I learnt finance only in 2005. It was around that time that I first came across the concept of delta hedging. However, I now realize that unknown to me, I had indeed used this concept to great effect in 1999.
That was the year when I had started preparing for the JEE. I had joined BASE, the best JEE factory in Bangalore. I was having a hard time since I hadn’t studied one bit in all of 11th standard when my friends had dilgently solved Irodov and other books. I had missed one whole month of prime summer holiday JEE prep thanks to the Math Olympiad Training Camp. I knew I needed to be focused. I knew I didn’t want to be distracted. However, I also knew that I would be under tremendous pressure for a year, and any means of easing a bit would be welcome.
During our monthly counselling sessions at BASE, the Director would call for us to create angst. “You need to have the fire in the belly”, he used to say. “And be able to channel it in the right direction in order to fuel your effort. Without fire in the belly, nothing can be done”
I must mention here that this was one of those unintended consequences things. I didn’t plan out this delta hedge. I realized the hedge only in hindsight. I had just followed my instinct in doing what I eventually did. Looking back 9 years down the line, I think it was a fair idea. Only, that like in everything else that I do, the implementation was horrible. Nevertheless, I think the learnings from this are going to be useful, and are going to have a net positive impact on society.
I put blade like naayi on a classmate, who is perhaps the most brilliant woman I’ve ever known. She was a good friend back then, at the point of time when I started the blading process. As you might have come to expect of me, I did a pretty horrible job. Disaster would be an understatement. It was depressing. I lost many nights of sleep to this. If I were less informed, I would’ve classified it as a blunder.
If you noticed, I had slipped in a little para where I mentioned the need for creating fire in the belly. This failed blade would fire it. This failed blading attempt would provide the angst, which I could channel in the right direction if I so wished. This failed blading attempt would make me angry, would make me upset, and would help me focus on my goals. And the sleepless nights this failed blading attempt gave me – I used them for mugging for the JEE.
I don’t know if I’ve told this particular bladee about it (I probably have), but I’ve always internally dedicated my success in the JEE to her.
However, this story was not to end happily. The delta was hedged, but the gamma would come back to bite me at a later date. The angst and the anger and the pain was fine when I needed them, but now (after I joined IIT) that I didn’t, it led to NED. Terrible NED. This would go on to be one of the biggest causes of NED during my life at IIT. As Shah Rukh Khan says in Baazigar, “kuch khaane ke liye kuch pona bhi paDta hai”.