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Last Sunday, I visited to participate in “The Art of Elevator Pitch” Panel Discussion at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. The discussion was very informative. Honestly speaking, I did not know what is an Elevator Pitch before I decided to participate in the contest when I received an email from my Toastmasters International District. But I knew I am going to participate. So, I immediately replied to the email and got the preliminary round of questions. I am attaching the file with the answers here. Please do feel free to comment whatever you feel like.

DeepakPanigrahy_Oracle

What did I get out of the Contest?

  1. Networking: I feel very good to network with some of the amazing people in the industry. Having entrepreneurial pursuits myself, it was just an amazing platform for meeting future business leaders (students of IIM Bangalore), Venture Capitalists such as Griffin David, Balaji and Ian Faria, Private Equity Players such as Samir Inamdar and many more. And of course, not to forget very enthusiastic Toastmasters. In fact, I got an invitation to speak over the IIM Alumni Toastmaster chapter and I plan to do so for some of my Advanced Communicator Bronze level, Speeches by Management Category.
  2. Special: The session became special in personal term also. After a very very long time, I had a crush on someone there. Let me tell you that I am not the one who can fall for anyone any time. Someone needs to be very special to match my frequency and vibrancy and I felt the same with someone there. It is a different case that I did not do anything at that moment of time, though I wanted to with all good intentions. Somehow I decided to hold back for some more time and if future will permit, I will do the necessary. No doubt, the girl is special and I could feel that. I call the girl as Miss AC. So, Miss AC, hope to meet you soon but in a different fashion
  3. Elevator Pitch: Well, this is the instant take away from the session. And I am going to discuss more in details on this with my version of the elevator pitch with the final case study.

What is an Elevator Pitch?

Elevator Pitch is a short speech of about 2 minutes, generally given by entrepreneurs to the VCs or angel investors. It derives its name from the fact that it takes exactly 2 minutes to go from the lobby to the top level where the VC has his office. And one gets just two minutes to leave the VC with the curiosity and quest. In my view, an elevator pitch is successful if you can get the business card out of the VC.

What kind Elevator Pitches can be?

I feel elevator pitches can be anything. It can be about yourself, a product, a service, a group, an organization and often related to marketing campaigns, branding and public relation activities. Why is it important? Generally, we don’t know with whom am I going to sit next to in my flight. We don’t get any clue with whom I am going to go in an elevator. So, suppose I bump into a potential VC all of a sudden and what I get is just 2 minutes to generate interest into me and my idea. In my view, it generates a lot of interest in the field of consultancy also. What do you feel how much time a CEO has when you are on a consulting project with the that CEO’s firm? Talk to the management consultants and I can bet most of them will say that they get the time to pitch their ideas and solutions exactly equal to the time one takes to walk from CEO office to his car. And trust me when I say that its not only your firm’s reputation that is at stake but also your own reputation and credibility too.

What constitutes a good elevator pitch?

  1. First and foremost, you must understand that elevator pitch is not your business plan rather it is the door to getting the funding for your plan by getting the business card of the VC or scheduling a meeting with the VC.
  2. Try to connect emotionally both at the personal and professional level. What I mean here is you should be able to relate your idea with the person and at the same time, take his curiosity level to such an extent that he makes the next attempt to reach to you. One very good example that I would like to cite here is taken from the real life experience of Griffin David, discussed during the panel discussion at IIMB.  Griffin David is a Venture Capitalist and an Entrepreneur in himself, who has traveled a journey from SemiConductor Chips to Potato Chips today. He is currently the CEO of Bread Basket Pvt Ltd, having founded it. He cited an incident where his team was pitching a business plan in front of potential investors. They somehow manage to connect with them prior to the meeting and went for an excursion to SONA in Europe. SONA seem to be known for a beach but a special beach-nude beach. They all went, enjoyed, in fact went to give a television interview also with only their heads showing up. But the effect of the trip was seen when his team was given 45 minutes for the presentation while others were given only 15 minutes. Did you see the difference what an emotional connect can make? In yet another incident mentioned by one of the panelist (sorry, I don’t remember who was it exactly), he mentioned that once in an attempt to raise money from a bank, he was facing lot of issues. One of his friend’s wife discussed the problem with the wife of the banker. The banker’s wife went and told his husband that the person in question is like a son to her and you must approve his loan. Ultimately, the loan passed. The panelist came to know about the incident much later in one of the parties. Can you guys relate now? Can you guys make what I am thinking? EQ is one of the biggest weapon and i fused properly, can do wonders in your not only personal but professional life also. We are all human beings and an angel investor or a VC is no exception. Our daily lives are full of emotions and almost 90% of the time, our decisions are based on our emotions and feelings.
  3. Understand your audience. This hold true in case of any speech. Each person is different. Understanding your audience will help in pitching your idea in the most effective way. How can you do that? Thats where your networking connections are going to work for you.
  4. As like an speech, according to me, an elevator pitch also has a certain format and guidelines: Be crisp and ensure brevity because at the day, you only have 2 minutes. Your introduction is your selling point. If you cannot connect with your opening statement, forget it. It is same as the FIRST impression is the LAST impression. So be very careful how are you going to begin. Be prepared with your best 3 points to support your statement. A lot of my management consultant friends tell me that the the RULE OF THREE is an accepted norm of making your points in a business setup. So, these three points should be your best selling points and should generate curiosity in the minds of the VC. At the end, end it with a strong conclusion. I feel the conclusion should not only be persuasive but also leave the VC thinking, thus, prompting him to give away his business card and seeking to get an appointment for a detailed discussion.
  5. Of course, do look out for your body language and voice modularity. Nothing can substitute an appropriate body language with good command over the voice modulation. This is where Toastmasters is going to help you the most.

What are the other potential areas where elevator pitches can be useful?

Well, when I sat and thought about it, I never knew I could relate it to so many circumstances. Some of the areas where I feel an elevator pitch can help you are DATING, JOB INTERVIEW, PROMOTIONS in jobs and PROPOSALS (e.g an author pitching his book to the publishers or a story writer pitching his story for a movie to a producer). The most interesting among the list is DATING. Imagine you are standing alongside a beautiful girl (say Katrina Kaif) and you have got one shot at her before she disappears in the world of invisible strangers again. Your 2 min shot can give you the mobile number or a date. On the other side, a bad pitch may land you in prison, labeling you as a stalker. In other words, 2 minutes can decide whether she is going to be your life partner. Similarly, each one of knows, the way one walks and introduces himself is the 75% success of the interview. Imagine yourself in an elevator with CEO of your company and you know your skills are not well utilized by your current boss and you get only 2 minutes to showcase what you got and you can do for the organization if given the right opportunity. Finally, here is my version of the elevator pitch that I wrote for the case-study presented at IIMB for the finalists:

Case Study: ElevatorPitch_Stage2_CaseStudy

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My Elevator Pitch: Would you like your girlfriend/wife to look like Katrina Kaif or Toon Toon? If given a free hand, wouldn’t you wake up early in the morning and go to gym with your wife to keep her in shape more than yourself? One will walk with broad chest and full prestige if your girlfriend/wife is good looking and smart. So, wouldn’t you like her to look good in her office too? I am sure you will.

I am Rita and I propose to bring an exclusive line of garments for women for office wear. From college to an office, from home to a boardroom, I present to you an elegant and exclusive design of apparel for Indian women. I am sure you will agree with me when I say that women spend more than men on looking good and beautiful. The most prominent proofs are endless research on spending habits of men and women and the time a woman spends on dressing up. And of course, not to ignore your own wallet and the savings you barely manage to make at the end of the month. No more sarees or executive shirts and skirts from Allen Solley or so, Rita & Co. will bring a premium line of designs exclusively designed to the taste of Indian women. Recent feedbacks from the students of IIM Bangalore, who have already taken the designs to their summer internships have felt more comfortable and confident filled with positive energy after wearing my designs.

So, what are you waiting for? Tighten your seat belts as we, together, can bring a sea wave of changes with Rita brands flaunting in offices and board rooms and change the image of a working Indian women to a more confident, elegant and stylist business women.

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Hey, please feel free to comment your views on the elevator pitch. I would love to hear from you 🙂

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Well, what’s up guys? I know it has been quite a time I wrote on this blog. Well, this post was due. If you are thinking about IPL version of cricket, then we will definitely talk about it but I am also going to talk about another version of IPL that swiped the country completely this month.
If you had already guessed, you are right; I am talking about Indian Elections – Indian Political League. We will talk about this version of the IPL first.
The largest democracy of the world, India, went into the Elections late last month. The results came out in May 2nd week with Unites Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by Indian National Congress (INC) getting almost near majority. With thumping applause from the voters of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh became the 2nd Prime Minister after our first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to become the prime minister of the country in consecutive terms. The extraordinary performance of the INC with 201 seats alone showed its growing influence and belief of the voters in INC. The another major part, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) was completely thrashed with Lal Krishna Advani’s hopes of becoming the prime minister of India being completely crashed. There was no doubt that the credit goes to Dr. Manmohan Singh for his exemplary leadership in his previous term as PM. But the efforts of the upcoming power of INC, Rahul Gandhi, cannot be ignored. If INC was able to compete at par with the Mayawati’s Bahujan Samajwadi Party and Mulayam’s Samajwadi Party, then the whole credit goes to only and only Rahul Gandhi. Additionally, this election brought the hopes of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan, Mayawati, Jayalalitha, Prakash Karat, and Sharad Pawar of becoming the PM completely crushed. Among all these names, one can easily identity the name of Ram Vilas Paswan. Paswanji was the cabinet minister since HD Deve Gowda’s government. No matter who formed the government since HD Deve Gowda, Paswanji used to join that government with his bunch of ministers’ support to become a cabinet minister. This time he lost the elections and could not even become a MP also. The same is the state of our ex Railway Minister, Lalu Prasad Yadav. He decided to go to the elections all of his own and did not accept the alliance of INC. Such was the pathetic state of Laluji, which he lost from one of the constituencies he contested. Remember, had he fought the elections from that constituency alone, he would have been in the same boat as Paswanji. Another major turnaround was the state of West Bengal. For the first time since more than 30 years, voters thrashed the dreams of Left and for the first time Didi, Mamta Banerjee, saw the hope of becoming the CM of the state in future, Her party, Trinamool Congress, did exceptionally well in the elections, due to which she earned her berth in the cabinet as the Railway Minister. Remember, when the current Lok Sabha has more than 300 crorepatis, Didi is one of the poorest MP. Hats off to her. With a thumping win over the NDA and the left, Dr. Manmohan Singh went on to form the government by taking oath on last Saturday. I do wish him all the best and I hope he would be able to take our country to new heights of prosperity and growth, especially when there is Left Support this time. I wished that Rahul Gandhi would have joined the cabinet but its okay. Let him take outside work to build a much stronger party that can lead the youth of this country in the right direction.
I am going to take a break here as I had almost a night out yesterday and will resume writing on the other version of IPL once I wake up.
So, it was an almost 3.5 hrs break now. I slept for 1.5 hrs and then did exercise for 1 hr or so. Don’t take me seriously. I am yet to join the gym but I can say I really miss it and I am just waiting for this phase of my life to get over so that I can start afresh everything.
Well, let’s come to the second version of the IPL, the cricket, Indian Premier League. Initially, it went into issue of security due to head-on collision of IPL dates with Elections. Thanks to the stubbornness of Lalit Modi, IPL got shifted to South Africa. I had few problems with shifting of IPL to South Africa. Firstly, what kind of message Mr. Lalit Modi wanted to set with taking almost at least 300 odd ((approx 15 players in each team*8) +celebrities+performers+…) citizens of the country outside the country with the Election round the corner. None of them voted. When it was time to make a joint statement about the future of the country, these people were busy making tons of money. Who should be idolized, Mr. Lalit Modi? Why these people deserve to be in India and representing the country when none of them are not even responsible citizens. I can definitely say that Mr. Lalit Modi set a very bad example in front of cricket fans. Secondly, anyone who has seen IPL season 1 would agree with me that the real craze is playing the matches in home and enemy’s den. Playing in from of the die-hard fans and shout, is a different thing and playing in a calm place where half of the people don’t understand Kolkata, Rajasthan, Mumbai … I hope that the next season will definitely be in India. The most amazing of this season is the Finals, where last year’s 2 bottom teams Deccan Chargers and Bangalore Royal Challengers and Deccan Chargers, the worst performers of last season going on to win the finals under the captaincy of Adam Gilchrist. One find of this season of IP was FakeIPLPlayer blogger. The identity of the blogger was not revealed but he was a real entertainer gaining one of the biggest craze among the IPL fans. News channels covered the blog but no one was able to reveal the identity of the blogger. Each and every post of the blog was simply amazing, entertaining and fun reading. The articles definitely hinted of the possibility of betting in the games with Kolkata Knight Riders defeating last year’s champion Rajastahn Royals and preventing it from going to the semi finals. It was well predicted ahead in the blog that the worst performer of the current season will defeat a team and will nullify its chances of making it to the finals. ICC should look into this more seriously or the better way is to legalize the betting, which could bring huge revenue for the governments as in any form, betting does happen no matter what. One striking similarity between the IPL season 1 and season 2 was the performance of Australian players. Whether it is retired players like Adam Gilchrist, Mathew Hayden, Shane Warne or current players like Adrew Symonds, Shane Watson, Hodge, they all showed why they form the best team with their killer attitude and leading the team from the front. This is one thing I feel Indians lack a lot, which is quite visible in the team of Mumbai Indians, who don’t have a single Australian. Next time, Mrs. Neeta Ambani should bet for an Australian in the team to get the team spirit back. Are you listening, Mrs. Ambani? We need a diehard killer Aussie in the Mumbai Indians. As for the profit of the individual teams, there is no doubt who is the winner. Obviously, SRK owned Kolkata Knight Riders. Despite finishing bottom of the table, SRK managed to get well over 100 crores from various source like the reality show, some Knight Angles or so. There is no doubt how many Ambanis or Mallayas jump into this IPL, SRK is a true businessman. Hats off to SRK and his acumen. I may not be your big fan of movies but I do adore you a lot on your business acumen.

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Well, I have been traveling a lot last couple of weeks. Started from Bangalore on 26th April and Returned back yesterday.
There were a lot of train journeys, in fact all of them were quite tiring.
I started off from Bangalore by Rajdhani Express to Delhi for a friend’s marriage, which was on 28th April. I caught the train with just few minutes in hand. Due to my crunch timing, I got asthma attack and unfortunately with no medicine, I had to bear it throughout my train journey. It took around 34 hrs to reach Delhi by Bangalore by the fastest running long distance train of the country.
Even though I had my side upper berth confirmed, I had to exchange it for an old man to take up a still higher berth in the AC 3-tier coach.
I reached Delhi on 28th morning and then, straightaway head to Modi Nagar, some 30 odd kms from Meerut. The arrangements were good but I needed good sleep so that I could stay awake in the night. After some initial ceremonies, I straight away came to the hotel and collapsed. After a sound sleep of 5 hrs, I started for the marriage. The hotel arrangement was really good and very relaxing and of course, I needed it the most especially after the tiring train journey.
Garg, as I call him, and often known as Mr. Bean of our class was not ready at all. I have seen so many marriages where the groom used to be the limelight much before the marriage but it was really calm and quiet here. He took just about 20 min to get ready and I helped him out there and we were ready for the pooja before proceeding ahead.
After the finish of the rituals, we started to the temple on the horse. Each time cracker burnt, the horse gets disturbed and so does our Bean. To some extent, I felt he got scared that he asked me not to light the crackers.
Well, after seeking the blessings, we started off to the marriage place, which was about 1 km from the home. After so many dances along the road by the friends and relatives, we reached the marriage venue at about 9pm in the night. Everything was good here except the band walking with us. He was pathetic with the choice of the songs. Additionally, I did not like the idea of flaunting money every now and then while dancing (this is a personal opinion). Every time money was flaunted, some street children used to compete with the badn people to take that 10 rupee note.
Well, the marriage venue was a farm house and Sonam’s family was too huge but at the same time kind heart ed and great to hold the marriage so lavishly. The food items were in plenty and everything from pizzas to rice, dal, juices, fruits, everything was available in plenty. I stayed close to Garg as he was almost alone after we reached there. It was almost around 12 am when the JayMala happened and I can tell you, it was one of the best I have seen till date. Revolving Platform added to the charm.
After a flurry of photographs, the dinner happened around 1.30 am.
The marriage ceremony started at around 2.30 am but by then, almost everyone had left the arena except close people like us and families. Now, though I like dancing, I could not make much out of the occassion basically I was down before I reached there, as mentioned earlier but I must say that I missed some golden chance to flirt with the sisters of Sonam (Sorry Bhabhi, did not mean to be -ve) but honestly, all of them were equally beautiful and smart. But I promise I will make the most next time on my visit.
The ceremony ended at around 6am and we came back to home. After grahapravesh, I came back to the hotel and took off in an hour. I planned to start with Garg’s Mausi as they were also about to come to New Delhi to catch the train, though we had a time difference of around 4 hrs. Now, that was the toughest period for me. I will keep this marriage close to my hear due to two reasons: Uncle’s love and kindness to make me a part of their family each time cousins are called upon for every ritual and also Aunty’s lunch and gift during return time.
My toughest time was in the station as not having slept and passing around 5 hrs, was a very tough task. I really struggled for those 5 hrs. I skipped the lunch so that it does not worsen my situation. The moment I boarded the train. ate my lunch and just slept. In fact, the TTE woke me up to verify the ticket and he immediately saw me off seeing my RED eyes probably.
Anyways, this journey from New Delhi to Bhubaneswar, I just slept and slept like a hell. The next day I reached home.
Now, here is the second part of the story. I got my tooth operated on Saturday and had to live on liquid for 2 days then.
The pain is still there but it was an important one. So, now I am without my wisdom tooth on both sides but I hope my wisdom does not leave me at least for couple of years so that I can get the thing I want badly in my life.
Well, I am back now to Bangalore and joined office. Have some work to do and catch on my pending tasks soon so as not to lose the momentum. All in all, I end this post wishing the newly wed couple Abhinav and Sonam a very great happy married life. And Sonam, feel free to touch base me for anything about Abhinav. I know almost everything.

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15 December 2007 was a very special day for me. I was in USA last year at this time. I remember that it was Saturday. I started from Bangalore on 15 December, 2007 Saturday morning to reach San Francisco on the same day evening Pacific time. It was my first overseas travel and that also to a dream destination, where I always wanted to be.

Those 2.5 months of stay changed my whole perspective of life. Earlier, I wanted to be in India but that visit changed me to go back there. It did not happen till I was there. But the moment I came back to India, I knew what I was missing. Its not only the vibrant nature and beauty but also the energy and power. My struggle became tougher once I came back. I was filled with higher aspirations, much bigger dreams and higher courage to reach those heights. I can say that I was fortunate enough to have visited California on my first overseas travel. The whole state was amazing. One could easily feel the vibrancy of entrepreneurship and risk-taking nature of people around. There was something different there where I guess nowhere can be found. People are always bubbling with so much energy and passion for fulfilling their dreams.

15 December, 2008 and I am in India and struggling but with a hope that one day I will be in such an environment where I can make all my dreams come true. I never remembered this difference and I happened to talk to one of my colleague who went to USA with me on the same day. Fortunately or unfortunately, he mentioned the date to me and the mention was enough to put me back into frustration again.

I just hope 15 December, 2009 won’t be the same at all.

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Well, after beating the horrible traffic today to travel 7km from office back to the home in 1.5 hrs, I somehow thought of completing this post as planned earlier. Never before such a thing happened to me. I usually dream a lot but I must confess I am mostly a day dreamer, who believes in flying against the wind always. I always fall but never learn rather get up to take the same old thing bang again.

But the dream that I am going to talk about is not an ordinary dream. I usually don’t see such dreams. For the first time, I saw a girl in my dreams. I can describe her completely but she was one of the most beautiful, smart and intelligent girls that I would have ever met. The importance of a girl in my dream gains its importance as the dream unfolds as she turns to be my genuine love. I felt her in my arms, in my soul and in my life and she always seem to have reciprocated me with same enthusiasm and passion. It was just perfect and I would have ever imagined. The relationship does sail through the happy times and then goes through a roller coaster of convincing parents of both sides. Eventually, I could not see the ending but I do expect now to have a good and happy ending.

Life has always been a tough challenge for me but I am not at all willing to give up. But this one thing I don’t want to complicate at all. I would be dishonest if I don’t confess that parents do want me to get married now; in fact if I say yes then it could be right now. But honestly, I don’t like arranged marriages at all, thus, making me a strong supporter of love marriages. So, let’s hope for the latter but at least not now as I am not at ll ready and prepared for it.

But the real point is why that dream came now when it did not come before? Why such a dream where the beauty of a relationship is so strong that one cannot deny at all and must go on to accept it eventually? I really hope that the timing is definitely wrong for the dream but I would definitely love to be in such a relationship but when: I don’t know but not at least now. Usually my dreams always get thrashed but this one too…

I do believe in one time true love though I cannot deny being in so-called casual relationships a lot of times in my life. But for this one I will wait and I am sure I will get it too at a right time.

In the words of William Shakespeare,

Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs.
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes.
Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers’ tears.
What is it else?
A madness most discreet,
a choking gall and a preserving sweet.

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Recently, with the recession knocking at the doors and the global financial meltdown, Warren Buffet seems to be unaffected as he bought shares of Goldman Sachs and commented that if the market continues its run like no, he may have 100% equity in the US market. So, I present an article from rediff.com of Warren’s tactics:

Back in 1999, Robert G Hagstrom wrote a book about the legendary investor Warren Buffett, entitled The Warren Buffett Portfolio. What’s so great about the book, and what makes it different from the countless other books and articles written about the “Oracle of Omaha” is that it offers the reader valuable insight into how Buffett actually thinks about investments. In other words, the book delves into the psychological mindset that has made Buffett so fabulously wealthy.

Although investors could benefit from reading the entire book, we’ve selected a bite-sized sampling of the tips and suggestions regarding the investor mindset and ways that an investor can improve their stock selection that will help you get inside Buffett’s head.

Think of stocks as a business
Many investors think of stocks and the stock market in general as nothing more than little pieces of paper being traded back and forth among investors, which might help prevent investors from becoming too emotional over a given position but it doesn’t necessarily allow them to make the best possible investment decisions.

That’s why Buffett has stated he believes stockholders should think of themselves as “part owners” of the business in which they are investing. By thinking that way, both Hagstrom and Buffett argue that investors will tend to avoid making off-the-cuff investment decisions, and become more focused on the longer term.

Furthermore, longer-term “owners” also tend to analyze situations in greater detail and then put a great eal of thought into buy and sell decisions. Hagstrom says this increased thought and analysis tends to lead to improved investment returns.

Increase the size of your investment
While it rarely – if ever – makes sense for investors to “put all of their eggs in one basket,” putting all your eggs in too many baskets may not be a good thing either. Buffett contends that over-diversification can hamper returns as much as a lack of diversification. That’s why he doesn’t invest in mutual funds. It’s also why he prefers to make significant investments in just a handful of companies.

Buffett is a firm believer that an investor must first do his or her homework before investing in any security. But after that due diligence process is completed, an investor should feel comfortable enough to dedicate a sizable portion of assets to that stock. They should also feel comfortable in winnowing down their overall investment portfolio to a handful of good companies with excellent growth prospects.

Buffett’s stance on taking time to properly allocate your funds is furthered with his comment that it’s not just about the best company, but how you feel about the company. If the best business you own presents the least financial risk and has the most favorable long-term prospects, why would you put money into your 20th favorite business rather than add money to the top choices?

Reduce portfolio turnover
Rapidly trading in and out of stocks can potentially make an individual a lot of money, but according to Buffett this trader is actually hampering his or her investment returns. That’s because portfolio turnover increases the amount of taxes that must be paid on capital gains and boosts the total amount of commission dollars that must be paid in a given year.

The “Oracle” contends that what makes sense in business also makes sense in stocks: An investor should ordinarily hold a small piece of an outstanding business with the same tenacity that an owner would exhibit if he owned all of that business.

Investors must think long term. By having that mindset, they can avoid paying huge commission fees and lofty short-term capital gains taxes. They’ll also be more apt to ride out any short-term fluctuations in the business, and to ultimately reap the rewards of increased earnings and/or dividends over time.

Develop alternative benchmarks
While stock prices may be the ultimate barometer of the success or failure of a given investment choice, Buffett does not focus on this metric. Instead, he analyzes and pores over the underlying economics of a given business or group of businesses. If a company is doing what it takes to grow itself on a profitable basis, then the share price will ultimately take care of itself.

Successful investors must look at the companies they own and study their true earnings potential. If the fundamentals are solid and the company is enhancing shareholder value by generating consistent bottom-line growth, the share price, in the long term, should reflect that.

Learn to think in probabilities
Bridge is a card game in which the most successful players are able to judge mathematical probabilities to beat their opponents. Perhaps not surprisingly, Buffett loves and actively plays the game, and he takes the strategies beyond the game into the investing world.

Buffett suggests that investors focus on the economics of the companies they own (in other words the underlying businesses), and then try to weigh the probability that certain events will or will not transpire, much like a Bridge player checking the probabilities of his opponents’ hands. He adds that by focusing on the economic aspect of the equation and not the stock price, an investor will be more accurate in his or her ability to judge probability.

Thinking in probabilities has its advantages. For example, an investor that ponders the probability that a company will report a certain rate of earnings growth over a period of five or 10 years is much more apt to ride out short-term fluctuations in the share price. By extension, this means that his investment returns are likely to be superior and that he will also realize fewer transaction and/or capital gains costs.

Recognise the psychological aspects of investing
Very simply, this means that individuals must understand that there is a psychological mindset that the successful investor tends to have. More specifically, the successful investor will focus on probabilities and economic issues and let decisions be ruled by rational, as opposed to emotional, thinking.

More than anything, investors’ own emotions can be their worst enemy. Buffett contends that the key to overcoming emotions is being able to “retain your belief in the real fundamentals of the business and to not get too concerned about the stock market.”

Investors should realise that there is a certain psychological mindset that they should have if they want to be successful and try to implement that mindset.

Ignore market forecasts
There is an old saying that the Dow “climbs a wall of worry”. In other words, in spite of the negativity in the marketplace, and those who perpetually contend that a recession is “just around the corner”, the markets have fared quite well over time. Therefore, doomsayers should be ignored.

On the other side of the coin, there are just as many eternal optimists who argue that the stock market is headed perpetually higher. These should be ignored as well.

In all this confusion, Buffett suggests that investors should focus their efforts of isolating and investing in shares that are not currently being accurately valued by the market. The logic here is that as the stock market begins to realize the company’s intrinsic value (through higher prices and greater demand), the investor will stand to make a lot of money.

Wait for the fat pitch
Hagstrom’s book uses the model of legendary baseball player Ted Williams as an example of a wise investor. Williams would wait for a specific pitch (in an area of the plate where he knew he had a high probability of making contact with the ball) before swinging. It is said that this discipline enabled Williams to have a higher lifetime batting average than the average player.

Buffett, in the same way, suggests that all investors act as if they owned a lifetime decision card with only 20 investment choice punches in it. The logic is that this should prevent them from making mediocre investment choices and hopefully, by extension, enhance the overall returns of their respective portfolios.

Bottom Line
“The Warren Buffett Portfolio” is a timeless book that offers valuable insight into the psychological mindset of the legendary investor Warren Buffett. Of course, if learning how to invest like Warren Buffett were as easy as reading a book, everyone would be rich! But if you take that time and effort to implement some of Buffett’s proven strategies, you could be on your way to better stock selection and greater returns.

 

Courtesy: Rediff

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I am going to remember this Nov 4 and Nov 5 (India time) for some time to come, atleast. I got freaked out on one of the important days of my life. Probably, it wanted me to work more harder and have patience with believe in GOD to sail through some the toughest time of my life. At almost the same time, America created a history by having the first black President. I always believed, no matter what, USA is just a dreamland for people like me who dreams to make it big in such a short period of their life. Just keeping my fingers crossed with good things in mind for the future, here I present you the speech given by Obama at Chicago after winning the Presidential Election, Come On Obama, I want to witness the CHANGE eagerly that you talk about:

OBAMA:  Hello, Chicago. If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It’s the answer that led those who’ve been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment change has come to America.

A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Senator McCain. Senator McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he’s fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.

I congratulate him; I congratulate Governor Palin for all that they’ve achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart, and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton … and rode with on the train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years … the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation’s next first lady … Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia … I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us …to the new White House.

And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother’s watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight. I know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters, thank you so much for all the support that you’ve given me. I am grateful to them.

And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe … the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best _ the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.

To my chief strategist David Axelrod … who’s been a partner with me every step of the way. To the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics … you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy … who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

“I know you didn’t do this just to win an election and I know you didn’t do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime, two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.

“Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor’s bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you, we as a people will get there.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!

OBAMA : There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it’s been done in America for 221 years _ block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers. In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

Let’s remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity. Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

For that’s the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we’ve already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight’s about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons _ because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America _ the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

AUDIENCE : Yes we can.

OBAMA: When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can.

OBAMA: She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that We Shall Overcome. Yes we can.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can.

OBAMA: A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can.

OBAMA : America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves _ if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

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