December 31, 2006

Trip to Hakone & Mt. Fuji

It was the first day of the new year holidays and we decided to go to Hakone, a beautiful place about 1.5 hrs by train ride from Tokyo. The climate on the day (30th Dec 2006) was perfect, our moods were on high and we looked forward to an exciting day and this is just what we got to experience; i would call it as our most memorable trip til date. The events throughout the day follow.......

6:10 am - We got out out of our cozy beds, brushed and bathed and got ready

7:20 am - 10 min taxi ride to Nishi-kasai station (660 Yen)

7:35 am - 30 min train ride to takadano baba station (230 Yen)

8:10 am - 5 min train ride to Shinjuku station (130 Yen)

8:25 am - boarded the "Romance Car" train for Hakone. Journey took about 90 min to reach Hakone Yumoto station (5,500 Yen free pass + 1000 Yen express ticket that is valid for 3 days unlimited travel)

10:15 am - reached hakone yumoto, had breakfast (sandwhiches, apple pie and cake about 1500 Yen) and took a train to go to "Gora"

11:00 am - cable car ride to go to Souzan

11:30 am - 15 min rope way ride from Souzan (provides fantastic view of Fuji and the surrounding landscape and hot springs)

12:10 pm - time to relax and get a taste of eggs boiled in hot spring water! the taste is no different from a ordinary boiled egg only thing is the egg cover is black in color, it is believed that eating such eggs will increase ones life by 7 years!

2:10 pm- boarder 20 min bus to reach "Ashi" Lake

2:45 pm - boarded a 30 min cruise to go to Hakone- moto machi

3:35 pm- had lunch! at a cafe (shrimp piraff, pizza abt 2200 Yen)

4:10 pm - 40 min bus ride to hakone yumoto

5:20 pm - boarded "Romance Car" train to return to Shinjuku

6:45 pm - Arrived at Shinjuku and took Yamanote line to go to Yurakucho (190 Yen)

7:45 pm - Dinner at a Thai restaurant in Bic Camera building (the soup was fantastic, the yellow curry was delicious though a bit sweet, total aout 4000 Yen)

8:30 pm - took a 10 min taxi ride to Kayabacho (the taxi driver lost his way in between and we decided to get down at Monzen-Nakacho, he charged us only 660 Yen instead of 1300 Yen!)

8:45 pm- 10 min train ride back to Nishi-kasai (160 Yen)

9:00 pm - 5 min taxi ride back to our SWEET HOME! (660 Yen)

The whole day was filled with fun, enjoyment, excitement, and content in all aspects and would reamin as an unforgettable trip for many many years to come.

December 02, 2006

Make hay while the sun shines

NIFTY has reached the 4000 mark, SENSEX has zoomed past 13000 and there are debates whether it would cross 15000, India`s GDP growth has been an incredible over 9% this year....are these are all positive news for the retail investors?, is it time to get more equity exposure to your portfolio?. Maybe yes...

Many of us wish to increase our wealth by working hard, negotiating for a higher pay package and in the process end up changing jobs, dream to become a VP in the next 2 years? the list is endless.....all these aspirations are not bad, its a human tendency...but do we plan our investments? do you know how much amount and in which instrument (bank CD,bonds,stocks,Mutual Funds) and for how long you wish to stay invested? Just ponder over these following points.....

Some investing gyaan from what my investment experiences have been till now....

1. Dont work for money. Make the money work for you. Ofcourse returns on investment are not guaranteed but saving a part and investing it wisely and in a disciplined manner would yield good returns. These days a 5% return on a bank CD may look peanuts in front of a Mutual Fund giving 40% annual returns, but just dont ignore these safe investment avenues (bank deposits, government bonds), they should make up certain percentage of your folio (how much % is up to you to decide).

2. Dont be obesssive about stock index and the stocks in your folio! Dont panic when the index falls (most people do this mistake and end up liquidating their portfolio at a loss). Have an investment horizon of atleast 2-3 years. Frequent trading will make only your broker rich!

3. If an investment decision has resulted sour, just accept it. Maybe sell it at some loss but you can reinvest the amount in some other way."A sensible investor
is one who takes losses".

4. "People sell their winners too early and keep their loosers for too long". The message is clear and is a feature of investment pshycology!

I shall be posting more of my experiences in the near future....your comments are most welcome.