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Dancing Market: Optimism or Insanity?

In the era of COVID-19 when WHO has declared it as a pandemic. India is under the lockdown for more than sixty days like all other nations in the world. All the economic activities were shuttered down till lockdown 3.0. The future outlook for the Indian economy is not pleasant. Analysts are expecting negative growth for Financial Year 2021. Almost all medium and small-scale businesses are in crisis. Most of them have shut their shops and laid off their employees. Big business houses have announced a salary cut for their employees. For April, the Auto industry first time have observed zero production output. The unemployment rate is at an all-time high. Scores of migrant laborers have moved back to their native places.

In this gloomy scenario across the nation stock market is dancing like anything. Though, it is not at the record height as it was during February but it is not that bad either. Eventually, soon after the announcement of the lockdown market slumped to almost half but this state did not last long. At present, the market is hovering around the level of 2017 which under the present circumstances is quite amazing.

Barometer of Economy?

It is time to evaluate the phrase ‘SENSEX is the barometer of Indian Economy‘. Is it a barometer to gauge the economic activities anymore? The stock market is considered a leading indicator of the economy. It was believed that there is a high correlation exist between the stock market and economy but this correlation does persist?

Fool’s Paradise!

Though the stock market is not a true representative of the economy nowadays it seems like the market has divorced the economy especially to all whatever is happening around us; whatever is the reality of economic activities. The stock market is not showing any concern to the more than fifty-nine lacs corona positive cases around the world and more than forty-seven hundred deaths in India. Stock market and particularly investors are living in paradise.

Future Outlook

There are various explanations for this insane behavior of stock investors. First and foremost, the explanation is that stock prices are always based on the future outlook, not the present. Present stock prices are the discounted cash flows expected from stock in the future. So, the present stock prices reflect that investors believe that economy will have a speedy recovery shortly.

Expectations from Government

Investor’s expectation of a substantially large stimulus package from the government went in vain. Investors have a strong feeling that the government will be able to overcome all difficulties in the economic front. The historic decision of reducing the corporate tax rates and conceptualizing the idea of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ is giving hope to the investors.

The central government, as well as Reserve Bank, has already taken measures in terms of various fiscal and monetary policies to infuse the liquidity in the system. The financial year which generally ends on March 31 has been extended till June 30 exhibits commitment of government toward economic measures. Investors are betting on such strong interventions of government to boost the profitability of corporate houses in the future. The first year of NDA 2.0 is rated positively by various analysts which is enough to boost the confidence of investors.

Investment Options

Even more, now investors have not left with more options to invest as the prevailing interest rate on government bonds and all small saving schemes have been reduced. If we adjust the returns from these schemes with inflation, we will get negative returns for almost all investment products. So, the stock market is the only option left for investors to park their excess money with.

Optimism for Vaccine

Stock investors are at present feeling more optimistic about the future than the doctors and scientists who are working on the development of a cure for the Corona virus. Investors are expecting that soon enough a vaccine for the same will be discovered on which the whole world is working.

Black-box Theory

Another theory argues that all investors are operating as a black-box process. No one knows about the future of investments or till when this pandemic end and the road to normality be back. It is just the mere expectations which are leading the market at present. Investors are also active because they fear being left behind. New investors are considering this time as an opportunity to enter into the market at this level which may not come around again.

Parallel with Lehman Crisis

If we draw a parallel between the current crisis with the financial crisis of 2009, we get a hint from there also about this euphoria in the market. In November 2009 when the future of economies was pathetic even then the stock market across the world was mostly up by more than 50 percent from the past year while the economies were only growing by 1 percent for that particular one-year period. People were investing based on their expectations not based on ground reality. So, again history is repeating itself in the market.

Advice for Novice Investors

It can be inferred that expectation of the majority is driving the market than reality. Investors are not acting insane rather they have optimist future outlook. For investors, market timing is really important. For a novice investor, it is time to get into the market with a long horizon. If you have missed the wagon in 2017 then prices are again around that level. ‘Buy with caution’ is the mantra for success.

At IILM, students are being prepared to analyse the economic situation and to identify the trend for investments to be successful. We conduct live trading sessions for better understanding of the same. For more information on stock market one can approach at kumar.saurabh@iilmgsm.ac.in.

A Psychologist’s Guide to Coping in Uncertain Times

“Always Expect the Unexpected Because the Only Certainty Is Uncertainty”

Uncertainty in life has many forms. Changes at workplaces, change in priorities, change in rules and regulations. Even if things are safe right now you never know when they would change and you need to be ready to handle that change.

Change is usually not the problem; it’s the discomfort that often bothers us as we are so strongly attached to a particular outcome in life.

When certainty is questioned we usually have a fight or flight reaction and try to safeguard ourselves. Our brain prefers to find a sure shot outcome to the uncertainty we are experiencing. Research proves that anticipating pain soothes us to be calm than anticipating uncertainty only because we know that pain is certain. For example, uncertainty about getting a job is more stressful than actually losing a job.

Now, the question arises what should we do to tackle uncertainty in a way that it doesn’t impact our overall health and well-being.

This is very important for students aspiring to work with multinationals, professionals struggling with changing roles, people disheartened with their job.

  1. Firstly, don’t panic, remain calm and level headed. Living in uncertain times can be discomforting but you can control how to respond to such situations.
  2. Avoid dwelling on things you can’t control. Try changing the habit of ruminating on negative events of life. Why only visualize worst case scenarios. If there is a fear of not getting a job think of ways to enhance your skills. Think positive and believe in yourself. Remember it’s your life and you have the potential to change it.
  3. Add Value to your skills. It’s important to align your skill set to what is currently the need of the industry. Make sure you have those skills that the current time is demanding. Act upon it. Visualize possibilities.
  4. Market Yourself. Do not think I am asking you to boast about yourself; but how would people know your calibre if you don’t tell them about yourself. Get the recognition you deserve. Go for it.
  5. Ensure your profile is updated. Have an eye-catching LinkedIn profile. Express your interest in companies that you aspire to work with. What you post on your profile should be interesting in content and original in nature to attract organizations towards you.
  6. Focus on Financial Well-Being. One tip for life is always having a financial saving of at least six months worth your livelihood. This will be your support during rainy days and you’ll always have time to choose the best opportunity and will never settle for something less in life. Savings are very essential.
  1. Engage in Self care. Healthy routines are magical. Eat well, exercise regularly, just like body needs stimulation so does our mind and thoughts. So feed your intellect with good literature. Practice mindfulness, it makes life a better place and opens doors that you thought were closed.
  1. Risk is real and Fear is optional. Risk assessed is risk management. Understand the uncertainty take calculated risks and overcome your fears to innovate the new you.
  2. Control what you can. We often run for things that are beyond our control. Try making a slight change by focusing on stuff that is within your control. It can be as basic as setting your clothes a night before a strenuous day. Try comforting your days.

If you see your Today. Job insecurity is the “New Reality,” why respond or perceive it as Negative. It might offer better opportunities for your growth and career enhancement.

Take that Extra Mile and prove your worth. Show the world your True Potential. Don’t Stress and rather Invest in this time to uplift your skills and embrace the new shift that the Industries are offering.

This is the only way you can see the New Positive and Let go the doubt and uncertainty around. Be prepared to change with the times instead of resisting to a change. Life’s most treasured moments come unannounced. Instead of being threatened by unexpected outcomes we should learn that they can be hidden seeds of opportunities.

For best professional practices and how to deal with professional challenges follow my blogs on IILM Blogs and LinkedIn or write to me at megha.kochhar@iilm.edu

We at IILM train students to handle complex situations and be proactive professionals in every situation by focusing on multiple skill development, developing emotional intelligence. There is a Center for Emotional Intelligence at IILM University where training programs help students build self awareness, emotional regulation that helps them deal with uncertainty in personal and professional life.

ART THERAPY- DISCOVER YOURSELF

“Mirror is a reflection of our faces and Art of our Souls”

Art has the ability to change and transform lives, in profound ways. When words fail, we turn to images and symbols to narrate our stories. Through art we can reach out to people with our stories and find a path towards transformation and healing.

As they say there is a lot between the heaven and earth than just dreams. Art therapy has a therapeutic way of rooting the idea of creative expression that fosters healing our soul and leading us towards mental well-being. For years art has been a very communicative way to express our feelings. When we were young we would instinctively use painting, drawing, sketching to communicate and express our emotions, but as we grow, and maturity hits us we often forget the beautiful impact art had on our lives.

Through Art Therapy patients are provided with a safe place where they can explore not very pleasant feelings like fear, anger, aggression, unfulfilled expectations. Feelings that they would otherwise avoid to talk about. Rightly said “Art speaks where words end.”  The field of Art and artistic people has always intrigued me. It feels like artistic people see life through a very different lens. They have immense waves of creativity within and so they life seems so sorted and calm. I wonder how various forms of art give them so much of peace. I guess the only reason why their life is so peaceful is that it’s not humans, but a form of art that is communicated as a Peacemaker and Healer adding the Art Therapy to experience the solace within.

Going back to Ancient history, art has been one of the oldest ways to communicate through wall carvings, sculptures, and paintings right from the Indus valley civilization. It is seen that when a person is unable to speak about his pain, they resort to expressing their feelings through Art.

Healing is totally an internal process which has a lot to do with a sense of positivity and inner strength. Ask an artist and they will enlighten you about the therapeutic impact Art has on them. Art Therapy is a type of expressive therapy that enhances a person’s emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being through the process of creativity. By art we mean everything that stirs our consciousness and inner strength to challenge our mind. This is the process where artistic expression helps lots of people to develop positive feelings, solve problems, change attitudes, boost their self-concept and be more content with themselves.

Art is like a life saving jacket in a world that’s growing crazy. Art keeps you grounded in your roots. It has a meditative impact to develop patience in life. We have to make a choice today either “let Art enter your world or you enter into the World of Art.” Choice is yours to discover the artist in you.

Remember friends Art is not a skill, but an expression and it really does not matter if you think you cannot draw or create. It’s an outlook towards life, which can be seen in the form of a new hobby, learning music, anything that keeps you occupied and for which you feel the desire to create time and it’s  so becoming a part of your life in spite of the busy schedules you have as it heals you from all the stress that you’ve been carrying  as a baggage of life.

It’s practically applicable and as a life skill trainer and therapist, I have seen my students experiencing the magic of art therapy in their lives.  A group of IILM students took this initiative to apply this therapy for the first two weeks and shared such positive results in their level of expression, understanding of situations. One common response was that they learnt to respond rather than react in stressful situations.

Art Therapy gives people medium to express their feelings and problems and tread a happier life that is real and serene in nature. Art as a therapy has proved to be a powerful weapon to combat illness and spread well-being. It allows you to be yourself with no Form and that’s the Beauty. So let’s join hands together to inhale positivity and exhale creativity.

To connect on knowing more about the profound value and benefits of art, colors and visualization therapy write to me on megha.kochhar@iilm.edu

Explore Life within You-

” I have always believed  success, in life, is most easily measured by the number of days you are truly happy.”  Our mindset and optimistic attitude towards life decides everything we come across.

Standing at the edge of human existence, a realization dawns on us that how temporary and uncertain our lives can be. To make our lives more fulfilling we need to create the right mindset which encompasses positive thinking. Think positive and positive things will happen.

Unfortunately we block our energy fields with negative thoughts. You don’t need to know the future as it is in your own hands. There comes a time when you need to have absolute faith in oneself and be sure, destiny will unfold your true path and purpose in this lifetime.

It is therefore extremely important that we channelize our energies to create positivity around us to make our work and life more fulfilling and motivating.

The present environment if has put restrictions, it has also opened up our inner doors of self reflection ,where we need to reflect upon ourselves in ways that we can decide what can be the path of our lives, which manifests in our well- being that would impact our personal and professional relationships as we are spending maximum time these days with ourselves and our family.

When we are going through a difficult situation and feel like running away from it, all we need to think and do is to replace that thought of ‘running away’ with the thought of ‘finding a way’. Let us use this difficult situation as a platform to take an extra step of faith in our lives. Let us take off and face the situation and move towards creating a positive change.

Let’s talk about a handful of simple practices that can be helpful in being more decisive and give direction to positive thinking.

  1. Create Realistic Expectations for Yourself

The problem lies when we expect from others and somewhere hold others responsible for what we desire in life. When you set realistic expectations from yourself and fulfill them it gives you strength to be self reliant in life. Eg. Develop a skill for which you are responsible, create happiness for yourself. Don’t wait for someone to make you happy.

  1. Never compromise on Values

There should be at least one strong value that you possess that you have never compromised on. End of the day it gives you inner strength and satisfaction.

  1. Don’t accept fear as a part of life

Conquer any one fear of yours. The more you run away the stronger the fear gets. Face it and kill it.

  1. Practice mindfulness

Enjoy every moment of your existence. The way you speak to each person, what you eat, what you smell, every breath of yours enjoy it. Imagine if there was no tomorrow. Live each day as if it is your only day to give to the cosmos. You will realize a sense of enthusiasm gushing in pushing you to do so much in life.

  1. Value Relationships

This is what you have earnt in life so value your personal relationships and nurture your professional relationships. Honesty in work and loyalty in relationships take you a long way.

   “Optimism is a happiness magnet”

 See what kind of people & situations draw

      Towards you. This will be a clear indicator of how you view yourself.

“  “Be the change you wish to see in others”