It so happened that I saw an ad for a business magazine recently on a news stand. The cover had a very interesting photograph. It shows petals of a lovely big red flower being plucked supposedly by a stock market player to decide whether he should buy a particular stock or not. The player is mumbling something and is trying to decide:” Buy me, Buy me not… ”

The answer to this question is not so simple. Buying a stock of a particular company, has to be decided based on various factors. I will elaborate on this in a while, but first, let me take a nostalgic trip to a childhood game, which I am sure, you too must have played, one time or the other.

I am of course referring to the “does she love me” game! I hope you all know it too well. You sit down with a many petalled flower and start picking off the petals, one at a time and mumble:” She loves me. She loves me not…” Finally, you have plucked all the petals and what you say while plucking the last petal, is generally true, it is believed. There is always hope with each petal that flutters to the ground around your feet. Yes, hopefully, we all want to end on “she loves me” more than anything else. Right? Of course!

This game is something school children are known for playing when they have their first big crush on a teacher or a classmate. What about us adults? Do we too play the same game? I think yes, but we just play it in a more grown-up and in a less dramatic fashion. We meet someone special, spend some time getting to know him/her and suddenly we’re head over heels in love ! A few casual meetings slowly result into an emotional connection and our hearts are on fire, as it were. That’s when you start asking yourself: does she love me? Or does she not? Are you by chance, at that stage right now? Then, first please put down the flowers and approach this situation with a real mature assessment of the situation.

Here are some things you will notice and these will help you to know if your last petal is going to answer “yes” to your big question before jump up with joy, exclaiming : “she loves me!”

1.She goes out of the way to include you in her daily life/routine.When she starts to include you in her daily ho-hum life, you can have some hope that she is developing deeper feelings for you. It starts with going out for casual meetings and chit-chat. Once she starts to really care for you she will let you enter into her life on a deeper level.For example, you have just washed your clothes and are hanging them out to dry, on an afternoon, when she suddenly sends you a message inviting you to her a school play or a birthday party of her sister/brother/nephew/niece that evening. If so, understand that she is trying to make you more a part of her everyday life. You may be thinking: she’s doing this, so she does love me, doesn’t she ? You can have a hope that she is at least heading in that direction. Great! (In case of stock markets, the prospectus of an IPO, will go out of the way to lure you with attractive returns and promise sound investments!)

2. When she talks about her future, you are there in the plans. It’s very interesting to listen to a girl whom you have been frequently meeting, talk about the future. On the first couple of occasions, she will simply talk about her own plans and ambitions. As she starts to care about you more, it will turn into new plans and ambitions or perhaps your mutual plans. This occurs when she cares deeply and wants you to be part of that future. If you are hearing references of you in her future, then luckily, chances are, she is experiencing deeper feelings and she may be in love with you. Wow! (In case of stock markets, the promoters of the issue will paint the world around you so green and lush that you will be tempted to tread the rosy path and part with your hard earned cash, as per their plans!)

3. She seems to be testing you. Many women literally start dropping bombs when they are in love or they are heading in that direction. They want to test the waters and see if you are there for the long haul and if you are falling for them equally strongly. These bombs will tell you about their past that was very much un-pleasant or she may be admitting to her own flaws to see if you run away from her on hearing them. It could be as simple as talking about her desire to have children and get married. She is looking for your response that tells her that you are there for her and are equally, very much in love. Superb!! (In case of stock markets, the prospectus and promoters will test your gullibility and pull you hook, line and sinker into the deep untested murky waters of investment)

If you have noted that some of the above things, are occurring in your relationship with her, you may wonder if it means she is falling in love with you. See, there is no absolute guarantee, but, all these are indicative signs that the answer to the question, “does she love me” is probably yes. Wow! Wow!!

Now, let me get back to the equally exciting subject of stock markets, from where I had begun this posting. I think, stock markets and girl friends have many things in common and we need to take care while investing in the stock market as well as while investing our time, money, emotions in a relationship.

As I see it, following could be a good check list for both investments :

1.Don’t put all your money in stock markets. So also, don’t put all your emotions and energies in the relationship with her. Keep some spare and as a stand-bye when the relationship goes kaput, so that you don’t need somebody else’s shoulder to cry on.

2.Cut your losses short. In case of a girlfriend, if the relationship does not seem to be heading the way you felt it should have gone, back out at the earliest, to control further damage to your self esteem.

3.Getting your priorities right. So also in case of a girlfriend, if your priorities are not in the right order, it is likely you may have to sacrifice many other aspects of life on the altar of love.

4.Do not fight the trend. Swimming against the tide is dangerous, you know. If she wants to eat a pizza, you too do the same. If she wants to have an aromatherapy session at a spa, indulge her and enjoy it yourself too.

5.Everything is probabilistic here. As in stock markets, so it is in love. She may probably like your 10 to 5 job that would leave some time with you for her, but then perhaps your measly 30K monthly salary may not be probably sufficient to take care of her cosmetics and candle light dinners!

6. Don’t listen to stock markets experts on TV. It is always advisable to use your own judgement and then take a calculated risk based on your study of the company’s past performance and the key financial parameters. In case of a girlfriend, don’t go by what your office colleagues say about her. During your initial outings, slowly try to form your own opinion about the future of your relationship. Ask your self-will it be till death do us part or till debt do us part. I am not an expert either, so take this with at least half a kilo of salt.

7. Have realistic expectations. Hoping that the sensex will jump, you take a plunge only to land in a swimming pool with no water in it. So also it is with your girlfriend. For example, if she happens to be the only daughter and her father has popped off to the next world, she may expect that her mother, your future mother in law, lives with you, after marriage. Take a reality check on this issue, before you plunge headlong and call the pundit for fixing the wedding date. In-laws often tend to become out-laws, my limited experience tells me.

8.Be ready to make mistakes and learn. This advise is okay in case of stock markets, but in case of matrimonial markets, it will be a very costly affair, if you marry a wrong girl by mistake and then go for a divorce with liability of a huge alimony. So, better not to make such an extravagant mistake. Take care.

I think for the present, the above guidance should see you through in your relationship with your girlfriend, but in case of stock markets there are still many other factors required to be seen-such as price to earning ratio, earnings and cash flow per share, trend of dividends, health of the sector etc, but I feel, an experienced Chartered Accountant or a Financial Analyst will do a better job to educate you on such issues than me. Good Luck!

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14 responses »

  1. nilouffer says:

    Jatinder,
    You have left us contemplating… shall I shall I not… take this calculaated risk. Not only is your subject vvvvv interesting, even your replies are hilarious. Keep going. GBU.

  2. gc1963 says:

    I marvel your comparison skills. 🙂

  3. Sneha says:

    My Gosh ! I hope the men are reading it.

    As for me, I liked the parallel about the girlfriend and sensex. You surely seem to have an imaginative, almost incessant thought process. Quite enjoyed my read.

  4. Sonal Shree says:

    Very creative comparison. Enjoyed reading it. 🙂

  5. Dear Jatinder,

    Nice funny blog as expected from you. We all need doses of humour every once in a while to lighten, nay brighten the tense, sombre mood at times.

  6. Beyniaz says:

    Took stock of your comparison…and liked your blog. 🙂

  7. Brocaji,
    Stock Markets and Girl friends can go bullish once in a while to make you feel good! And then the next day, Crash!

  8. Shernaz says:

    Good advice! Soon Shail may have to introduce a new column – Ask Uncle Broca. Game for it?

    • J S Broca says:

      Dear Shernaz, thanks for your response and the suggestion for starting a new column. Yes, in our college in Baroda,I used to often participate in a nonsense club sort of thing, when all students posed naughty,irrelevent questions or even good questions, but wanted really whackky answers from the “intelligent” panelists on the dias ! So, I have a knack for the subject and can handle UNCLE BROCA column with confidence ! Please consider my application earnestly. Shail ji,any questions on my ability ? GBU !

      J S Broca
      New Delhi

  9. vimala ramu says:

    Very sensible advice !

    • J S Broca says:

      Dear Vimala ji, this piece was born out of a classroom discussion I had with my MBA Students a few days ago.Immediately after the crisis in Libya there was a crash in the stock market.Again on Budget Day first there was a rise and then the sensex tanked out ! We discussed in class as to why stock markets behave in such a fashion.Besides replying to students’ questions I,as usual in my tongue-in-cheek style, compared the behavioural patterns of stock markets with the moods, swings and ” nakhraas” of girlfriends.The class just loved my comparison and so this posting.Hope you are not a “stock market ka khiladi “! Don’t take my advise seriously.If you invest in stocks do so at your own risk ! Don’t blame me later ! OK ? GBU !

      J S BROCA
      NEW DELHI

  10. nadi says:

    continue ‘dropping bombs’ of enjoyable writing like this.

    • J S Broca says:

      Dear Nadi, I know from your background that you are a doctor. So I will just say ” LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE”.It may be in the form of sugar quoted pills of bitter medicine,or in the form of such bombshells to jerk you out from your routine,to look outside the professional window ! BTW, my daughter happens to be a doctor too !
      She too responds heartily to my frequent doses of humour ! Thanks for “dropping” and permitiing me to continue with my ” bombs” ! On Diwali days when crackers (like bombs) dont burst we call them ” fooski ” ie they have no fire in them to excite us.I hope my bombs never turn out to be “fooskis” ! GBU !

      J S Broca
      New Delhi.

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