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ETMGS: If you quit market once, no way to get back, says Shankar Sharma

There is no skill if one gets one out of 20 investment bets right, he emphasised.|
Nov 30, 2018, 03.07 PM IST
Shankar Sharma
If you are not prepared to lose 30-40 per cent in the stock market, you are not made for this game, went another gem.
NEW DELHI: Ace investor Shankar Sharma was at his candid best on Friday when he said the last two months of equity selloff had blown a big hole in his bank balance, and he had even thought of leaving the stock market during this phase!

Bad periods come and go. "If you quit the market once, there is no way to get back," Sharma said it bluntly.

Speaking at the ETMarkets Global Summit (ETMGS) in Mumbai on Friday, Sharma, who is the Co-Founder and Chief Global Strategist at First Global, said such a feeling comes to everyone, on and off.

If you are not prepared to lose 30-40 per cent in the stock market, you are not made for this game, went another gem.

The greatest trades, he said, are always simple trades, adding that “a 100 per cent return is skill, 1,000 per cent is luck”.

There is no skill if one gets one out of 20 investment bets right, he emphasised.

Sharma, who has been investing in domestic stocks since early 1980s, said he is happy if he has at least 60 per cent success rate. One must do away with ‘regret’ feeling that investors are left with in the market.

A lot of learning will bring money, he told the gathering, revealing that he has 2,000 books on investing at his home.

Sharma acknowledged that he was once taken to the cleaners by shorting Infosys shares. That was one of the times when he seriously thought of quitting the stock market.

“Now I don’t trade at all. But 15 years ago, I would only trade,” he said further.

The renowned investor reeled off more wisdom, saying he does not look at valuation while investing as one can justify it at any level.

As for favourites, Sharma puts smallcap stocks first. They are like venture capital investing, he explained.

Sharma, who is a fan of Muhammad Ali, Imran Khan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, had more to share. He has no hero in stock investing as “nobody is extra-ordinarily talented”. "One needs luck to make money in stocks," he put it straight.

For Sharma, there's nothing like retirement. He feels that investing is a journey in your life, which will grow with age.

Advice for investors? Follow an investing style that is in consistent with the investor’s lifestyle, he said, advising against listening to what others say.

"Even today if someone lets me go back and play club cricket in Dhanbad, he would do that," Sharma quipped.

Sharma did his schooling from Dhanbad, graduated from DAV College, Chandigarh, and did an MBA from the Philippines.

Good stocks without leverage fall maximum between 30 per cent and 40 per cent in a bad bear market and that is why he still thinks Maruti Suzuki is a good bet.

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