium paid and in return, he gets right on underlying asset till maturity. But selling has its own benefit of receiving income (premium) beforehand and have to pay anything only if the spot price goes above the strike price. Even in that case also the seller has the protection of premium beyond strike price. Therefore, the real loss for seller happens (in case of call option) when: (strike price + premium) < spot price.

2. The option buyer is always in the game to make money, as long as the option does not expire but his probability reduces as the contracts keep moving closer to expiry. And option seller is always exposed to unlimited risk but his risk reduces with time because of less time for the individual assets to make substantial movement in a particular direction.

3. Both option buyers and sellers have the option to exit their trades before expiry. If the option buyer sees that the premium of his position is more than what he paid and he wants to book profit, he can easily do that via options market. And similarly, the option seller can get out of his position if he sees a substantial move of premium in his favour or sees a position going against him.

Closing Thoughts

From the above discussion, we can easily conclude by saying that there is no right strategy as to buying or selling options. And there are arguments both in favour and against options buying vs selling.

What is India VIX? Meaning, Range, Implications & More!

Ever heard of India Vix? If you’re involved in the market for some time and particularly active in the share market in March-April 2020, then I’m sure that you would definitely have come up with this term “India Vix” at least a couple of times mentioned on different financial websites and channels.

Range

In this post, we are going to discuss, what exactly is India Vix, it’s meaning and how exactly it is important for the traders and investors to understand this term.

What is India Vix?

India VIX is a short form for India Volatility Index. It is the volatility index that measures the market’s expectation of volatility over the near term. In other words, it explains the annual volatility that the traders expect over the next 30 days in the Nifty50 Index.

The India VIX value is derived by using the Black & Scholes (B&S) Model. The B&S Model uses five important variables like strike price, the market price of the stock, time to expiry, the risk-free rate, and the volatility. India VIX was introduced by NSE in the year 2008, but the concept of VIX is a trademark of CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange).

One simple way of understanding India VIX is that it is the expected annual change in the NIFTY50 index over a period of 30 days. For example, if the India VIX is currently at 11, this simply means that the traders expect 11% volatility for the next 30 days. Further, say, if the current index is trading at 9,000 and India VIX trading at 20. So, expected volatility over next year over 30 days will be:

  • Index spot: 9000
  • India Vix: 20
  • The expected downside for the year = 9000 – 20% of 9000 = 7200
  • The expected upside for the year = 9000+ 20% of 9000 = 10,800

Here, the expected range for the year is between 7200 and 10, 800

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Why is India VIX so important?

All the major directional moves in the market are usually preceded by a lot of choppiness or a lot of range play in the market. India VIX plays a very major role in understanding the confidence or fear factor amongst traders.

A lower VIX level usually implies that the market is confident about the movement and is expecting lower volatility and stable range. A higher VIX level usually signals high volatility and lower trader confidence about the current range of the market. A major directional move can be expected in the market and a quick broadening of range can be expected.

For example, during the sub-prime crisis, India VIX was trading at 55-60 (high of 90) levels and the market was in a state of panic and indecisiveness and hence the moves were erratic and hostile. Volatility and India VIX have a positive correlation. High volatility indicated high India VIX and vice-versa.

Is there an ideal range for India VIX?

Theoretically speaking, VIX ranges between 15-35. But there have been outliers case of as low as 8(very tight range) and as high as 90 (extreme volatility). If VIX moves close to Zero, then theoretically either the index can double or come to 0. However, usually, VIX has a tendency to revert back to mean.

The figure above is India Vix chart for the last 10 years. With the current global crisis of COVID-19, the global markets have faced a lot of heat and extreme volatility and all the major global indices have lost nearly 40% from their recent highs and Indian equity market is no exception. With this current level of volatility, India VIX had climbed up to all time high levels of 90 for a couple of days.

And it seemed to be stabilizing near 50 levels about a month ago. The Vix range is still on the higher side, to attain some stability in the market. For stability to return, the global factors will have to improve and the India Vix level should ideally come around 20 levels.

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What do these extreme Vix levels mean for Options Writers?

India VIX also plays a very major role in the pricing of Options. A higher India Vix levels usually signal more volatile prices for options and a stable range would mean that the options are priced reasonably cheaper.

Simply put, high VIX levels expose option writers to unlimited risk with limited rewards (Premium). A deep in out of money Put/Call option can become at the money or even In the money option in a matter of a couple of trading sessions.

Summary

To summarize, it can be said that India Vix is a silent yet very effective indicator to gauge the range play for Index, which in turn gives us a clear view of the expected movement of the share price.

Historically, large Vix levels have always been followed by a large movement in the indexes and share prices. And even the option pricing, the premiums charged also increase or decrease because of the Vix level changes.

How to do Fundamental Analysis on Stocks?

Fundamental analysis of a stock is used to determine the financial and business health of a company. It is always recommended to perform a proper fundamental analysis of the stock before investing if you are planning for long term investment.

If you’re involved in the market, you might also have about the term ‘Technical Analysis’. Well, technical analysis is a good approach to find the entry and exit time stock for intraday trading or short term. You can make good profits using different technical indicators efficiently. However, if you want to find a multi-bagger stock to invest, which can give you good returns year after year, then the fundamental analysis is the actual tool that you have to utilize.

Fundamental This is because to get multiple times returns (say 5x or 10x), you need to remain invested in a stock for the long term. While the technical indicators will show you exit signs in the short term whenever there’s a downtrend or small setbacks, however, you have to remain invested in that stock if the company is fundamentally strong. In such cases, you have to be confident that the stock will grow and give good returns in the future and avoid short-term underperformance. Short-term market fluctuations, unavoidable factors, or mishappenings won’t affect the fundamentals of the strong company in the long term.

In this post, we are going to discuss how to do fundamental analysis on stocks. Here, we will elaborate on a few guidelines that if you follow with discipline, you can easily be able to select fundamentally strong companies.

How to do fundamental analysis on stocks?

Here are the six essential steps that you need to perform to analyze the fundamentals of a company in Indian stock market. They are really simple, yet effective to find fundamentally healthy companies. Here it goes:

Step 1: Use the financial ratios for initial screening

There are over 5,500 stocks listed in the Indian stock exchange. If you start reading the financials of all these companies (i.e. balance sheet, profit-loss statement, etc.), then it might take years. The annual reports of most companies are around 200-300 pages long. And it’s not worth your time to read each and every company’s report.

A better approach is first to shortlist a few good companies based on a few criteria. And then to study these screened companies one-by-one to pick the one that suits you the best.

For the initial screening of the stocks, you can use various financial ratios like Price to Earnings (PE) ratio, Price to Book Value (PBV) ratio, ROE, CAGR, Current ratio, Dividend yield, etc. If you want to know more about best financial ratios for screening, here’s an article on 8 Financial Ratio Analysis that Every Stock Investor Should Know. In short, you need to use different financial ratios for initial screening.

Next, for performing the stock screening using financial ratios, you can use different financial websites like Screener, Investing.comTickertape, etc. Let me give you an example of how to screen stocks using Investing.com.

How to do a screening of stocks using Investing.com?

Step 1: Go to Investing.com

Step 2: From the top menu, select Tools -> Stock Screener

Step 3: Add Criteria (financial ratios) to screen stocks

For example, if you want to filter companies with PE ratio between (5, 18) and dividend yield % between (1, 3), you can select the following criteria. Investing.com Screener will shortlist the stocks according to the criteria mentioned and give you the list of companies.

Further, you can also add a number of financial ratios in your criteria like CAGR, ROE, etc.

Besides, you can also use other financial websites to screen stocks as mentioned earlier. Here’s a demo on how to shortlist companies using Screener.in website:

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Step 2: Understand the company

Once you’ve screened the companies based on the above criteria, the next step is to investigate them. It is important that you understand the company in which you are investing. Because if you don’t, you won’t be able to decide whether the company is performing good or bad, whether the company is making the right decisions towards its future goal or not; whether their competitors are doing good or bad compared to them and most importantly whether you should hold or sell the stock.

Therefore, it is essential that you understand the company. Questions like what are its products/services, who are leading the company (founders/promoters), management efficiency, competitors, etc should be known to you.

A simple way to understand the company is to visit its website. Go to the company’s website and check it’s ‘ABOUT’, ‘PRODUCTS’, ‘PROMOTERS/BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ page, etc. Read the mission and vision statement of that company. Further, if you can find the annual report of the company, download and read it. This report will give the in-depth knowledge of the company.

Further, if you are able to understand the products, services & vision of the company and find it attractive, then move further to next step. Else, ignore that company.

Step 3: Study the financial reports of the company

Once you have understood the company and found it appealing, next you need to check the financials of the company like Balance sheet, Profit loss statements, and cash flow statements.

As a thumb rule, Revenue/Sales, net profit, and margin increasing for the last five years can be considered a healthy sign for the company. After that, you also need to check the other financials like Operating cost, expenses, assets, liabilities, etc.

Now, where can you find the financials of a company that you’re interested to invest? One of the best websites to check the financial statements of a company that I most frequently use is SCREENER. Here are the steps to check the financial reports of a company on Screener website:

Step 1: Go to screener.in

Step 2: Enter the company’s name in the search box. The company’s details will open like charts, analysis, peers, quarters, profit and loss, balance sheet, etc.

Step 3: Study the company’s financial reports for the last 10 years.

It is required that you study the financials of the company carefully in order to select a good stock for long term investment. If you do not know how to read the financials of a company, you can check out this financial statement and ratio analysis course for beginners.

Step 4: Check the debt and Red Flags

The total debt in a company is one of the biggest factors to check before investing in a stock. A company cannot perform well and reward its shareholders if it has a huge debt. They have to repay the debt and also pay interest on the borrowed money before anything else.  In short, avoid companies with huge debts.

As a thumb rule, always invest in companies with a debt/equity ratio of less than one. You can use this ratio in the initial screening of stocks or else check it while reading the financials of a company.

In addition, also other red flags in the company can be continuously declining profit/ margin, low liquidity, and pledging of shares.

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Step 5. Find the company’s competitors

It’s always good to study the peers of a company before investing. Determine what this company is doing that its competitors aren’t.

Further, you should be able to answer the question that why you are investing in this company and not any of its competitors. The answer should be convincing one like Unique selling point (USP), Competitive advantage, Low-cost products, Brand Value,  future prospects (upcoming projects, new plant), etc.

You can find the list of the competitors of the company on the Screener website itself. Just enter the stock name in the search box and navigate down. You will find a peer comparison there. Else, you can do a google search to find the competitors of the company. Study the competitors in detail before investing.

Step 6: Analyze future prospects

Most good investments are based on the future aspects/potential of the company and hardly on their current situation. Investors are interested in how much returns they can get from their investments in futures. Therefore, always invest in a company with strong long future prospects. Select only those companies to invest whose product or services will still be used twenty years from now.

Moreover, there is no point in investing in a CD or pen-drive making company with no long term (say 10 years from now) prospects. With cloud drives evolving so fast, these products will become obsolete with time.

If you are planning to invest for the long term, then the long life of the company’s product is a must criterion to check. Further, check future prospects, expansion possibility, potential sources of revenue in the future, etc.

Summary

Fundamental analysis is an old and proven method to find strong companies for long term investment. In this post, we discussed how to do the fundamental analysis of stocks.

The six steps to perform fundamental analysis on stocks explained in this article are: 1) Use the financial ratios for initial screening, 2)Understand the company, 3) Study the financial reports of the company, 4) Check the debt and red signs, 5) Find the company’s competitors 6) Analyse the future prospects.

What are Penny Stocks? And Should You Invest in them?

Invest Penny stocks are the darlings of new investors. The low market price of these stocks makes them quite attractive to beginners. However, there are a number of things that an investor should know before investing in penny stocks.

Invest

In this post, we are going to discuss penny stocks, their pros and cons, and whether an investor should buy it or not.

What are Penny stocks?

Penny stocks are those stocks that trade at a very low market price, generally with a share price less than Rs 10. These stocks have a very low market capitalization and typically under Rs five hundred crores.  Further, penny stocks in Indian stock market have low liquidity and are speculative in nature.

Being smaller than Small-cap companies, these stocks belong to the microcap category. However, you can find a number of penny stocks in India listed on both the Bombay stock exchange (BSE) and National stock exchange (NSE).

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PROS of Penny stocks

Penny stocks have a high potential of rewarding its shareholder. The returns are quite high if you are able to get a good penny stock. Many penny stocks have turned out to be multi-baggers for their investors.

These stocks are able to make explosive moves. There are a number of penny stocks that have given multiple times returns in just a few months. Moreover, due to the low market price of these stocks, investors are able to buy large quantities of penny stocks.

Generally, penny stocks are not known to many as retail investors do not have information about these stocks and the institutional investors do not invest in these companies because of their low market capitalization. Therefore, if you are able to find one such stock before the market does, then it can turn out to be a great wealth creator for you.

CONS of Penny stocks

The cons list of penny stocks is too large compared to its pros. Here are few of common disadvantages of buying penny stocks:

  1. High Risk: These stocks are quite risky as the percentage of a number of penny stocks outperforming the market are quite less. Many of the penny stocks become bankrupt and go out of the business.
  2. These stocks have very low liquidity. Therefore there will be troubles on both ends of transactions i.e. buying and selling. While buying these stocks, you might not be able to find a seller. In case you bought the stock, and the stock price starts falling, then you won’t be able to find a buyer to sell the stock.
  3. There is a large bid-ask spread in these stocks.
  4. Limited information is available to the public about the company.
  5. Price manipulations: There have been a number of cases of price manipulations in penny stocks where the insiders try to inflate the share price. Further, one can easily manipulate the penny stocks by buying large quantities of these stocks.
  6. Sudden delisting and regulatory scrutiny: There are multiple cases where penny stocks have been delisted from the stock exchanges. Further, these stocks are regularly under the scrutiny by SEBI.
  7. Prone to scams: There are a number of past scams in penny stocks (Ex- pump and dump).

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Who should buy penny stocks?

Penny stocks are suitable for those investors who are ready to take high risks in expectations to get high returns. If you have a low-risk appetite, do not invest in these stocks.

Rules for investing in penny stocks

Here are the few guidelines that can help you to invest in penny stocks.

  1. Look for value, not just the price: Even for penny stocks, you need to look at the value the company is giving. Understand the company’s business, product, services, etc. Investing in penny stock is not buying a lottery ticket.
  2. Study the company’s fundamentals: Look at the company’s financials, management, debt, growth rate, etc
  3. Check the liquidity: Buy stocks that have reasonably high trading volumes so that there is ample liquidity.
  4. Promoter’s share and pledge: Check the promoter’s shareholding patterns and stock pledge if any.
  5. Technical factors: If you know technical analysis, then also check the penny stock’s technicals. Moreover, if you’re purchasing penny stocks just for quick returns, do not ignore looking into factors like momentum, technical indicators like moving averages, RSI, etc.
  6. Invest only a small portion of your investment in penny stocks: As these stocks have a high risk, you should only invest a small amount, less than 10% of your total investment amount in penny stocks.
  7. Monitor continuously: Penny stocks are very volatile. As these stocks are known to make explosive moves, therefore monitor these stocks continuously. If the stocks are performing well, buy more. If they are continuously performing poorly, get rid of it.
  8. Do not diversify: As you are only investing a small proportion of the amount in these stocks, diversifying will make the net investment even smaller. Select only 2 or 3 penny stocks and invest in them.
  9. Be disciplined: Do not invest all in if your penny stocks start performing tremendously good. Similarly, do not quit if one or two of your penny stocks failed to give satisfactory returns.
  10. Do not believe ‘it cannot go down any further’ myth. If the prices of the stock are falling, try to find the reason behind it.

Conclusion

While there are a number of peoples who have created huge wealth by investing in penny stocks, however for many penny stocks are wealth destroyers. If you are going to invest in penny stocks, do your research carefully and do not speculate about the stock. Moreover, there are high risks involved in these stocks. So, be ready for it.

7 Best Stock Market Discussion Forums in India

Market One of the easiest ways to learn anything new is by participating in the discussions. And the same rule applies when you are trying to learn trading or investing. If you are new to stocks and looking for the best stock market discussion forums in India to start participating, then you’ve entered the right page.

Market

In this article, we are going to share the list of seven best stock market discussion forums in India where you can ask your most troublesome questions or share your ideas/knowledge with fellow investors and traders. On all these forums, you can find active discussions on stock market investing, trading, investing strategies, stock picks, IPOs, mutual funds, taxation, personal finance and more.

Besides, all these forums are FREE to join and hence, it doesn’t cost you anything to signup and start participating in interesting topics on these Indian stock market discussion forums.

7 Best Stock Market Discussion Forums in India

Here are seven of the best forums in India for healthy discussions on stock market investing and trading:

1. Traderji

Started in 2004, Traderji is one of the oldest and most popular stock market discussion forum for investors and traders in India.

This platform has over 1.8 lakhs members participating in different threads on the stock market, derivates, Commodity and Forex trading of India. As per the statistics on this website, there are over 59,300 threads and 1,202,464 messages on this forum.

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2. Trading Q&A

Trading Q&A is a famous online discussion platform for traders and investors which is managed by Zerodha, the biggest discount broker in India. With thousands of active participants on this forum, you can get all your trading queries answered here, along with sharing your own knowledge with fellow traders.

On Trading Q&A, you can ask questions about Intraday Trading, Derivatives, Commodity, Investing Strategies, Broker Review, Algo-Trading, Zerodha & its products, Taxation, IPOs and much more.

3. Trade Brains Discussion Forum

Trade Brains discussion forum is an online forum for the community of enthusiastic stock market investors and traders who are willing to learn, ask, and share their skills, thoughts, and knowledge. This forum has been listed among the top 9 Online Forums To Discuss Personal Finance and Trading in Asia by Fintech Singapore News.

On Trade Brains’ forum, you can find discussions on categories belonging to Share market investing and trading, fundamental analysis, mutual funds, IPO’s, personal finance and money management.

Here, you can participate in the forum for free by reading/writing the answers on the existing queries or asking your own questions by simply signing up for the forum.

4. ValuePickr Forum

One of the most active forum for stock market discussion in India. ValuePickr’s tagline is “Separating the Wheat from the Chaff” and focuses on discussions regarding the company’s Business Quality, Management Quality, Business Execution & Performance.

Here, you can find topics on stock opportunities (hidden gems, Untested but worth a good look category, top 5 picks), Investing strategies, Questions & Answers, Investor Toolkit, Investment Learning, Books and more. You can get a lot of knowledge about the Indian stock market by simply hovering over the topics and queries.

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5. Stock Adda

Stock Adda is an Indian stock investor community where along with the stock market discussions, you can also get information like stock ideas, investing strategies, news, market movements, books, etc.

Besides, on StockAdda, you can also create a stock portfolio or view the ranking of member portfolios based on Daily and overall gains(%). Overall, it is an amazing platform for social traders/investors.

6. Rakesh Jhunjhunwala Forum

Stocks Talk Forum by Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is yet another popular stock market discussion forums in India.

First of all, I should mention that this site is Inspired, Not Endorsed, By Rakesh Jhunjhunwalaone of the most successful Indian stock market investors.

On this discussion forum, you can find topics on categories like stock investment queries, stock picks of wizards, portfolio of famous investors, stock advisory services, must-read interviews, articles and more. You can find over 3,250 discussions on this forum.

7. Bse2Nse

Bse2Nse is another popular Indian Stock forum discussion for Equity, FnO, and commodity trading. Here you can find discussions on stock trading, investing strategies, broker reviews, IPOs, mutual funds and more. They also have a separate section on Chart Analysis which can be very helpful for technical traders.

Closing Thoughts:

In this article, we discussed the seven best stock market discussion forums in India. However, before ending this article, let me give you a piece of final advice.

All these forums are built by active members who are willing to share useful ideas and answers. Please keep your posts relevant to the forum category and do not ‘SPAM’! Else, you will be thrown out of the forum by the admins and moderators. Be respectful to others and don’t sweat the small stuff.