Sales

I am currently reading this book called Zero to One by Peter Thiel and found this quote interesting.

“Superior sales and distribution by itself can create a monopoly, even with no product differentiation.”

Excerpt From: Peter Thiel. “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.”

Found this pattern to be true in the case of mutual funds – there are about a hundred funds with very little differentiation – each claims to be different but there is a huge overlap in the portfolio of the funds belonging to a given category, with marginal difference in the returns, and yet their AUM varies from few hundred to a few thousand crores.

Sales is most definitely the differentiator.

Bear.

As a newbie investor, this is my first experience with a bear market. Despite understanding that volatility is a ingrained characteristic of the market, it is hard not to panic.

Solace comes from the fact that the size of my portfolio is small enough that even this drastic fall isnt going to matter.

Anyway, logically, this seems to be the right time to dive in and invest surplus cash – unattached to any goals – into the market.

Hold my beer.

Resurrection

I have decided to start writing again. It has been a while since I have written and during this time, like everything else, I have changed. Whereas previously, I used to write for an audience, this time I have decided to keep it simple and use this blog as a dartboard for my thoughts. A public pensieve, for you Harry Potter nerds out there.

I hope to write about a few topics that have lately lodged up in my mind – history, personal finance, programming, my kid and so on.

I am back.

Titanic

I just realised its seventeen years since the movie released. Seventeen years. Tick tock, tick tock, never stops, never stops.

My father

Those who watched everton during David Moyes era would remember how he performed magnificently at keeping everton competitive in spite of having a shoestring budget. The football wasnt pretty, it was hoofball at times, good counterattacking football at other times, but boy not only did Moyes keep the ship afloat but made them a respectable club. Despite being a rival to Liverpool, the club i ardently follow, I have a soft corner for the club and Moyes for the story of Everton under Moyes parallels my home under my father.

It is no secret that times were difficult during my childhood. Times were really, really hard. Money was scarce, but despite that my father ran the home with such financial prudence and dexterity that my relatives hardly knew that times were really, really, really hard. He put food on our plates, roof above our heads and gave me and my sister the best possible education without resorting to begging, borrowing or stealing.

So when cousin of mine, in an argument, let slip today that she always assumed my father mooched off hers during those times, I was naturally shocked, incensed, infuriated, apoplectic with rage and basically squirmed in shame and anguish at being hinted that he ran the home off someone else’s charity. But once the tsunami of emotions subsided, I couldnt help but laugh at it. I couldnt help laugh at the fact the my father was a magician, I couldnt help but laugh at the fact that he was so freaking good in living within means that people had to think – ‘No way he is living without charity’. My father isnt a wartime consigliere, neither a peacetime consigliere, but he is one of the best ‘desperate-times’ consigliere.

I am proud of my father.

He turns 60 today.

Unsolicited advice

Someone I respect a lot popped up like a fairy and gave me some advice.

1. Hold yourself to high ideals. Gave the allegory about two brick layers working at a construction site. When asked what they were doing, one said I am just laying bricks here while the other said I am building a temple. Quite a difference there.

2. Associate with people who discuss ideas rather than people and incidents. To an extent I try to follow this, I am least interested in discussing with acquaintances how their days went, who is winning in Super Singer or which movie is a box office hit. But then thanks to my introversion I have always struggled with talking to people and have to a large extent substituted them with books.

Now he also warned me about the dogmatic aspects of atheism, an opinion I am subscribing to these days. I have indeed shifted from a Dawkinsian brand of atheism to Sam Harris one, that is to say less militant and more of following a path that makes sense in the quest to happiness.