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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Why small investors should emulate a convicted murderer in Texas

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice executes more condemned men than any other state in the USA. Traditionally, condemned men were granted a last request. Most death-row inmates chose to have an elaborate last meal before going to the ‘gallows’.

This practice has recently been stopped, thanks to convicted murderer Lawrence Russell Brewer – a member of a white supremacist gang who brutally murdered a black man by dragging him behind his truck for several kilometres before dumping his decapitated body near a cemetery.

Brewer ordered the following last meal before his execution:-

  • Two fried chicken steaks with gravy and sliced onions
  • A triple-patty bacon cheeseburger
  • A cheese omelette with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and jalapeno peppers
  • A bowl of fried okra with ketchup
  • One pound of barbecued meat, accompanied by half a loaf of white bread
  • Three fajitas
  • A meat lover’s pizza
  • A pint of Blue Bell ice cream
  • A slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts
  • Three root beers

No human being can possibly consume all that food in one sitting. In fact, when the meal arrived, Brewer refused to eat by saying he wasn’t hungry. He was deliberately manipulating the system. He ordered whatever he felt like, because he could – and then declined to eat it.

What does this bizarre tale have to do with small investors? The stock market displays a smorgasboard of alluring stocks from junk companies with questionable promoters that trap unwary small investors. After losing their shirts, small investors complain about ‘operators’ manipulating the system to deprive them of their savings.

Be a smart investor instead. Substitute each of the junk food items in Brewer’s last meal with companies like Cranes Software, Karuturi Global, Bartronics, Punj Lloyd, Suzlon, IVRCL, Delta Magnets, Reliance Communications, Kingfisher Airlines, Temptation Foods (!). Then ‘manipulate’ the system in your favour by refusing to buy any of their stocks. Only buy stocks of well-respected companies with proven managements at reasonable valuations, and you will never go wrong.


VIPAN said...

Hi Shubankar,

I must say people has just gone off the equity market look like. No body is making any remarks on any stock or market !!! This is typically what happens with retail investors in india. They just want bull market to go on forever as they never learn to play at short side.
May be its better idea to educate them how to short the market or stock or hedge if they want to remain in the game all the time.

Subhankar said...

Good point, Vipan.

Unfortunately, shorting isn't possible in the cash market. You can only 'short sell' stocks that you already own, and then buy them back at lower rates.

Playing against professional traders in the F&O market is not recommended for small investors.

Remaining in the game doesn't mean you have to constantly buy or sell. This is a game of patience, where you bide your time till an appropriate opportunity presents itself. Of course, this philosophy applies to long-term investors - not to short-term traders.