Options Trading Tutorial: Free Education Video

Options are derivative instruments used for both hedging and speculative purposes. 

By definition an option is a legal contract in which the writer (seller) of the contract grants to the buyer, the right to purchase from or sell to the writer a designated instrument or a scrip at a specified price within a specified period of time. 

The right to purchase a specified stock is called the Call option, while the right to sell a specified stock is called Put option. 

There exist many option strategies (tactics), which involves different combination of Calls and Puts, for hedging as well as speculation. Some of such strategies are Bull Call Spread, Bear Call Spread, Call Backspread, Covered Call, The Collar etc.

The following Options Strategies Course is designed to show how options work as a tool for hedging positions and how they can be used for speculative purposes.

Century old tax benefits might end for U.S oil companies

American president, Barack Obama, urged congress to abolish $4 billion of annual oil and natural gas subsidies and shift those savings to research on clean-energy fuels. 

Last year, the three biggest U.S. oil companies took home more than $80 billion in profit and they can stand on their own now, said Mr. President. 

Ending such breaks would reduce the deficit by $41 billion over a decade, according to Obama’s budget for fiscal 2013.

Rich Dad Poor Dad PDF ebook - Free Download

Robert T. Kiyosaki authored "Rich dad Poor Dad", which sold millions of copies all over the world has been "The New York Times" and "The Wall Street Journal" best seller. 

USA Today quoted "Rich dad Poor dad is a starting point for anyone looking to gain control of their financial future" while JP Morgan Company declared the book a must read for Millionaires. 

Robert Kiyosaki says that "the main reason people struggle financially is because they have spent years in school but learned nothing about money. The result is that people learn to work for money but never learn to have money work for them"

Use the following link to download the ebook: Rich Dad Poor Dad PDF

Nalco (National Aluminium Co.) Stake Sale

Govt. of India is looking to sell 10 percent stake in the state run Aluminium producing company NALCO (National Aluminium Company Ltd.) which could fetch the govt. around Rs.1400 crores at the current market price of Rs 55. As part of divestment program the govt. recently concluded auction of ONGC shares and has also launched NBCC IPO. 

NALCO is Asia's largest integrated aluminium complex, encompassing bauxite mining, alumina refining, aluminium smelting and casting, power generation, rail and port operations.

NALCO's total market cap, at the current market price of Rs.55, is about 14,200 crores and GOI holds around 87 percent in the company. 

52 Week High / Low for the stock as on 27th March 2012 was 102 / 48

Japanese stock markets @ 52 week high

Japan's benchmark index Nikkei hit its highest closing level on Tuesday since a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered a radiation crisis on March 11 last year. The index rose 2.4%, or 236.91 points, to 10,255.15, while the broader Topix index also climbed 2.4% to 872.42.

The Nikkei has surged 21.3% so far this year in 2012 due to robust US economic data and easing programmes by global central banks.

But Japanese equities are still considered undervalued compared with their global peers. The Topix carries a 12-month forward price-to-book ratio of 0.98 compared with the S&P 500's 2.0.

Use the following link to view Nikkei One year Chart

Stock Market in a Nutshell: A Graphical Summary

Stocks and Stock Markets in one view

List of Top Stock Brokers in India

Indian Stock Markets have a come long way in past two decades in terms of governance, simplicity, security and participation. Now investors from all over the world are participating in Indian equities like never before. 

The participation of retail investors, though relatively low when compared to developed worlds, have also gone up significantly since past 20 years, thanks to the increasing income of urban India. Experts believe that equity investments in India should go up substantially higher from the current levels in next 10 years. 

This opportunity has given birth to thousands of stock brokers in India. Many domestic and international banks in India have started offering stock broking and DEMAT services via separate subsidiaries. 

While one can choose any authorised stock broker for buying and selling equities in India depending upon the location convenience, charges and other factors but its worth to stay with large broking houses as they provide multiple branch facility and professional service. 

Following is a list of top ten stock brokers in India in terms of size, popularity and scale of operation. 

The Richest Man in Babylon ebook PDF: Free Download

George Clayson authored "The Richest Man in Babylon" is the most inspiring book ever written on wealth. This best selling book is reveals the success secrets of ancient Babylonian parables and has been hailed as the greatest inspirational work on financial planning and personal wealth.

The Richest Man in Bablyon is an excellent book. Although small in size, it is packed with powerful information that can be life changing. It has helped many people become millionaires. 

The book is a must reading for anyone who wants to achieve maximum financial success. 

Use the following link the download the ebook: The richest man in babylon pdf

The Coal Mining Scam in India

After 2G Scam of 2011, the fresh allegation for allocating valuable coal block to hundreds of private miners without auction has hit the UPA govt. even harder. As per leaked CAG report, the government of India has lost up to $210 billion or Rs.10.67 Lakh Crores in revenue by selling coal deposits too cheaply.

Opposition parties reacted with outrage in parliament on Thursday 22nd March 2012 to the report, which was leaked to a newspaper. The session was adjourned and the government said it would respond once it had verified the facts. BJP has demanded a CBI probe into the allotment of coal blocks and monitoring of the probe by a court.

According to the CAG draft report, the government extended undue benefits totalling a Rs 10.67 lakh crore to commercial entities by giving them 155 coal acreages without auction between 2004 and 2009.

The Coal scam if proved will the mother of all scams in India, which would tarnish the image of the country severely. Jindal Steel and Power is one of the company which has benefited significantly from the above coal mines allocation and hence has taken a significant knock since the news broke out.

In 2006, the government introduced the Bill for auction of coal blocks.But the government did not pass the Bill till 2010. 17 billion tonnes of coal reserve in 73 blocks were distributed to private companies.

A similar investigation over the allocation of telecom licences led to huge protests that rocked Singh's government last year and landed former telecom minister A Raja and several company executives in jail. In the telecom scandal, officials are accused of taking bribes to favour certain companies.

Crude Oil Cess impact on Oil Companies

Higher international crude prices since the start of 2012 have kept the shares of oil producing companies specially Cairn, ONGC and Oil India, buoyant on the hope of better realization. But budget 2012 brought surprise for these companies and investors. 

The finance minister seemingly wanted a share of the pie. The cess on crude got increased from Rs 2,500 a tonne to Rs 4,500 a tonne. This effectively means a decline of $5 a barrel in crude oil realisation. While this will add Rs 7,500-8,000 crore to the government’s kitty, the cess will negatively impact earnings of companies like ONGC, OIL and Cairn. Deutsche Bank estimated the negative impact on earnings at 15 per cent for Oil India, nine per cent for ONGC and seven per cent for Cairn India.

The current cess hike adds to the pain of govt. owned OIL and ONGC which are sharing a major part of subsidy burden of selling the fuels at a prices below the cost of production. The actual government subsidy for FY12 would be Rs 85,000 crore and the subsidy share of upstream companies would be close to 40 per cent.

Tax Savings on Infrastructure Bonds in India withdrawn in FY 2012 - 2013

In FY 2010 an additional deduction was introduced to encourage investors to save money into infrastructure bonds. Under this new scheme a person could invest upto Rs. 20,000 on which no tax will be imposed. The most important part of the entire action was this was an additional benefit as compared to the Rs 1 lakh investment limit under Section 80C. So in financial year 2010 people were able to save upto RS.1,20,000 without paying any income tax. The bonds had a lock in period of five years.

The manner in which this section was structured was that this was applicable initial for just one financial year and this was later extended for one more financial year which meant that the benefit was available for the financial year 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Now there is no mention of this act in budget 2012 which essentially means that the tax benefit on Infrastructure bonds is no longer available from 1st April 2012 onwards. So eventually it nullifies the increase in the basic tax slab which has been increased to Rs 2 lakh from earlier Rs.1.8 lakh.

This is negative for individuals as well as infrastructure companies which raised lot of low interest capital from individual investors in last two years. Infrastructure in this country is bleeding and there was a hope that the limit would be increased to encourage more infrastructure developments. But unfortunately the limit has been reduced to Zero. Thanks to this so called pro-reform government.

Income Tax Calculator 2012 - 2013

The personal Income tax slabs have been revised in budget 2012. Though the limits have been raised marginally, there will be more savings for people earning more than 8 lakh per annum.
  • The basic Income tax exemption limit raised to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1.8 lakh.
  • Rs 2 lakh - 5 lakh taxed at 10%.
  • Rs 5 Lakh - 10 lakh at 20%. Previous year band was 5 lakh  - 8 Lakh.
  • Above Rs 10 lakh taxed at 30%.

So as per the revised slabs now you can calculate your income tax liability for FY-13 using either the following form based calculator: Income Tax Calulator 2012 - 2013 or Excel based calculator: Income Tax calculator excel download

India 2012 - 2013 GDP at 7.6 percent - Economic Survey

The Indian Government's 2102 economic survey has projected the economic growth at about 7.6% in the next fiscal 2012-13, up from 6.9% estimated in 2011-12 on the back of declining inflation and softening interest rate. It expects the economic growth to further improve to 8.6% in 2013-14.

The economic survey suggest that fiscal consolidation is likely to get back on track from 2012-13, when savings and capital formation will also begin to improve.

The survey pegs FY12 farm growth at 2.5% while services sector growth pegged at 9.4%.

Use the following link to check out the Economic Survey 2012 Highlights

Indian WPI Inflation for Feb - 2012 at 6.95 Percent

Wholesale Price Index (WPI) went up by 6.95% in February against 6.55% in January because of sharp increase in food prices, especially vegetables and protein-based items.

WPI Inflation in February 2011 was at 9.54%.

Food inflation was 6.07% in February against - 0.52% in January. Food articles have 14.3% share in the WPI basket.

Prices of manufactured items, which has around 65% weight in the WPI index, went up by 5.75% YoY in February, as against 6.49% in the previous month.

The headline inflation numbers for December was revised to 7.74% from 7.47%.

Railway Budget - 2012: Highlights

Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi has presented his first rail budget on 14th March. 

Following are some of the  crucial highlights of the Budget 2012.

  • Recommendation of kakodkar Committee on Saftey to be implemented.
  • To set up Railway Research Development Council.
  • To set up Independent Railway Safety Authority.
  • 12th Plan Investment on Railways at 7.35 lakh Crores
  • Railway Safety fund pegged at 16,842 crores.
  • Targets passenger speed of 160 km an hour. 
  • Plan to modernise 19,000 km through renewals.
  • To allocate Rs 4,410 crore on capacity augmentation work. 
  • New coaching complex in Panvel. 
  • To facilitate running to heavier trains.
  • Travel time from Delhi to Kolkata will get reduced from 17 hours to 14 hours. 
  • Introduction of new wagons and auto car are planned.
  • Allocation of Rs 6,700 cr made under new line plan.
  • To spend Rs 63,212 cr on track modernisation in 5 years
  • Plans to introduce GPS in Railways.
  • To allocate 100 stations via PPP in next 5 years.
  • Doubling of lines of 750 km to be completed in FY12-13.
  • New lines to be set up for Kolkata Metro.
  • To set up elevated suburban corridors in Navi Mumbai.
  • First class Ac fares have been raised by as much as 30 paise per km. 
  • The increase in other classes is: 15 paise per km for AC 2-tier travellers, 10 paise for 3-tier passengers and three paise per km for sleeper class.
  • Fares on suburban networks have become dearer by two paise per km.
  • Platform tickets will now cost Rs 5 versus Rs 3 currently.
  • 21 new passenger and 75 new express trains to be launched.
  • Wait-listed passengers to get alternate train reservations.
  • Green toilets to be installed in 2,500 coaches in next one year.
  • Gross traffic receipts of Rs 1,32,552 cr as eyed in FY13.
  • Revised earning estimates at Rs 28,800 cr.
  • Freight earning at Rs 89,339 cr for FY 13.
  • Railways paid dividend of over Rs 5,600 cr despite difficult finances.
Use the following link to download the full budget highlights:

The Millionaire Next Door PDF ebook: Free Download

Thomas Stanely and Willam Danko authored "The Millionaire Next Door", which went more than three years as New York Times Best Seller, demonstrates seven rules to follow if you want to join the elite club of dollar millionaires. 

After spending 20 years interviewing members of this elite club Dr. Stanley and Danko found surprising characteristics that reveals fundamental qualities of this group that are diametrically opposed to today's earn-and-consume culture, including living below their means, allocating funds efficiently , choosing the right occupation etc. Its an excellent book for those who want to achieve that respectful millionaire tag.

Use the following link to download the book in PDF format or read online: The Millionaire Next Door PDF

Market Cap to GDP Ratio: U.S Stock Markets Valuation Technique

Warren Buffett once said that the percentage of total market cap (TMC) to the United States GNP is probably the best measure of where valuations stand at any given moment.

In the past forty years U.S Stock Market history, the TMC to GNP ratio has varied within a very wide range. The ratio was lowest at 0.35 times in the previous deep recession of 1982, while the highest point was 1.48 during the tech bubble in 2000. As a rule of thumb we can broadly divide the market valuation in the five bands based on past records:

Ratio < 0.5 - Significantly Undervalued
0.5 < Ratio < 0.75 - Modestly Undervalued
0.75 < Ratio < 0.90 - Fair Valued
0.90 < Ratio < 1.15 - Modestly Overvalued
Ratio > 1.15 - Significantly Ovdrvalued

As on 13th March 2012 the ratio is 0.96 which suggest that US stock markets are moderately overvalued. Hence investors should cautiously select stocks which are undervalued and provide good yields.

Warren Buffett Portfolio Performance History

Berkshire Hathaway performance history (1980 - 2012)

Warren Buffett, the oracle of Omaha, who turned the loss making textile company Berkshire Hathaway into the world's largest holding company, follows the value investing strategy of Benjamin Graham. 

Buffett prefers to acquire great companies trading at a discount to their intrinsic value, and  hold them for a very long time. He only invests in businesses that he understands.  Using simple investing strategies he has outperformed S&P 500 by wide margin. 

Below is the brief snapshot of returns generated by Berkshire Hathaway over 5 years, 10 years and since inception.

Use the following link to download the year wise performance comparison table of Warren Buffett Portfolio and S&P 500. Warren Buffett Performance

Buy Hindalco Industries

InvestorZclub is recommending a buy on dips on Hindalco Industries in the region of Rs.130 to 135 for 1 year target return of at least 30%. Some of strong reasons for the recommendation are:

1. Trading at discount to current year FY 2012 Book Value. The FY-12 book value for the stock is expected to be Rs.165 while FY-13 book value should be at least Rs.175. The PE ratio for the current year is around 12 times.

2. The European subsidiary - Novelis which is cash positive but reports loss on net level is selling its loss making foil business in three countries which could bring it to green next year provided aluminium prices are supportive.

3. Copper inventory level in LME warehouses are at very low levels which should keep  copper prices buoyant (See the charts below).  Hindalco Industries is India's largest copper producer and produces around 3,40,000 tonnes of copper every year.

4. The US economy is showing very strong signs of pick up which should keep commodities buoyant while the news of china slowdown seems to be discounted in the metal prices specially aluminium which is down 20% since the start of 2012.

5. The stock seems to be taking strong support in 125 - 130 region. 52 week high low for the stock is 224 / 111.

Couple of concerns and risks ahead for the stock and the company are:

1. High Aluminium inventory levels in LME warehouses (See the charts below) could put further pressure on Aluminium which could in turn affect the company's profitability going forward. But better than expected recovery in US and rate cycle reversal in India, which could in turn increase demand for cars (large consumer of Aluminium), should help in supporting the price which is already down 20% since Jan 2012.

2. Sudden problem in European region could affect the demand for the products that Novelis make. As a result of which the numbers might turn bad for Hindalco Industries on consolidated basis.

Charts Courtsey: Kitco.com

Impact of China's Economic growth slowdown on India

The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao recently stated that the government was targeting a growth of 7.5 per cent in 2012. The fears of chinese economic slowdown has been prevailing since past couple of years which is now becoming a reality. 

While there is no hard landing, the world has become accustomed to China growing at 10 percent per annum. So, any slowdown would have global impact. Also, as China is the largest importer of base metals (lead, zinc, aluminium, copper and nickel), the slowdown has made commodities market nervous. Most global commodity stocks like Alcoa, Rio Tinto, Tata Steel, Hindalco are down significantly in past one week or so.

Given that China is the world’s largest consumer of base metals, any slowdown in growth would impact the consumption of these metals and, consequently, their prices. Commodity experts expect aluminum and copper prices to come under pressure. Nickel, too, is expected to remain weak due to higher stocks at the London Metal Exchange warehouses.

But all is not that bad when viewed from India's perspective. India is not a big exporter of base metals. It is a net exporter of iron ore, but since most of these are to Japan, a slowing Chinese demand may not hurt iron ore exports. Given that India is also an importer of base metals, weaker prices of commodities will be beneficial. Despite base metal prices coming under strain, experts do not expect any crash yet, given the US economy is recovering and Europe is not in as much trouble as was anticipated a few months ago.

Slower Chinese growth wll surely affect commodity-exporting countries like Canada and Australia but India is not a big producer in the commodity market and therefore, the impact would be limited to metal producers. The slowing Chinese demand could well be compensated by a pick-up in demand from the US, Europe and other BRIC economies.

Top 10 richest people in the world - 2012

List of top ten most richest people on Earth

Carlos Slim: Mexican business magnet with networth exceeding $69 billion.

Bill Gates: Networth - $61 billion, founder of Microsoft Corp.

Warren Buffett: $44 billion, founder of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Bernard Arnault: Worth  - $41 billion, LVMH Moet Hennessy

Armancio Ortega:  At position five in 2012 worth at least $37.5 billion, Zara International

Larry Ellison: At position six with networth exceeding $36 billion, founder Oracle Corp.

Eike Batista: Networth $30 billion, mining and oil industries.

Stefan Persson: Networth - $26 billion, owner of clothing chain H&M.

Li Ka-shing: At position nine having networth $25.5 billion invests in diversified industries.

Karl Albrecht: Networth $25.4 billion, owner of discount supermarket chain Aldi Group.

Use the following link to know more about the world Billionaires

Impact of 2012 Assembly Election On Stock Markets

Indian Stock Market witnessed volatile movements in the morning until the clear consensus emerged during noon that SP is going to come in UP with full majority. 

Initially when the markets opened at 9:15 A.M it went up based on a hope that Samajwadi Party might not get full majority and could pull in Congress to form the government in UP. But as the day progressed it became clear that SP would get full majority and won't require congress support. That made the Indian stock Markets very nervous and SENSEX fell more than 550 points from the highs of the day.

So what were the reasons for nervousness and what's the future?

1. With this defeat in UP and Punjab, UPA has become vulnerable to split where TMC and DMK are the major threats which could imbalance the government in centre and, who know, create a situation of mid term polls

2. The budget 2102 is now expected to be more of populist rather than economic. Consensus would suggest the Congress will get more cautious; i.e. effectively hand out more sops resulting in further fiscal slippages and move further away from reform – a mix that will be negative for the Macro.

Trading Idea: March 2012

Sell ONGC 320 Call at Rs 1.40 Premium

The recent auction of 5 percent govt's stake in ONGC has given very good trading opportunity. The floor price for the auction was set at Rs. 290 which was 3 percent higher than the 29th Feb closing price. As a result the response from institutional investors was muted and LIC had to step in to bail out the govt. 

Now since the auctinn is over and it is clearly visible that there is very little demand for the share beyond 290 - 300 levels, one can write 320 call of ONGC March expiry at the current market premium of Rs 1.40

Return from this trading strategy:

Assuming 1 lot of ONGC (1 lot = 1000) is sold at Rs 1.40
Total premium collected = 1000 * 1.4 = Rs 1400
Total Transaction cost assuming Brokerage cost including STT and other taxes at Rs. 50 per lot = Rs 50
Margin money required: Rs. 42,000 (14% of total call value)
Total return = 1350 / 42,000 = 3.2 % in 1 month

Risk: If ONGC moves past 321.4 and closes above this level then there will be a loss of Rs.1000 for every point above 321.4

Gordon Gekko Quotes - Wall Street Movie (1987 - 2010)

The iconic character Gordon Gekko played by Michael Douglas, who won Oscar for his role in Oliver Stone's Wall Street, has become so popular that FBI has hired Gordon Gekko aka Michael Douglas for Anti-Insider-Trading PSA

Following are some of the famous quotes by Mr. Gekko taken from his movies "Wall Street Part I & II"

“The mother of evil is speculation.”

“You are the Ninja Generation.  No income.  No job.  No assets.”

Bucks + Steroids = Leverage (Steroid Banking).

“Money is a she.  She sleeps in the bed with you with one eye open.  Next thing you know, she might be gone forever.”

“A fisherman always sees another fisherman from afar.”

“Moral hazard is when they take your money and then are not responsible for what they do with it.”

“Parents are the bones where children sharpen their teeth.”

To download the movie "Wall Street - Money Never Sleep" use the following link

Is US Economy Recovering?

Most economists and equity analysts on Wall Street feel that the recovery flight is taking off. But here is the truth.....

FII Investments in India crosses $7 billion till Feb 2012

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) have so far invested more than $7 billion in Indian Stock Markets till Feb 2012. More than $5 billion were pumped in the month of February alone. This is the highest monthly net investment by FIIs in equities since October 2010, where they had infused Rs 28,563 crore.

Market analysts attributed strong FII inflows to signs of an easing monetary policy and the subsequent impact of improved liquidity position. Analysts expects the positive trend to continue further, given that the liquidity conditions remain strong. Strong surge in FII inflows in 2012 so far has helped boost the equity markets which has jumped nearly 15% since January, as also the rupee.