My journey as an IFA (Independent Financial Advisor) started only a couple of years back.
After dabbling with the stock market since the last 20 odd years, I realised that I had always been missing the point; I was playing with the market.
The Stock market for me was only a way to test my knowledge, a way to prove a point to myself & others, just to reinforce that my knowledge of the Economy & the Industry was still intact & refreshed.
It was more of a game I was playing, a keeping up with the Joneses, a cocktail circuit conversation topic, nothing more, nothing less.
My exposure to the market helped me to pay for my holidays, indulge in an occasional splurge, buy the latest gadgets and satisfy my fads.
To fulfill my above objectives, mutual funds were a strict no-no; they were too “feminine” for me. The macho pleasure came only from the stocks, where I could thump my chest, boast and take all the credit for success.
The Indian Stock market has given mind-boggling returns, it has always maintained an upward bias and the Sensex has grown by 380 times over a period of 38 years since inception, beating all other asset classes by a clear margin.
However in my journey, I made all the regular mistakes, owned some Penny stocks, got into cyclicals, fell in love with my portfolio, tried timing the market, didn’t follow any asset allocation, forgot about the stocks I Invested in, Made exceptions to sound investing principles as per the latest fad and last but not the least, I made costly mistakes and underestimated my potential as an investor.
Accordingly, the market punished me most of the times & rewarded me at other times. But, due to my bias towards Blue Chips like Asian Paints, FMCG industry in particular, because of my feeling that I understood that Industry having worked there, and lastly because of the long years spent in the stock market, the power of compounding, which I understood much later, set in and I managed to create a reasonable corpus.
Over the years I feel what always helped me was that I never got into Day trading, no futures & options for me also, did not use any leverage in my portfolio and what always benefitted me was the utmost conviction, that I had in the Stock Market and Equity as an Asset Class.
What I rue the most today is the fact that, “I underestimated my potential as an Investor”. There is an old saying in the market, “Dalal Street is littered with the bones of those who knew just what to do, but could not bring themselves to do it.”
Understanding the market, the dynamics and the valuations is the easy part. What matters is what you do with that understanding, how much are you willing to commit towards the knowledge that you have and the conviction that you have built. Identifying companies and potential multi baggers is easy but committing resources to buy that stock is most difficult. So many times we sell the stock when the price doubles, justifying it by citing high PE and rich valuations and not realizing that wealth can only be created by remaining committed to the investment.
As a result of the above, I actually missed out in “Creating a Pipeline”and was only drawing the buckets or small mugs rather, whenever required. The actual Goal of Wealth creation and creating a Passive Income source had been lost.
But, this market never disappoints, it is relentless in giving opportunities.
It is like a moving train speeding towards your destination. You can climb at any station, get into the compartment you can afford and start the journey. The train may stop at some stations, may speed past others, may get you late but will definitely help you arrive at your destination.
I needed to commit to the market and to my conviction of its superiority as an asset class.
The opportunity arrived in late 2016 and I decided to jump in.
Puneet, now my partner, had been pestering me for a while about the potential of Financial Services sector and the Advisory business in particular.
“Most people Work for money, but don’t make money work for them”he said and therein lay the vacuum.
Combined, with my conviction about the strength of The Indian economy & its race towards a $ 5 Trillion Economy over the next 5-7 years, we were convinced that tremendous wealth is going to be created by the markets and we could help our friends, family & associates reap the benefits and assist them in achieving their financial goals.
The investment world now offers a bouquet and has over time moved away from the Fixed asset classes, the FDR’s, the PPF, the LIC. The Financial markets have evolved.
SEBI has ensured strict compliances for consumer investment options leading to greater transparency and strict regulation thus protecting the investor from Ponzi schemes and fly by night operators.
Convinced I was. The testing of waters was not needed. The opportunity was too obvious, so we decided to jump in. The first step was to now start acquiring detailed knowledge. Exams were cleared, Business plans were made, Core Values Firmed up, Strategies were drawn, Investment Mantras were made and we were ready to roll.
Thus, started our journey into the financial world,
Into the world of some bad past experiences and lost hopes,
Into the world of people’s goals and dreams,
Into the world of CAGR, EBIDTA, PE, EPS and beyond,
Into the world of Fear & Greed, the two most common emotions related to money,
Into the world of the market volatility and investor sentiments,
Into the world of science of market valuations through numbers & the Art of valuations through storytelling & interpretation of the numbers
Into the world of realizing, that more than managing money, we need to manage the investor behavior, his psychology, his idiosyncrasies,
Into the world of hand holding,
Into the world of patience both in acquiring clients and managing their money and finally
Into the world of Long Term, because in the end, that is the only way to create & maintain wealth.
We have entered the World of people’s Dreams & Aspiration and strongly believe that everything is possible, “the only impossible journey is the one you never begin.”
Here is to great beginnings……
Happy Investing & Stay Blessed Forever.