KOCHI: You may know about successful equity investors like Warren Buffet or the ‘big bull’ Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, but have you ever come across a small investor who made money from stocks market?
Very unlikely. Even worse, it is most likely that you have come across a good number of people who have lost money big time ‘playing’ in stocks.
A new coffee table book titled ‘50 Ohari Nikshepa Kathakal’, brought out by Kochi-based Hedge Equities seeks to end this widely one-sided picture by narrating 50 successful investment stories of ordinary investors, all of them Malayalees and most of them from Kerala - from insurance agents to small time businessmen, traders to bank employees and a planter to a home maker.
Meet Sasidaran, 62 and wife Chandramati, 57, from Thodupuzha, who entered the world of stock market when they received shares of Union Bank, where both of them worked, in the form of employee stock options. Sasidaran (now retired) and Chandramati - both managers at the PSU bank, have a portfolio comprising shares of public sector banks, IT and oil & petroleum. The couple also made a fortune when they bought 2500 shares of a software firm at Rs 70 and selling them at Rs 310 apiece, pocketing a cool profit of Rs 6 lakh.
Or the story of Gireshan V (56) a pharma distributor from Alappuzha, who began his stock market journey at the age of 17 by putting money in initial public offerings (IPOs) of companies. His investments have now grown big that he has several advisors providing guidance on his portfolio.
“A common thread that runs along all the 50 successful investment stories is their ‘discipline’,” said Alex K Babu, managing director, Hedge Equities. “We have tried to compile some of the best investment stories of our clients through this book.”
The idea of the book was to break the myth that investments are only meant for a particular segment of the society or it’s only meant for the wealthy. “Here we have tried to capture very simple themes like investment disciplines, continuous learning attitude and decision making skills. This book comes from the stable of “Ohari” - the first Malayalam monthly magazine focusing on stock markets,” he said.
There are stories of Mohammed Hanish (23) from Tirur, who entered the stock market after making huge losses from money-chain schemes. Hanish says he has learnt the lesson not to sell in panic when the stock prices come down, instead buy the shares further if you are confident about the fundamentals of a company. His Rs 5 lakh investment has appreciated by 50-60 per cent.
In his foreward, actor Mohanlal, who is also the brand ambassador of Hedge Equities, points out that 65 per cent of the US population has investment in stocks whereas in India it is just 1 per cent. “We are waiting for a day when an investor who owns a Maruti car and uses the services of Federal Bank, proudly states that he also owns shares in both the companies. That’s our objective,” writes Mohanlal.
Apart from the book, Hedge Equities also launched a game ‘Toro e Orso’ (Bull n Bear) to inculcate the habit of stock investments among students. “We thought the complexities of the stock market can be best explained through games. Our Hedge school of applied economics have been instrumental in spreading financial literacy through its various programs catered for students and investors. More than 1500 candidates go through the school programmes in one year,” said Babu
There is also another innovative initiative of ‘Bull bank’, allowing parents to invest in stocks in small numbers on behalf of their kids. “Piggy bank is what we have seen or heard from childhood .We are trying to redefine the concept to ‘Bull bank’ where small savings and investments are directed to stock markets which is the proxy for any growing economy,” explained Babu.
Our companies need capital and investors need better returns to benefit from our country’s growth story. Here what we envision is, money saved in this bull bank will be invested into companies of their choice. Since we are doing this exercise targeting schools and the law not allowing minors to open demat accounts, the account will be opened in the name of their parents and minor will be the nominee for the same,” he said.