Observations and Experience!

If doing the first transaction is the start of an investment career, I have completed 36 years of investing. By any stretch of imagination this is a long term. This means I have the right to have some observations over this long haul. Let me enumerate some of them:

1. Your first step towards investing is getting a good fund manager / equity broker who will guide / mentor you: This does not change at all. I am yet to meet a good equity investor who has done well in investing without a good person to bounce ideas off, learn, experiment, talk to, etc. I am not sure FB groups are any substitute.

2. Keeping noise out is not easy: There is just too much noise in the market space, and keeping it out is an amazing skill.

3. Your college is very useful for net working, make no mistake, however from a career ‘learning’ point of view it does not matter.

4. Everything is getting faster: Including investment cycles and people running out of patience.

5. First Impressions can be very wrong: a banker, a student, a colleague, a businessman – trying HARD to impress you is a disaster waiting to happen. Frankly they could be over compensating. Superiority complex is actually inferiority complex.

6. People who drop big names sometimes do it thinking YOU cannot check back. I have sometimes been able to check back and found these guys a complete disaster and confidence lacking jokers.

7. Insider trading is exaggerated. Most Chairmen think too highly about their companies.

8. Career risk is not understood at all. This makes it the MOST UNDER RATED risk

9. There is conflict of interest for everybody: Whether it is my blog trying to influence you or Pattu’s blog trying to mathematically explain things we are trying to influence you. I am not sure whether there are any other blogs which are just blogs. Most of them are trying to sell financial planning, mutual funds, newsletter…..as long as YOU know that there is a conflict, life is fine.

10. If you are a salesman concentrate on sales. If you are a teacher concentrate on teaching. Trying to teach too much as a salesman backfires.

11. Wealth Managers have Sales targets, not Wealth. If they have wealth targets it is THEIR own wealth, surely not YOURs.

12. An interview is as useless as asking a vegetable vendor “are these vegetables fresh” – frankly what answer do you expect?

13. All forms of communication skills are under rated. Teach your kids how to communicate.

14, There are people smarter than you, richer than you, dumber than you, poorer than you – just learn that comparisons are STUPID.

15. The best investors are tucked away in some corner. I know of an investor who has beaten WB at least 2x in DOLLAR TERMS in the Indian market. No, nobody knows him. His net worth? In excess of Rs. 900 crores a couple of years ago. Stays in a down market Eastern suburb of Mumbai…ocassionally you will find him travelling by train.

16. Information stares you in your face. Biases make it difficult to see. Some biases make you innumerate and impair your ability to accept new data.

17. When you get conflicting data, normally, the more difficult to accept data is true. Look harder and investigate before dismissing the DATA.

18. Self awareness helps in life. So in financial life.

19. The market is not a place where you come to find out who you are. Vipasana or Siddha Samadhi Yoga are far better and less expensive.

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12 Responses to “Observations and Experience!”

  1. Is Shivanand Mankekar the investor worth Rs. 900 crores?

  2. moronbuffett on May 15th, 2015 at 9:41 am

    This can be a great graduation speech on a convocation.

    Phenomenal nuggets of wisdom drawn from years of experience! – Thank you.

    #14, #16, #17 are simply brilliant and well said.

    Made my day.

  3. Suresh I know a few people in the Rs. 1000 crore net worth. Not even one of them is Shivanand Mankekar. I know one person in the Rs. 10,000 crore + net worth and he is not Rakesh Jhunjhunwala 🙂

  4. Thanks Subra, we feel rich just by reading your blog.

  5. typically one tend to make an hypothesis & work towards proving it right, rather giving thought toward proving it wrong.

  6. wow.
    (That was for the $$$$.)
    These observations are “cut out and keep” as the late parent used to say.

    Thank you.

  7. Very true.
    We feel rich by just reading your bloag – and implementing a few.

  8. Good article and the learning is immense from this.

  9. Hi Subra – How would your first transaction change if you had known these 19 points 36 years back?

    Were you lucky to have a mentor?

    Thanks

  10. my broker is my friend, philosopher, guide,,,

  11. Very useful points. Can you please elaborate on the career risk you mentioned?

  12. Thank you so much for these pearls of wisdom. I especially loved 9 and 17…

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