Let’s be frank. We’ve all been that guy or girl in a group hoping that a couple breaks up so the significant other you’ve been eyeing is finally available on the market at an emotionally bargain-basement price. You’re yearning for a chance to swoop in with a comforting shoulder and take over their whole being. But instead, you watch in dismay instead as they celebrate their 6-, 12- and 18-month anniversary on social media, promising the dividends of a life-long commitment.
Being a bear in this bull market feels very similar. You wait and wait, hoping for the big crash that never comes, even as cars keep crashing on our Indian roads with alarming regularity. But even as lives are lost IRL, in the stock markets it’s the bulls who seem to be living it up. And you watch the index rise and rise rueing the decision not to invest, like an arranged marriage rishta you regret turning down in hindsight.
What’s it like being a bear in this bull market? You wait and wait, hoping for the big crash that never comesShutterstock
The recession everyone was screaming about seems to be nowhere in sight in the USA or in I.N.D.I.A even as the two countries reach new heights of political comedy. You watch helplessly as the markets rise and rise while your spirits sink in the same proportion. “I made 44% in 1 week, HAHA,” say your friends and you secretly hope they get stranded in Burrabazar traffic in peak monsoon with no umbrella as a “No Refusal” cab goes right by like a punchline from a cosmic joke.
You look to the heavens or the grand papa of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, to deliver multiple surgical strikes of interest rate hikes to crush this unbearably positive optimism that has infected the markets. Being a bear is not like hoping the glass is half empty. It’s hoping everyone’s glasses get broken just before you invest in a glass-making factory.
But ah, if you’re a bull, you’re hiding high on the waves of fortune. You can buy that new Mercedes or even consider making a downpayment on that 1RK in Ballygunge. Effectively, you are like Barbie in a world where everything seems pink and rainbow-coloured happy, where even a toy house in Malibu can turn into a fortune.
But beware of Dr Oppenheimer lurking on the horizon. Whether it’s inflation rearing its ugly head or a black swan event like a war over Taiwan, the bear licks his wounds waiting for the geopolitical nuclear strike... which could even be an actual nuclear strike just to appease the fictional desires of kaka Christopher Nolan. So you wait patiently for that significant other to discover their beau has been secretly messaging you to rekindle lost bullish feelings they once had for you. Or perhaps they are having second thoughts about converting their short-term feelings into a long-term investment.
If you’re a bull, you’re hiding high on the waves of fortune. You can buy that new Mercedes or even consider making a downpayment on that 1RK in BallygungeShutterstock
So, as valuations and emotions hang in the balance, it only takes one shared screenshot of infidelity or a leaked news about the financials of a company not being as rosy as the CEO claims on Twitter. And suddenly that 1RK in Ballygunge is replaced by the need to desperately hang on to that PG in New Town.
In this whirlwind of financial markets and matters of the heart, allow me to suggest a way to hedge your bullish bets. Invest not only in the volatile stocks, but also in this bearish author’s musings by engaging with a simple click – a like, a share, or a comment. After all, who knows where the tides of fortune and love may lead you next!
The author, Vikram Poddar, is a Marwari investment banker turned corporate comedian. The views expressed in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website.