Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What A Good Sea View Can Teach You About Investing?

I have been spending even more time reading, observing and learning. There is an incredible things that are truly exciting. I love nature, it teaches us the most about life and investing. Recently a beautiful sea view taught me so much. Nature is God after all and God is Nature.

In my journey of understanding investing, business I like meeting people and sharing ideas. People teach me the most - more than any book or school or college. One of the most amazing things I recently experienced, was truly magical. I have managed to go to this place close to The Taj, Mumbai at Apollo Bunder. It was to have lunch with someone interesting.

This was the first time I was eating here. It was a nice place on the rooftop of a hotel, which has a much better location and view than even The Taj. In fact, I have never seen a better view of Bombay then this. As I was sitting there, I could see the vast Arabian Sea, several yachts, cargo ships and the sun shining on the sea along with green islands and hill sin the distance on the other side you can see The Taj. For another hundred years, nothing is going to come in front and the view shall remain the same. The food too was amazing and so was the service.

The Taj Hotel, a part of The Indian Hotel Groups, was the same hotel in which I, as well as several other Happionaires invested after the 26/11 attacks. I shared about this investment even in Happionaire's Cash The Crash. Once again see how everything is linked and connected, investing is a part of life. It went on to be a very good investment, but what is sad is that our government still has kept terrorists like Kassab alive, coming back to the place I was having lunch at.

While it isn't a place where they usually serve lunch (it is a cafe and bar), they made an exception as we were having lunch with the person who owns the hotel, Rishi Chhabria (Not related to me in anyway - I'm a Chabria - spelt differently he has a double 'h' - but certainly a fellow Sindhi and Happionaire!). The service was warm and the food amazing too.

Rishi is an interesting person and I think he has one of Bombay's best kept secrets in terms of locations and views. He owns Sea Palace Hotel and I was at Cafe Marina on its rooftop. What got me interested was that this property was purchased by his great grandfather, even before India got independence and at that time it is rumoured to have costed only Rs. 15,000.

It is said that a real estate agent, came to his great great grandfather while he was at the nearby Radio Club,  and told him there was a piece of land available just down the road. Within a span of 10-15 minutes,without even looking at the land, his grandfather told the agent that he will buy the land and immediately gave him some small token.

His family was quite upset with him for making such a move as the entire area was undeveloped, empty, in fact there wasn't even a proper road, but he has told them, that this will be the best investment the family makes. He bought the land and built, what we know today  Now almost seven decades later Rs. 15,000 would be easily worth anything the mind can imagine. Of course Rs. 15,000 was not a small amount back in those days, but then there were so many others who might have blown it up on something else.

My great great grandfather's side(From my Nani's side) for example were one of the richest families in Bombay, but most of them got so much wealth that instead of investing it wisely, blew large parts of it away on horse racing, women, gambling, cars, etc. They did buy several properties, some of which are there till today, but none at such good locations.

Today his great, great, grandchildren and enjoying the fruits he sowed several decades ago. When it comes to investing, people with vision are the ones who succeed. He had the vision to buy the land, even though his entire family was against it. He believed in his heart and listened to his inner voice.

I have met so many people who define that investing and success isn't rocket science. It is about being practical, it is about having the guts to go against everyone else and doing what your heart says - at most you will be wrong, at most you will fall, only to rise again.

Today a few speak about recession and slowdowns, but those aren't the people creating wealth, in fact the number of opportunities are immense. The same way Rishi's great grandfather did back in those days. The thing about real estate bubbles are they affect places which will have a lot of supply, so in Mumbai a place like Lower Parel or Mira Road can be a bubble, but a place near the Taj or other affluent locations with limited supply of land will not be at risk because of bubbles.

Ever since I shared my experiences in Invest The Happionaire Way, I have shared that nothing teaches us better than life and people. After you finish reading this and sharing it with everyone you know, go out and experience life. Drop down at your local cafe, store or restaurant and start speaking to the owner. There is so much to learn.

Keep smiling and happy investing!

Yogesh Chabria

The Decent Stalker - thank you for stalking us Happionaires!


Dr. Nayan Mehta said...

Yogesh ji, like most others here, I wait for your posts and this one was really magical. not many people in finance write the way you do. it was as if i was really sitting there and watching the sea.

An amazing story and speaks a lot about how land prices have grown. But tell me, what about luck? Doesn't that play a role too? Looking forward to more such incidents and now you have me tempted to go to Cafe Marina there.

Raj said...

I agree with you Dr. Mehta. Yogesh ji, want to know what us Happionaires should do with gold now? Prices have a risen a lot since you first advised to buy at Rs. 14,000. Also what about the stock markets?

Do you think Mumbai real estate pricess can go up any further?

Naresh Pisharody said...

Dear Yogesh, well said " at most you will fall, only to rise again". May be that's why in silicon valley the angel and pe investors prefer to invest in them who have failed
2wice or 3ice as they know what they should not do.
And Dr Mehta, success is meeting of luck and risk. we must desire, dream & be destined

santosh sharma said...

I always like your writings. I have read your two books both were exceptionally good

s akhtar said...

It is just great feeling reading your message, i have just finished on of your books. I have read a lot on this topic but not practical(being en engineer in govt.dept, cannot think to achive more), but reading your simple fundamental techniques of investment, i have decided to do what can be done easily for the family.
I would be highly thankful if you can mail some more practical tips and examples on taking decisions in financial market/real states etc.

vinod Ghadge said...

thank you very muchh..!! very good lesson.

The Happionaire™ Blog said...

Thanks for the lovely comments. I agree with you Dr. Mehta, luck is very important but so is hardowkr. Naresh, very nicely put. I also enjoyed reading your blogspot. Do continue writing.

WIll keep you advice in mind.

Happy investing!

Yogesh Chabria

Unknown said...

Every time I stalk your blog & books, I get jaw-dropped. You make investments so interesting, and educate us about things no school or college shall reveal.Thank you so much. Time for a re-read. Great work. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

I won't be able to thank you fully for the articles on your web-site. I know you'd put a lot of time and energy into all of them and hope you know how much I appreciate it. I hope I could do the same for someone else sometime.

Anonymous said...

Hi Yogesh,

Do you think that the market has completed correction and started the upmove. It has been around 2 years since you have stayed away from stock market as per your blog. You had told that you will reveal more about Chameleon's strategies.


Unknown said...

i am new user of Happionaire Blog.i have just now finished the first Book of yogesh ji. i really love the way share market concept was explained there. But Frankly want to have some practical experience. one thing i can say idea of thinking will changed.

Thank you Yogesh ji,

Unknown said...

Hi Yogesh ji,

Just now i have finished your first book. i am quite happy and feeling good after reading your book.i really like your way of explaining stock market.

i know i am quite late to join your blog.But Really i want to have some practical experience.

Thanks yogeh ji
with Regards

Keyur said...

Hello Yogesh,

I have read, re-read your blog time and again and everytime I have read them I got to learn something new about me and about investment.

Simplicity is the key of your blog and thank you for keeping it simple.