FAQs

Follow Dr Vijay Malik’s Portfolio with Latest Buy/Sell Transaction Updates

Q. Why no research report/investment note is being provided as part of the premium service?

The condition of no research report/investment note has been put after considerable thought. This service has been deliberately kept only like a window giving a glimpse of my portfolio transactions

An investor would appreciate that the major difference between an institutional investor/portfolio manager and an individual investor is that the individual investor is not answerable to anyone but herself for her trades. On the other hand, a portfolio manager is questioned every quarter about the turnout of her investment thesis and her performance. Such continuous scrutiny brings out defensive behavior, which in turn leads to defensive investments. As is said, if you lose money in IBM (Reliance in Indian parlance), then you are not questioned, IBM is questioned.

Being an individual investor managing her personal portfolio provides the investor with the freedom to ignore all the pressures & scrutiny and act solely based on her own conviction. If I see my own portfolio management in the past, I initially bought Manappuram at ₹52 and held it and bought more all the way down till ₹10. It’s the result of staying true to my own conviction that today I am able to control my emotions and get the benefit when it has moved up to ₹80. Had I been answerable to people by delineating a fixed hypothesis of holding a position, then it would have brought in defensiveness and I don’t know whether I would have been able to manage my portfolio the way I did.

An investor may read about more such examples of my experiences with different stocks in the following article: Trading Diary of a Value Investor.

An investor following fundamental analysis would notice that once she starts studying financial numbers about any company, then she is doing something that all the well informed investors (say about 5% of all the market participants), are doing as the same set of financials and ratio are available to everyone. What investors think beyond financial numbers, is something which differentiates them. This factor of “something beyond numbers” leads to investing being an art and not science.

The art factors constitute multiple things: emotional stability, gut feel and many times a plain hunch. These subjective factors are very difficult to quantify in terms of framed hypothesis for holding stocks and much less be tracked on a regular basis. But these are the very factors, which finally matter in equity investing.

Many times, without meeting the management of a company, we have our own reasons to trust that they constitute good, shareholder friendly management. Some of these reasons are objective but many are subjective & diffuse. I believe that until the time I do not put out these diffuse reasons in front of everyone for judgment, I am able to act true to my conviction and bring originality in my equity investing approach. The moment I start getting the feeling that I am being judged on my reasons, then the originality would go away.

I want the subscribers to get access to my original equity investing decisions. The investors may or may not act on updates of my portfolio transactions. That is always an investor’s prerogative.

In the process to maintain the true freedom of action without getting influenced by deep seated human desire of being proven right every time one says something, I have decided not to give any reasons for my portfolio actions. In the process, it is felt by some investors that the service seems incomplete, then I accept this feedback, but would reiterate that the service has been designed in this way deliberately and after due thought process.

Q. Are you registered with SEBI?

Yes, I am registered with SEBI as an Investment Adviser under SEBI (Investment Advisers) Regulations, 2013.

Q. Does this service include portfolio management services or guidance about portfolio creation i.e. suggesting what percentage of capital should be allocated to different stocks?

This service has been designed to act as an information source to subscribers about the composition of my portfolio and the stocks that I am buying/selling currently. This is purely an information source and any further personalized services like advising individual clients on portfolio allocation etc. is not a part of this service.

Financial planning and portfolio creation services require in-person interactions with clients to understand their financial position and income & expense details, risk taking attitude & ability, which we do not provide currently. However, if in future, we start one to one personalized services like portfolio management services, then that would be a separate service and we would update about the same on the website.

Q. What are the regulatory guidelines to control conflict of interest for this service?

This premium service is envisaged only to be an information source to the investors who wish to know about the stocks that I am holding/buying currently or the stocks that I have sold recently. Any form of research report/investment note, opinion about stocks etc. has been specifically excluded from the scope of this service. This service is not an advisory service to clients.

However, we are following the requirement stipulated by SEBI in the SEBI (Investment Advisers) Regulations, 2013:

“An investment advisor shall not enter into transactions on its own account which is contrary to its advice given to clients for a period of fifteen days from the day of such advice.
Provided that during the period of such fifteen days, if the investment adviser is of the opinion that the situation has changed, then it may enter into such a transaction on its own account after giving such revised assessment to the client at least 24 hours in advance of entering into such transaction.”

Therefore, if I decide to reverse my position of buy or sell in any stock of my portfolio, from the position taken by me within previous 15 days, then before entering into such reverse position, I would send an email notification to all the subscribers at least 24 hours before I enter into such transaction in my portfolio.

Q. How many stocks do you have in your portfolio currently (at July 30, 2016)?

I currently have 5 stocks in my portfolio. I prefer to keep on investing money in the existing stocks in my portfolio until all of them have appreciated more than my preferred buying valuation range. I have experienced that on an average I have needed to find one new stock each year to be added to the portfolio.

Q. How long are you holding the stocks in your portfolio?

The longest held stock in the portfolio is from 5 years and the shortest held stock is from about 9 months (at July 30, 2016).

Q: How often do you churn your portfolio in a year i.e. making new purchases or selling off some existing investments?

My experience shows that on an average I add one new stock in my portfolio in a year. This is the pattern since last 3-4 years. However, the number of buy transactions are frequent. Similarly, I have experienced that I had to sell one company from my portfolio in each year due to various reasons.

Q. What if we subscribe to this service and there is no addition to your portfolio in the next one year? I am asking this since the stocks in your existing portfolio may not be good picks for us at the current price point, so the only way to profit / benefit for us would new stock additions. I know it is hard to find a right pick, but can you give us an idea so as to how many stocks we can expect to be picked in the next one year horizon?

My experience until now reflects that out of the 5-6 stocks that I usually have in my portfolio, about 2-3 of them are usually within the buying range/keep hovering around the buying range. As during the year, stock prices fluctuate a lot (for most stocks 52 week high is almost double of the 52 week low), the buying opportunities keep getting generated in these stocks during the year. Following my portfolio and transaction updates would let the investors know, which stocks of my portfolio are within my buying range at any point of time.

As mentioned by me in various articles on this website, I prefer exhausting the buying opportunities in existing stocks before I look forward to adding new stocks in the portfolio, therefore, most of the investments during the year go into these 2-3 stocks that are near buying range. Only when none of the portfolio stocks are near buying range or only when any mouthwatering better bargain is available outside the portfolio, then I add a new stock in the portfolio. If this is not the case, then I might not choose to add any new stock in the portfolio. My experience until now shows that I have needed to add about a new stock each year, however it may or may not hold true for future. I might add more new stocks in next one year or might not add any new stocks, depending upon how the valuation levels are.

Q: How many buy/sell transactions do you do in your portfolio in a year? In other words, how many email updates of future transactions should we expect to receive?

I invest whenever I have money to spare. Earlier, when salary was only source of income, then it was usually one buy transaction after salary credit in the month coupled with intermittent buys whenever I got spare money mid of the month, like dividends etc. Now with premium features of blog starting to contribute, the buy transactions would be frequent. May be once every week depending upon valuation level of target stocks.

Sell transactions are relatively few. May be one sale once in a year.

In FY2017, from the commencement of this service (i.e. from July 30, 2016 to March 31, 2017), the portfolio witnessed a total of 41 transactions, which included 40 buy transactions and one sell transaction.

Q: When you buy additional stocks of any company, which is already a part of your portfolio, then the current market price of the stock can be different from your average cost price.

  1. If the current market price of the stock is higher than your average cost price, then what do you think before buying additional stocks? Do you buy it because, you think that despite buying at a higher price, your average cost price will still be lower than the current market price? Or you buy because you think that the stock is a good buy at current market price?
  2. If the current market price of the stock is lower than your average cost price, then what is your thought process before making the buy decision? Do you buy additional stocks only to bring your average cost down without looking at fundamentals? Or you buy additional stocks because you believe that the company’s fundamentals are intact and it is becoming attractive to buy more stocks at current market price?

While buying additional stocks of any company, which is already a part of our portfolio, we look at the current market price and see whether the company is an attractive investment opportunity at the current price. We do not give any thought to our average cost price while making additional purchases.

If the current stock price is higher than our average cost price but the company is still an attractive buy at current price, then we would buy it stocks. If the current price is lower than our average cost price (i.e. our investment is running in a loss), but we believe that the fundamentals of the company are intact and it is an attractive buy in the current situation, then we buy additional stocks of the company at lower prices.

In any situation, our focus is on the fundamentals of the company and its valuations at the current market price. We do not give any thought to our average cost price in our investment decisions.

Q. How much return do you expect to make from your portfolio/stock next year/in future? What is the target price that you have in mind for any stock in your portfolio?

We do not keep any return expectations! This is due to following reasons:

  1. stock have the habit of not responding even to good business performance for years altogether and
  2. when good stocks rise on recognition by the markets, then there is no limit to what extent they may rise.

So, we choose to invest in stocks, which we feel are fundamentally good and stay with them without any return expectations.

Q. Will you always exit one stock yearly due to various reasons?

The answer to the FAQ above mentions that “Sell transactions are relatively few. May be one sale once in a year.”

This sales frequency is something that I have observed in my portfolio in the past. It is simply a co-incidence. It is not a rule that under all circumstances I need to sell one stock every year.

If the stocks are performing well, then I may not sell any stock for many years and if the fundamentals of more than one stock change, then I may sell more than one stock in a year. The sell frequency depends on what situations the future presents.

Q. A sell decision of a stock may be due to either the deteriorating fundamental position of the company or due to personal financial needs of the investor. How would the subscribers come to know whether the sell decision is due to personal reasons or related to deteriorating fundamentals of the company?

Usually, whenever the fundamentals of any company deteriorate, then the entire stock position is sold off whereas if an investor needs to take out some money from the portfolio for personal needs, then only the partial position which suffices the monetary requirement is liquidated.

However, I would intimate the subscribers whenever the sale is because of personal reasons, which are not related to fundamentals of the underlying company.

Q. Would you be sharing your complete portfolio and transactions or partial?

Yes, details of all the stocks in my portfolio as per the disclosed format, are shared with the subscribers. Absolute amounts of portfolio/stock holdings in INR are not disclosed. Percentage holding of each stock in the portfolio at market prices is disclosed.

Transactions are regularly updated on the portfolio page as per the format shared. Moreover, as part of this service, details of every new transaction would be shared with subscribers at the end of the day. Details of a buy transaction done today (August 1, 2016), have been shared with subscribers by email today at about 8:00 PM.