Thursday, November 13, 2008

Stock Brokers Are Still Making Money - An Analysis of BSE Sensex Data

Wall Street Bull

And in short term too. You don't believe me?
Just check out the BSE Sensex prices over the past few days (rounded off).



You would see a remarkable consistency.

Ok. Now let us now check out what happened a year ago:




Did you expect the inter-day high and low in the BSE Sensex of Nov 2007 and 2008 to be similar? Except for 08-Nov-2007, when the fluctuation was the lowest (and hence less money was made) and 02-Nov-2007 when the fluctuation was the highest (when more money was made) the variation is largely confined within 430 to 596 in both the set of data. This is remarkable.

Now are you convinced that the stock-brokers are still making money?

Agreed that the analysis does not indicate if the inter-day high came before the inter-day low in the day or vice-versa, but one can make money the normal buy-low-sell-high way or by short-selling. Please understand that stock-brokers make money everyday.

But what of the ordinary investor? Surely, the average matters? The average of Nov-2007 is way above that today. So, someone who has invested money in Nov 2007 has lost out in Nov 2008. There is subtle difference between sensex falling and making profit/loss. One does not make loss just because sensex falls. One makes profit or loss only when you buy and sell. As long as you don't sell, you are fine. One just needs to ride out this wave. See here.

You are still not convinced? You are a tough nut ... I must say.
Ok this data is extracted from Against The Gods by Peter L. Bernstein.

In early 1930, right after the Great Crash, price of shares fell about 50% of their previous highs. Prices proceeded to fall another 80% before they finally hit the bottom in the fall of 1932. In 1955, the Dow Jones regained their old 1929 prices. Just nine years later, in 1964, the prices were double that of 1929 highs.

Now are you convinced?

Please note that the above analysis was done as this blog was typed out. I took November because this is November. So, it is possible that the conclusion arrived at is purely coincidental. Heck of a coincidence, I must say.

Note: The photograph used belongs to Myles Davidson. Please go here to see more such photographs

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