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It is refreshing to read a blog on stock market investing, or rather ‘trading’ that most of the Indians are getting interested in every day. As you rightly mentioned that people are increasingly getting attracted to the stock market because of a few success stories of some of the big investors or their ‘neighbors’. I believe the major issue is that still most of us do not understand the difference between ‘investing’ and ‘trading’, and we still use these two words interchangeably. I totally agree with your point that there has been no one who has mastered the behavior of the stock market and investors like Warren Buffett, who have made their fortune through this frenemy, have just mastered the art of being disciplined. However, if one reads books prescribed by Warren Buffet, or a book written on him i.e. Snowball, any reasonable sound individual would understand basic investment techniques. Mr. Buffett has also given insights on his investment methodology in the book Snowball and has shared his life-long journey in the investment world. His strategies are quite simple to understand but quite hard to implement as they require quite a lot of patience and reading into documents from many sources. I believe that an individual should be well read before entering the market and should have an appetite of absorbing losses when markets are not in favor. It has been proven that if a quality stock is held for more than 7 years, the chances of incurring a loss is close to 0. However, I have a slightly different point of view when it comes to selling during peaks and buying at lows as it is next to impossible to time the market. One can always search for good quality companies and wait for the right time (get interested when no one else is interested, as defined by Mr. Buffett) to buy the stock. The key for such investing is being patient and being greedy when other people are getting fearful. Since, India’s financial market space is still under development, with ~3.2% of retail participation in the market, it is believed that there are a lot of opportunities for a well-informed investor. The facility of Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) in mutual funds and even in stock is quite a good proposition for a novice investor. One can benefit from compounding by investing every month a manageable amount and being disciplined in his / her approach. There is still a lot of scope of providing financial awareness to individuals regarding available financial instruments to channelize their savings. As correctly mentioned by you, the stock market is not a casino where people make money every day, it is rather a place where you get rewarded for your patience, discipline, and composure. It is a cruel place for the ones who are looking for ‘moolah’ and get excited by looking at 4-digit growth in portfolios of investors like Mr. Jhunjhunwala. These people have made money by reading a lot about good companies and have tried to reduce their portfolio’s churn rate as minimum as possible and holding the investments as long as deemed profitable. Happy Investing!

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