DSIJ: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
3/21/2013 9:00 PM Thursday
By Yamal Vyas, DSIJ's former Managing Editor from 1990 to 1993.
‘Value’ and ‘Value Investing’ are terms that have become buzzwords over the last few years. Ben Graham first spoke of value creation in the 1930s and Warren Buffet made it famous in the following decades. Though these terms are not new to the investment lexicon, Value Investing has gained significant importance in India in the new millennium.
In India, economic reforms brought in with them the real growth of the capital market. There was a small group of investors who understood the importance of this concept early on and spread the word about it across the investor community. Here, I would like to mention my experience in this field.
Companies in India have been creating value for their shareholders for decades, maybe even more. However, research, as carried out in countries like the USA is, of course, a recent phenomenon. In the early days of DSIJ, which was before the economic reforms and Harshad Mehta, fundamental analysis was an almost unheard of activity.
Yet, DSIJ tried, and successfully too, to bring fundamental analysis to the attention of retail investors. At that time, obtaining data was the most difficult part of the equity research process. In an environment where all data is available at the click of a mouse, today's young investors and analysts cannot even being to imagine the difficulties a person faced when he wanted the annual report of a listed company.
The only reliable source for obtaining processed corporate data was the BSE Directory, which was so expensive that it was out of the reach of most individual investors. Now, the internet has really levelled the playing field. In the earlier era, there was such little availability of information – and analysis – that a publication like DSIJ, which came forward to provide data and analysis in a language that the retail investor understood, was sorely needed. It thus came to fulfil a real need.
Those were the days of only annual, and later, half yearly results being declared by companies. The spread of print media was pretty restricted and electronic media did not cover the capital market. In fact, there was only one channel then – Doordarshan – and it had no time for the market. So, when DSIJ started meeting the need of serious investors for information and analysis of corporates and various industries, it found ready acceptance.
Over the years, the number of companies has grown, the data being put out by these companies has increased, and so has the need to analyse this data and to put it before investors in a way they can understand and use to make successful investments. Having been a part of the DSIJ team earlier and a regular reader at all times, I can say that DSIJ has been fairly successful in doing so.
Today, there is an overload of information, and there is no one place on the web or television where dependable analysis is available. This is a problem faced by most serious retail investors. In such a scenario, I foresee a time in the near future when the serious but easily palatable analysis provided by publications like DSIJ will remain the only reliable source of information for retail Value Investors. All the best, DSIJ.
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