This is guest post by another good Analyst friend BMS
Imagine this, you have graduated from B-School and have joined one of the leading broking firms in the country, you are happy to have landed PPO (Pre-Placement Offer) because of your fantastic summer internship. Everybody knows first couple of days (in some case weeks & in few months) is very tiring & busy in just figuring out best way to reach office on time, who works in what department & where he sits and how much power he has (whether he can get you fired or not), also few other very important things like, various short cuts to reach canteen/cafeteria to catch tables for lunch, or test taste various food option in office vicinity and of course where loo is (in many office, it’s actually a puzzle to find toilet). Above all, navigating huge office how to reach your cubicle from door & get out, also route map from your cubicle to cabins of key people in office.
Anyway once these are done, up pops a family function at relatives place, since ovarian lottery choose Indian family for your birth you are pretty much compelled to visit these functions no matter how much you dislike these events or people who are having this function. Also, since now you have MBA degree from prestigious Mumbai University (don’t ask me name of Institute) and work at one of the leading broking firm of country, you are in Market and are on display boy. You are suppose to act like sofa set, that sofa sellers’ drags to every cross country interior related exhibition.
Anyway so you tag along with your parents to event and look for quick get away, but you can’t, you are introduced to every relative as working in “XYZ Broking firm ltd” the leading stock broker of the country and next thing you know they are asking for “few tips” to make quick buck, you are like “damn, I am new I don’t know anything yet what am I suppose to say?”, you father is looking at you with chest filled air that has widen from 40 to 50 and expects you to rattle few of stock ideas that would move up tomorrow 5-10% first thing in morning. You are torn between your “dharm” being honest & giving genuine advice (that is no stock idea) and your proud parents, so what do you do?…you go middle path, you say “uncle buy Reliance, Tata , Birla (you can never go wrong with those :D). However they are never satisfied with such ideas, they give you a look that says “I know tata , reliance, birla”, given me something better, give me some tadkata badhakta item (new spicy dish or naya maal).
However story doesn’t end there, this is not one time thing, every event or get together where people meet & greet, ask you for free advice. Forget relatives, even a relative of relative or friend of friend who somehow comes in contact with you, if you happen to go to college or MBA institutes more than students, faculties & director ask you for few tips. During early job years, you are like new kid who has started going to college who one day back was school boy. You feel superficial power, ego, you act as if you are something, you act as if somebody has handed over you some power…you behave that way to impress people (read: girls). Of course over time you realize how dumb you are in reality. Same thing happens when you start work in stock market, in beginning you start feeding them stock tips (market index at 6,000-7,000 middle of 2005) but then over time (market tops 22,000- Jan-2008, goes down to 9,000-Feb-2009) you realize how dumb actually you have been. You go back and look at all your recommendation how they have fared, you check what if you had invested Rs10,000 in each of those stock recommendation and what would be value of it now? you see most stock are down by 50-90%, baring few. And that’s when it hits you, how much stupid you are with your MBA Finance degree. How much loss you have caused to those people’s hard earned money.
But people around you who are not regular stock market investor, still come to you ask for free stock tip as if it’s their birth right and now what do you do? You either tell them (1) I don’t have any stock tips or (2) you try to explain them that you can’t make money in day or week or month it takes years, in either cases people just nod their head and move on with thought in their mind like “you have lost it” or “you don’t know anything you are stupid idiot” or “you are afraid somebody will more richer than you, hence you don’t share”.
Most of us have pretty good set of parents, and we seldomly do thank them when they shared their pearls of wisdom. Like when they told you “Money Saved is Money Earned” and “don’t take/buy anything just because it is free or has something free with it, chances are you have already paid for it or will pay for it for long time in future”. When stock brokers give you free stock tips, it’s because he knows you would trade with him and he would charge you brokerage (dalali) and that’s how he earns for his hard work (mehnet) right from setting up office to generating that stock tip and sharing it with you. So as Mom said it, “Nothing is free” (or your economist said, “There are no free lunches”). This is how no matter what happens to stock market whether it goes up or down, brokers are happy, because his clients are gone trade with him, because everybody is afraid to pass up the possible money making opportunity.