(not real monkey that took my glasses)

Do a random survey of drivers and ask them how many of them think they are above average good drivers and almost 90% or above rate themselves good driver. You step back for a moment and think above that, you would understand how we always think of our self to be superior to other and that’s how we fall in trap or make sure we commit mistake, this is called as “Illusory superiority”  a form of cognitive bias.

So I wash planning to visit Vrindavan and was googling for info on places, things to do & see, things to be careful about. One of recommendation was be careful of our ancestors “Monkey” and I was like “ya sure that’s the least of my problem, I am more worried about human that can harm me in more way” ;-).
So here I am in vrindavan inside car, going in small by-lanes of the holy city, looking at charming old architectures, the bustling of markets, shops selling samosa, kachori and lassi. When suddenly from nowhere this monkey appears and takes aim at my eye glasses and phoof it’s gone… Just like that. I was looking down in car if glasses had fallen below when my driver said “Sirji do you have fruit or food offer him” and I was like what..??? That’s when I noticed monkey playing and trying to take a bite at my glasses at nearby house window. I ran to the store 20 feet away to buy biscuit and small kid came to me “give it to me, I know how to do it” fair enough take it. By this time monkey has switched place and was sitting on rooftop, opposite to store (he was smart enough to follow me). Kid threw biscuit in air to attract monkey’s attention, which in any case already had caught my attention. After missing it for two times, monkey caught biscuit but third time was lucky and left my glasses on rooftop itself (what… can’t he at least throw it to me??) kid jumps fast and gets my glasses and ask for his reward.

Something like this happens to all stock market investor by that I mean all – regular retail investor, hot shot hedge fund managers, analyst, etc etc. Things which can go wrong will go wrong for you, especially if you think you are smarter than average.  It’s just matter of time when it happens to you and how you take it. Chances are you are average, so accept it and be careful. Only people from who monkeys won’t be able to steal would be locals who have learned lessons through number of years they have spent staying with them.

Let me jot down few not exhaustive lists that will happen to you when you invest in stock market. They are in random order and not in particular importance at all

  • Stock you bought will crash by 50% after you have bought for no rhyme or reason understandable to you.
  • You will keep averaging your stock till your portfolio comprises 90-95% of single stock.
  • There will be SCAM – sooner or later there is always one – it happens everywhere not just India. – so just accept and protect yourself.
  • Moment you leverage and best your house, shirt, underwear on one particular stock – you have lost it.
  • You will buy stock based on recommendation of newspaper or TV channel and you will lose money.
  • You will buy stock based on recommendation of your relationship manager and you will lose money.
  • There will always be one stock dominating your portfolio and sooner or later that will correct a lot.
  • There will be stock in your portfolio which will not move of years (5-8yrs think of RIL in current context).
  • Moment you tell anybody you invest in stock market, people will shower you with free stock trading tips (expect unsolicited sms too)
  • Moment you start investing/trading in stock market, you will become expert and feel obligated to share stocks you bought.
  • You scoff at idea of long term investment.
  • You will be fully invested when market crashes and presents you with opportunity
  • You will always have list of TV anchors you would like to date, but you will never have list of stock that you would like to own.
  • You will always believe that one can predict future.
  • You believe in expert without doing background check on expert

There are many others but I guess for time beings this should suffice and give you some food for thought. It pays to learn before investing, also market has its own way of charging fees for teaching you something, decide what loss you can take, decide if you should hire professional to manage your money or give it to professional or do it yourself – do you have skill set to do it – don’t kid yourself.



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