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If only I knew, that two years later I would be betting on shares, I would certainly have worked harder on my finance papers in college.

The subject was so interesting, that I looked forward to enrolling for the paper and paid perfect attention in the first few classes. Then one day, came along Chapter 5 – Technical Analysis. I never understood the funda of doing a technical analysis on a stock to find out whether it was worth buying. After all, I was nothing but an average commerce student and anything technical or anything that captured the interest of my engineering background classmates was (bound to be) scary for the likes of me. I think it is from that point on, that I lost total focus on learning further, because all of it went way beyond my highest level of understanding. I spent the rest of my classes looking at the cardio-scan like graphs, wondering how many more classes were left for the course to end.

I always had a fascination for stock markets, but my afore mentioned lack of academic confidence pulled me away from it. Thanks to sufficient enthusiasm from my present boss and more than enough pushing from my better half, I decided to take a look at it once again. This time, the hard way.

Practical experience seemed much better.  But slowly, I felt the need to look at some theory and realized that academics is nothing but a compilation of practical knowledge. I started out learning about some basic terms that are used in the trade; things like stock, shares, quote, scrips, broker, gain, loss, market, sensex, nifty, bulls, bears, booking, sell, buy, short sell, limit order and so on. Then I moved on to understanding how a transaction takes place, who are the people involved, how are all the money and shares transferred, etc. Gradually, I got this idea of playing a virtual game of investment before taking the plunge. I registered at www.moneybhai.moneycontrol.com, in which, as a user I am virtually allotted a total corpus of 25lacs and allowed to trade on real stocks during the market hours. I played this for a couple of months; it was turning out to be a good experience, because, I knew I had to keep pace with what’s happening from the economy, market, industry and company points of view. The motivation was to be the top gainer and get a Rs.10,000 cash prize, but the actual reward is that it has kept my tempo going. It gave me the confidence to venture into the real market.
I no longer look at moneybhai, but since then, I’ve made it a point to keep myself fairly updated with what’s happening around me.

(Frankly, I still don’t know what technical analysis precisely means 🙂 but I vow to find out and write about it in my next article.)