“”Zap the Gaps! ISBN 0060503009 “”

“”Zap the Gaps! ISBN 0060503009 “”
Target Higher Performance and Achieve It!
By Ken Blanchard, Dana Robinson, and Jim Robinson
Published by HarperCollins Publishers 2002
In a nutshell
Characters : Angela Krafft results-oriented boss,Bill Ambers protagonist director of customer service in a call center,Sarah HR counterpart and mentor, Landscaper Michael St. Vincent
About :Identifying gaps that costs billions and their causes so as to dig right solutions > companies and persons have a lot of uniqueness in them like Plants or Trees or other living beings
Identify The Business Needs by asking “What is our reason for being?” Kill the problem at the first point of contact once and for all, by improving the capabilities to achieve peak performance all time in an empowering environment.
What would YOU need to ‘do more’, ‘do better’, or ‘do differently’ to compete with others like you.
Now Replace YOU with your team, or your company or your supplier or your customer.. you would have now got answers to all your questions
What you SHOULD be doing can be seen and learnt from the STAR performers in the field
When you want to know something., or when someone wants your advice., you should;
Greet and welcome whole heartedly. Ask openend questions for they yeild better quallity and quantity of requisite information . Listen fully and acknoweldge the issue on hand. Be Emphathetic to fit the emotions and feelings of the parties concerned. Refrain being argumentative or defensive or combative. Dont just react , respond measuredly. Identify the key expectations of counterparty and specify the deliverables that could be expected. Exhibit patience, promptnes ,accuracy, comprehensive solution. Apologize, and accept mistakes. Thank for the oppurtunity, express genuine gratitute
What ‘is’ is not as important as what ‘should’ be. What is external and internal to an organization affects its culture a lot But What is internal to a individual affect his permormce more so than any thing else !! The Skill Knowledge and Talent count!!! Pint down the actual issue causer that needs resolution
Expertise canbe gained fast but Experience has tobe earned over a period of time .Specialization do help for firefighting faster, but generalization facilitates handling any situation with ease Communications problem can be eaasily solved if there is a good network and rapport Availability of Adequte information helps in correct and timely decisions Clear expectations bring about rewarding performance. Choose the right mix of actions to solve the issue on hand.

Thoughts By Brian Tracy;The Power of Pausing

  •All the succcessful persons ask good questions and listen carefully to the answers. One of the most important skills of listening is simply to pause before replying. When the prospect finishes talking, rather than jumping in with the first thing that you can think of, take three to five seconds to pause quietly and wait. •Becoming a Master of the Pause  >All excellent listeners are masters of the pause. They are comfortable with silences. When the other person finishes speaking, they take a breath, relax and smile before saying anything. They know that the pause is a key part of good communications. •Three Benefits of Pausing >Pausing before you speak has three specific benefits. The first is that you avoid the risk of interrupting the prospect if he or she has just stopped to gather his or her thoughts. Remember, your primary job in the sales conversation is to build and maintain a high level of trust, and listening builds trust. When you pause for a few seconds, you often find the prospect will continue speaking. He will give you more information and further opportunity to listen, enabling you to gather more of the information you need to make the sale. •Carefully Consider What You Just Heard >The second benefit of pausing is that your silence tells the prospect that you are giving careful consideration to what he or she has just said. By carefully considering the other person’s words, you are paying him or her a compliment. You are implicitly saying that you consider what he or she has said to be important and worthy of quiet reflection. You make the prospect feel more valuable with your silence. You raise his self-esteem and make him feel better about himself. •Understanding With Greater Efficiency >The third benefit of pausing before replying is that you will actually hear and understand the prospect better if you give his or her words a few seconds to soak into your mind. The more time you take to reflect upon what has just been said, the more conscious you will be of the their real meaning. You will be more alert to how his words can connect with other things you know about the prospect in relation to your product or service. •The Message You Send >When you pause, not only do you become a more thoughtful person, but you convey this to the customer. By extension, you become a more valuable person to do business with. And you achieve this by simply pausing for a few seconds before you reply after your prospect or customer has spoken. •Action Exercises >Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.First, take time to carefully consider what the customer just said and what he might mean by it. Pausing allows you to read between the lines.Second, show the customer that you really value what he has said by reflecting for a few moments before you reply.

Thoughts By Brian Tracy-Break Away From Old Ideas

  •Highly creative people tend to have fluid, flexible, adaptive minds. Here are three statements that creative people can make easily and which you learn by regular practice •Admit It When You Are Wrong >The first is simply, “I was wrong.” Many people are so concerned with being right that all their mental energy is consumed by stonewalling, bluffing, blaming and denying. If you’re wrong, admit it and get on to the solution or the next step. •Three Benefits of Pausing >Pausing before you speak has three specific benefits. The first is that you avoid the risk of interrupting the prospect if he or she has just stopped to gather his or her thoughts. Remember, your primary job in the sales conversation is to build and maintain a high level of trust, and listening builds trust. When you pause for a few seconds, you often find the prospect will continue speaking. He will give you more information and further opportunity to listen, enabling you to gather more of the information you need to make the sale. •Face Up to Mistakes >Second, non-creative people think that it is a sign of weakness to say, “I made a mistake.” On the contrary, it is actually a sign of mental maturity, personal strength and individual character. Remember, everybody makes mistakes every single day . •Be Flexible With New Information>The third statement that creative people use easily is, “I changed my mind.” It is amazing how many uncomfortable situations people get into and stay in because they are unwilling or afraid to admit that they’ve changed their minds. . •Be Willing to Cut Your Losses >If you get new information or if you find that you feel differently about a previous decision, accept that you have changed your mind and don’t let anyone or anything back you into a corner. If a decision does not serve your best interests as you see them now, have the ego-strength and the courage to “cut your losses,” to change your mind and then get on to better things •Action Exercises >Here are two ways you can break out of narrow thinking patterns and become more creative. First, be willing to admit that you are not perfect, you make mistakes, you are wrong on a regular basis. This is a mark of intelligence and courage. Second, with new information, be willing to change your mind. Most of what you know about your business today will change completely in the coming years so be the first to recognize it

laws-brian tracy

Anyone can enjoy success simply by reaching the point where they are perfectly content with their life in most respects, provided you always continue to learn, grow, innovate and improve and build Your ability to get along with others Law of Cause and Effect- Everything happens for a reason; Every action has a reaction equal or opposite Law of Belief- Whatever you truly believe in will become reality Law of Expectation- Whatever you conceive you will achieve; you do really dream up your future Law of Attraction-You attract what you desire;thoughts are powerful and can penetrate almost any barrier Law of Correspondence-Outside world is an image of your mental makeup inside;what you visualize and imagine inside you will experience outside Law of Control-no one can decide on your mood except yourself; it is not the events but how you react is what matters Law of Accident- Life is a series of random occurrences; it is upto to make the most benefit of each incident Law of Responsibility-You are responsible for whatever happens to you and your life;you have to take charge Law of Direction- Successful people need to have clear sense of purpose and direction Law of Compensation- You are fully compensated for whatever you do, positive or negative appropriately Law of Preparation -no pain no gain;serious hardwork gets rewarded Law of Purpose-Ethics and morals will gudie you the right path; It is not the sail but the rudder that matters more Law of the Customer-Customer is the king; business exists to satisfy the customers felt needs; Law of Quality-Quality is what the customer says it is and is willing to pay for;efficieny /productivity/aesthetics alone may not be enough Law of Specialization-Focus and expertise due to iteration ;In what ways could our product or service be modified or improved so that it satisfies even more of the special needs of a larger number of customers? Law of Integrity-honesty, truthfulness, and fairness at all levels at all times Law of Courage-Decisive and Firm and ability to say No Law of Power-ability to influence people over whom you have no direct control or authority Law of Capital- Your most valuable asset, in terms of cash flow, is your physical and mental capital, your earning ability. Law of Time Perspective-Understanding what is important and urgent; understanding your and mine views; understanding yesterday today and tomorrow Law of Investing-Investigate before you invest Law of Sales- Nothing happens until a sale takes place Law of Need- Every decision to purchase a product of service is an attempt to satisfy a need or relieve a dissatisfaction of some kind Law of Persuasion- The purpose of the selling process is to convince customers that they will be better off with the product than they would be with the money necessary to buy the product/service Law of Perverse Motivation- Everyone likes to buy, but no one wants to be sold. Law of Negotiating- Everything is negotiable Law of Four -Four issues, are to be decided upon in any negotiation of which one will be the main issue and three will be secondary issues Law of Anticipation- Eighty percent of your success comes form your preparation ie 20 pcercent of your efforts Law of Greater Power- The person with the greater power, real or imagined, will get the better deal in any negotiation Law of Clarity- The clearer you are about your goals and objectives, the more efficient and effective you will be Law of Posteriorities- Before you start something new, you must discontinue something old/obsolete Law of Competence- You can increase your efficiency and your effectiveness by becoming better and better at your key tasks

Magical six- rules for human to human contact

1 Remember you are working with people: Don’t exhaust them. People aren’t machines. Treat them with dignity and respect. 2 Listen to and talk with your people: Be inclusive. Do it frequently. Value and develop people skills in supervisors and managers. 3 Fix things promptly: Don’t let issues fester. Keep people informed of progress. 4 Make sure your paperwork is worth having: Keep it current. Make sure it’s meaningful. 5 Measure and monitor risks that people are exposed to: Don’t just react to incidents: fix things before incidents happen. Control risks at their source. 6 Keep checking that what you are doing is working effectively: Are you achieving what you think you are?

100ActionPrinciples By Bill FitzPatrick

Crux of the book that might remind yourself what all will help you in your journey to succes

Your Appeal shd be appreciated atleast by you  Write A Personal  Work At Wo r k   Walk The Talk  Venture Outside The Box  Use the Power of Patience   Understand Courage   Treasure the Earth GoGREEN   Think Wi n – Wi n   Thank Your Ancestors   Teach Our Childre n …   Submit to a Higher Power   Stay Fit and Healthy   Stay Centere d   Show Loyalty   Set Goals   Save Face of yours and your team  S p read Your Enthusiasm   S h a re the Cre d i t   Run the Short Road   Risk Failure   Reward Hardwork, work hard too  Respect and Defend All Life   Remain Adaptable   Relax Your Body   Rejoice In the Day   Record Your Thoughts   Read, Read, Read   Read Biographies   Retire Early   Practice Peace   Practice Forgiveness   Promote   Observe and Be Aware   Offer Freely   Negotiate With Power  Master Success   Make Today Special   Make Everyone Feel Important  Maintain Your Presence  Maintain A Positive March the Long Road  Love Many Things  Look in the Mirror   Listen to Your Instincts  Let Them Be  Lead by Example  Learn  Invest In Your Future  Imagine   Honor The Military  Hold Sacred …  Heed the Wa rn i n g s  Have Faith  Give Yourself the Gift of  Give Generously  Get Tough  Follow Your Code of Honor  Follow Through  Focus on Your Strengths   Face Fear  Forget Everybody  Enjoy Quiet Ti me  Embody Integrity  Don’t Complicate Matters   Don’t Be A Perfectionist  Do What You Love Doing  Do What Others Can’t  Divide and Conquer   Develop Your Special Talent  Develop Your Sense of Humor  Develop Winning Habits   Demonstrate Your Love  Count the Time  Communicate with Ease  Commit to Never Ending Close the Door on the Past  Cause Change  Call to Action  Control Conflict  Build Your Team   Build Networks  Become Grateful  Be the Warrior  Be Prudent   Be Proud   Be Persistent   Be Open to New Ideas   Be Frugal   Be Decisive   Be A Mentor  Avoid negative thoughts and thinkers Ask yourself before you question others Ask questions a lot  Appreciate your customers  Applaud the beginner  Allow you opponent oppurtunity to be heard  Act with boldness, be couragious  Act as your Feel, respect intuition Accept Differences

Thoughts By Brian Tracy:Dealing With Overwhelm

  •Too Much to Do, Too Little Time :The most common form of stress that managers experience is the feeling of being overwhelmed with far too much to do and having too little time to do it in. In fact, “time poverty” is the biggest single problem facing most managers in America today. We simply do not have enough time to fulfill all our responsibilities. Because of budget limitations, staff cutbacks, downsizing, and competitive pressures, individual managers are forced to take on more and more work, all of which appears to be indispensable to the smooth functioning of our company or department. •Become An Expert :The solution to this problem of work overload is for you to become an expert on time management. There is probably no other skill that you can learn that will give you a “bigger bang for the buck” than to become extremely knowledgeable and experienced in using time management practices. •Be Open to New Ideas :The most foolish manager of all is either the manager who feels that he has no time to learn about time management or, even worse, the manager who, while being overwhelmed with work, feels that he already knows all that he needs to know about the subject. •Never Stop Learning :The fact is that you can study time management and take time management courses for your entire business life and you will still never learn everything you need to know to get the most out of yourself while doing your job in the most efficient way. •The Keys to Time Management :The two indispensable keys to time management are: 1) the ability to set priorities; and 2) the ability to concentrate single-mindedly on one thing at a time. Since there is never enough time to do everything that needs to be done, you must be continually setting priorities on your activities. Perhaps the very best question that you can memorize and repeat, over and over, is, “what is the most valuable use of my time right now?” •The Best Question of All :This question, “what is the most valuable use of my time right now?” will do more to keep you on track, hour by hour, than any other single question in the list of time management strategies. •Start With Your Top Tasks :The natural tendency for all of us is to major in minors and to give in to the temptation to clear up small things first. After all, small things are easier and they are often more fun than the big, important things that represent the most valuable use of your time. •However, the self-discipline of organizing your work and focusing on your highest value tasks is the starting point of getting your time under control and lowering your stress levels. •Action Exercises :Here are two things you can do immediately to get your time under control. First, make a decision today to become an expert on time management. Read the books, listen to the audio programs, and take a time management course. Then, practice, practice, practice every day until you master time management skills. Second, set clear priorities on your work each day, before you begin. Then, discipline yourself to start on your most important task and stay at that until it is complete. This will relieve much of your stress immediately.

Do you want to change the way things are in your life?

Did you know that our thoughts create our reality, this explains why we attract and create what we focus on or what we focus on is what we get. Do you want to change the way things are in your life? There are seven Universal Laws – what are they? 1. Law of Manifestation This law attracts what you create. If your consciousness creates your reality, you simply can’t manifest anything that doesn’t already exist inside you. Everything manifests in your consciousness first, so if you see failure and difficulty around you, that’s a product of your mind. If you see abundance and achievement that’s a force of your own too 2. Law of Magnetism This law concerns what you attract, the power of your energy. This law states that we attract the same kind of energy that we put out about ourselves. This is based on the on the quantum physics principle that everything and everyone projects this power. 3. Law of Pure Desire In order to be aligned with this law, your intention must be pure, not manipulative, fear based or desperate. This means your motivations must be genuine, healthy and honouring to yourself and others. This law states that when you’re driven by a pure intention , free of fear, doubt and desperation—you can be certain of a beneficial outcome. 4. Law of Paradoxical Intent If you are desperate to make something happen that repulsive vibration will push it away, turning away the very people and situations that may have bought about your desired outcome. This law reflects the law of magnetism in warning that you will only get a return of your own negative energy. There’s the paradox. 5. Law of Harmony When you consciously choose to create balance and align yourself with the universe, your intention and energy open the floodgates of universal abundance. To live in balance with the world and tap into the river of abundance, you must be in harmony with yourself first. Note here that the most harmonic and successful emotions are love, peace, acceptance and enthusiasm for your own life. 6. Law of Right Action Your energy is self-perpetuating in the world. Value, honour and dignity will increase in your life to the same degree that you promote them in your environment around you. So with each of your choices, ask yourself, “is this honouring to myself and others?” 7. Law of Expanding Influence This law shows that your own energy expands in the world and has influence in your personal arena and in the world at large. So if you want your family to be more peaceful you must create that intention within yourself first. If you want your workers to be more industrious YOU must begin to project that energy in your own life. In the pursuit of success YOU must be honest, enthusiastic, encouraging and supportive. Practice using these laws in your life and watch what happens. Used correctly these laws will be possibly your most powerful allies to assist you to create the life of your choice.

some best self improvement books

The Success Principles byJack Canfield 
The One Minute Manager by Kenneth H  Blanchard
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R  Covey
Principles Of Success Brian Tracy 
Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E  Frankl
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie 
Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy 
Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! by Anthony Robbins

Nischayadartham (Wedding engagement)

It is an auspicious day in Anil’s calender.
The elders in the family and the the community declared the engagement of Anilkumar S/o Sivasankaran and Nivitha D/o Venugopal at 11 11 am on 10th Jan 2008 . It was also decided that the wedding will be solemnised at Viyur on April 21,2008.

Customs and Rituals in Hindu way of Life

Most of the Hindu customs are acts followed with a feeling of religiosity. From the cradle to the cremation ground, and for a time even after the body has been cremated the life of a Hindu is a round of customary rituals and ceremonies known as samskaras (sacraments). Regarding the exact number of these samskaras there is a great divergence of views among the smrti writers [ Ancient Hindu law-givers such as Manu, Gautama, Yajnavalkya and others.]. According to some, sixteen samskaras, as they are nitya (usual) must be performed, and the rest twenty-four as they are naimittika (special) ones are left to choice. They are observed by almost all castes, with the use of Vedic text by Brahmans and others, and with Pauranic text by the rest. The chief of these customary rituals are those at birth, thread-girding, marriage, pregnancy and death. The garbhadhana (girl-wife’s coming of age) ceremony, which used to be once performed separately and with great pomp as then girls were married at an early age, has now become a part of the marriage rite and receives scant attention.

Birth.

For her first confinement the young wife generally goes to her parents’ house. It is her privilege to do so. As a rule a pregnant woman is given whatever food she desires for and her longings (dohale) are noticed and promptly satisfied by the family elders. She is, however, advised to abstain from abnormally hot or hard- to-digest food. At the inception of labour-pains she repairs to an inner chamber in the house which has been swept clean and kept warm, dim-lighted and free from draught. A midwife generally known to the family and reputed for her skill in midwifery is called in and she attends the parturient from then onwards for ten or more days. The delivery usually takes place on the floor, no cot being used. After delivery, the position of the mother is not changed for some time. If the child is a boy the midwife beats a metal dish and the joyful news is carried to friends and kinsfolk with distribution of packets of sugar. When parturition is delayed so to cause anxiety, it is still a practice among the ignorant to solicit help of bhagats or mantriks for their esoteric charms or specific prescriptions. As soon as the child is born cold water is sprinkled over it to ‘awaken’ it. After a while the midwife ties the child’s umbilical cord with a cotton thread a few inches away from the navel and severs it with a knife, touches the wound with ashes and lays the child on a supa (winnowing fan). She then rubs the mother and child with turmeric and oil, bathes them with hot water, swathes the child in cloth bandages and leaves them to rest on a cot under which a small fire of live coals is set. The mother is given butter and myrrh pills, and the child is dosed with a few drops of castor oil and honey. Myrrh-incense is burnt and waved all over and the mother is purified with a fumigation of Vavding (Embelia ribes) and Balant-shopa (anise) in the room. All visitors sprinkle some drops of cow’s urine on their feet before entering the lying-in room as a precaution against evil spirits trying to enter with them. The after-birth is put in an earthen pot with a pice, a little turmeric and red powder, and buried in a hole dug outside the mother’s room and near the bath-water drain. The mother starts suckling the child only from the fourth day and the child is for the first three days nursed by giving it the end of a rag resting in a saucer of rice-broth and molasses to suck. During the period the mother is fed on saltless vegetarian diet. On the fourth day the mother and the child undergo a special bath and thence the mother starts suckling the child, herself taking to a full nutritious diet.

Panchavi and Sathi.

The first ritual as such in an infant’s life comes on the night of the fifth or sixth day after birth. The ceremony is known as the worship of Pancavi (Mother Fifth) and Sathi (Mother Sixth) and is observed among all communities. It is not a Vedic samskara and as such the configuration worshipped and the offerings made differ according to region, community and family. But a common belief exists that those nights are full of danger to the new-born child, and only by worshipping Mother Fifth and Sixth can the child be saved from convulsive seizures and most other forms of disease which are believed to be the work of evil spirits lurking in the lying-in room to attack the child.

The mother is held impure for ten days and no one except the midwife touches her. The family observes suher (ceremonial impurity) for the period. On the eleventh day the mother and the child are given a purificatory hath, their clothes washed and the whole house is cleaned. The walls and the ground of the lying-in room are smeared with a mixture of cowdung and water, the bathing place is washed and turmeric, red powder, flowers and lighted lamp are laid near it. The midwife is presented with a lugade, coli and money. The mother is cleansed of the impurity by a sprinkle of pancagavya or tulasi water, and men change their sacred thread. Many of these practises, however, get naturally avoided in case the woman has her delivery in a modern nursing home or lying-in hospital which now-a-days forms part of urban life and necessity.

In rural parts the mother worships the well when she goes thereto fetch water for the first time after her parturition. She offers turmeric and red powder to the well, makes obeisance and returns home with a well-cleaned pot filled with water.

The Naming.

The barse or naming ceremony which is generally held on the 12th day in the evening after birth is an important event in the child’s life. The karnavedha (boring of the ear-lobes) ceremony may take place in the morning that day or it may be postponed to the sixth or twelfth month. In the evening women neighbours, friends and kinswomen who are invited to attend the naming drop in, each with a present for the child and the mother. The child is then ceremonially cradled and named and the function closes with the distribution of boiled gram and packets of sweetmeat to the assembled.

Chaula.

The next ritual consists of the hair-cutting ceremony known as caula or cudakarana as mentioned in the Hindu Samskaras. It is also customary with many Hindu backward communities to give ceremonial attention to the first shaving or cutting of the child’s hair (javal) and is based on the belief that the hair with which the child is born are impure. At present among Brahmans the rite is usually gone through in the case of boys at the time of upanayana (thread-girding).

Among the well-to-do it is customary to celebrate the child’s birthday every month during the first year and then annually for some years. Even the various stages of development in the child, such as, learning to turn on one side, crawling, sitting, standing, etc., are sometimes celebrated by the family with feasting.

Thread-girding.

The thread-girding ceremony or munja as it is popularly known is a samskara prescribed for all Hindus claiming a place in the first three varnas (caste-groups). In essence it is a purificatory rite initiating a boy to bramhacaryasram (stage of student-hood). In Kolaba the castes besides Brahmans which are supposed to gird their boys with sacred thread are Prabhus and Sonars. Recently the ceremony is found to have been observed by Varus. Marathas generally are not known to perform the ceremony but some wear the sacred thread renewing it yearly in the month of Sravana. The Caukalshis wear the sacred thread during the marriage ceremony but at no other time.

On going through this ceremony the boy becomes a brahmacari (an unwed religious student) and from then one should pursue Vedic study at the feet of his guru for some years, completing which, should undergo the samavartana (return) ceremony. But, as the present custom goes, the samavartana or the sod-munj ceremony as it is called, follows the thread-girding without much lapse of time, the whole ceremony coming to a close within a day.

In order to convey an idea of the rites of upanayana in the days of the grhya sutras the ceremony as contained in the Asv. gr. sutra (which is among the shortest) is set out here in full: “Let him initiate the boy who is decked, whose hair (on the head) is shaved (and arranged), who wears a new garment or an antelope skin if a brahman, ruru skin if a ksatriya, goat’s skin if a vaisya; if they put on garments they should put on dyed ones, reddish-yellow, red and yellow (for a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya respectively), they should have girdles and staffs (as described above). While the boy takes hold of (the hand of) his teacher, the latter offers (a homa of clarified butter oblations) in the fire (as described above) and seats himself to the north of the fire with his face turned to the east, while the other one (the boy) stations himself in front (of the teacher) with his face turned to the west. The teacher then fills the folded hands of both himself and of the boy with water and with the verse ‘we choose that of Savitr’ (Rg. V. 82.1) the teacher drops down the water in his own folded hands on to the water in the folded hands of the boy; having thus poured the water, he should seize with his own hand the boy’s hand together with the thumb (of the boy) with the formula ‘by the urge (or order) of the god Savitr, with the arms of the two Asvins, with the hands of Pusan, I seize thy hand, oh! so and so; with the words ‘Savitr has seized thy hand, oh so and so’ a second time (the teacher seizes the boy’s hand); with the words ‘Agni is thy teacher oh so and so’ a third time. The teacher should cause (the boy) to look at the sun, while the teacher repeats ‘God Savitr! this is thy brahmacari, protect him, may he not die’ and (the teacher should further) say ‘Whose brahmacari art thou? thou art the brahmacari of Prana. Who does initiate thee and whom (does he initiate?) I give thee to Ka (to Prajapati). With the half verse (Rg. III 8.4.) ‘the young man, well attired and dressed, came hither’ he (the teacher) should cause him to turn round to the right and with his two hands placed over (the boy’s) shoulders he should touch the place of the boy’s heart repeating the latter half (of Rg. III. 8.4). Having wiped the ground round the fire the brahmacri should put (on the fire) a fuel stick silently, since it is known (from sruti) ‘what belongs to Prajapati is silently (done)’, and the brahmacari belongs to Prajapati. Some do this (offering of a fuel stick) with a mantra ‘to Agni I have brought a fuel stick, to the great Jatavedas; by the fuel stick mayst thou increase, Oh Agni and may we (increase) through brahman (prayer or spiritual lore), svaha’. Having put the fuel stick (on the fire) and having touched the fire, he (the student) thrice wipes off his face with the words ‘I anoint myself with lustre.’ ‘May Agni bestow on me, insight, offspring and lustre; on me may Indra bestow insight, offspring and vigour (indriya); on me may the sun bestow insight, offspring and radiance; what thy lustre is, Oh Agni, may I thereby become strong; what thy consuming power is, Oh Agni may I thereby acquire consuming power. Having waited upon (worshipped) Agni with these formulas, (the student) should bend his knees, embrace (the teacher’s feet) and say to him ‘recite, Sir, recite, Sir, the Savitri’. Seizing the student’s hands with the upper garment (of the student) and his own hands the teacher recites the Savitri, first pada by pada, then hemistich by hemistich (and lastly) the whole verse. He (the “teacher) should make him (the student) recite (the Savitri) as much as he is able. On the place of the student’s heart the teacher lays his hand with the fingers upturned; may Brhaspati appoint thee unto me’. Having tied the girdle mind follow my mind; may you attend on my words single minded; may Brhaspati appoint thee unto me’. Having tied the girdle round him (the boy) and having given him the staff, the teacher should instruct him in the observances of a brahmacari with the words ‘a brahmacari art thou, sip water, do service, do not sleep by day, depending (completely) on the teacher learn the Veda’. He (the student) should beg (food) in the evening and the morning; he should put a fuel stick (on fire) in the evening and the morning. That (which he has received by begging) he should announce to the teacher; he should not sit down (but should be standing) the rest of the day.” [P. V. Kane, History of Dharmahastra, Vol. II, Part 1, p. 281.]

Marriage.

Hindus consider vivaha (marriage) as one of the sarirasam-skaras (sacraments sanctifying the body) through each of which every man and woman must pass at the proper age and time, and as such they think it is obligatory on every person to marry. As a sacrament a marriage can be established only after undergoing certain rites and ceremonies, and these marriage rituals, at least among the higher castes are the same as elsewhere with minor variations. The present-day customs and ceremonial practices observed by Hindus regarding marriage fall in three broad classes, viz., (1) The traditional form generally used by professional priests for conducting marriage ceremonies of Brahmans and allied Classes. It is mainly based on rites prescribed in the grhyasutras and in it Vedic mantras are freely used. (2) The pauranika form which is essentially the same as (1) but in it Puranic mantras instead of Vedic ones are used. (3) Modern forms which are variants of (1) and (2) and preached by sponsors of movements of reformism or revivalism among the people [ Following instituted bodies are known to have preached such forms:- (1) Arya Samaj, (2) Prarthana Samaj, (3) Satya Shodhak Samaj, (4) Hindu Dharma Nirnaya Mandal, and (5) Hindu Missionary Society.]. Even when the ceremony is celebrated in the traditional way, the general tendency now-a-days, is towards curtailing ritualistic details to the extent of winding up the ceremony in a day or two thereby aligning it with the modern form.

A marriage alliance is arranged or settled generally by the parents or guardians of the groom and the bride concerned, and as Kanyadana or giving a daughter in marriage is considered meritorious among the higher castes, it is always the bride’s parents or relatives that take the initiative in the match-making. Social conditions, however, among advanced classes have now changed a great deal. Among them a practice of letting the would be couple to go for a walk and be together to know each other is followed. But this is an innovation and not the people’s custom. The custom of consulting and comparing horoscopes of the girl and the boy is gradually falling into disuse, as the parents of the couple hold that considerations of dowry or good looks are more important than the agreement of stars, and settle the marriages according to the pritivivaha or love form in which no consultation of horoscopes is required. Monetary considerations almost invariably dominate a marriage settlement. But regarding it no uniform rule prevails. Some castes put a price on the bride, others on the bridegroom and there are some who do not put a price on either of the two. Generally among higher castes hunda (dowry or property which a woman brings to her husband) is paid by. the bride’s parents to the bridegroom. Among castes not in the first flight the bride’s parents usually take deja (bride-price). It may be noted here that the dowry demanded from the bride’s father is under the guise of vara daksina-money the donee receives from the donor to fulfil the purpose of a dana (gift). In some communities, especially among the middle class educated families of the Kayastha Prabhus in the district, dowry forms a supervening consideration in a marriage settlement. Among high class Marathas marriage is very costly. The bride’s father must give a large dowry to the bridegroom, and in return the bridegroom’s father must present valuable ornaments to the bride. Even the well-to-do gets harassed if he has many daughters. In proportion to the position of the family, the father has to spend on his daughter’s marriage, running into debt from which he seldom frees himself.

Marriage Rules.

According to the orthodox way of life there exist a number of restrictions on a marriage selection. Rules of endogamy (i.e., rules restricting marriage within the group) prohibit marriage outside the caste or sub-caste; rules of exogamy which operate within the endogamous group prohibit marriage between sapindas (blood relations), sagotras and sapravaras (same eponymous groups). Brahmans and allied communities generally claim gotras and pravaras and abide by gotra and pravara exogamy. Non-Brahman communities have kuli (stock), devak (totem) and surnames as exogamous divisions. Maratha families have devaks or sacred symbols, which appear to have been originally totems, and affect marriage to the extent that a man cannot marry a woman whose devak reckoned on the male side is the same as his own. The religious restriction on sapindas is extended to seven degrees on the father’s side and five degrees on the mother’s side, but the prohibited degrees of kindred for marriage beyond the agnates (related on the father’s side) vary according to the custom of the community. Marriages among families of the same gotra are now made permissible under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, but marriages among, sapindas are totally prohibited by law as well as by custom. As regards cross-cousin unions, except that of the brother’s daughter with the sister’s son which is tolerated or even preferred among some castes other types are generally disallowed. Marriage with a wife’s sister is allowed, and brothers may marry girls who are sisters. Polygamy, which was once allowed and practised, is now prohibited by law [Social usage in relation to these marriage rules is being considerably affected by recent legal enactments, namely, (1) the Child Marriage Restraints Act of 1929, as amended by Act XIX of 1938, which prohibits marriage of boys under 18 years of age, and girls under 14 years of age; (2) the Hindu Marriage Disabilities Removal Act (XXVIII of 1946), which validates marriages between parties (a) belonging to the same gotra or pravara or (b) belonging to different sub-divisions of the same caste; and now the extensive alterations made by legislation embodied in the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, abrogates and over-rides all the rules of Hindu Law concerning marriage previously applicable to Hindus.].

Wedding.

When primary negotiations are complete the formal ceremonies of vadhu pariksa (inspection of the bride) and sakharpuda (betrothal) are gone through. On an auspicious day a select party on the boy’s side arrange to visit the girl’s house with due notice, and there at a tea-party on interviewing the girl make her a present of an ornament and new cloth (sadi, etc.,) and distribute sweets among the assembled as a mark of their approval. The fathers of the bride and the bridegroom settle the dowry (vara daksina) and the presents (varopacara) to be given to the bridegroom by the bride’s father. These items may be entered into an agreement and its copies marked with kunkum and exchanged between the two fathers. The muhurta auspicious day and hour for the wedding, is then determined. and fixed giving due consideration to the tdrdbala, candrabala (i.e., the happy and powerful influence of the birth-stars) of the wedding couple.

The friends and relations of the bride and the bridegroom now start giving each kelvan (congratulatory) feasts. Lagna-mandaps, marriage pandals, are erected at both the houses. Printed invitation cards or letters are distributed or posted, and a formal invitation ceremony and procession called aksat may take place a day or two before the marriage. Halad, i.e., besmearing the boy and the girl with turmeric powder is considered as an important ceremony among the lpwer castes.

On the marriage day or on the day previous, as a prelude to the vivaha (wedlock) ceremony a number of propitiatory rites are gone through both at the bride’s and the bridegroom’s. Punyahavacana (holy day blessing) which is conjoined with devakasthapana (guardian-enshrining) and in which the boy and his parents (and the girl and her parents at the girl’s house) participate is performed at about seven in the morning. This is followed by nandi-sraddha, an auspicious rite requesting the spirits of the forefathers to be present in the house and bless the wedding, and mandapa-devata pratistha, i.e., establishing the booth-spirits. When the time for marriage draws near, the girl’s father accompanied by his priest goes to the boy’s house, and gives him formal invitation to his house to hold the marriage.

Meanwhile the bride who may be clad in the orthodox fashion in yellow sadi known as astaputri or vadhuvastra and a short sleeved backless bodice, sits before Gaurihar (the marriage god which is an image of Siva and his consort Gauri) in the house, throws a few grains of rice and sesamum over the image, and prays with words, “Gauri, Gauri grant me a happy wifehood and long life to him who is coming to my door.”

In the actual marriage ceremony, there are numerous stages of which, the following are the principal:-(1) Simantapujana, i.e., reception and adoration of the bridegroom at the entrance of the town. (2) Vadhugrha-gamanam, i.e., going to the place of the bride. (3) Madhuparka, i.e., a respectful offering made to a guest or the bride-groom on his arrival at the door of the father of the bride. (4) Parasparaniriksna, i.e., the ceremony of gazing at each other through the screen called antarpat, and of garlanding the bride-groom by the bride. (5) Kanyadana, i.e., the ceremony of giving the girl in marriage. (6) Vivahahoma, i.e., offering of oblation by throwing ghee into the sacred fire in honour of the marriage. (7) Panigrahana, i.e., ceremony of taking by the hand. (8) Lajahoma, i.e., throwing parched grains into the consecrated fire. (9) Saptapadi, i.e., the ceremony of bride and bride-groom walking together seven steps round the sacred fire after which the marriage becomes irrevocable.

The vivahahoma ending in saptapadi is the operative and essential portion of the ceremony. On completion of the last step the actual marriage is considered to be complete. The concluding ceremonies that follow are varat, the homeward return of the bridegroom with the bride in a procession, and grahapravesh, i.e.. the ceremonial home-entering of the newly wed.

The major stages of the Hindu Marriage Ceremony -Wedding Rites

Ganesh Puja
The wedding day starts with a prayer invoking Lord Ganesh whose divine grace dispel all evils and promotes a successful and peaceful completion of the ceremony.

Grah Shanti (Worship to the Nine Planets)
This is a prayer to the nine planets of our Solar system. Ancient Indian studies indicated that various celestial bodies have an influence on the destiny of every individual. The effect of the nine planets is meant to be the most profound. During this puja the Gods associated with these planets are asked to infuse courage, peace of mind and inner strength to the bride and groom to help them endure life’s sufferings.

The Welcome (Parchan)
The bride’s mother welcomes the bridegroom with a garland and she then escorts him to the mandap. The father of the bride washes the right foot of the bridegroom with milk and honey. At the end of the welcome, a white sheet is held to prevent this bridegroom seeing the arrival of the bride.

Arrival of the Bride
The bride is escorted to the mandap by her maternal uncle (Mama), female cousins and friends. In some wedding ceremonies she may be carried in a small carriage to the mandap.

Kanyadaan (Entrusting of the Daughter)
Consent of the parents is obtained for the wedding to proceed. The bride’s parents give their daughter to the groom by putting the bride’s right hand into the groom’s right hand (Hastamelap, joining of hands) while reciting sacred verse. The curtain separating the bride and groom is then lowered and the couple exchange flower garlands. The elders of the house place an auspicious white cotton cord around the couple’s shoulder’s to protect them from the evil influences. This also symbolises the couple’s bond. The groom holds the bride’s hand and they both take vows to love cherish and protect each other throughout life.

Ganthibandhan (tying the knot)
The priest ties the wedding knot as a symbol of the permanent union between the bride and groom as husband and wife.

Agni Puja (evocation of the holy fire)
The priest sets up a small fire in a kund (cooper bowl). Agni (fire) is the mouth of Vishnu and symbolises the illumination of mind, knowledge and happiness. The remainder of the ceremony is conducted around the fire.

Shilarohana (stepping on the stone)
The bride places her right foot on a stone. The bridegroom tells her to be as firm as the stone in his house so that the can face their enemies and the difficulties of life together.

Laja homa (putting parched rice into the sacred fire)
Three obligations are offered to the sacred fire. The brother of the bride puts into the bride’s hand parched rice, half of which slips into the bridegroom’s hand. Mantras are chanted. The bride prays to Yama, the God of Death, that he grant long life, health, happiness and prosperity to the bridegroom.

Mangalfera (walking around the fire)
The couple walk around the sacred fire four times. Each time they stop to touch with their toe a stone in their path. This symbolises obstacles in life that they will overcome together. These four rounds stand for the four basic human goals:

Dharma – righteousness
Artha – monetary accomplishment
Kama – energy and passion in life
Moksha – liberation from everything in life.

The groom, signifying his contribution in helping the union to attain dharma, artha and kama, leads the first three rounds. The bride signifying their continual journey spiritual liberation leads the last round.

Saptapadi (seven steps)
The bride and groom take seven steps together around the fire. It is said in Hindu philosophy that if two people walk seven steps together then they will remain lifelong friends. They exchange sacred vows at the beginning of each encircling walk. At the end of each walk, the open palms of the bride are filled with puffed rice by her brother signifying wealth and prosperity. The seven steps and their promises are:

1.Let us take the first step to provide for our household, keeping a pure diet and avoiding those things that might harm us.

2. Let us take the second step to develop our physical, mental and spiritual powers.

3. Let us take our third step to increase our wealth by righteous and proper means.

4. Let us take out fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness and harmony by mutual love, respect and trust.

5. Let us take the fifth step so that we may be blessed with strong, virtuous and heroic children.

6. Let us take the sixth step for self-restraint and longevity.

7. Let us take the seventh step to be true companions and remain life-long partners by this wedlock.

Saubhagya Chinha (blessing the bride)
The bridegroom blesses the bride by putting kumkum or sindhur (vermilion powder) at the parting of her hair (or on her forehead) and by giving her a sacred necklace (Mangal Sutra). The Mangal Sutra represents the couple’s togetherness, love and sacred union.

Haridaya-Sparsha (touching of hearts)
The bride and bridegroom touch each other’s heart reciting promises to each other.

Chathurthi Karma
The bride and groom feed each other four times for nourishment of the bone, muscle, skin and soul.

Aashirvaad (blessings)
The priest blesses the bride and groom. Flower petals and rice are given to the guests to shower them on the bride and groom with blessings. The wedding guests can then give their individuals blessings to the bride and groom and once completed, the marriage ceremony ends. Guests are invited to enjoy a sumptuous meal with the newlyweds.

Viddai (Bride’s departure)
The farewell to the bride by her family and friends is a very emotional episode. The bride is leaving her parents home to build a life with her husband and his family. She leaves with tears of joy and sorrow.

Pilucinchuanu
Before the wedding car departs for the Hindu temple, the priest will place a coconut under the front wheel of the car and wait for it to be broken by the weight of the car. The historic significance of this is that in the old days the couple would use a horse drawn carriage and the breaking of the coconut ensured that the vehicle was roadworthy for the journey. The pilucinchuanu concludes the entire ceremony.

Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

The principles recommended To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie are:
1.Don’t criticize, condemn or complain. Instead of condemning people, lets try to understand them, a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism: and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness.
2.Give honest and sincere appreciation. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime-repeat them years after you had forgotten them.”
3.Arouse in the other person an eager want. “Self expression is the dominant necessity of human nature. When we have a brilliant idea, instead of making others think it is our, let them stir the idea themselves, they will the regard it as their own and they will like it, and maybe eat a couple helpings of it.”
4.Become genuinely interested in other people. If you want others to like you, if you want to develop real friendships, if you want to help others, at the same time as you help yourself, keep this principle in mind.
5.Smile. Your smile is a messenger of your goodwill. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it. To someone who has seen a dozen people frown, scowl or turn their faces away, your smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds.
6.Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. The information we are imparting or the request we are making, takes on a special importance when we approach the situation with the name of the individual.
7.Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems.
8.Talk in terms of the other person’s interest. Talking in terms of the other person’s interest pays off for both parties.
9.Make the other person feel important – and do in sincerely. Talk to people about themselves and they will listen for hours
10.The only way to get the best of ;an argument is to avoid it.
11.Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say “you’re wrong.” Don’t argue, instead use diplomacy.
12.If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically. Remember the old proverb, “by fighting you never get enough, but by yielding, you get more than you expected.”
13.Begin in a friendly way. Remember what Lincoln said: A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.”
14.Get the other person saying “yes,yes” immediately.
15.Let the other person do a great deal of talking.
16.Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
17.Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view. An increased tendency to think always in terms of the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as your own.-if you get only that one thing from this book, it may easily proved to be one of the stepping-stones of your career.
18.Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
19.Appeal to their nobler motives. Make people feel that you consider them honest, upright and fair.
20.Dramatize your ideas.
21.Throw down a challenge. Every successful person wants a chance of self expression, the chance to prove one’s worth.
22.Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
23.Call attention to peoples mistakes indirectly.
24.Talk about your own mistakes, before criticizing the other person.
25.Ask questions, instead of giving direct orders.
26.Let the other person save face.
27.Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation ;and lavish in your praise.”
28.Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
29.Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
30.Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest. Experience’s of most people show that you are more likely to change attitudes this way.

FRONTLINE John Cherian RAJEEV BHATT A deal’s progress

COVER STORY A deal’s progress Volume 23 – Issue 23 :: Nov. 18-Dec. 01, 2006
RAJEEV BHATT

“Still a long way to go.” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

IMMEDIATELY after the landslide victory of the Democrats, there was considerable speculation in the United States and India about the fate of the “nuclear deal” between the two countries. President George W. Bush has touted the deal as one of his biggest foreign policy achievements and pledged to see it through Congress and the Senate.

The Bush administration’s conduct of foreign policy was the major issue for the Democrats on the campaign trail. Besides, the Democratic Party has many Representatives and Senators with strong views on the issue of nuclear non-proliferation. Former President Jimmy Carter had told The Washington Post on March 29 that the proposed nuclear deal with India “is just one more step in opening the Pandora’s box of nuclear proliferation”.

In his first press conference after the polls, Bush emphasised that the “nuclear deal” is being given top priority in the “lame duck” session of the Congress. The Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement passed through various stages of legislation in the past 16 months. The House of Representatives cleared the proposed Bill, okaying the deal, in June. Three more steps remained for it to become legal. The first of these was passing it in the Senate. After the loss of Republican control over both the Houses, there were doubts about whether the issue would figure in the crowded agenda. Some legislators had called for a postponement of the vote until the new Congress convened in January. Such a move would have meant starting the whole legislative process from scratch.

Things looked grim from New Delhi’s standpoint for a brief period, when the “lame duck” session of the Senate rebuffed President Bush’s plea to approve the proposal to grant Vietnam permanent normal trade relations. Vietnam, along with India, is among the countries Washington is wooing as part of its plan of building an anti-China coalition.

The Congressional Research Service prepared a report that questioned India’s non-proliferation record and commented adversely on India’s relationship with Iran. U.S. experts on non-proliferation once again issued statements warning that the exception being made in the case of India would make it difficult for the U.S. to deal with countries like North Korea and Iran.

Bush had assured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on phone that he would press for a quick passage of the Bill in the Senate after the congressional elections. To the relief of the Indian government, when the nuclear deal came up for a vote in the Senate it came to be viewed as a bipartisan issue, with leading Democratic Senators emerging as the biggest champions of enhanced relations with India. Among them was Senator Joseph Biden, who will be the new chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

On November 16, the Senate approved the deal 85-12 on cooperating with India. Bush hailed the passage of the Bill, adding that it would bring India into “the non-proliferation mainstream”.

However, the Bill requires India to cooperate actively with Washington in its goal of preventing Iran from acquiring the expertise to produce even nuclear power. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told the media in New Delhi on the day the Senate passed the Bill that his country had no objections to the nuclear deal. At the same time, Mottaki said that he expected India-Iran ties to grow further.

New Delhi expressed its satisfaction with the smooth passage of the Bill in the Senate but cautioned that more needed to be done. Manmohan Singh, while welcoming the development, said that there was still a long way to go before nuclear cooperation between India and the U.S. becomes a “reality”. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the passage of the Bill reflected the “very broad bipartisan support”.

The Bill has to be jointly voted by Congress after the Senate and the House meet, sometime in early December, to reconcile different amendments made when either House passed the Bill.

Though the so-called “killer amendments” proposed by some Senators do not figure in the Bill, sections of the Indian scientific establishment are sceptical about some aspects of the Bill. Spokespersons for the Left parties said they would not accept any compromises from the Indian government. CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said the Bill in its current form contained provisions that were objectionable.

John Cherian

Solving the Stock puzzle

1.Is the company’s current quarterly earnings per share up at least 25%?
2.Are the percentage increases in profits accelerating compared to recent quarters?
3.Does it have six to twelve quarters of significant earnings increases up 50%, 100%, even 200% or more?
4.Is the next quarter’s consensus earnings estimate up a worthwhile amount?
5.Have earnings in the past few quarters been higher than expected?
6.If it’s a growth stock, is each of the last 3 years of earnings up an average of 25% or more per year?
7.Is the company’s Earnings Per Share Rating 80 or higher?
8.If it’s a turnaround stock, does it have two quarters of strong earnings increases or one quarter that is up so much that the 12 months earnings per share are back to their old peak?
9.If 2 or more quarters have turned up, are the trailing 12-month earnings near or above the peak of the prior couple of years?
10.How much are the consensus earnings estimates up for the next 2 years?
11.Does the company have six to twelve quarters of strong sales growth?
12.Has that growth rate accelerated in recent quarters?
13.Is the current quarter’s after-tax profit margin at or close to its peak?
14.Has there been a general trend of profit-margin improvement over many quarters?
15.Are the company’s margins among the best in its industry?
16.Is the annual pre-tax profit margin 18% or more? (For retailers it’s alright to have lower margins)
17.Is the return on equity 20% to 505 or more and is its ROE among the very best in its industry?
18.Is its Sales+ Profit Margins + ROE Rating an A or B? That would place it among the top 40% of all stocks in terms of sales growth, pre-tax and after-tax profit margins, and return on equity.
19.Does the company’s management own the stock?
20.Is the stock in a quality price range? Quality comes at 16$ to 150$ for Nasdaq stocks and 20$ and above for NYSE stocks. Leaders like Cisco Systems, Wal-Mart, Microsoft, PeopleSoft and Amgen broke out of their beginning chart bases many years ago between 30$ and 50$ per share – before they had giant price advances. Price is a basic reflection of quality.
21.Is the stock part of a historically winning industry group such as retail, computers, technology, drug and health care, or leisure and entertainment?
22.Is it in one of the Top 5 groups? Check the “52-Week Highs and Lows” feature on the Industry Groups page for the top 5 performing groups.
23.Do Investor’s Business Daily’s small index charts on the Industry Groups page show the current market favors big-cap or small-cap stocks? Go with the flow and do not fight current market trends.]
24.What broad economic sector is the market favoring? Consumer or high-tech? Growth or cyclical? Defensive (food, utilities)? New or older more established companies?
25.Does the company’s product save money, solve a problem, or save time with new technology?
26.Is it a new drug or medical technique?
27.Is it widely needed or liked?
28.Is it a product that encourages repeat sales?
29.Is the company’s backlog of unfilled orders expanding?
30.At what percent capacity is the company operating?
31.What is the company’s expected rate of future expansion?
32.Have one or two of the smarter, better-performing mutual funds bought the stock recently? Better institutions do extensive research before buying.
33.Do you really understand and believe in the company’s business? Have you seen or used its product or service?
34.Potential winners will have strong earnings and sales growth, increasing profit margins and high return on equity (17% or more) and will be part of a leading industry group.
35.Investor’s Business Daily’s proprietary data and the IBD SmartSelect Corporate Ratings will help you pick winning stocks.
36.Check Daily Graphs Online to spot which of your prospects are forming a sound pattern and are under accumulation or professional buying. They must be near a proper buy point.
37.Analyze the week-by-week price and volume action. Write down the price at which you will begin buying the stock. After your initial purchase, identify a price area (maybe when it goes up 2.5 to 3%) at which you will add a small amount as a follow-up buy if it continues to perform well.
38.If the stock drops 8% below your exact initial buy point, protect yourself against a possible larger loss by selling at the current market price.
39.You want an increase of 50% or more in trading volume on the day you begin buying with the stock breaking out of a sound base.
40.Is the chart pattern a “cup with a handle”, “double bottom” or “flat base”? If it is not any of these, it may be faulty and failure-prone.
41.Is its Relative Price Strength Rating 80 or more? Is the relative strength line on the chart in a definite uptrend?
42.Keep adding to your best-performing stocks and reduce or sell your worst performing ones.
43.Check a long-term monthly chart to see if stock is also emerging out of a long-term base over a number of years.