Evolution of a trader/investor

In the midst of 2007, I started trading stocks on the BSE/ NSE. As a beginner,  I was reading about a variety of trading styles viz. penny stock trading – dreaming of doubling  money in a day (bloody resurg3r3 mines and minerals!), arbitrage – trying to exploit the inefficient stock pricing across different exchanges, news/tip based trading and trying them out on real money (my own money of course) and burned my fingers at almost all of them. My biggest mistake was averaging down the cost of a few stocks with a “great story” based on friends’ tips (e.g 3duc0mp, lanc0,  etc) and ending up being an “investor” in those f*****-up companies. I still regret those decisions.

Lessons learned: 
A) Friends/colleagues are only meant for office gossip and tea time chit-chat, not for financial and/or general advice.
B) Financial news channels are only supposed to be eye candy (immediately, CNBC comes to my mind).

Luckily, I tilted towards investing side of things and did own some good company stocks. The losses, from my trading foolishness, were thus balanced out (in a way). Also, having invested in some great MFs did help in saving my bum from going bankrupt.

Cut to 2016, as I continued investing in MFs, I bought this wonderful book – Common Sense Investing in MFs (John “Jack” Bogle) and it shattered my beliefs in my MF investment skills.  Apparently, Index based MFs do a better and cheaper job of beating the benchmark indexes (“cheaper” is key here). Obviously again, I was way behind in discovering this – the investing public had already made big leaps in this battle of active v/s passive MF styles (“passive” is the new superhero).
Just imagine MERs of 20-50 basis points on index MF v/s 100-200 basis points on actively managed MFs.

I kept studying (out of FOMO) and am glad that I did so as I came across the fact that  Index ETFs (that’s right, ETFs – Exchange Traded Funds) are much cheaper and tax efficient than index MFs. Consider MERs of 8-10 basis points charged for Index ETFs! Case in point – Vanguard’s Index ETF offerings. (Vanguard was founded by John Bogle, the pioneer of Index based investing). I need to further study about the tax efficiency aspect of ETFs v/s MFs – something about Capital Gains Distribution tax; I am sure there’s more to learn there.

Meanwhile I am also exploring my first love – Trading (currencies this time). But I am approaching it with a lot of psychological preparation and discipline.

Of course none of these constitute investment advice (after all who am l to give advice). All risks you assume based on this blog-post are yours and yours alone!

Categories: Random

Towards Trading Success…

Here is a list of content that I have found useful in my currency trading journey. I am yet to find success and still on a demo-account, but do have high hopes of being part of the elite group of disciplined, successful traders.

First book:


  • Trading in the Zone by Mark Douglas.
  • This book is an essential first step in building trading psychology.



  • Open an account on BabyPips, complete the free course to gain a basic idea of forex trading. Make sure you thoroughly understand the Pre-school, KG and Elementary sections – the lessons are self contained thus you do not need any extra Googling while you are at it. And do skim through the other sections as well.



  • Chat With Traders (by Aaron Fifield)
  • Desire to Trade (by Etienne Crete)
  • Market Life (by Adam H. Grimes)

The art of “Tape Reading“:




Some actual traders and their techniques:


Other recommended reads:


    1. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (Edwin Lefèvre)
    2. Market Wizards (Jack Schwager) – Learning from others
    3. New Market Wizards (Jack Schwager) – Learning from others
    4. One Good Trade (Mike Bellafiore of SMB) – Learning from others
    5. The Art and Science of Technical Analysis (Adam H. Grimes) – Covers many aspects of trading
    6. The Checklist Manifesto (Atul Gawande) – Unrelated but good.


Categories: Money, Trading Tags: , ,

CPU – 98.6

Back after along time since Khandvification; a lot has changed in life. Getting married changes your life completely – for good. You get more involved, evolved and absolved. Life becomes busier but peaceful, more intense yet restful and lazier but fruitful.

One such fruitful evening, I realized its been a long time since I fiddled with electronic circuits – opened up my laptop (i3, 4Gb – purchased back in 2011; still rock solid), decided the CPU fan needs cleaning and ended up cracking the dried up thermal insulation “paste” that apparently improves the thermal conductivity between the CPU and its heat sink (genius!)

Although I managed to re-assemble everything in place, it seemed the laptop was heating up quicker than before (which might have been an illusion considering the fact that I never bothered about the CPU temperature ever before) reaching temperatures so high, it could have had a major impact on my lineage (and even more on the motherboard).

Looking up on Google, it seemed to me that the CPU had a bad case of viral fever and the acetaminophen that could possibly cure the symptoms was in a 1.5 gm syringe (Amazon)!


And then it was time to open up it up again: clicking and snapping out the keyboard, prying open the chassis and separating out the heat sink from the CPU, I was privileged to view the most beautiful mess that I had created myself:

Then, using a bunch of coffee filters, I cleaned up the older, dried-up paste. I used an ordinary 50% rubbing alcohol solution  (ethyl alcohol, camphor, etc.) as the solvent – although the Internet recommends to use Isopropyl alcohol (>90%) or no solvent at all; but as I type this story from the same laptop and do not see any sparks flying out, I guess it’s OK (although now I realize it could have been dangerous – so all risks are yours and yours alone) . Maybe in a few months, the residual camphor reacts with the metal oxide and converts the 2 cores into 3 – who knows.

Despite using the coffee filter, the cleanup look a lot linty (aggression!!)- so used a hair dryer to blow away the lints (carefully in small bursts so as not to melt the motherboard).

Two “pea-sized” drops of fresh metal oxide paste were then injected on the CPU surface(s) and the heat-sink was set in place (no manual spreading of the paste with cards/spatulas) followed by the overall assembly, which was a breeze.

Starting up the laptop, I confess, was a bit scary – but I sailed through. And yes, it’s 98.6 now – the kid is alright.


Not much load


Three Youtube vids in parallel (maybe some load)

Categories: Random

Khandvification – The first Milestone…

June 17, 2013 2 comments

I started a new inning in Canada recently, and with a new inning comes new responsibilities. And I have assumed this new responsibility – of a COOK – with elan (oh yeah!!).

As per Sanjeev Kapoor, preparing Khandvi is an art and I am proud to announce that I have nailed it!! Here, check it out baby..

Click on them to get the “bigger picture”  (whatever can be magnified, will be magnified..)


Laying the groundwork..


Masta Khandvi is ready..


From 30 degree angle now 🙂

Public is God

Public khush 🙂

I know you can see that “Babumoshai, is baar Khandvi ke chithdey udd gaye“. But beta, perfection ko improve karne mein time lagta hai na!!

Thanks for the recipe Sanjeev!! You are to cooking what Ramdev-baba is to yoga.

Om NaMo Narayananaya,


Categories: Food Tags: , ,

Ae “Status Quo” – Tujhya aicha gho

October 25, 2012 2 comments

This status quo that has trapped me

Does not let me break free

My life, this is my question to thee

What the PHAK do you want from me?


That one little spark is what I look for

To shut the PC and walk out the door

But all I have is lack of  motivation

A lot of baggage and stupid emotion

Makaan Shift kar raha hai kya be

Dear Life, show me the light, give me a rhythm

Let me choose a new algorithm

I remember quicksort has a complexity of n Log n

Damn you ‘status quo’, PHAK off until then!


Jai Maharashtra,


PS: Sincere thanks to Yerwada jail, American Tourister and Wikipedia for the images!

Categories: Random Tags: ,

Learning vowels the SOTY way

October 19, 2012 Leave a comment

I was trying to figure out the inspiration behind the composition of the recent song – “Ishq waala Love” from the movie SOTY.

And then I came across motivation in the form of a fantastic spoof of the song by some creative artists on you-tube (here). Common sense tells you that some grammatical rules need to be followed while constructing the key phrases that form the song viz.

  1. The phrase must consist of exactly 3 words – 2 nouns and a preposition
  2. The preposition must be either a waala or a waali
  3. The 2 nouns must represent related objects (physical or abstract) and may be in 2 different languages

After laying a few ground rules mentioned above one can create his/her own version of such stupidity. Below are some examples:

Shoe waala joota
Dog waala kutta
Pandu waala mama
Dhondu waala pajama
Highway waala khadda
Vicky donor waala Chadda

Dance waala pole
Dark waala hole
Scam waala crore
(Yeh dil maange more)

Doodh waali gaai
Neend waali chai
Colour waali holi
Support waali choli
Rubber waali choti
Silk waali langoti

Phone waala hello
Goa waala D’Mello
Get up waala utho
Sit down waala baitho
Disney waala Pluto
Hina waala Bhutto

Singham waala bhau
Bread waala pau
Gori waali Shalu
Kaala waala bhalu
Serial waala gattu
Darpok waala fattu

Note: Some/most of the rules have been broken above, but its cool.

Nowadays it doesn’t take much brain power to be a lyricist 😛

Alvida waala Bye,


Categories: Random, Stupidity Tags: , ,

Finger 1ickin’ good – Really?

October 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Every day of my life, I thank God (/evolution) for creating (/evolving) those wonderful creatures called chickens.  I am also thankful to Colonel Harland Sanders for founding KFC – a company that extended on top of God’s creation to create a product so “finger 1ickin”, that is has earned itself a place in heaven.

KFC, a name that represents yummy succulence coated in heavenly herbs and spices, has been a faithful companion since the day I first set foot on a foreign land  – Jakarta, Indonesia. My everyday lunch would comprise of 2 pieces of fried chicken, 1 rice bowl and a medium glass of coke (Dua ayam goreng, satu nasi, satu coke). It had become a routine for almost one and a half months. Nevertheless it fascinated me everyday. Once I was back in India, somehow the same package turned out to be costly so I discontinued (I later realized this to be a case of ‘Mental Accounting’ – spending money in IDR especially when you are on a business visit pinches less than spending the corresponding amount of money in INR). But any ways  KFC in India turned to be a once in a blue moon affair for me and I never regretted it. The adage – distance makes the heart grow fonder was aptly suited in this case.

But alas! A day comes in every product’s life that it gets stoned!! Probably and unfortunately, today is that day  for KFC India. While busy licking their fingers and pockets, a KFC Outlet in Thiruvananthapuram forgot that hygiene supersedes everything especially when we are talking about food. The result – a customer spots a dead worm in his “Fiery Chicken”, calls up the authorities and gets the outlet closed. The reasons given are as pathetic as the dead worm itself:

  • “Faulty refrigeration” in deep freeze for months before being served
  • Grilling the flesh at 70 deg C only (when the actual suitable temperature is around 160 – 170 deg)

I hope that this a one off incident and other food establishments (not only KFC) take a page (and the worms) out of the above incident and improve their facilities and processes. India is still not as tolerant as China in matters of the tummy (who might enjoy the added flavors and extra proteins :)).

Kentucky bhau is already smiling…


Keep it lickin,