To Buy or Not to Buy

Very often we get a good bargain and think that we are quite intelligent to get that bargain. Whereas in truth, the reason why we got the bargain could have been simply because we were lucky or just happened to be at the right place at the right time.

A friend of mine had bought Reliance Communications stocks at around Rs 480 per share sometime back and had been looking for an opportunity to average out the price.  The current market crash provided a great buy opportunity for him.  When the stock reached Rs 215, i bought a few.  My friend laughed at me and said that it will go down further.  Just as he predicted, the stock fell to Rs 209.  He put a buy trigger at Rs 205.  I advised him to buy it at Rs 209 itself as there was nothing great he was going to gain by buying a stock for 4 rupees cheaper when his idea has been to be a long term investor (a holding period of at least 2-3 years).

The stock zoomed from around 209 rupees to 263 rupees (as of 05/01/2009).  Even though he wanted to, he never got the opportunity to buy in as the stock has been on a northern journey ever since it was announced that Reliance Communications was going to offer GSM services all over India.  The chances of the stock now coming back to my friend’s expectaions are lower now.

One may say that he has lost nothing becuase he didnt buy anything.  No doubt its true, but he lost the chance of buying the stock at around 210 rupees. Had he bought the stock at Rs 210, he would have been sitting on Rs 53 profit per share within 15 days. Also, he lost the chance to average out the stock value which he had previously bought at around Rs 480.

The Lesson: Never try to time the market. If you truly believe in the stock and if you have done all your research into the fundamentals of the stock and the company, then go ahead and buy it.



  1. I have made a similar mistake in the past. I waited to buy Reliance Capital at 620 and refused to buy it 645 and later it had gone really high (I think 2400 at the highest point) … timing the market is not possible!!

    I have made similar mistakes while selling too and eventually sold for much lesser profits 😦

    I like such discussions !! Nice post:)

  2. Poonam says:

    yes, that’s a common mistake and I remember a childhood moral lalach buri bala hai

    I have watched this as a bystander for long, I dont know why I dont trade even though I have a demat account. 😦

  3. Anonymous says:

    which stocks wud u recommend to a a person who wants to do day trading buy at this point of time?:-)
    seriously. give an answer. dont say play it by the ear. this peson has defective hearing

  4. lazybug says:

    Tell me about it. I shd have had a Nikon D90 kit in my hand that would otherwise cost me at least 1.5 times the value offered. But I was too skeptical and before I made up my mind, someone ran away with the deal. darn!

  5. Quirky Indian says:

    @Liju: Very sensible advice….but even with such a simple thing, people make the most elementary mistakes.

    @anonymous: day trading means you have to sit in front of the terminal all day, else you’ll miss opportunities. Please don’t attempt it if you can’t do that. And most day-trading “tips” come on the day itself. 🙂


    Quirky Indian

  6. Liju Philip says:

    @IHM, even i have suffered from this syndrome a lot. Not that iam a whole lot wiser now, but ya a bit more cautious.

    @Poonam, its a good time now to buy into some good blue chip companies in small numbers. Many of them are available at cheaper prices.

    @Anon, i dont do day trading. Am a long term investor. So, no advise there 😉

    @Akhil, oh same here. I too have missed many great deals just because i couldnt make up my mind or was too apprehensive of the price.

    @QI, true. The worst mistakes are the simplest ones 😉

  7. sridhar says:

    now he can buy as much shares as he can of Reliance Communications @ 170 INR per share !!

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