Thursday, December 29, 2022


Know whom to listen to. Know whom to consult for what. 

For example, to remove a brain  tumour go to the brain surgeon, by all means. If you get injured in an accident, head for the nearest hospital. 

But for advice on how to maintain and enhance your overall health, don't listen to doctors and scientists, and  don't listen to so called nutritionists. 

The question naturally arises, whom should you listen to? Unfortunately, you have to make that choice, based on your own independent judgement.

Because anyone can mislead you. 

Listen to everyone. But use your common sense.

Decide what is important to you, and what your priorities are, because your priorities and first principles will determine how you weigh the evidence, and which path you choose to take. 

Reject what is untrue, even if it comes from so called experts.

To decide what is true and untrue, it helps to go back to first principles. It helps to go back to the universal laws which cannot be broken. It helps to go back to ancient wisdom which has been formulated based on millennia of human experience.

It only helps, for to convert that to a practical template for living, you have to interpret it in today's context, and implement it  in a way that  fits your own unique individual requirements. 

It  helps to think for yourself. 

What you cannot do, at any cost, is to keep aside your questioning mind, and accept something at face value just because an "authority" says so.

You cannot outsource your thinking, in short.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022


Distributing Shareholder Wealth

Infy has announced a share buyback. If I hold Infy shares, should I take it?

It actually makes no difference to the individual shareholder like you and me, whether we take up the offer or not..

Very very theoretically, if I knew what Infy was worth, exactly, I should tender my offer for the buyback if the offer price is more than that intrinsic value and if I am sure the  market price is not going to reach there for some time.

Considering that it is impossible to know the intrinsic value of a share exactly and the fact that the share price fluctuates wildly anyway, that's not an easy call.

Then why does the Company announce a buyback?

It's a tax efficient way of distributing dividend, for the HNI shareholders of the company.

How is that the case?

Going back to the broad principles of dividend distribution, the company can distribute its surplus cash as dividends, or retain the earnings. If the company keeps on throwing up cash, like any software company does, and has no capital expenditure needs, then it cannot make use of the money internally. 

Acquisitions, or inorganic growth , is an option. But in many cases  that creates more problems than it solves. Acquiring for the sake of acquiring is not something the conservative Infy founders are likely to do.

Or , you need to be Reliance or Amazon. If it was an Ambani or a Bezos, they would invest that money in laying fibre optic cables across the country, or setting up data centres high up in the clouds. There is no end to the amount of cash that an Ambani can use for investing in infrastructure. Infy founders are not like that,  and in any case, if I were a shareholder of Infy, I would rather that they gave me my money, so that I can decide to invest it with a Bezos or an Ambani, or just use it to go on a holiday.

Great. The company thus decides to distribute the money. But this can become highly tax inefficient for the HNI shareholders. 

HNI's as a rule don't like "income" , they would prefer to earn all their money in the form of capital gains. 

Earning income is for idiots like us, the mango people, who keep slaving their butts off in order to pay the government. The rich always prefer capital gains.

World over, capital gains taxes are structured to be far far lower than income taxes. Capital gains taxes arise from holding assets. And who holds assets? The rich, of course. 

But how is this connected to dividend vs share buyback, you may ask. 

Well, when the company does a share buyback, it is using up its surplus money to buy its own shares and extinguish them. Assuming that the price for the buyback is fixed fairly, the pre buyback and post buyback value of the remaining  shares will be the same.

However, any future profits will have lesser claimants, since the shareholder base post buyback is lower. And that will increase the share value at a faster pace going forward.

So, if I hold Infy shares, should I offer them to the company for buyback?

It makes no difference, really.

Thursday, December 1, 2022


Wanted to buy rose syrup from the shop, but none was available. All the rose syrups available are full of synthetic ingredients. It is even doubtful whether they contain Rose at all.

Rose is very cooling for the body, and is a very good antidote for the typical lifestyles of today.

The benefits: 

Improving Digestion

Rose petals have been used for centuries as a digestive aid in the Middle East, and have been shown to help improve digestion and soothe pesky stomach troubles. When consumed as a tea, rose petals have a mild laxative effect that can help everything go smoothly when it comes to digestion

High in Antioxidants

Rose petals are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help to ward off harmful free radicals and promote cellular health within the body. They can also help to prevent degenerative diseases like cancer. If you're looking to up your antioxidant intake, you can't go wrong.

Rose petals contain antimicrobial properties that can help to protect you against harmful bacteria. This means that a cup of rose petals can help to boost your overall health and wellness and ward off harmful microorganisms before you get sick.

Reducing Inflammation

Rose flower extract has also been shown to help reduce inflammation. Whether you're suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis or just need help soothing temporary pain, rose tea can help to lessen the symptoms of inflammation.

That, I copied from a website , and it was talking about Rose Herbal Tea.

Tea didn't sound great for Rose, so I set out to make my own Rose Syrup.

A little bit of search led me to "Paneer Roja" or "Scent Roja", available with the local flower vendors in Bangalore. This is not the usual rose you get along with your mixed flowers. You have to specifically ask for Paneer Roja. Smell it and you will know why.

Have been using it for the last few months, and it is amazing. The right drink for the afternoons / evenings when you feel like having something sweet and cool. With the added benefit that it is a natural ayurvedic Home remedy with all round health benefits.


Half kg panneer Roja ( costs 100 rupees, it is about 100 roses).

Pluck the petals out and keep aside. 

1.6 litres water

800 gm sugar

Bring the water to a boil.
Soak the roses  in the just boiled water, and leave it to soak overnight.

Strain the water to get rose water. 

Boil the rose water   and mix the sugar with the rose water. 

You will get a Ruby Red / Rose Pink syrup, ready for use. 

Keep it outside to cool  for about four days. Then, bottle, and refrigerate.

It will last for about two to three weeks in the fridge after which it starts fermenting.

To have: Mix one part syrup with five parts water for a refreshing cooling drink.

So, throw out that bottle of Rooh Afza and try making this at home.