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What is your fondest memory of a bazaar?

Mine is holding my father’s hand and wandering wide-eyed at everything shiny and colourful that you wished to possess and absorbing in all the shouts and arguments of bargaining. I love the Indian Bazaar, it is an experience like nothing else. You are an integral part of the bazaar, whether you are a buyer or seller or even a window shopper.

A visit to the Ramadan night market in the bylanes of Charminar, the heart of Hyderabad rekindled many such memories. As I soak in them, it reminded me of another market — the stock market. Before you raise your brow in scepticism, indulge me, in the end, we may compare notes and smiles.

There is a lot of noise, the bazaar has vendors and buyers, both hoping to find a sweet deal. The vendors bring their best wares, display it attractively, strut around and peddle them. The buyer scouring the market for what catches the eye, even if it may not be something on the to-buy list. A company on the stock market gets listed because it has something to offer of value to its investors/buyers. In an ideal scenario, it hopes that in being a company that does the best to its own customers and growing it, will attract investors: large and small. That if it seems attractive enough, they will stay invested for the long haul and enjoy growing their own wealth. More importantly, both together enjoy the fruits of investment thanks to the power of compounding.

There is something in it for everybody, because in the bazaar much like the stock market, democracy prevails. There are all kinds of entrants and buyers who buy access with varying amounts. So it is quite possible to walk into a Ramadan night bazaar marketed for its meat dishes and haleem (if you want to know what haleem that is a different blog altogether) and accidentally stumbling upon a Udupi Bhavan, just like a group of vegetarians did! At this very crowded Udupi Bhavan, as they hustle to find a table at 12:30 am, they are delighted to eat a vegetarian haleem along with what tastes like Hyderabad’s best Dosas.

So there are different types of companies, with large market capital to medium and small in the many sectors. Some are already sought-after stocks, some are on their way to be. So you can choose what you want according to the investment need and not go by what is trending in the market.

You benefit by just being present in the market, which is not a secret really. If you want the sights, sounds and products of the bazaar you have to show up. You have to assess what your needs are and how to be in the market to see how your money works for you. There are a plethora of choices with equity, mutual funds, options and derivatives, which can help both: short term and long term holds. Choices that can only work if you be informed and diligently think about your financial health, mainly because investing is an absolute need. It also works very well when you start early. If you are a young emerging investor, your life and aspirations are very different from that of your father’s. Guess we are now just talking about the need for investing.

What do I say, stock markets are for planned investing and bazaars are sometimes for eating sheer kurma, enjoy both!

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