Tag Archives: why ithought

ithoughtwealth

I wrote to a close friend in the USA a decade ago that his savings must be in gold and not in dollars. He obviously didn’t like what i said. Mails flew across the Atlantic about how resident Indians did not understand the American way. Now, I am pleading with my friends in India not to buy gold now. I believe there are much more intelligent choices. I am sure this will also receive the same share of rants.

The question really is – Why do we have so much trouble making simple and intelligent choices?

The answer lies in only one thing. The fear of being left out.

So, everybody does what everybody else does. Society gets stereotyped.

Just like everybody has a gym subscription, attends music concerts, has celebrities recognizing them, wants the comfort that a lot of people know them, buy the same mobile phones, drive the same cars, stand outside the same restaurants waiting for their turn ( I really hate this one ), we do our investing too. Salvation is about not getting left out. So, we crowd everywhere and crowd around everything to feel that we belong. The overcrowding itself will ultimately make us feel that we are only on the fringe. We really don’t belong. All our efforts actually meant little and made no difference to the outcome of our lives. And, this is the really tough one. We need to begin all over again and find another road to a new destination. Where do we go then?

There is the road less travelled. Actually there are several of them. You then try to choose one which takes you to your destination. This time you are spaced out, chilled out totally, not expecting too much, just letting things be and accepting what comes your way.

Taking this approach with material things will be disastrous. You must neither be a `Me-too’. Nor must you be a `Chalta Hai’. I have learnt this one lesson early and it helped. Actually, it made me.

But, I allowed myself to be left out to emerge later as one who called right. I still do. So, i believe in tomorrow’s world always and don’t expect today’s world to remain so. It is in this approach of envisioning the future that one can change his own fortunes. Today is all about tomorrow.

Are we on the same page?

Shyam Sekhar.

A note from Shyam sekhar, founder and ideator of ithought.

The genesis of ithought

Hi , I invest in stocks . I study businesses and scout around for good ones to put my money on’. The moment I am introduced I can see different reactions in people. Somehow, the stock market has this unique ability to make people reactive. In 1990, when I chose to become an investor , the reactions were strong.

What ? is that all you do ? Isnt that gambling ?. Those were times when we werent even familiar with business research. So, investment research was a far cry. I hated explaining and would simply smile at their judgement. I would rarely be let off so easily. Free advice will be forthcoming about how this was not the place to be and how one should do something else. Things have changed a bit over the years as people understood that the stock markets may after all be just another place of work, albeit a risky place. The soaring indices have also sexed up the job.

But, let me tell you a truth. The stock market and the organized financial industry wasn’t exactly the right place to work and make a career. In fact, I decided that I would be a misfit if I formally worked in the industry even before I started out. There was a part of the financial world that i disliked intensely and steered clear of it. I steered clear of working for any firm, fund or financial company within the industry. The reasons were strong and i am going to put them bluntly. Integrity was and still is a serious issue in this business. It was all about selling, no matter what the outcome would be.

The financial services industry was all about misselling. They made you put your money in the wrong place just to earn a small commission out of it. They sold you products which you should not have been buying. They never tell you what you should have known about a product before buying it. They sold you a `hot-selling’ product at a time when you should be staying away from it. Investment bankers would price IPO’s so high knowing fully well that investors you stood to lose. To fulfil their interest, they mostly worked against your interest. This simply wasnt agreeable to me. To keep my integrity intact, I simply never worked for anyone. I remained an Investor.

I worked in this environ for 21 years by keeping away from the mob and doing my own thing. So I was independent and doing what I liked. Identifying good businesses and Investing kept me busy. I have no reason to complain. I always could make my choices and there was no room to compromise on anything Growth was personal and always in the private domain. But, something was missing in what I was doing. I needed to find out my next calling. It had to be in the public domain and should be an idea that would make a difference to a lot of people.

I started looking around. The answers came in my interactions with people I met. I was always hearing stories of how people lost money in the stock market. The stories changed with the times but their outcomes were much the same. I knew the problem. Importantly , i knew that this was solvable. So ,I thought the best thing to do was to build something that would help every investor who wants to be helped. So I chose to work in the much beaten domain of financial products like mutual funds, ULIPS etc. There was one thing i decided even before I started. I will Not sell anything. I would buy investments in a judicious way on behalf of anyone who wants them.

That was how ithought was born. I didnt start out with a business model. I went about building a Process. I knew that what made my investing deliver over the years was my investment process. So, I set about building an investment process for financial products. A small team and a dedicated office were luxuries that my earnings afforded me. Friends who knew me and my work thought that i had gone bonkers to stake my money with no clue how we will make it a financially viable. I knew the answers will be found and it was the least of our worries . We were obsessed with the process.The investment process should be knowledge- based and method driven. So we focussed on intensive research of companies and funds and then developed a method to deploy capital systematically and effectively.

The ithought way is the process that evolved from our rigorous work. While we have an intense approach to research and strategy , we chose to keep our business model simple. Clients need to know a few things. And, they need to know them for sure.

1. We will help investors plan.
2. We will take care of decision making and deployment of money.
3. We will review the investment periodically and identify opportunities.
4. We will monitor performance and measure it continuously.

The business model was to be, as we believed, simple – The client will pay a fixed annual fee to us for services rendered.

The ithought way is meant to be experienced to be understood. That is the only way to effectively judge a process which works sincerely and systematically to grow your wealth.

Happy investing!

Shyam Sekhar.
Ideator.