Saturday, 21 January 2017

How to Tell if You Can Be an Entrepreneur

You know you can be an entrepreneur. You have plans, and at some point in time you want to start your business. Currently, you are working for your employer, but you are sure that this will go on for just four-five years and then you will be out on your own. Once you are independent, you will enjoy life, while money will keep coming to you. Sounds great.

If you have the line of thinking detailed above, sorry, it’s highly unlikely that you will ever become an entrepreneur.

I frequently come across people who tell themselves the story given above. Such stories are nothing more than a lullaby that employees sing for themselves. These lullabies soothe them for the moment while postponing the need for any initiative-taking to the future. No wonder things never get done. Four-five years simply go by and they realize that almost nothing has changed. Their lives are still what they used to be—plus they have less energy and ambition now. Time keeps flying away and the goal keeps getting postponed until it reaches a point when it is altogether junked or becomes impractical.

One telltale sign of a true entrepreneur is that he/she never wants to put things to the future. He wants them done now, no matter if on a small scale. The spirit of entrepreneurship lies in doing, not just in imagining or daydreaming. So if you want to start something, start now. Starting now doesn’t mean that you have to quit your main job. It means that you start what you want to do on the side. Pursue it in your spare time.

Starting a venture is just a start of a new journey. Just because you start a venture doesn’t mean you will get successful. But in order to get successful, you must start. And the right time is now.

Friday, 6 January 2017

The Only Prediction for 2017 You Will Need

It’s that time of the year again. With the start of the new year, financial pundits have taken out their crystal balls and magnifying glasses and are queuing up to give their predictions for 2017 and analysis of 2016. The media have found a lot of content to keep themselves busy. Newspapers are overflowing with graphical stories on the trends for the new year. 

Here is the problem: they had done the same thing when 2016 was coming. They kept forecasting throughout 2016. And they were wrong almost always. What really happened was very different from what was forecast—remember Brexit and Trump win or the rally in metal stocks when everyone was so pessimistic about their outlook? 

The next “big” event that has got analysts’ and media’s attention is the Union budget. For the next one month, there will be a barrage of what is expected from the budget. News channels will have panels of experts passionately discussing what the budget is going to have. As usual, the reality will turn out to be much different. 

The one prediction for 2017 that is useful to the investor is that the experts are going to be wrong yet again. Don’t trust them. Follow your investment strategies and don’t look here and there. Here is another effective tool: don’t discount the power of the non-event. While most experts paint either a flowery or a gloomy picture, the one possibility nobody talks about is “nothing will happen.” Apply this argument to Trump presidency and demonetization after-effects. 

The penchant of the pundits to predict the future and go wrong isn’t new, yet the stubbornness to do so doesn’t go. In spite of being proved wrong countless times, they can’t help their urge to forecast. It’s pointless expecting them to shut up. As an investor, it’s your responsibility to insulate yourself from their forecasts. That could be the best new-year resolution you can make.