Jewel of the Night


By Somali K Chakrabarti

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A canoe set sail
in the middle of the night
The boy saw a jewel
hanging from the sky
When wind pushed the boat
to the beat of waves
The jewel slid down
and rested at the edge
The boy thus tempted,
cast his net and hook
Little did he know
that the moon was a crook
Beckoning him with a smile,
The moon lit the sea
As fast as he could,
the boy sailed forth in his reverie
“Come up here,” he heard the moon say
But the horizon, forever
held him at bay
For a long time,  moon kept up the play
then it dipped into the sea
…and quietly slipped away

© Somali K Chakrabarti, 2016

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Lei: A wreath for your soul  is a string of short poems reflecting on nature, life, illusion and inspiration.Lei

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10 Quotes on Why Too Many Choices Can Make It Harder To Choose


By Somali K Chakrabarti


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could.

ROBERT FROST in The Road Not Taken

Life is all about the choices we make. Time and again, we come across situations when we must choose one option over the other. Much like multiple choice questions, of the many given alternatives, we need to select the one, which under the given circumstances seems to be the best, correct or most optimum as compared to the others. Though there is something very exciting and liberating about the ability to choose and most of the times we crave for choice, yet, the decision to choose can be stressful too.


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Five long term actions for controlling air pollution in Delhi


China will trap its smog and turn them into diamonds. 

– World Economic Forum 

As bizarre as it sounds, this video posted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on their Facebook page claims that China will tackle Beijing’s air pollution problem by turning the carbon from smog particles into a diamonds.

If at all such a technology is practically and economically feasible then maybe it is time for our Delhi government to explore the possibility of use of such a Technology, the pollution levels in Delhi being at its highest and one of the worst in the world.


While the schools remain shut for three days, all constructions and demolitions have been banned for five days, as usual the center and the state government are busy leveling charges against each other as to who is to be blamed for the smog that shrouds Delhi. Whereas Delhi govt sites crop burning in Punjab as the major reason for pollution, the central govt says that 80% of the pollution is caused inside the city.

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Dynamic Asset Allocation Funds – strive for growth, limit loss

Dynamic Asset Allocation Funds – strive for growth, limit loss

 Buy Low, Sell High

Though, we all know that for generating reasonable returns, any investor should ‘Buy Low and Sell High’, yet, for an individual investor this is easier said than done.  It is not only difficult to track the market on a continual basis, while diversifying the risk, but it is also difficult to have the heart to buy beaten down stocks when market has fallen substantially and sentiments are running low.

Besides, with increase in losses, the gain needed to break-even also increases. Moreover, for an investor, the pain of selling a stock at a loss far exceeds the pleasure of selling the stock at an equal amount of gain. Hence, the importance of containing the downside to the portfolio cannot be emphasized enough.


That is where the expertise and knowledge of a fund manager comes into play – in selection of appropriate asset class at any given time while lessening the psychological pain of investors.

Dynamic Asset Allocation Strategy

Balancing exuberance with caution, a dynamic asset allocation strategy uses the market volatility as an opportunity for switching between asset classes to benefit from growth of equity market while reducing the volatility of returns.

With the example of ICICI Prudential Balanced Advantage Fund, I proceed to explain how a dynamic asset allocation strategy allows for capital appreciation, while limiting the impact of loses on your portfolio.


ICICI Prudential Balanced Advantage Fund (BAF)

BAF is based on the wisdom of buying low and selling high.



Using an in-house Price –to-Book Value (P/BV) Model, the fund allocates higher in equity when the Equity Market Valuation is low and reduces its equity exposure when the Equity Market Valuation is high. The equity exposure of the fund, which is a blend of large and midcap stocks, varies from 30% – 80%. A core debt portfolio is used for rebalancing.

This minimizes the role of emotions in investment decisions and helps to remove the psychological barriers (greed and fear) for its investors. The investor, thus, stands to gain more in a rising market and lose comparatively lesser when the market falls.


Alternative to Fixed Deposits

Asset allocation by individuals is driven by their risk appetite, market opportunities, and the liquidity requirement from their investment at any given time.  The most common instrument into which most retail investors in India put their money are fixed deposits (FDs).

BAF is a great alternative to FD for parking cash. The returns have been consistently higher in comparison to FDs. The fund also offers an Automatic Withdrawal Plan to manage your monthly cash requirements. Additionally, BAF generates tax savings for investors. The returns from BAF become tax free after one year while the returns from FDs continue to be taxed. 


Derivative Strategy

To qualify for such equity-like tax treatment, it is mandatory that the funds’ exposure to equity must remain at 65%. But, as mentioned above, the BAF equity exposure varies from 30% – 80%. In order to maintain the equity exposure at 65%, in rising market conditions, whenever the fund’s allocation to equities is reduced below 65%, portfolio re-balancing is done by investing the remaining amount (short of 65%) in derivatives, and the rest in fixed income securities. 


Returns in All Types of Market Conditions

ICICI Prudential BAF Returns


Though past performance may not necessarily be indicative of performance in future, it is reasonable to point out that as per MFI data in % CAGR terms, the fund has consistently outperformed both standard benchmarks Sensex and Nifty since March 01, 2013 to Sep 30, 2016, thus creating wealth for the investors.  The fund has a consistent dividend history as well.

The ability to generate good returns in all types of market conditions makes BAF suitable for investors with a moderate risk appetite, seeking long term wealth creation while limiting the downside. 


A dynamic asset allocation fund could be a most suitable investment option when the equity market valuations are not very attractive. #TarakkiTalks

Also, it helps to remember that an investment horizon of 3 – 5 years is needed to reap the full advantage of such a fund. 

This post is written in collaboration with Blogmint and ICICIPrudential.

Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully. Investors should consult financial advisors, when in doubt about the suitability of a product for them.


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