The stock market is going down, is it a good time to buy

So the market is falling down again, is it a good time to buy right now or wait for it to fall further. This time we have new problems like Chinese Economy not doing well, Oil price crash. It’s the classic old wine in a new bottle. The Indian/Global economy will always have problems from time to time. What matters is how you take advantage of it. Coming back to the original question of whether it’s a good or bad time to buy or not, well the answer is yes it is a good time to buy.

There are some good companies which are currently undervalued as per the Valuation screener, there many bad ones as well which are selling cheap. We have been buying shares of quite a few companies. (Long term members can easily guess the names of two of those companies). Some of the companies we are buying are in Banking, IT, Pharma and Auto Ancillaries sectors.  We stay away from Infra and real estate sectors.

The follow up question is always will the market fall down further and to be honest with you, we don’t know but what we do know is that the companies which we are buying right now at undervalued valuations we will get a good return long term.

So what should you do, if you have the tenacity then start looking at the financial charts and valuation models and start buying the good ones. If you want the easy way out just buy the Nifty Bees ETF or a good mutual fund.

If you think that you should wait because you “know” that the market will go down in the next few weeks then you are free to wait but then just remember you are speculating not investing.


PS – Please do not call/email us for personal financial advice or stock tips.

What is Life Insurance Corporation of India doing with Axis Bank?

We wrote about Axis Bank back in Sep 2013 and Jan 2014 where we said that the whole stock market specially the banking sector was undervalued. We had purchased Axis Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce for our own portfolio, we sold Oriental Bank with good profits because we were not comfortable holding it for long term.

Oriental bank stock price

As you can see in the image that we missed the short sharp rally after we sold our position but that is okay since we are not greedy. Look how the stock performed after the rally, the price dropped. So our decision to sell was infact right.

Coming back to the main topic of Axis Bank. We still have not sold our position but we do monitor it every now and then. Take a look at the Insider Trading activity for Axis. You can see that institutional investors like Life Insurance Corporation Of India, United Insurance have been selling the stock in huge quantities in the month of Jan 2015 and Feb 2015. We could not figure out why they were selling since we didnt think anything fundamentally had changed with the company. So we ignored those sell transactions and held our position.

Two days back LIC bought Axis Bank shares again and we suspect they will buy more in the coming weeks. So we ask the question to our readers, do you know why LIC dumped the shares two months back and started buying again. We think LIC made a mistake in selling Axis shares, even they realized the mistake and so started buying the stock again. Axis is a good bank to invest for long term.


Axis Bank Stock Performance, note the price drop after we bought. Intelligent investors should not panic if the price drops after you buy the shares. If your analysis about the company is right, the price would rise again, slowly but surely.

How to analyse a Bank in 5 minutes – Case Study Karnataka Bank

Most members are complaining that they are not able to find good bargains because of the current stock market rally. We disagree there are couple of bargains available right now, check out the Valuation Screener to find them. There is one stock which is available at a huge discount right now but today we are going to tell why you should definitely avoid this stock. Karnataka Bank is currently under valued as per the valuation screener. Its intrinsic fair value is more than the current market price but that does not mean that you should buy it blindly.

Does it make sense to buy Karnataka Bank just because it is cheap right now? First of all never invest in any company just because the share price is cheap. We have to look at the financial charts of the company to see if the company is fundamentally good or not.

Lets look at the Net Interest Margin chart, NIM is the most important ratio when it comes to evaluating banks. It is the difference between the interest income generated and the interest expense paid, divided by total assets. An ideal bank should have NIM above 3%. If you look at Karnataka Bank’s NIM chart for the last 9 years you will see that its NIM never went above 3%. That is not a good sign.

Karnataka Bank NIM

Karnataka Bank NIM

Next we will look at the Non Performing Assets Ratio. NPA Ratio is used to measure asset quality of the bank’s loans. NPA are those assets for which interest is overdue for more than 3 months. If you stop paying your home loan EMI for more than 3 months then your loan account is considered to be a non performing asset.

Another important thing about banks is that you have to figure out if the management at the top is good or not. Big investors like Buffett and managers of mutual funds can directly talk to the managers of the bank. Investors like us cannot. So how do you figure out if the management of the bank is good and efficient. We look at the NPA Ratio chart, it acts like a proxy for the management. If the NPA Ratio is less than 1%, it means the bank’s loan book is healthy, above 1% is not healthy. If the NPA ratio is less than 1% for the last 10 years then that is a sign of a good bank with a terrific management.

Just look at Karnataka Bank’s NPA Ratio chart. It is atrocious.

Karnataka NPA Ratio

Karnataka NPA Ratio

On the other hand if you look at HDFC bank’s NPA chart, its NPA ratio has never gone above 1% in the last 10 years. That is a sign of well managed bank.

So Karnataka bank has bad NIM and a very bad NPA Ratio, its not being managed well, its not a good long term investment. You should avoid investing in Karnataka bank even if the share price is cheap.

You don’t even have to look at the Summary Page to know that its a bad investment.

Karnataka Bank Summar Report

Karnataka Bank Summary Report

How to make intelligent Stock decisions in 5 minutes.

We recently added ACC to our database. When we add any new company to the database we avoid looking at the share price. We add the data and then look at the performance, growth pages and then make a decision whether it is a good company to invest or not.

If you look at the profit margins and ROE charts you will immediately see that all of them are dropping down consistently for many years. Most of members do check these charts but we have seen from our website logs that most members don’t look at the Growth page. So we just want to point out how the Growth page can help you make the decision.


The above information tells you that ACC does not have a good Revenue growth for all these years. The next two lines tell you (this is very crucial) that all the sales ACC does, it has a tough time converting those sales into profits (Net Income) and ultimately pass on those profits to the shareholders (EPS). So either ACC is operating in a bad sector or the company is not being managed properly.

To see if ACC is operating in a bad sector, let us look at another cement stock, UltraTech Cement


UltraTech Cement’s revenue growth is much better than ACC. It was able to lower its expenses which is why the Net Income growth is better than Revenue growth. The EPS growth rate lower than the Net Income growth rate because UltraTech issued new stock for an acquisition.

By comparing these figures from two companies you should be able to figure out that the cement sector is not a bad sector to invest. Its just that ACC is not being managed well. It makes sense to invest in UltraTech Cement(not at current valuation though) instead of ACC.

Now and only now you can look at the company’s stock price to see if our analysis was right and to see how the market has valued ACC historically.

If you look at ACC’s share price from 31-March 2006 till 16-Jan-2015, its compound growth rate was 8.6%, which is not good. If you look at UltraTech Cement’s stock performance for the similar period, its growth rate was 22% which is fantastic. So our analysis about ACC was correct. The market agrees with our analysis, even rest of the market thinks that ACC is not a good company to invest which is why it has given such poor returns compared to UltraTech which has given fantastic returns.

In the long run the share price performance matches the company’s performance. We hope by now our members would understand why it so crucial to look at a company’s long term growth rates. You simply cannot ignore it.

We make spectacular mistakes too.

Since we have been talking about our own portfolio in the previous emails specially aboutAxis Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce where we had some terrific returns some members emailed us with lots of praises for our stock picking ability. So to prove that the praise is not justified and why we are not experts when it comes to stock picking, we will talk about one of our investment which we made couple of years back.

Persistent which specializes in IT products and services off shoring listed on NSE in April 2010 at around 400 Rs. Fast forward to June 2011 most of the world stock markets were spiralling downwards, the “experts” gave the usual reasons like inflation, Quantitative Easing, problems in middle east etc. Almost all Indian stocks got hammered but Persistent took a more significant hit. It crashed to around 290 Rs because “experts” believed that it wont be able to compete with the other IT biggies like TCS, Infosys, Wipro. So most of the brokerage houses gave a SELL recommendation. When others start selling that is the time we get active.

We quickly added Persistent to our database. What we saw was that Persistent was having good profit margins with Net Profit Margin above 15%, good ROE above 15%, positive free cash flow ( old members by now should know that we are big fans of companies with positive FCF), high current ratio, no debt, net income as well as Cash flow from operations positive with CFO higher than net income (which is a sign of good management), above 30% revenue growth in the last 5 years(2009 was an exception).

There was one drawback though, the company was issuing more shares, as we have said on the website, issuing more shares can be beneficial only if the company is able to increase shareholder value in the long run, most companies are not able to do that.

The valuation models gave a fair value around 425 Rs.

A quick look at the annual report and we did not find any negatives there. So Persistent was a fundamentally good company, selling cheap. There was really no justification for the claim that it would not be able to compete with companies like Wipro, TCS in the future when it was successfully competing for the last 5 years.

So we bought the stock at around 300 Rs. in Aug 2011 and we sold it in Sep 2012 around 425 Rs, the fair value at that time was 440 Rs as per the valuation models. A return of 42% in almost one year. We were quite satisfied with the return and invested the money in some other stock. So what was our spectacular mistake. Check Persistent’s current share price, its 1333 Rs. We would have made a spectacular return if we had not sold the stock. There was really no reason to sell the stock, we sold it just because the share price was near its fair value. The company was still doing great fundamentally.


What can you learn from this, dont sell shares of good companies. Dont sell just because the share price is near the fair value and dont sell because the “experts” on TV are shouting to sell. From 2011 till 2014 you must have heard all the bad news on TV like, problems in Ukraine, problems in US, problems in middle east but you can ignore all these news if you have invested in a good company.

A quick note to all the new members, we occasionally talk about our own portfolio to educate our members, please do not email/call us for investment advice. We do not provide investment advice.

Why you should not invest in mutual funds.

It’s been a long time since we sent our last email. The last couple of months have been terrific. Lot of our premium members have emailed us that they are sitting on some huge gains thanks to our service. Such emails make us very happy, so keep’em coming.

In almost all our emails we preach that most investors who do not have the tenacity to do their own stock research should invest in an Index fund called Nifty Bees instead of mutual funds. We have some data to back it up.

Lets take the case of DSP BlackRock Mutual Funds.

They have 28 funds in their portfolio, most of them invest in equities while some are balanced(equities and debt) funds, some purely debt funds and so on. Out of those 28 funds only 9 funds were able to beat their respective index, only 9. e.g If the fund’s objective is to invest in the top 100 publicly listed companies in India, that mutual fund should be able to beat the S&P BSE 100 Index. If it fails to do that then you actually lost money by investing in that fund.

We were also reading the UTI Infrastructure fund’s annual report, on the second page itself its written clearly that the return of the fund since inception is 12.63% while Nifty Index is 13.77%. 10,000 Rs invested in that fund would have grown to 32,797 Rs. while the same 10,000 Rs invested in Nifty Bees would have grown to 36,267 Rs.

If the fund is not able to beat the index you still have to pay the management fees and other expenses. All the marketing expense, the salary for the fund manager and other costs comes out of your pocket.

Of course we are not saying that all mutual funds are bad there are some who are able to beat the index but then its your job to find such funds and all the funds have the standard disclaimer “Past performance may or may not be sustained in future”.

This is why we preach that most investors should just invest a fixed amount of money every month in an index fund called Nifty Bees.


Now coming back to individual stocks, last year we said that we invested our own money in two banks, Axis bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce. We sold our position in OBC at around 120% profit, the stock price went up after we sold our position but since we are not greedy there is no point in regretting that decision. We were not comfortable holding a public sector bank for the long term that was the reason why we sold it. We still hold our Axis shares. ( Read our previous articles on the website where we discuss why we bought these two stocks)

A quick note to all the new members, we occasionally talk about our own portfolio to educate our members not to provide investment advice or tips. Please do not call us for stock market tips.