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Business News/ Brand Stories / Investing Isn’t Just for the Wealthy – Basics of Investing
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Investing Isn’t Just for the Wealthy – Basics of Investing

Explore Ajay Lakhotia’s trading experience & journey of building StockGro.

Ajay Lakhotia, Founder, StockGroPremium
Ajay Lakhotia, Founder, StockGro

Heading into the stock market can feel like stepping into the unknown. It's normal to feel nervous about putting your hard-earned money on the line, and that fear stops a lot of people from even trying. Often, this worry comes from not knowing how the market works or not having much experience with it. But there's a way to get past this fear.

StockGro is a platform that lets you learn about investing without any risk. It was created with the idea that if people could practice and see how their decisions play out in real-time without the risk of losing money, they'd feel more confident. Read on to discover some practical insights from Ajay Lakhotia on overcoming the fear of investment in the stock market and the vision behind growing StockGro.

How did your personal background or previous career influence your decision to enter the stock market?

Ajay Lakhotia: My adventure in the stock market began without any expertise or stock market knowledge. I started trading daily between 2002 and 2008, just for the thrill of it and to see if I could outsmart my friends. We would compete with each other based on tips we got, never even thinking about the outcome. But when the 2008 crash happened, it really opened my eyes. I realised we were all playing the game without really understanding the rules. I lost ~80 lakh in the crash, which hit me hard. It was a clear sign that I didn't know as much as I thought I did. But instead of giving up or trying to get back at the market, I decided to learn from my mistake. I dived into courses, thinking they'd teach me everything I needed to know. But to my surprise, what was taught in theories turned out to be completely outdated and redundant. It was clear to me that there was a big gap between academic theories and the practical skills needed to navigate the stock market effectively. I was in search of something more practical, a way to learn without the fear of losing more money.

What misconceptions did you have about the stock market before starting, and how have your views changed?

Ajay Lakhotia: When I first stepped into the share market, my ideas about how it worked were quite far from reality. I used to think that if an analyst praised a stock, it was a sure sign to buy, assuming others would follow suit. But I quickly learned that I wasn't digging deep enough. I wasn't looking at the company's fundamentals, its management, or how it was performing. In fact, for the vast majority of my investments, I had no idea what the companies actually did. And I wasn't alone—many around me were making the same mistakes, blindly following advice without truly understanding their investments.

This all started to change when I faced financial losses. That was the wake-up call I needed to realise my approach was flawed. I began to look at the stock market with a new perspective, focusing on understanding how trading volumes and price action influenced the market. More importantly, I thoroughly researched and evaluated the businesses I was investing in.

In terms of portfolio diversification, how do you decide which sectors or stocks to invest in?

Ajay Lakhotia: When it comes to building my portfolio, I stick to a handful of sectors—about four or five—that I really believe in. I'm quite bullish on sectors like consumer goods, infrastructure, and public sector undertakings, so you'll find stocks from these sectors in my portfolio. Even though I know green energy stocks are gaining traction and performing well, I haven't ventured into that sector yet. The reason is simple: I prefer to invest in what I understand thoroughly.

I don't just hop from one sector to another on a whim. Getting to know a sector or a stock well takes time. To really get a handle on how a sector or a particular stock is doing, you've got to dedicate time to it. It's about understanding the nuances, like where the support and resistance levels are, and observing how the stock behaves in a rally. Does it shoot up quickly, or does it climb gradually? These are the kinds of questions I delve into. For me, investing is not about chasing trends blindly but about deep understanding and thoughtful decision-making.

How fast can anyone learn to trade and start their journey?

Ajay Lakhotia: Starting young is key, especially in college when you're just beginning to make some money. You want to grow your money but might not know how. Plus, you're eager to learn but probably don't have the cash to risk on testing out trading strategies. That's exactly where StockGro steps in. It's like your playground for the stock market. You can dive in, get your hands dirty learning and understanding trading, and not worry about your bank balance taking a hit.

What's great about StockGro is it lets you see exactly how you're doing compared to others. You get to manage a virtual portfolio, which means you can test out all kinds of strategies and really get a feel for the market's ups and downs, all without financial risk. This approach, getting hands-on and seeing real-time results, is much more effective for understanding and learning the stock market. It's not just about theory; it's about getting practical experience, and that's what makes all the difference.

Also, testing strategies are different for different people. Can investors also try it?

Ajay Lakhotia: StockGro isn't just for folks who are new to investing. Even experienced investors can find it super helpful. For instance, I usually invest in areas I'm familiar with. But I'm thinking about getting into the Pharma sector, which is new ground for me. I'd definitely want to look into it more and try out some strategies before putting any real money into it. That’s where StockGro comes in handy. It’s like my playground for trying out new investment ideas risk-free.

And it’s not just about experimenting on your own. StockGro is also a great place to connect with experts and other people who are investing in the same area. If I have questions or seek guidance, I can find plenty of help there. It’s like being part of a community where everyone helps each other out. So, whether you're just getting started or you’ve been investing for a while and want to explore new sectors, StockGro is the go-to place for safely testing out your strategies and learning from others.

What is the biggest mistake a trader should avoid in stock trading?

Ajay Lakhotia: The biggest mistake I see new traders make, and I've been guilty of it too, is buying when prices are sky-high and selling when they've plummeted. It seems straightforward, but it's a common mistake. When the market is doing really well, everyone gets excited and thinks it'll just keep going up, so they don't cash in when they should. Then, when the market suddenly drops, they hold onto their stocks, hoping the prices will bounce back, only to end up selling at a big loss. And who gets the blame? The market, of course.

At the end of the day, it's all about your mindset. Understanding how to stay calm and make smart decisions is super important. It's not just about watching the stocks go up and down; it's about knowing when to say, "Okay, it's time to take my profit now," or "I need to stop my loss before it gets worse." Learning to do that is a big part of becoming a successful trader. It's more about being smart with your decisions than just going with the flow of the market highs and lows.

What inspired the idea behind StockGro, and what was the mission at its inception?

Ajay Lakhotia: In 2019, I took a closer look at our market through the lens of a venture capitalist, just trying to figure out where we stood compared to other countries. I found out we're the 8th largest in terms of market size, with trading volumes among the highest in the world. Yet, even my well-educated friends were constantly asking what stocks to buy, always on the lookout for the next tip. They knew a lot about finance in theory, but when it came to actually investing their own money, they were lost. 

This made me realise there was a big gap. It wasn't just about not knowing which stocks to pick; it was a deeper issue. We weren't teaching our young people how to grow their money through investing. And those who do show some interest often end up paying for their education by losing money in the market. This, in turn, leads to a cycle of fear and dislike for investing.

That's where the idea for StockGro came from. I wanted to create a safe place for people to learn about investing without risking their money. The goal was to help everyone, especially young people, feel more confident about investing and to see the stock market as an opportunity, not something to be afraid of.

Is it easy to make a career in the stock market?

Ajay Lakhotia: Making a career in the stock market is something that's truly open to anyone. It doesn't matter if you're starting with a crore or just 10,000 or if you're 15 or 55 years old. The market welcomes all, without any bias towards your initial investment, age, or gender. What's crucial is your patience and eagerness to learn. If you are resilient enough, you can easily make a career in the stock market by trading or investing full-time. 

How does StockGro contribute to the broader goal of financial literacy and inclusion?

Ajay Lakhotia: At StockGro, we believe financial literacy is much more than just making a lot of money. It's really about understanding your relationship with money. Sure, earning money is important, but knowing how to grow it and plan for your future needs is something else entirely. Not everyone knows how to make their money work for them, and that's the gap we're trying to bridge.

We've noticed that a lot of people have an odd relationship with money. There's often fear or negativity around the idea of investing or growing your savings. What we aim to do at StockGro is change that mindset. We want to show people that there's power in their money. By educating them on smart investing and financial planning, we're helping break down those barriers and making financial literacy and inclusion a reality for everyone.

Conclusion

Even though the stock market is full of chances to grow your money, many people are still scared to take the plunge. That's where StockGro comes in, offering a guiding light to those who want to understand and master investing without fear. Ajay Lakhotia is ensuring everyone gets a fair shot at financial know-how, and StockGro is leading the charge by making investing less intimidating.

Feeling ready to tackle your investing fears and gain some financial wisdom? Join StockGro today and start your risk-free investing journey!

Disclaimer: This article has been produced on behalf of StockGro by HT Brand Studio. The content is for information purposes only and doesn't constitute financial advice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Published: 23 Feb 2024, 03:28 PM IST
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