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31 August 2009


Congratulations are in order for Gautam, Alex and their team at MoneyVidya.Com for their excellant elevator pitch. Guys, our best wishes are with you. May you achieve all the success.

23 August 2009


In my previous post I had discussed a lesson (read here) that I had learnt from incorrect application of the wisdom shared by an investment guru - Peter Lynch. The stock in question was Network 18. 

Network 18 (NW 18) is a media conglomerate listed as a non-banking financial services company. It is essentially a holding company of the TV 18 group.

Its holdings can be divided into five lines of businesses :-
  1. Television
  2. Internet
  3. Publication
  4. News Content
  5. Films
In addition, it also runs some other related businesses which we'll see subsequently. Lets familiarise ourselves with the businesses first.

Television. This is the mainstay of the group. It is divided into two segments the business news and the general news and entertainment (GNE). CNBC TV18 and CNBC Awaaz are the business news channels while the GNE segment covers news with CNN-IBN, IBN 7 and the general entertainment with the Viacom 18 channels like Colors, MTV, Nickelodeon and VH1.

Internet. Primarily run under the Web 18 umbrella ( a subsidiary of TV 18), it has a whole host of free content sites like Moneycontrol.Com and In.Com etc. In addition it also runs two transaction sites - Yatra.Com and and two subscription based sites - PowerYourTrade.Com and JobStreet.Com.

Publication.  Infomedia 18, a listed subsidiary of TV 18 handles this end of the business. It publishes business magazines like the Forbes, Yellow Pages as also third party printing and publishing work and some special interest magazines.

Newscontent.  This is delivered by Newswire 18, a subsidiary of TV 18, in the form of real time data and news terminals, akin to Bloomberg.

Miscellaneous Businesses.  In addition, NW 18 directly runs an event management division (E18), a sports management division (Sports 18), media consultancy and a home shopping network (Homeshop 18). It also runs a subsidiary called Setpro 18 about which the management does not find it prudent enough to inform the shareholders. This is an indicator of an issue which I shall discuss subsequently.

Film.  The group's business interest in films is served by its affiliate The Indian Film Company.

 Got your head spinning didn't it? So let's try and clarify here. Two listed subsidiaries IBN18 ( for GNE) & TV18 (Business news , Internet business, publications and news content), films through affiliate the Indian film company and other businesses directly as divisions /subsidiaries. 

That's the lot. Go figure! 

Just kidding.  I think enough for one post.  In the next we will continue with the fundamentals and valuations.   

18 August 2009


When I started investing in equities, my 'Guru' told me to read, read and read more. So a good disciple that I was, I commenced reading on whatever 'literature' I could lay my hands on - directly or remotely associated with investments. (A sifted part of that reading is placed on my 'Shelfari' on the right side of the blog posts).

However the purpose of this post is not to give an expose' on my literary jaunts but to share a valueable lesson learnt.

In 2005, I read Peter Lynch's 'One Up On Wall Street'. Wonderfully written, lucid and jargon free, it appealed to me and I promptly wrote down all the lessons learnt. I proceeded to follow the underlying theme - use what you already know to make money in the market. Buy a stock whose product you use and like and you know a lot of people who feel the same way about it. Not in those many words but I gathered that was the general drift of the book.

That's pretty sound advice. Provided you can bridge the gap between knowing and doing. So I did! 

I have watched CNBC TV18 since - well probably back in 2000-01. I spent bulk of my TV hours watching it. My friends who invested did the same. Loads of my colleagues talked about it. I based a few of my early decisions on the discussions on its shows and liked the results too. The anchors are sophisticated, suave and critical without being offensive and not in the least pretentious.

So I went and bought the stock. Loads of it. I still like the channel. But not the stock. What happened? The annual report I read this time. Its amazing. Read about it in my next post.


This blog should not be construed as investment advice, either on behalf of particular stocks or in regard to overall investment strategies. It is a site aimed at understanding competitive advantages and valuing businesses. The information provided here comes from publicly accessible sources, but errors in these sources and in transcription may occur. Any investment decisions you make should be based solely on your evaluation of your financial circumstances, investment objectives, risk tolerance, and liquidity needs.