Suman’s brows were furrowed. A slight tension gripped his jaws and his eyes reflected regret.
He was lying prone on his bed, staring at the ceiling. The critters of evening were singing their songs, but Suman’s thoughts were somewhere far away.
“Joining us in studio today is Rajiv Goyal of PLD ventures… Rajiv when we met last time in our studio you were confident that NIFTY will be scaling 9000 mark. Now that it has, would you like to tweak your numbers higher?”
“Sonia, thanks for having me here. The way we see in PLD Ventures its the start of a secular bull run and definitely we will see NIFTY at 12000 anytime soon.The earnings are healthy, our economy is firing…”
The broadcast on TV seemed to have perked up the mood of the men having their lunch.
“I bought NHV last month, 50% up…”, Shekhar remarked stealing a small piece of paneer from Suman’s plate.
“… the way things are going, I dont mind paying capital gains and booking my profits” added Shekhar smugly.
“DishTV – long till 88. Short till 82. Doubled my 5 lakhs”- Arun, chimed in almost disinterested.
Ravi suddenly lost interest in TV and blurted out- “You doubled? Seriously?”
Arun looked up and gave a wink.
“Pass the dal first”
Suman had nothing to add really. A sinking feeling washed over him. Left out, alone, fending for himself. Did I make a mistake in not investing? Oh god, Arun doubled his 5 lakhs. Shekhar has made 50% in one month. If I would have invested 1 lakh in NHV- my return ticket from Bangkok would have been paid of. 50% monthly implies…
Envy,regret,anger. Everyone around him has become rich.A feeling of fear and envy swallowed him. His mind reeled back to a documentary he once saw- of a mongoose being cornered by a bunch of cobras. Helpless and Afraid. He felt something similar. Helpless and Afraid. Only there were no cobras here.
If someone asked his mother, she will never be able to remember if Suman had a mean streak. His wife at times got exasperated with the supine way he handled the office politics- taking on his chin and settling for the next time- everytime.
But at that moment, suddenly Suman felt the bite of a lost chance.He was envious and in pain. He could have invested 10 months back when Puneet advised him to. I should have listened to him. He is a wise guy. What did I do?
Puneet Khurana has always been a taciturn guy- measures his words and advices. But generous in spreading and voracious in gathering wisdom. An acute observer, of what the Bard said – “the tides in the affairs of men“. He eats behavioural psychology and breathes investing. If there ever was a stoic-thats him.
Puneet adviced Suman about two years back. Urging him to plough all in the financial markets. Suman was unsure and even he will never admit it that he was afraid.
Afraid of the “hairiness” and uncertainity of the macroeconomic situation. Fiscal deficit was high. Oil was higher. And investor confidence, if it could go any lower would have stood frozen in South Pole.Suman distinctly remembered the conversation he had in Puneet’s drawing room.
“Suman, look at it this way- can things get any worse?”
The Jack Daniels in Puneet’s hand made a beautiful color and Suman’s gaze was transfixed at that. His ears kept hearing the urgings and his mind, afraid of the uncertainty kept ignoring it.
The day melted into evening and his thoughts of anger and envy melted into pain. He lay on his bed trying to will away the pain. His thoughts drifted away to that chance encounter.
10 months back, Suman met Manish- a self confessed Ed Seykota fan, in the local pub. During the conversation they both discovered that Puneet was their common friend and the conversation really flowed from there. The conversation flowed from their family – both had a kid, of the same age to their drinking tastes- Manish liked Beer and Suman liked his whiskey.
The evening was amiable but when the conversation came to markets- Suman was not only afraid of investing in the markets but knew practically nothing of the markets themselves.How shorting works, what are futures, how to trade- nothing, nada! Manish’s message was clear- invest now. Suman felt it to be a misplaced confidence.
Suman lay on his bed simmering in a concoction of envy, anger and regret.If Puneet had a telescope inside Suman’s mind he would have shaken him into sense- because Puneet knew how deadly a combination this is. And if Manish would have known then he would have shown him how do savvy trader/investors make money.
Suman was close to losing it all. And he didnt know it.
He got up, took a long deep breathe and lifted his phone. A few jabs of keys and then a number. He is calling that number for the first time.
A ring.And then another. And then another.
“Hey Manish, this is Suman here.I need your help”
Can Suman get out of this cesspool of emotions? How will Manish help Suman? Can Suman master the financial market?
(…contd in Part II)
P.S: Its good to be back