My Stock Market Journey :( Caution: Very Long Answer )I started my journey in 1977.That is 40 years ago. The young of today can not imagine about India of that time.Well, to put things in perspective:Forget about Internet or Mobile phones. Even a simple telephone was a luxury which even middle class could not afford. And waiting time for a phone was about 2 years to 5 years depending on your money and social clout.Doordarshan ( TV in India ) was available only to people in Delhi and that too in grainy black and white.All communication had to be essentially done through India Post. Courier services did not exist and those few which did were not legal.For faster communication, there were telegrams which were priced above the paying capacity of a common man.How stock markets functioned in those times would be like a story to todayu2019s young generation.So I thought to share my journey.How it began? :In July 1977, the results were out and I had completed my Engineering Degree. It was a different scenario from the present times. Engineering Colleges were far and few and so were engineers. But unfortunately jobs were also few.Government was the prominent employer specially for civil engineers. So daily activity was to look for employment pages / advertisements for suitable jobs. After finding such advertisement, next step used to get one application typed and send it to the address given with the requisite fee of about Rs. 8 ( For most Government jobs ) through a Postal Order.Ever heard of a Postal Order in the present times of NEFT and mobile money transfers. ( I believe these are still available at Post Offices )Finding a job being the only work at hand, there was lot of free time. Sports page got some attention cricket being the national pastime even in those days.The page before the sports page usually was the Stock Market page in most of the newspapers. It used to be full of prices of various stocks in different stock exchanges. My regular newspaper carried rates from Bombay Stock Exchange, Delhi Stock Exchange and Calcutta Stock Exchange.There was no Google and no internet. How to make sense out of lot of numbers and names splashed on the page everyday?I pledged to myself that I will surely crack the code and this page has to make sense for me.From then on, the quest is on.Forty years have gone by and like I have stated in my credentialsu2022 Studying the Stock markets since 1977. The study is not yet complete. I believe I will always remain a student and that is perhaps the right thing.Markets and trading are always evolving with passage of time and one has to keep on learning.1977- 1985 :I saw a big advertisement for a public issue of shares of Hawkins. Nowadays, the public issues are called IPOs ( Initial Public Offer ). What is in a name?From this ad I got the name and address of broker and wrote a letter to send me the Prospectus and Application form.After about 5 days, I got a mailer from the broker with the things requested for. I read each and every word. I was impressed with the document.The interesting fact which I noted was:Salary of Chairman ( Mr. H D Vasudeva , I am narrating the name from memoryu2022 If incorrect, please feel free to ignore or correct me ) was fixed at Rs. 10000 per month and approval of Government was taken for this salary.Such salary being almost equal to salary of President of India needed special permission.I do not recall the issue price but it was at some premium on the face value of Rs. 10. I applied for 50 shares, filled up the form, got a bank draft for the money and sent it by registered post to the broker at Delhi.And hoped to get the allotment.The issue was oversubscribed many times and i got the refund cheque after about two months.The search for job continued. I joined IIT Delhi for post graduation course and to be at Delhi.Over next year, stock market took a back seat but since the broker were sending me mailers regularly , reading company prospectus became a serious hobby with me.I knew all I could about Memorandum of Association, Article of Association, Rules for remunerations of Directors in a company, declaration of interest of a director in the company, Authorized Capital, Paid Up Capital, Offer for Sale , Dividends, Book Closing and all the jargon through this reading.In August 1978, landed in my first job and left IIT, Delhi to work professionally.I think sometime in 1979, I got my first shares alloted.50 Shares of Narendra Explosives Limited. ( Did anybody ever hear of the company? ). I was jumping with joy. Company made explosives. There was going to be a boom in construction activity in the country and explosives are needed for constructing tunnels and excavating rock.Another public issue came up and I got 50 more shares of u2022 hold your breathu2022 Karnataka Explosives Limited.I had no intent to be an explosive specialist, it is just that I got allotted the stocks which probably nobody wanted.I used to check the prices everyday only to find them below Rs. 10 and there was no option but to keep waiting.Well, I got one more public issue allottment u2022 100 shares of Punjab Ceramics Limited. ( Phew..)I could sell Karnataka Explosives for Rs. 14 in 1981, Narendra Explosives for Rs. 21 in 1985 and Punjab Ceramics are still with me as worthless as ever.I have never applied for an IPO since Punjab Ceramics.1985u20131995:After a few years in South India and then Madhya Pradesh, I was back to Delhi. By this time, equity culture was picking up. There were even daily tabloids about the stock market.The most talked about stocks of that time were Reliance, Orkay Silk Mills and Oswal Agro.I made my first purchase in secondary market in Gwalior Rayon shares.Ended up being profitable in two weeks and sold it without taking delivery of shares.Wondering what is delivery of shares?:It is in fact delivery of share certificates along ith a transfer deed with share transfer stamps affixed on that.This is a share certificate representing 50 shares of Tata Steel.And this is a transfer deed:( Addresses blanked out for protecting privacy )How different from the present Click and Buy/Sell.By year 1991, I had started trading. Intra day was not possible because it was a shout and buy/sell market. We used to place the trade with a broker, got confirmation in the afternoon and contract note by evening. There was a two week settlement time to either pay or close the transaction by paying the difference.In 1992, lost some good money because of investing at a time when the Harshad Mehta scam was unraveling.These images are from 1995.Gave up trading from 1995 to 2000.Tech Boom and Trading Terminals:Internet made its foray into India from 1996 onwards. I was at Ambala in Haryana when internet services commenced there in 1998.It was a new world and a new addiction. I browsed at Rs. 80 per hour and learnt whatever was possible with my very limited computer skills.Got introduced to a Trading Terminal provided by a broker at Ambala.Everyone used to trade in tech stocks. I was the only one trading in Tata steel or Appolo Tyres or HDFC. Everybody else was into Rolta, Pentamedia, Wipro, Infosys etc. No one shorted a stock except yours truly. I was the only one operating with a stop loss. Rest were all high on adrenaline and were making big profits and bigger losses. I continued with my small profits and small losses.I learnt a lot about trader behaviour in this period. It was very easy to make profits and losses. It could easily become an addiction.Fate intervened. I got into a new job and did not do any trading for next three years.From 2022 to 2017u2022 Trading Online:Opened an icicidirect account in 2003.Started online trading.Learnt from my failures and successes. Never traded more than one or two stocks at a time.Learnt options trading in year 2022 and a new world of opportunities opened up.Read many books, information on internet, European options, American Options , option theories and came to conclusion that only thing that works is just plain common sense and loss management.Everything else is just a theory.All the complicated theories are just an excuse to hide behind when we fail. It looks nice to say because something very complicated occurred, I had to take a loss. Whereas the fact is that we are responsible for every loss. It happens due to simple fact that trade went wrong. Bigger loss happens when the money management goes wrong. That is something to be avoided.Conclusion:Summation of my stock market journey:Markets are forever. There should be no compulsion to trade everyday.Long term investment works out better than day trades.Positional trades work out better than day trades.Taking care of losses is essential.Patience pays.Markets are simple. Experts make it complicated so that their expertise gets higher value.No formula or theory is a mathematical fact .They are based on empirical data which is based on human behaviour. Any such formula will give different results in different situations. For adverse results , money management is the only protection.I have enjoyed the journey thus far and keep on enjoying further.Now I have many Quora friends to make this journey more rewarding by sharing my thoughts.Thanks for reading this very long answer.