Skip to main content


Bookclub #001: Why Investing is a Liberal Art

When we think of investment, we often attach accounting, economics and finance as key subject areas to the profession. But investment is more than that. It can't be boxed into some specific subject areas. Act of investing is more of a personalized craft for each investor than anything else. To be good at this craft requires a clear understanding of how the world works. We can only develop a good understanding of the world and its inhabitants if we explore different knowledge areas. Exploring is only the half act. Making connections between different knowledge areas is the other half. Such practice helps us create mental models that deliver insights we wouldn't find otherwise. The phrase "Latticework of Mental Models" comes from Charlie Munger, a veteran investor and the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. He terms stock picking as a subdivision of the art of worldly wisdom. He said,  "Each discipline entwines with, and in the process strengthens, every other.

How Etsy (The Company) Makes Money

Etsy is a specific category driven online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers. What makes it different is that buyers recognize Etsy as a marketplace where they can find unique products for their special needs. Here, sellers are mostly individuals who have built their expertise in different types of crafts. Buyers looking for gifts or looking for products that have some personal and differentiated touch on them visit Etsy. Etsy's top six retail categories include homewares and home furnishings, jewelry and personal accessories, craft supplies, apparel, beauty and personal care, paper and party supplies that contributed 80.0% of overall GMS (Gross Merchandise Sales) during the year 2020 (excluding face mask sales). After the acquisition of Reverb in 2019, Etsy also has presence in market for musical instruments. So, we can clearly understand what Etsy offers to its sellers and buyers. Sellers get the accessibility to millions of buyers who are looking for specific items f

Economics: Study of Choices

In our daily lives we make number of choices. Some of these choices are monetary meaning these choices involve money and some of these choices are non monetary meaning they don't involve money. All these choices are driven by some factors. How we value the things we do, things we consume, stuffs we possess, the relationships we maintain. What we inherently desire in a given point in time dictate the choices we make. But that's the half story. These choices are also dictated by the limitations we have. The salary we get from our job, the family size - people who depend on us or the people we depend on, inheritance if any, the order of the society and many more put a ceiling on our wishes. Economics take both sides of the coin in consideration. The wishes we have and the limitations imposed on us influence our economic activity. So, in short, economics is the study of choices.  When we go out for shopping, we have a list of items in our wish list. Items on this wish list yield di

Floating and Focused Attention in Writing

While reading the book "How to Take Smart Notes" by Sönke Ahrens I came across this distinction between two types of attention: Floating and Focused. In the steps of writing, be it a long thesis or a short article, keeping the whole process distraction free (or at a minimal distraction) is a key prerequisite. The environment we put ourselves in make a big difference. The setup, the surroundings and the steps we follow dictate our efficiency in putting up a good piece. We need to take good care of our attention. But different steps in our writing process demand different types of attention. For many of us, writing starts with floating attention. We start working on a particular topic. We read from different sources on the same or relevant topics. We take notes. We play with different ideas and look out for interesting connections and comparisons. At first, these ideas seem distant from each other. Playing with these ideas on the desk or off the desk, we find connections among

Investing: A Curious Journey

My investment goal (here mostly talking about equity) is to make money and build wealth and more importantly own shares of businesses that I am keenly interested in and find value in owning them. I don’t see any point of owning the shares of the businesses I don’t understand regardless of the upside potential people seem to see in them. In the beginning of my investment journey, I did own businesses I didn’t understand or care to understand. I didn’t have patience and enough urge to practice curiosity in the journey of investment. There was no strategy. It was a real test and I learned the hard way. Gradually as I maneuvered through the investment world, I started getting the fun of owning businesses that I understand and can keep track on. I also understood what was important and what was not for being a good investor. Being a sell-side equity analyst for last three and a half years, I realized that the excel models and granular processes to derive the forecasted numbers are less im