Thursday, May 31, 2001

Are they investing or gambling?

You are gambling when what you buy neither assures you safety of capital nor gives you a reasonable return.
Gautam Chikermane
AT THE end of every stock market scam, particularly when share prices start falling sharply, the one common refrain heard is: the stock market is a gambling den, of the gamblers, for the gamblers, by the gamblers. Last week, one investor who had lost a lot of money in the recent carnage told me, "The stock market is a satta. I’m not coming back again." Interestingly, he said the same thing eight years ago, when he lost money in the securities scam.
He’s not alone. A look at the trading volumes will tell you far more about the departure of investors from the market than any number of newspaper pages or analysts’ reports. Compared to a daily turnover of around Rs 6,300 crore on the National Stock Exchange on December 6, 2000, the daily turnover today is around Rs 1,900 crore–a fall of 70 per cent! The quantity of shares traded has fallen to 97 million, almost half its value, in less than five months. The scam has taken its toll.
Opinion in Outlook Money

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