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· 5 min read
D Balaji

Groww welcome photo

Post covid, I do not attend in person meetings. Hey Covid, you added bunch of excuses to the list. I do not use Groww app however I decided to attend this meeting to hear the financial jargon. This meeting was first of its kind, a meeting about finances is not something that happens often in upcoming cities.

Venue and arrangements

The venue was in district headquarters or Taluk. The hotel was in a decent location, well-connected to all means of transport. Event had adequate branding arrangements. Not too flashy or the absence of it.

There was a small stage suitable for one speaker to stand and present his contents to a room of 50 to 75 people.

I reached the venue first, and it was an empty room but towards the end, the hall was full.


Free tickets were to be booked on eventbrite platform in advance.

The room had people who where in their teens until retirement. I think the Groww team estimated the audience demographic details by their experience. They had a certified financial planner to give a financial talk for close to 1.5 hours.


His name is Karthik, and he is a CFA. Because that's all we know about him. There was hardly any speaker introduction or hype or welcome address.

The speaker also did not do PR for Groww. The speaker maintained a neutral view without being sales focused.

Key takeaways

The general purpose of a speech presented by the CFP would essentially be around having a financial plan in place, identifying goals and arranging corpus for goals. The speaker delivered a well crafted speech backed by research and data.

Let me present the unique points apart from stock selection theory, retirement planning, investment choices which were spoken on the stage.

Comparing similar stocks before buying

Let us assume you are an informed investor. You would select a sector, then industry, and then the stock. But have you compared the stock pick with the peers thoroughly? I do not do that because I know only about company X and not its peers.

The simplest way to compare would be to use screener website peers table or make your own table with key KPI and access the peers closely. We might pick a better stock in this approach.

There are 18 sectors listed on NSE.

Evergreen funds and SIP Millionaires

The average SIP tenure is about 3 years.

We have seen the fancy Groww SIP calculator throwing 8 figures when you input a decent SIP number and 15 years of tenure but how many really get to realize the numbers? Not many of us, because markets are volatile, scary and nerve wrecking when the corpus gets bigger.

In short term the market generates losses but in a period of 10+ years the chances of market investment making losses is very low.

An average investor tends to take the money out of MF or stop the SIP process. This is preventing people from becoming crorepati.

The assumption is that you invest your money into flexi cap fund or some evergreen funds which are professionally managed. Mutual funds can be compared to market performance. If the MF is consistently underperformed for multiple years in a row in spite of markets going upwards, then you may have to switch the MF.

High P/E stocks essentially means that in case of crash, it would take longer time to recover from the crash.

Approaching investments

The speaker did not say mutual fund sahi hai at all. The speaker was an advocate of tagging an investment to a goal. Tagging investment to a goal relieves the investor from emotional conundrums like should I take my money out or should I worry about the crash, etc.

Let us say you are saving for child college, then the ripe time to think of withdrawing money would be 3 years before college. Withdrawal can be done in SWP.

As long as the financial goal is met, the investment vehicle hardly matters.

Investment options should be evaluated in the context of risk and return.

Everyone like to be a part of a trend which is bullish, has a long run raking profits for its share holders.

Here are few things we need to be aware of

  • Markets follow cycles like accumulation phase, distribution phase, bull phase, bear phase, etc
  • Trends arise out of new market opportunities or opportunities in particular sector
  • Be good at
    • Identifying trends
    • Taking calculated risk
    • Reading trend lines
    • Trend reversal
  • If you can spot trends ahead of one quarter, then you are going to make profit or book profits.


Money decisions should be logical and not emotional.

An evening well spent with good amount of information and surprise goodies which was a T-Shirt.

You can have a good financial future if you have a

  • Steady income
  • Wont make big losses
  • Save consistently
  • Plan ahead
  • Won't make emotional spends.

Save first, spend next.

· One min read
D Balaji

Disclaimer: Works only on mac OS & Linux

When you work with modern and legacy codebases, we have to switch the node versions that fits the project.

Most developers are familiar with nvm aka Node version manager.

While we switch to a codebase which uses a different codebase, use nvm use command. But its not a magical command to analyze the node version requirements.

Make sure to add .nvmrc to the project root with the minimal node version.


The terminal output would be

> nvm use
Now using node v18.15.0 (npm v9.5.0)

Interestingly the global node version across the machine is not impacted. The changes are restricted to the terminal.


  • Install NVM
  • Add .nvmrc with minimum required version number
  • Run nvm use command
  • Notice the change in the version in the terminal

· 2 min read
D Balaji

1. Input

Chatgpt - text based dialogue like queries

Alexa - voice based interface

2. Output

Chatgpt - text based on the input query

Alexa - voice, can perform action and do small tasks

3. Usability at work environment

Chatgpt - can be used a quick research tool, good at organizing and listing facts.

Alexa - can be used as a timer, Its more of a personal device.

4. UI

Chatgpt - Its well thought of and you can organize your work within chatgpt. Goto previous queries etc.

Alexa - Its a exceptional tool to manage all things personal/office like music, devices, simple queries, etc.

5. Common drawbacks

Chatgpt - Good at facts but content lacks personal touch or anecdotes or stories

Alexa - As good as the alexa skills but most specific questions are taken to web search


AI tools have entered into our life like a bicycle for a kid. We have to learn to use the bicycle else there wont be much fun. Identifying professional use cases for AI without compromising data security and privacy is a challenge like the kid ensuring not to fall from cycle before his friends while learning to drive it.

· 2 min read
D Balaji

Feedly app

We have reached a time in history where one newspaper does not fit all. One music app does not fit all, one form of text communication does not fit all. The same holds good with our efforts to keep ourself updated.

Why feedly

Feedly has been in the market since a long time. Feedly excels at keeping up with sources emitting their updates over RSS feed. Lets say you visit 5 different web sites or news sites every day. Instead of consuming content on their website, we can achieve from one interface inside feedly.

Feedly free version leaves you behind when it comes with keeping up with other information streams like twitter but I feel its a good trade off.

With a setup like feedly, you are isolated from ads and promoted content that deter your focus

Categories inside feedly

Before I proceed further, I would like to confess that I had setup feedly before many years and it failed. One of the main reason was that I overloaded the feed with multiple channels. This time I want to keep it simple.

7 categories of feeds for each day of the week starting with financial news on Sunday

Here are my categories

  1. Financial news

  2. Tech Blogs

  3. Professionals

  4. Engineering

  5. Hackernews

  6. Lifestyle

  7. Newsletters

Filtering quality content

If you want quality content, then we need to find quality sources of content. I followed the trusted, reputed and relevant sources only.

Avoid repetition of content which reduces the number of news items to view.


On a side note, I am taking refugee from all things social media till Aug 15 this year. I have installed a chrome extension to block all websites that distract us.


Old school method of consuming content with RSS feeds might look so old school but thats one way to avoid click baits, trackers, etc. Lets get focussed and acheieve the goal to keep yourself updated at things you care about.

· 3 min read
D Balaji

We all have biases. Biases help us make quick decisions and helped us as an important survival mechanisms. Understanding our biases and using them to our advantage is the motive behind taking up the video course on cognitive biases.

Confirmation bias

Lets say you met with an accident due to negligent driving at some point in life and you survived. For the rest of your life, you will be quick to spot negligent drivers and even predict when they would fall from the bike. Two things happened to you in this situation

  1. Something happened to you which affected you emotionally
  2. Based on the past event, your mind is taking decisions

Thats the high level overview of confirmation bias. Lets look the advantages and disadvantages of confirmation bias.


You can quickly infer that based on situation that the same set of actions give same results. You are sure of it and even go about spreading the word about your observation.

In professions like law, you can quickly get into the shoes of your client and offer legal services with confidence.


You do not validate your data again. For instance, technogical advances would have offered better bikes which can be driven at higher speeds but you would be still believing that high speeds will only result in accidents.

Falsification is an important step to break confirmation bias. Instead of using the language that confirms the biased person, ask them why they are unsatisfied with the situation. While falsifying their data, they get better and come over their bias.


The person with confirmation bias exhibits the below behaviours

  • Operate like an echo chamber. Shows preference over the data points or stimuli
  • Does not take the risk of falsyfying his data or habits
  • Exhibits drawer effect where he shows only the hits and hides the misses
  • Practice selective recall of events/data
  • Most of the decisions are memory based
  • Design their methodology to make their thoughts to suceed. It could be a algorithm thats designed to maneur their thoughts and operate in that direction only.
  • Occassionally make illusionary associations.

Work around

For people with conformation bias, they need to pair up with skeptics as they need good evidence.


Pareidolia is about how we associate random shapes to something that we already familiar with. For example, we can identify familiar faces even in a packed crowd of people.

Humans have large brains, there is a center which is dedicated to recognizing faces and patterns.


By observing patterns we can quickly arrive at a conclusion. Pareidolia makes dealing with large set of unpredictable stimuli easier. If something has sharp teeth and agressive, its a dangerous predator. If something has eyes to the side, its a prey.

Allows us to take snap decisions based on familiarity with the shape or pattern


Relying on familiarity with patterns over organized knowledge or schemas is a risky behaviour.

When we lack social connect with humans which is our first choice, we tend to look for social connect with pets and anything that can be recognized as a face. For instance, a car with 2 lights and a grill looks like a human face and people tend to give it a human name or pet name.

Work around

Just like confirmation bias is about data, pareidolia is about patterns and affinity towards shapes. We need to be aware of it.

· 2 min read
D Balaji

Though you may argue that the end of the DVD era has already begun, I had run into scenarios where CD/DVD is still a suitable storage device given the read-only nature of the device. The data once written cannot be tampered with or overwritten, though one can scratch a lot and make it worthless.

With this task in hand, I dusted my old LG DVD drive which is ideally built to be assembled inside CPUs but we geeks push their limits. So I replaced the SMPS power supply with an adapter and the SATA cable with a USB portable SATA connector.

Given the two mods, the LG dvd writer can work with any laptop or desktop without an issue. However, on windows 10, the CD/DVD drive icon would not show up on my computer. But what could have gone wrong?

Steps to troubleshoot

We geeks don't believe in talent but we believe in the process. The process to troubleshoot the strange behavior is as follows

  1. Observe if the LG/DVD writer powers on. If yes, press the button to eject the tray. This step worked

  2. The second step was to look at my computer to see if any new icon has shown up, but nothing showed up. So fire up the device manager and look for dvd devices

  3. Right-click on the USB DVD drive and uninstall the driver. Then reinstall the driver. Even after this step, the icon would not show up.

  4. Right-click and goto properties and goto volumes. Click on the populate button. A new name should have been created for this device and the corresponding icon would show up on my computer.

  5. Once the icon is available, double-clicking should eject the tray. It works as expected.


Thanks to the LG website for clarifying that no special drivers are required for the DVD RW device since they are plug-and-play only. That means they would work on any Operating system ideally. Later I found windows 10 just put in an extra step that prevented me from using the drive or rather thinking it was dead.

Pinch of common sense, curiousity and passion can open the doors for you in tech.

· 2 min read
D Balaji

What are the Date methods?

I have worked with a bunch of web apps and all of them have date-related code in common. The Date utils are written in plain Javascript using the Date constructor.

var date = new Date()

// Sample date methods

I have also worked on issues where the test suite would pass correctly on the day the tests were authored but they would fail on the other day or in the server. This is because the dates are getting dynamically generated in the test but the matcher value is static.

Why is testing Dates tricky?

You cannot assert a dynamically generated date. For instance, if your date until returns a new date by applying some logic. You cannot put a test that looks like this.

// WRONG code, don't use without mocking date.getDate

expect(add2DaysToCurrentDate()).toBe("Some hard coded date")

If you want to use a hardcoded date, you should be able to control the output of the add2DaysToCurrentDate method.

How to make dynamic date logic predictable?

The short answer is JEST mocks. Whenever we want to add 2 days to the current date, we need to ensure the date.getDate() method returns the same value, then we can write a test to assert the returned value.

it("should return new Date which is two days ahead of today", function() {
jest.spyOn(Date, "getDate").mockImplementation(() => 14) // Mocks the getDate method until this test block
expect(add2DaysToCurrentDate()).toBe("Some hard coded date")

Downsides to this approach

As I mentioned in the comment, till the end of the test block, we cannot use date.getDate() as if it's a real function. The mock will replace the actual function call in the test block. This might hinder your assertion logic. We need to plan accordingly.


· 3 min read
D Balaji

From the title it sounds like a lot of cool technologies working side by side isn't it. Let me list them once again

  • Turborepo - managing monorepo
  • NPM - package manager
  • NPM workspaces - also provided by npm, assists in monorepo
  • vite - frontend tooling, rollup wrapper
  • vite react - template for vite

Use case scenario

I have a cool monorepo on github which holds all my sample projects, experimental works and code sample which I play around with.

The monorepo is build with npm workspaces & turborepo. I must admit that I hardly use any turbo repo features yet. Its mostly npm workspaces and npm commands at scale.

I encountered vite for frontend tooling and wanted to give it a try. Without a second thought, I created a directory called tooling and started working with vite.

Glitches and resolutions

  1. The first glitch was the node version requirement of vite. I opened a new terminal and used nvm to set the node version to latest. Thats expected bug while working with latest nodeJS tools.

  2. The vite module was installed locally within the workspace. However the same vite module was referenced in vite.config.js. npm would try to resolve vite by checking in the global node_modules but it would not be there.

To understand why npm installed vite locally instead of global node_modules was easy. vite was used in npm scripts and if vite were to be installed globally then the npm scripts would fail mercilessly.

"scripts": {
"dev": "vite",
"build": "vite build",
"preview": "vite preview"

But the same module being used in JS modules was not expected by npm, so we need to instruct npm to install vite in both local and global node_modules.


At this step I found 2 ways to solve the problem.

  1. The first way is something hinted by turborepo scaffold itself. I had to add vite as dev dependency at the root of the monorepo. This would ensure that vite is installed into the global node_modules.

  2. The second way is to use an alias for vite within the workspace. You can do this with the below command

npm i my-vite@npm:vite -P

This command would ensure that the package vite is alias as my-vite. While checking the global node_modules folder, I noticed a folder with the name my-vite.

The flipside is that, I need to reference the vite package as my-vite within the code.

import { defineConfig } from "my-vite";