Thursday, January 8, 2009

Are you optimistic and opportunistic?

There are two types of people in this world. The first are the ones who are always pessimistic about each and everything. They hate life and always think the worst is going to happen. No matter what you want to do, they will tell you “That can’t be done.” and “That is impossible.” I’m sure you must have encountered a lot of such people.

Especially in times like now, these people start speaking even more. They keep talking about how bad the world economy is and how millions of people will lose their jobs. They keep talking about how the world is headed for doom and how everything will collapse. Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, Bear Stearns went bust, Real estate is in trouble – so most probably you are going to be in big trouble too according to these ‘pessimists.’

Unfortunately most people are this way, and even if they aren’t they let pessimists tell them what is possible and what is impossible. These are challenging times, but every challenge also brings in an opportunity in disguise.

On the other hand is a very small minority who are optimists and opportunists. These people look at the global economic crash, economic slowdown and recession as one of the greatest opportunities in history. Very few people actually know that 1929 was in fact one of the best years for a small minority. The crash of 2008 and 2009 present such people another great opportunity. This opportunity isn’t only about buying cheap stocks and cheap assets, but also about new ideas.

I see the US dollar crashing as it is the most oversupplied commodity on the planet, and we can certainly see many more problems in America. The old world has collapsed, but this also means that there is a great opportunity for a new world order to be established.

It means that we need new entrepreneurs, investors and businesses to take the place of the old. We, in India have this opportunity in front of us.
People who are ignorant and pessimistic always miss out on opportunities. Simply watching the index isn’t what a smart investor does. For instance a stock like HPCL, was at around Rs 180 when the Sensex was at 14,000 levels. However, after the market fell by over 40% to 9,300 the stock was at Rs 280.

This means even though the Sensex fell by over 40%, the stock went up by over 50%. Just a few years ago there was a time when Bank of India could be bought for barely Rs 11, even now after the correction; it is priced at Rs 280. Most people forget that immense amount of wealth has been created by a small minority, who invested in the previous bear market. What I am saying isn’t just something out of thin air, but something I have personally experienced and benefited from. There are many such instances on how, times like now offer lots of potential and opportunities.

People who create wealth are people who look for solutions every time there is a problem. Sunil Mittal, of Bharti Airtel provided the solution to call from a mobile for Rs 0.50 paise per minute. Before that, it cost Rs 32 a minute. He brought about a revolution which empowered millions of Indians and at the same time created tremendous amount of wealth for him.

Dhirubhai Ambani, Ratan Tata, Bill Gates, have provided a solution or an improved way of doing things.

You can’t be a successful at anything if you aren’t optimistic and opportunistic! This is something I have always believed and experienced throughout my life. In fact, some of my best successes have been a result of crisis, problems and challenges.

It is hard at first, but it is also brings out the best in us. Don’t let temporary losses, hardships, failure and challenges break your spirit, ambition and desire!

Happy wealth creation and have a great 2009!
-Yogesh Chabria

No comments: