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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

How to Select a Company for Investment - a guest post

The long correction since Mar '15 in the Indian stock market may have finally come to an end. The time for a pre-budget rally has arrived. If you were waiting to enter the market, don't wait any more.

But which stocks should you buy from the hundreds that trade every day? Buying a stock is not buying a piece of paper (or an entry in a demat account). You are buying a 'share' of a business.

In this month's guest post, Nishit explains how you should go about selecting different companies for investment. Promoter integrity is at the top of his selection criteria.


The Indian economy is showing signs of green shoots and we are in the take off state right now.  People who I meet often ask me how to select a company for investment. There are many things which go into the selection of a company but the most important parameters for me are Corporate Governance, Ethics and Transparency.

I usually look at where the broad economy is going and from that I identify which sectors will do well. Once the sectors are identified, next is identifying companies within the sectors. Investing in a company with a crooked promoter in a good sector will still lose you money. An honest promoter is the most important yardstick while selecting a company.

Promoters can make mistakes which are acceptable; skimming off money from the shareholders is not. Satyam is a prime example of a blue chip company in a very exciting sector of IT going bad. Satyam not only jeopardized the jobs of its employees, eroded shareholder value, it also shook the confidence within the IT industry.

If I was a foreigner waiting to invest in India, I would constantly think which other Satyam was lurking in the wings in the Indian IT industry. Now if we were to compare this with a TCS or Infosys or even a Wipro, the promoter ethics are above board. Wipro might be slow to change but at least we know that the promoter is not skimming off money.

This is the very reason the Tata group of companies is my favorite while investing. With their long history and illustrious background, there is very little chance of fraud happening with the Tata companies. They may be slow to change, there could be some mishaps in decision making but that is acceptable.

If I am assured of promoter honesty then 50% of my worries are taken care of. Stock picking is an art. I normally make up my mind in 30 minutes whether or not to buy or not to buy a stock. If I cannot decide in 30 minutes it means there is something wrong somewhere.


(Nishit Vadhavkar is a Quality Manager working at an IT MNC. Deciphering economics, equity markets and piercing the jargon to make it understandable to all is his passion. "We work hard for our money, our money should work even harder for us" is his motto.

Nishit blogs at Money ManthanYou can reach him at

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