My Chatroom experience


Active Member
On one of my walks, I got a bolt from the blue- just as seminars tried to infuse too much theory without much practical experience, were not chatrooms(yahoo conference chat) doing the opposite; giving too much practical knowledge without making the right conceptual foundation. I had read in an article on dieting that people run after proteins and carbohydrates but the fact remains that fats are also required in the right proportion. So though practical experience maybe more important, making a conceptual base is also important.

I was a part of Mr Ashwani Gujral’s chatroom for nine months from April-December’2005. Though he did share his system with us in the beginning in one of his “Saturday sessions”, he gave an interesting handout in December which I wish he had given in the beginning to enable us to enjoy the chatroom experience more and facilitate better understanding. Since we referred to him as the “Boss” in the chatroom, in deference to his stature as a CNBC stalwart, we shall use the same expression here.

Boss, being a lively, practical and entertaining man when he wanted to be is better placed to conduct a chatroom since trading can be quite boring at times. I remember call centres having some “Joy and fun” manager. Something likewise is required when proceedings are too drab. Boss would allow us to go sideways for a while- we would discuss everything from CNBC beauties to latest movies to cricket to the political situation and then gradually bring us back to the primary trend-the stock market. Boss had to be a disciplinarian in matters such as being punctual which was well taken. After all there were 30 members in the chatroom at any given point in time.

We were allowed to chat privately with one another and whatever was revealed was confidential(in the nature of grapevine) and I cannot reveal names but the revelations are interesting. One of the first chat members I got pally with told me “ I did not make much money in the first six months but thats because I did not follow boss” My immediate reaction was that it was quite foolish to pay Rs 5000 per month and not follow boss. Gradually it dawned on me that if you make a loss because of some beginner’s mistake or something like that, it becomes too tempting to square off the position to neutralize the loss. Boss by and large followed the policy of “Let the profits run” and to goad us to do the same would say things like “Jo dar gaya, samjho mar gaya” . However the fact remains that nothing in the market works or does not work all the time and so at times “Discretion is better part of valor” used to work quite well, at least with me. I was to have interactions with several people who would use their own discretion where exits were concerned. In fact the more I think about how people used their own prerogative to exit, the more I realize that whatever is said in the attached file “Individual” is absolutely true.

There was only one instance about entries when the market was very high once. Boss instructed us to buy but the concerned member said that let the mkt fall by 25 points and then he will enter. Two members told me privately that they were not doing nifty at all which was strange considering that boss had repeatedly stated that nifty was his specialization and in his experience we should focus 80 percent on nifty and 20% on individual stocks. There he was absolutely right because I burnt my fingers badly doing individual stock futures and so did some of the others.

We had a good get together in the last quarter which has already been explained in another post.

The only unpleasant incident in nine months was when one chatmember asked too many questions and was asked to leave after a hot exchange of words. ( I was on vacation- this is as told by other chat members). That was sad and circumspection was called for on both sides. Boss always answered my technical questions courteously and competently (I am glad I didn’t ask too many at one time) and the concerned member would have been better off doing that perhaps. Boss even said once that it was his job to answer questions.

Twenty years of management experience has taught me that even going against the immediate boss can be dicey unless you are able to prove your smartness to the top boss. Going against the top boss in public is like going against the primary trend. At the same time, this is not a standard boss-subordinate relationship and the concerned member, being a customer for all practical purposes could have been treated with more dignity. They should have just sorted it out in private in my view.

If you were attentive and did “Copy and paste” whatever Boss spoke, there was tremendous learning value and many of your technical fundas got clear. I still maintain that he has from a layman’s perspective written a very practical and even enjoyable book though of course an expert can judge better.

In the third week of December, I had the good fortune to read Van thorp’s “Trade your way to financial freedom” . So far I had been reading only Technical analysis books. This is the first book in which trading has been actually presented like a business comprehensively-systems development, money management and last but not the least psychology. A chat member also gave an e-book called “Mental fitness for traders” which again has to do more with psychology than anything else. I dug up an old book Alexander Elder’s “Trading for a living” since he is himself a psychiatrist.

Their observations are there in the files attached and it is better if you go through them to understand the context below:-

It is often said that treat trading like a business. Strategic gurus Christopher Barlett and Samantha Ghoshal are famous for making the policy “Think Globally but act locally “ famous and is followed by several multinationalss. Boss had this penchant for giving the example of cricketer Virendra Schewag “ Schewagg never analyses. He hits” . Don’t analyse too much which is true in the relevant context. Current captain Rahul Dravid had said of Virendra Schewag “ His is a unique game. We don’t try and impose any technique on him because it will never work. Every individual has his unique style and his is a unique case.” This would be true to a lesser degree for other players also.

What Wipro's chairman Mr Azim Premji has said is worth reading in this post(second paragraph)

Why not follow the same in Trading especially for full time traders especially when trading psychology talks about it to such a degree in the enclosed file. Boss used to tell us to buy and sell at particular rates instead of doing that. In December, I met another CNBC stalwart, Mr Sudarshan Sukhani whose company also supplies data to me. He had conducted a seminar on “ Mechanical trading systems” a few months back and I asked about psychology. He said that they had a kind of questionnaire in which they asked things like “What kind of loss are you comfortable with” and things like that which I think is the right way of going about things. I think a technical coach should help him discover his own style and method of trading rather than impose any system on him. It also brings to mind the Chinese saying” Give someone a fish to eat and he eats for a day. Teach someone how to fish and he eats for life”. One should also consider what happens if something happens to boss; the others are stranded and that can be dicey if you are a full time trader.

Though only one member in the chatroom told me bluntly “ I don’t like his aggressive style of trading”, among the 10 I regularly interacted with only two were confident which is surprising considering that boss all things said and done is good at trading and the trade statistics also reveal a good expectancy. I think psychology is the cuprit.

I had myself written an article on vocational psychology-“Don’t settle for less than a calling” which appeared in life positive magazine in November’2001 but did not know that it applied to such a great degree in trading as well

I feel so strongly about the issue that I started this blog.

I am not against seminars and chatrooms but when one says that trading is like a business , than treat it like one. Why not have a foreign collaboration and provide proper education. After all it has 95 percent failure rate and psychiatrist trader, “Alexander Elder” described Trading as nothing short of war. A war has to be faught like a war-meticulously. At least for those aspiring to be full time traders, all this is relevant.

In Van thorp’s book it is also written that “ The media are always trying to explain the market though they know nothing about the market”. I have heard this elsewhere – genuine traders never come in the limelight- they just trade. There are so many variables in the mkt that one can easily rationalize a wrong. Only good education can discriminate the relevant from the irrelevant.

Some people say in Hindi "Puri Ramayan sunne ke baad soch rahe ho ram kaun tha? The fundamental issue is -is it right to conduct chatrooms or for that matter seminars in this fashion?
This is not take anything away from my revered technical gurus;under the time and space constraints, they are doing a good job- there are so many of them now that I have begun to feel like Draupadi.
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what is the message that you are trying to give out public through this post?

after reading it continuosly for hours and hours I am unable to foind out the real message of the post.Are you sharing your exp in Mr Gujrals chatroom? or you just want to say treat trading a business.

anyways, I would like to know abt Mr Gujrals trading calls.I m intrested in NF.According to you how are his calls and trading strategy??

Jai Hind !!
Jai Bharat!!


Active Member
Thanks, Bipin. What about the rest? Isn't that the lull before the storm.

As for you, my dear friend(trader31339), you need not read it so many times. I have written in English and not Greek. Seems we have a contrarian view here as well. Bipin had said in the other post
As always your writings are a pleasure to read.Clear, concise and as smooth as glenlivet
Now to make things clear:-
I am not against seminars and chatrooms but when one says that trading is like a business , than treat it like one. Why not have a foreign collaboration and provide proper education. After all it has 95 percent failure rate and psychiatrist trader, “Alexander Elder” described Trading as nothing short of war. A war has to be faught like a war-meticulously. At least for those aspiring to be full time traders, all this is relevant
I have twenty years of experience in management in various disciplines and can vouch for the fact that business can be learnt only by proximity to your immediate boss for a certain duration. Just as a couple has to make love for giving birth to a child, there has to be close interaction to give birth to a new understanding(to avoid problems of slip between the cup and the lip-70 percent of all management hassles happen because of miscommunication) and a chatroom cannot provide that kind of interaction though in the future I hope some kind of blackboard facility is introduced by yahoo to facilitate better understanding.
all things said and done, he is good at trading and the trade statistics also reveal a good expectancy
. This clearly shows that he is good. In case you don't know expectency=(pw*aw)-(pl*al) where pl and al are probabilities of winning and losing traders respectively and and aw and al refer to average profit and loss respectively.

However whether the trading strategy is good for you is another matter altogether because that depends upon your temperament and personality which is indicated in the file attached. To be a good actor is one thing but to be a good director(taking out the same performance form others) a completely different ball game. Boss being good individually and being good for everybody else is two different things. In the film Industry only Raj Kapoor and Manoj kumar succeeded as good Actor directors. In cricket, Sachin Tendulkar did not really succeed as captain. Since trading psychology points out so unambiguously that one should have a customized trading system according to one’s natural disposition, should not that be the right way of doing things? That is probably the reason that despite being good, many people left the chatroom and in the end I was also wondering whether I wanted to do this kind of trading. Is the same trading system or strategy good for you too?.

It would not be out of place to mention here my experience last year with former test cricketer and member of world cup winning team, Madan lal who is a coach at Delhi’s siri fort auditorium. He said,” People run after me to make their children cricketers. However in my view, crickets is a god given gift. If I see promise in your child, I will back him. Otherwise, don’t waste your and my time. Put your child to where his natural talent lies. “ He spoke like a true educationist if you go by what Mr Azim premji said. There are many other prominent people in my article who said the same thing. Why not apply to trading then?

The problem is that in India, the audience profile is also poor. Many times Boss would offer to take a technical session on Saturday and get a lukewarm response. Even people from good backgrounds are wanting only tips and recommendations. Just as you get the political leadership you deserve, you get the gurus you deserve. Even Mr Bachchan said once said “If 800 million people want to watch this, what can I do?” when he was asked why he should not act in finer cinema.

When somebody was saying “Reliance/ ITC bhag raha hai….” Etc, Boss said that he wanted a more scientific explanation. That is the kind of language one likes to hear. Maybe in the future, there will be a Technical chatroom(like abilities section) and ordinary chatroom.

To put it in a nutsehell, he is good but how good he is for you or whether he is good at all for you(for full time trading) is something that you have to discover for yourself. In my view, one man’s meat is another man’s poison whether in trading or any other profession.
That can probably be known better only by attempting but if a psychologist can determine beforehand, why waste time, money and energy for six months(He normally insists on a six month advance)

End of day recommendations also depends upon your individual stock selection potential and luck. I can’t comment on that. Our experience of analysts is what is given by William O Neil's 45 years experience, author of several investing books, “ They are right at one time and wrong another”
My view is that even if they are right a majority of times in one quarter, the situation can reverse in another quarter. Not easy to judge. Recently, I read at two different places that in the United states, the qualification is CTA(Certified Technical analyst probably) or CMT(Certified Market Technician). I don't know the Indian situation.
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Hello SH50,
On a serious note---u r really previledged---to attend chatting sessions with the BOSS---Not everyones so---
I agree that there should be a Technical chatting room---and a general chatting room----though however technical jargons r interchanged----the ultimate aim of a trader is to make money---one cant really neglect it after all---And in the Indian Scenerio---The general trend is --Those who have Money ---do not have the Intellect---and those who have Intellect---they lack in finance(Obviously----exceptions ---which include many a well known personalities in this forum ---who r really previledged in both aspects---r left from the consideration)---
I think---it will be quite interesting---if u start a thread with ---Human Psychology on trading----and can a automated trading system---really act as a replacement against human emotions---
Expecting to see some good threads quite soon---


Active Member
Hello sh50,

I am sanjay, from Pune. I (re)discovered when I goggled about 'Ashwani Gujral's Chat sessions' and found your post here regarding same.

I went thru many of your posts here (posted since 2004) and a few more by others.

I have been answered to lots of queries that I had in my mind and better still I even got answers to question that were not on my mind :)

Thanks a lot for your detailed posts.

Best Regards

thankyou so much mr.sh50, for sharing your chatroom experience with us. it has bring a lot of clearity in my approach towards chatroom learning sessions. i too feel that learning the trading skills that suit our individual ( personality and psychology ) is much more important then just following someone else's trading strategy.

we should always keep on learning from others, but at the same time we should focus more on understanding our own qualities. and we should keep on improving these individual qualities, because in the long run, this only will prove to be more helpful.

thanks a lot


Active Member
Dear sh50,

Thanks for sharing your experience. However recently a lot of ppl on this board have said Mr. Gujral's calls are made very late. Could you express your view on this?
marcus said:
Dear sh50,

Thanks for sharing your experience. However recently a lot of ppl on this board have said Mr. Gujral's calls are made very late. Could you express your view on this?
Marcus explain what you mean by the calls being made very late.

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