From The Horse’s Mouth: Vivek Mashrani, CFA Investor Profile

Vivek is the founder and owner of TechnoFunda. Today, I got a chance to get an in-depth look at Vivek's investing journey, his strategy, his life, hobbies, favourite books and his advice to retail investors like myself. Without further ado, let's get started.

How did you start your investing journey - What got you
to the markets, how did you get interested in it?

  • Initial interest
    started way back in 2004 during my college days as many of my relatives were
    into investing. Formally started investing (I would say more of trading
    actually) during 2006-2007 with very small capital. Just sheer dynamic nature
    of markets got me interested in it

The first stock you bought, first loss and what did you
learn from it?

  • Well, like everyone
    else who starts into stock markets, I too mostly bought junks in my initial
    years. First stock was Karuturi Global (which is almost bankrupt company now).
    Had bought many such junks in my initial years. Biggest learning was of course
    to never compromise with quality of businesses (which came much later), but I
    have still 1 share of each of these (some even have got delisted now) so that I
    get reminded of my mistakes and ensure I don’t repeat them.

One advice you would like to give to younger people who
have just started earning toward the financial freedom journey.

  • Keep high savings
    rate. Keep investing in quality businesses. Be disciplined in spending habits.
    Don’t borrow.

Can you tell us a bit more about TechnoFunda and what led
you to founding it? What are your future plans for it?

  • Well, my formal
    education at NMIMS which was MBA in Capital Markets (in association with BSE).
    I got introduced to array of subjects like fundamental analysis, business
    valuation, technical analysis, SEBI laws etc. and had ample of reading
    materials in my library around it. By studying them altogether I realized that
    they are not different streams of stock markets but complimentary to each
    other. Was again fortunate to have very good teachers, mentors and guest
    lecturers from industry. This is when I tried to blend both these approaches
    and got interested into TechnoFunda approach. And later kept on discovering new
    strategies and techniques which were very powerful for investing. Future plans
    are more around spreading awareness around power of blending technical and
    fundamental analysis through various channels.

Some insights on your stock-picking process.

  • In simple terms, I
    seek to find businesses which I can remain invested for long time and have
    quality management along with inherent competitive advantages. I use technical
    analysis to screen some trends and then apply my fundamental analysis to
    validate quality parameters around industry, financials, business model and
    competitive landscape.

With the current market conditions of bearishness, what
do you think should be done? How should people control their emotions?

  • As a long term
    investor, we should always be delighted with bearishness and keep buying
    ownership in great businesses. Actually, if we think as partners into these
    businesses then there is no need to control our emotions (as we will be in fact
    happy when price falls)

What are your favourite books?

What are your hobbies?

  • Swimming, Table
    Tennis, Reading Books, Travelling

How did you increase your market knowledge?

  • First, by doing my
    formal course MBA in Capital Markets helped me immensely. I was blessed and
    fortunate that I had excellent faculties and market practitioners who came to
    teach us. Then of course reading lot of books helped. We also had live mock
    trading room which also helped. Later stage applying and trying to validate
    concepts in the market. And recently networking with like-minded investors have
    helped immensely in idea generation and exchanging notes/experiences on
    AGM/Management discussions etc.

What are some steps/rules in money management you think
goes a long way to help the saver get the best out of his savings/investments?

  • Think Long Term. Act
    Long Term. Partner with people who believe in long term.

What are the basic metrics you look at a business when
you are valuing or looking at it to invest?

  • I start with
    qualitative factors like longevity, durability, competitive advantages etc. and
    validate them with quantitative factors like revenue growth, margins, RoE,
    RoCE, cash flows, working capital cycle etc. Then of course trying to value
    them on relative and intrinsic basis.

Any example where patience has paid off for you.

  • There are many such
    examples. One such is investment into Vinati Organics which I have now held for
    ~10 years and have patiently held during ups and downs. The market cap since
    initial investment is now 40x.

Who is your role model in investing?

  • I don’t have a
    single role model but many for various styles of theirs. Prof. Sanjay Bakshi,
    Sanjay Ved, Charlie Munger, Peter Lynch, Bharat Shah are few whom I admire.

Disruptions - What do u think of them and how do u see if
a business you are looking as a prospective investment won’t get disrupted
easily?

  • I think disruptions
    are part of business ecosystem and will keep happening. The pace has
    accelerated quite significantly in recent times. One way is to look at
    competitive advantages for how business protect themselves and other
    interesting aspect should if a business can themselves disrupt internally and
    evolve to be better for tomorrow. I think looking at the lens of companies who
    are evolving and able to transform with disruptions should be ideal candidate
    for investment.

So many quotes from Mr Warren Buffet and Peter Lynch ,
any quotes that didn't work for you?

  • Well, they all work
    differently in different times. So, no point in discussing them here.

When do u sell a stock? What is the criteria according to
your rationale that a stock has reached its life? When do you know it’s time to
get out of a stock?

  • I use blending of
    technical indicators to take sell decisions along with fundamentals of the
    business. Significant impairment of business quality, realizing that management
    is crook etc. are in fact non-negotiable reasons to sell.

In your investing journey - one thing u did which you
think you did great and one thing u regret doing?

  • Glad that I read so many books (of various subjects) in my life so far and understood importance of saving very early in my life. Regret is that I wasted my initial years of stock market in trading, F&O and buying junk businesses, wish I could have got in touch with mentors/gurus at early stage.

The above is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not an endorsement or a stock recommendation. The author may be holding the securities mentioned above. Do your independent and thorough research before investing.

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