Very few successful investors actually take the time to guide others and are good at it. Dr Sagar Vensi, popularly known as SagarRV is in my books is the best. Here is a look at his life and journey of becoming an investor from a teacher to a reseller to a real-estate agent from initially being an MBBS student. The best part about Dr Sagar is that whether he is making a video, or doing a Q&A, he "dumbs down" complex concepts for the average investor.
I recommend every investor, new or seasoned to take Dr Sagar very seriously, as I see a lot of Buffet and Lynch in him.
Without further ado, let's begin...
I got my MBBS degree last year but I decided that I won’t pursue medicine instead I became a full-time investor and I also started managing funds for some private clients.
So you might be wondering how did this shift actually happen? Let me give you some context.
When I was in med school, I was always fascinated by business and how there are many ways to make money. Most of the time, I was attending lectures and studying for exams but we always had some free time in between. My friends used to party and go out but I was just fascinated by a business so I decided to do something about it.
In my first year, I realized that people wanted to learn Spanish and there wasn’t anyone teaching it. This was great because I speak Spanish as I had lived in Spain for more than 7 years. I started giving Spanish classes for 500 Rs per class and this is how my first business venture started. I soon realized that I was the only teacher in the whole town so I decided to double my price. I realized that I could charge double because I was the only teacher in that city and people still paid for it. Even though it was going good, I knew in the back of my head that it can’t be scaled because it was just me doing it all so I had to stop the classes in my second year.
Once the third year started, I started looking for other business ideas as I still had some free time. I became fascinated with reselling ( A reseller is a company or individual that purchases goods or services with the intention of selling them rather than consuming or using them). I noticed many people were buying iPhones so I started reselling iPhone 6 and 7. I learnt something very important here. If you buy perfect phones, people sell it for an expensive price but if you buy nearly perfect phones, people sell it for a very cheap price. I took advantage of this and started buying nearly perfect phones and reselling them. I was making 4 times more money with reselling compared to classes and I found it more fun. I use this same thinking for stocks as well. When nearly perfect stocks become perfect stocks, the returns are amazing.
The reselling business did well and I actually started experimenting with books and laptops as well. I had a very simple strategy. I would never buy anything in advance, first I would get the order from the client and then I would go and buy a second-hand phone, laptop or book. You see, if I would have bought the laptop first and I didn’t manage to sell it, the money would get stuck so I would only buy when I had an order and this way, I never risked money.
Reselling went well for some time but I wanted to change again because I thought I could earn more. This is when I started real estate. In Bratislava ( the city where I was studying medicine ), all the real estate agents only knew Slovak but all the new students who came to study medicine didn’t speak Slovak. This is where I come into the picture. I speak basic Slovak and I would directly contact the owners and connect students with them. For this, I would charge a small fee but I realized I was still competing with other agents. In order to differentiate myself, I offered free service for the whole year. You see, in real estate, once the agent gets you the flat, he’s not responsible for anything. This is one reason why people don’t trust real estate agents but in my case, I told my clients that you can contact me anytime and I will help you. Everyone started trusting me and the business did well until I finished my studies in the 6th year.
So why did I share my past experience? The reason I did this is that everything I know about investing is from my past experience. Let me tell you what I mean:
Remember the first year when I was the only teacher. I was able to increase the price because I was the only teacher. This is known as pricing power in investing.
In the reselling business, I never had any inventory and this is known as the asset-light model.
When I was doing real estate, I realized that it’s not enough to sell a product. If you want the customer to come back, service is more important than the product.
So how do I invest in stocks? Well, I just apply everything I learnt in the past. Every business I started was profitable in the first month and my downside was very limited. I never put any money to start the business so I can’t really lose anything and I apply the same thinking to investing. I’m looking for profitable companies with an asset-light model. This would be the ideal business model but I only own one stock where these conditions apply at the moment.
I started investing in my 4-5th year of med school. This is when I had some savings after all the small businesses I had. I started by investing all my money into Apple and I was lucky that I didn’t lose money. The reason I say lucky is that I didn’t actually analyse the business or value it. Funny enough, when I was selling, Warren Buffett was buying this company. Talk about timing!
I’m thankful that the stock kept falling once I bought it because that introduced me to the world of investing. I could see how hard it is to actually invest and especially how to start. There is so much information out there that you don’t really know when and how to start.
I remember I watched several videos on Youtube and everyone was just regurgitating everything that was in the books already. I didn’t find anything new. You see the main issue was that people weren’t explaining it properly.
That’s the reason I wanted to start my Youtube channel. I realized that I can’t just repeat what’s out there so I had to have some strategy for my channel. That’s why if you watch my investing tips videos, I use examples such as a chai shop or banana shop. The reason I do that is that everyone is familiar with that and you can understand that with logic.
If I try to explain something and it doesn’t make sense to you, you won’t remember it. That’s why my primary focus to explain everything with logic because I know that then you will remember it and it might help you.
I did suffer a lot with Youtube in the beginning. I remember that for four months, I used to post daily and I had around 130 videos in English but only 1000 subscribers. I knew the content was good but my presentations skills very low. I decided to make some changes and I started making videos in Hindi instead of English.
The moment I did that, the next month itself I got around 10 000 subscribers ( that was my goal for the first year ). This was a big change because I deleted all my initial 130 videos. I didn’t want people to get confused. The issue was that as I started my channel in English, I had many loyal fans that told me not to stop in English. So I knew I had to do something in English as well because those 1 000 subscribers supported me a lot and actually a big part of them bought my course later and they also want to join my portfolio service soon.
That’s the reason I add English subtitles in every video I post. It takes extra 4 hours to do so and I haven’t seen any channel having English subtitles in every video but I think it’s my responsibility to do so because I am where I am because of all the fans that actually decide to watch my video.
I do feel very grateful when someone comments on my Youtube videos as well and that’s why I answer every comment because if someone takes the time to write on my video, I can at least give it alike.
When the channel started doing well, people requested me for a course because my Youtube channel doesn’t have a structure. I talk about various topics so people wanted an organized format and they wanted to learn especially about valuation ( this is the biggest section of my course ). This is how I started my course and I keep updating it as well. My course philosophy is the same as real estate. I provide a service where you can contact me anytime and I will answer you. Many times, I realized that people have some questions and I think it’s better that I make a video on it and I update the course this way.
Once the course started doing well and people actually understood my thinking, they requested for a portfolio service. Many people want me to manage their funds but at the moment I’m happy with the amount I manage because I can invest in small caps and my investors know that I don’t have many transactions. This is when I decided I can launch a portfolio service where people can just see the stocks I own and the price I bought it for. You get direct access to my portfolio and you can decide if you want to invest in that stock or not. This service will be launched the next month and I’m really looking forward to it because I think it will help many people who don't have time to analyze stocks. I will launch some exclusive features with it as well.
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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