By Manan Vyas
Ravi is unique. A commerce graduate with a middling career, things had not been going particularly well for him. Until recently. When he sounded particularly cheerful on a recent call, I asked him what changed. A chance meeting with a couple of friends from college, apparently. “They do day-trading” he explained. Sitting at home all day with a couple of televisions running business channels and monitors tuned in to multiple websites, they exploited the volatility of the markets to make a handsome living. “I was inspired by them”, Ravi continued. “But my sales job entails extensive travel. Yet, I wanted to get started”.
“So what did you do?” I asked, as an uncomfortable visual of Ravi fumbling on his laptop in an auto-rickshaw flashed through my mind.
When Ravi told me that he was making almost as much as his full time job with trading, I wanted to find out how he managed to balance his job and his trading career. Which is how I ended up at his house in Ahmedabad at seven in the morning. It was hot already. I cursed under my breath.
“Come on in” he said cheerfully to me in Gujarati as he opened the door. While I was still bleary, Ravi seemed wide awake. “Days start early for traders” he explained. Indian markets open at 9, I timidly pointed out. “There are two things I do when I wake up. Have chai. And study SGX Nifty” he explained.
SGX Nifty is the Indian Nifty traded on the Singapore Stock Exchange. Since it begins at 6:30 am, it gives an indication of market sentiment before India opens, he continued. “Where do you get your data?” I asked.
The room was conspicuous by its absence of a television or a laptop. He pointed to his phone. “This is all I need”. I was a little surprised. “How come?”. He pulled up his phone, and clicked on an app.
Edelweiss made an app, and they let you use it for free, he explained. “I didn’t feel the need for an app since I already had access to so many websites. But it was India’s first app to get access to SGX Nifty data, so I was compelled to download it” he elaborated.
“So what happens next?” I asked.
“We leave for my sales call” said Ravi, smiling.
We hopped on to his motorcycle, and were soon on our way. A fifteen minute ride and a thirty minute meeting later, Ravi seemed to have a breather. “Let’s have tea” Ravi suggested.
Sitting at the tea stall, I could see Ravi intently looking at app again. After SGX, the next move is to look at upcoming events for the day and week, he explained. “We are looking for quarterly results, stock splits or key government announcements that can move markets. Remember, traders thrive on volatility”.
“Where do you get this data?” I asked.
“On this screen” Ravi said, pointing at the app.
“Pretty much all you need to know is available here. I often choose to trade in stocks that have results coming out the same day. Plus, if a market mover like Infosys is releasing results on a given day, you have to take note of that because it can drag sentiment up or down” he explained.
With our cup of tea over, it seemed like Ravi was ready to move again. A twenty minute bike ride later, we had arrived at the next sales meeting. It seemed like the client was late, which suited Ravi just fine. He pulled out his app once more.
Ravi kept up a gentle stream of conversation as he continued browsing. We were waiting for the markets to open at 9. With 5 minutes to 9, the mood changed. Ravi tensed up, and conversation tapered off. As the clock struck 9, Ravi tapped a button on his app.
“The first question a trader wants to answer”, Ravi explained, “Is ‘market mein kya chal raha hai?’. It is the one question you need an immediate answer to. Here’s what the answer looks like”
“We have a summary of key indices here” he explained. “Apart from that, we have a summary of the biggest moving stocks and their general direction”
The markets were largely flat today. I hoped things would get more lively as the day passed.
The client had arrived, and we stepped in to the next meeting. This one lasted longer and by the time we came out, it was already ten thirty. Ravi was back on his phone, checking the status of his portfolio.
“I don’t hold a lot of stocks at any given moment. I mostly trade on opportunity” Ravi explained. With an hour to go for our next meeting, Ravi suggested we take another break for tea. With more time on hand, Ravi explained his process. “After I get a sense of what is happening in the market and I catch up with my portfolio, I open up Research Calls” he said, showing me what you see below.
“These are research calls” Ravi explained. “They tell you the price at which you can enter the stock, and the general direction it can head in. For example, today they are recommending buying Can Fin Homes at 436, targeting a price of 475”.
“So what are you going to do?” I asked.
“Generally I like to add in my own research on top of these calls, but let’s take a small risk” he said. He clicked on buy. We were now on our second cup of tea. Ravi regularly went through five in a trading day. It helped keep him sharp he explained. I suspected he was just addicted to caffeine.
The buy screen was surprisingly minimal. All it asked for was the price and quantity. Another click later, Ravi was the proud owner of a 100 shares of Can Fin Homes. “That was quick” I remarked.
“Time for the next meeting” he said, getting back up. We were back on the road. A couple of meetings followed in quick succession. I could see Ravi checking his phone surreptitiously between meetings. “Notifications” he explained, showing me his home screen. The notifications seemed to be surprisingly detailed. “Don’t need to open the app to stay updated” he explained.
“We stop for lunch now, and begin the real action of the day” Ravi said as his hectic meeting schedule seemed to ease out a bit. I was relieved to get out of heat as we walked into a cosy restaurant in Ahmedabad’s now booming business district – Prahladnagar.
“The real secret of any trader”, Ravi held forth, “Is the ability to read charts”.
I raised an eyebrow. “I’ve seen stock analysts on TV. They’re generally sitting with at least a couple of monitors”
“You have a point” he conceded. “But this app is more an exception than the rule. It has the most advanced stock charts on any mobile app I’ve explored so far. Here, take a look”.
He pulled up the Charting section on the app. He opened up the charts for the stock we just bought – Can Fin Home.
“Here’s a volume chart” he explained. “You can see that volumes have been declining recently. Not a lot of people seem to be paying attention to this stock – which makes it ripe for entry” he said.
“There’s a whole range of technical studies available”, he said, showing me the extensive menu.
“Let’s look at a more interesting stock” he continued. He picked State Bank of India next. With the banking sector in turmoil, I was hoping to see some action here.
Scrolling through the list of possible technical studies, he picked ‘Simple Moving Average. “Arguably the most popular tool used by traders” he explained. “Generally speaking, if prices continue to move downward from the simple moving average, that’s the sign of a sell market” he said. “Over the last 9 days, the price has remained below the simple moving average” he continued.
“We can draw a trend-line on this chart as well” he said, moving his fingers deftly on the screen. Here’s what it looked like.
Ravi turned to me, his eyes gleaming. I could sense another trade coming up.
“What say we short-sell some SBI?” he asked me. I nodded along. I was no expert, but I could gradually sense the charts starting to tell me a story.
While I was lost in thought, Ravi was tapping away. A few seconds later, Ravi was the proud short-seller of several hundred SBI shares. A risk by any measure. “I’m going to settle my position by two thirty” he explained calmly. With just over an hour to go, I was wondering how Ravi would make any money.
“The brokerage is fairly low, and the margin trade gave me significant leverage. A small price dip is all I need to make money” he explained.
Ravi insisted on paying for lunch. I secretly prayed that his bets would pay off, and he wouldn’t regret paying. Yet another meeting followed soon after. It stretched on longer than it should have, and we were five minutes from market closure when Ravi pulled out his app yet again. SBI was down another 0.6% since Ravi had short sold it. Considering his leverage and deducting the fairly reasonable brokerage, Ravi was up just shy of five figures. Ravi’s face tensed up, eager to clear his position before the market closed. A few quick taps later, he was through. The app seemed designed for quick trading.
“Not bad for a day’s work?” he grinned, pushing his phone into his pocket, now relaxed.
And that’s how Ravi managed to balance his full time job and his now blossoming career as a day trader – one mobile app, pure and simple. Designed with speed, simplicity and stability in mind, the Edelweiss Mobile Trader has emerged as India’s top rated stock trading app. It has been helped hundreds of thousands of individuals across India track, analyse and trade stocks from the one device they always have on hand – their mobile phone.
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