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Are you afraid of the word ‘stocks’? Yes, it can be quite intimidating, especially for the uninitiated. But 33-year-old Hyderabad based Social Media expert Bharath Chaitanya has a different experience. Bharath tells us how his father was instrumental in making him comfortable dealing with money and how to grow it. His life and some lessons in investing that he shares with us.

“Save, Save, Save. Every bit counts. So rather than looking for one big way to save money, save in small multiple ways.” These words amongst many others were a constant in my early years.

Probably that is the advantage of having a banker as your father. Those constant continuous nuggets of wisdom, forcibly given to you as doses of medicines. I never realised the importance of it then, but today it acts as the basis of everything I do in terms of investing.

Another plus for me was knowing the balance between the risk and the safe zone. Dad was always into stocks. For as long as I remember, he was first ones amongst his peers to have invested in ‘stocks’ rather than real estate. At his era, that was doing something radically different.

A big fan of Warren Buffet, dad often quotes one of Buffet’s quotes- “Most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is. The time to get interested is when no one else is. You can’t buy what is popular and do well.” I guess that explains pretty much what he believes about stocks. Also, he has been quite prudent in dealing with it. Selling a few at the right time and holding on to a few even now. ‘Timing is everything in stocks,’ he says. If you have an idea as to when to buy and when to sell, you have mastered the game.

My journey with stocks and investing has been quite interesting, considering the fact that I have been exposed to it quite early on. My 20’s flew by in settling down with a steady job, with a little scope to invest. I actually started investing by late 20s and now I am comfortable with the way it is progressing.

I like novelty and I have experimented investing in different types of investments. Be it stocks, bitcoins, cryptocurrencies, you name it and I have tried it. My rule of thumb is to keep aside a part of my savings, say 10% or 15% to play with these high-risk investments and divide the rest in safer ones like Mutual Funds, FDs etc.

I have burnt my fingers in stocks and have made money too. But I have learnt my lessons well and I am more realistic about it today.

One word of caution is, stocks being so volatile in nature, it is important to have a sound knowledge about the companies you are about to invest. My safest bet would-be blue-chip companies. Also, I swear by the information online, making my life easier by giving the much-needed information and guidance.

Another two important aspects to consider while investing is,

  • If you are investing in Mutual Funds, have a long-term perspective in mind and hold it for at least 5–6 years.
  • If you are investing in stocks, play by the rules of the game. Do your homework well and don’t put all the eggs in one basket.

I still have a lot to earn and learn in terms of investing, but I am happy that I am doing it my way.

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