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Commentary

2020 – A year to be grateful

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Here we are. It’s that time of the year where if this year was a day in test match cricket, and if a wicket fell, you’d send in a night watchman to try and minimise further damage. Not that it helped the Indian team in Adelaide. But just the fact that we’re around to write this and you’re around to read this means there’s plenty to be thankful for.

So, temporarily departing from our usual investment-related articles, some of the Capitalmind team put together their personal thoughts on what they are grateful for in 2020.

Deepak:

I’m perhaps the oldest person at Capitalmind. Put another way, the highest out of India’s average life expectancy in terms of percentage already completed. I’m grateful for just having been able to survive through this year, more than any other. Because this fear, this virus, it told me the one thing they’ve told you in the movies:

Life’s short. 

Because it is. And it’s short enough to have taken a lot of us that were alive in January, and are not so anymore. And one of them could easily have been me. I’m grateful. 

Oh, there’s more. I’m grateful for:

  • The central banks: They pour in way too much liquidity. Of course this is like taking away from our children to pay us, but it’s arguable that if the world goes bust today what are we going to leave our children anyhow.
  • My kids grew up. All of a sudden. It’s like they took this entire virus and lockdown and everything in their stride. One discovered what he wants to do for the rest of his life. One discovered a social life far outpacing any one else in the otherwise reticent family. We don’t know how it happened. But oh, we are grateful. 
  • The internet. I don’t think it’s possible for me to imagine how things could have been without it, in a pandemic. But it’s not just ether anymore – literally. It’s taken an enormous amount of work to just bring things to a point where you could do a lot of work from home, including ours. I’m happy it exists, despite the terrible things people forward on Whatsapp.
  • All of you lovely people at Capitalmind Premium Slack. Every day when I look at the quality of the discussion and content, I realize how enormously amazing it is for mixing the simple with the complex, the wants with the haves, the rights with the hold-my-beers. Thank you.
  • And then, to the awesome team at Capitalmind, for sticking their head out and getting the amazing to happen, almost on a daily basis. I cannot believe it started out as a guy with a laptop seven years ago, thinking, “will people even pay to read financial content?” to a company that manages 250 cr. and advises another 700. To everyone on the team, I’m grateful.
  • My wife, S, needs a special mention on her own – because she’s lived with me through thick and, er, gravity-challenged, and still thinks I’m worth it. Most of the time. I’ve had my moments, and she’s helped me out of them, even when she knew I was being unrealistic and stupid. I’ve seen her go through hers, with strength and even stubbornness, even with the madnesses of the kids and me. I wouldn’t be me, if she wasn’t she.  

2020 has been a year to have survived. For the rest of our lives, we’ll need to look back and actually live.  

Sandeep:

acta est fabula, plaudite / the drama has been acted out, applaud

Yay it’s finally over!

2020 was one of those years, which was more like dystopian fiction than a usual variety show. My heartfelt gratitude to everyone and my stars for helping me wade through it.  

As the year comes to an end (thankfully), here are things I am grateful for not having happened to me or anyone in my family

  • Covid 19
  • Ill health at any point for anyone in my family 
  • Inconveniences of any sort during the pandemic 
  • Insanity

Here are things I am grateful for having happened to me

  • My dad agreed to relocate to Bangalore, to be closer to his sons.
  • My brother for shielding me from several responsibilities that come with being a son
  • My wife, for being there with me through thick and thin, helps me shift the blame on her as and when convenient
  • Capitalmind, for having accepted me, with all my quirks and oddities. 

What else could I ask for, before my imposter syndrome gets the better of me, Goodbye 2020, and Welcome 2021!

Nihit:

This is my 7th attempt at putting into words my gratitude towards things in the year 2020. Every time I write, it either turns out to be “too pessimistic” or “too casual” or “too preachy” or “too philosophical” or “too materialistic”. Exactly how I have felt all across the year at different times. 

It’s ironic, when things outside came to a sudden halt it’s then that the things inside our heads started getting worked up. The things that helped me keep my head over my shoulders are the ones I am grateful for – 

  1. Work – I have been lucky to be able to do my little bit during the peak of the pandemic as an entrepreneur. I will be proud all my life to have built a team of people who didn’t bail out from running affordable medicine chemist stores during the peak of the covid scare. A team that showed up 9 am on the very first day of nationwide lockdown and continued to dispense medicines every single day since. Serviced 12,000 people during lockdown. We were there when people needed us. 
  2. Life – I am grateful for all the privileges that I have. Privilege of formal education and socio-economic stability that doesn’t let the pandemic impact my life in a way that I do for people without these privileges.  
  3. Relationships – I am grateful to the people around me who made it possible to make it through this pandemic. Especially my family. And my virtual social group – CM slack community. The slack forum was a place to find sanity in discussions, to share my thoughts and most importantly, to realize that you are not alone in this fight. 
  4. Money – I understood the importance of a job and cash flow when I saw people losing jobs and missing EMI’s. I saw the futility of truck-loads-of-money when I saw people were helpless against a microorganism that we cannot even see. I have understood the concept of money a little more. 
  5. New beginnings – I am grateful to get an opportunity to work with Capitalmind. I asked myself “what is one product I love and want to associate myself with?”. Being a CM member for 4 years, the answer was simple. Gladly, it worked out. 
  6. Markets – Not for the money we made. But for just being open every day for us to keep our minds occupied. This year I have learned that our mind is not our friend. When Idle, it is dangerous. It has to be managed. It doesn’t cooperate the way we want it to be. That ticker kept my head occupied during peak lockdown. 

Krishna:

Atlas shrugged – almost.

This year has pushed our emotional boundaries to the limits. Everyone fought their own battle. Many won, few lost. 

The March 2020 fall was brutal. Investors still have Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) about it. For someone who came into the markets post 2008 (including myself), we got our bragging rights. The rise was equally flourishing. All thanks to the printing machines. 

Unfortunately printing money has become our ONLY solution for all our future problems (Health, Economy, Aliens etc).

What a roller coaster ride it was for index. From wiping out 6 years gains & touching all time high – all in the matter of 8 months. 

Personally I have every reason to be grateful for. If I want to remember one thing from 2020, that is me joining Capitalmind. I couldn’t ask for more. This is to show gratitude to the entire CM team.

Chetan:

Life is short – this is often said but the last 9 months have really hit this point hard and I have actually seen what this means. I am thankful for me and my family being in good shape and not facing any major inconveniences during the pandemic. 

I have made a conscious effort to learn more about health and well being. Reading books, listening to podcasts, making changes in my diet and joining online yoga classes are some of the things I have done. Two books that I enjoyed and highly recommend are – The Obesity Code by Jason Fung and Why we get fat by Gary Taubes. The trigger to learn and make changes was the pandemic, while the pandemic will end I am confident that these changes are here to stay.

Finally, the team at capitalmind, I am grateful for being a part of this amazing team. 

Anoop:

2020 has been one of “years happening in weeks” sort of years. To have lived to tell the tale, both literally, and as an investor, is reason enough to feel grateful. But when I step back, I realise how incredibly fortunate I have been this year, pandemic or no pandemic:

  • Each morning, I get a slack notification from google calendar. It is a list of meetings for the day. Most days there is one solitary entry, maybe two. On exceptional days there are more. After more than a decade and half of a professional career with a calendar that looked like unsuccessful games of tetris, I’m grateful for the one unarguably non-renewable resource, time. To think, and work deeply.
  • Our son turned two this year. Before he was born, my wife and I didn’t see ourselves as the nurturing parental type. We valued our Netflix and chill time too much, and as genetically-gifted “worriers”, we were unsure we’d do justice to parenthood. We’ve since realized the jury on that will be out for a couple of decades, at least. In the meantime, I’m grateful for a front-row seat to watching a fascinating human being take shape. For a happy healthy family, and for the appreciation to know how fortunate we are.
  • Markets, for being at their unpredictable best (worst?).

    For making investors feel like infallible Gods one day, and bumbling fools the next, and so keeping everyone grounded.

  • Paul Graham recently published an essay titled Earnestness. He describes how the highest compliment they pay founders is that they are earnest. It means they are doing something for the right reasons i.e. interest, and bringing all of themselves to work on that interest. At Capitalmind, I believe we have an earnest team. Mind you, Paul adds, earnestness on its own is not enough to be successful. You also have to be formidable. I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to be on an earnest team. Whether or not we also build a formidable team, will take some time to tell. And finding out will be the fun part.

Last and far from least, here’s a big shoutout for each and every one who is part of the brilliant Capitalmind Premium community. For helping improve the collective Investing Quotient of the forum, and help us all be just that bit better with thinking about, and managing money.

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