Simpleton and hotshot investor are close friends. Simpleton is a small time businessman …doesn’t understand stock market much. But he knows cash is king. Hotshot is all into investing. Reads blogs like this, talks of DCF, PE, options, subprime and all that.
So one day Hotshot comes to meet simpleton and both get talking of business and stocks and all that.
Hotshot – how’s business?
Simpleton – ok …not too good though. You know that store I have. Used to do very well, but now with that new mall, business is not so good. Too much competition
Hotshot (all puffed) – So why don’t you sell it and put the money in stock market ? You know I made 5 times my money in the market in the last 3 years!!
Now this gets simpleton thinking ..here I am working hard and barely making 20% return every year and this cool dude is able to make so much money.
Simpleton – you study all this stock and business…you analyse all these big companies. How much should I sell my business for ?
Hotshot (opening his sleek laptop) – You know, I have analysed so many companies. I have this complicated spreadsheet. Just give me the numbers and I will tell you
Simpleton – let me see. Last year, I had sales of around 5,00,000 per month and I made around 50,000 per month after all expenses. I keep around 7,00,000 of inventory and I give some credit also. So I have a debt of around 3,00,000 per month. As of now I am having around 7,00,000 cash also in safe. Store is my own, so I don’t have to pay rent.
Hotshot – those are last year’s numbers. How much did you make year before that and last 5 years. I need all those numbers for my spreadsheet.
Simpleton – Around the same. I told you ..too much competition. But you know, I have some loyal customers, so last 5 years I have been making roughly the same. Maybe 3-4 % increase every year.
Hotshot (shaking his head) – not good, not good. No growth ..bad ..very bad. Why don’t you invest this cash some in high growth business
Simpleton – You know, I have not done any other business and I have been managing this store for last 15 years. So I don’t think I will be good at it. Actually, 5 years back I opened a chicken farm and lost all the money …you know bird flu !! . So whatever profit I make, I keep it as cash.
Hotshot (shaking his head even more now, lets out a sigh) – then you have to sell your business for 7,00,000. At best 10,00,000. See no growth, means no future
Simpleton (completely surprised) – what are you saying ? I have cash of 7,00,000. I have inventory, this store and all this good will !!
Hotshot (shutting down his laptop) – All that doesn’t matter. No growth …means no growth. If you cannot grow ..your business is worthless !! don’t believe me .. I will show big companies selling for peanuts because they cannot grow. I am not saying that …the stock market which has millions of intelligent people are saying that !
Simpleton cannot believe what hotshot is saying. How can it be true ? why should he sell his business for the cash he has in the safe ? If he sold his inventory and the store, he would make more money. But then he thinks ..the stock market must be smarter than him !!