Understanding a biz essential to investing, says this worshipper of Einstein and Buffet

Ekansh Mittal does not chase money like a maniac and devotes time to reading books, playing tennis and watching wed serials

Understanding a biz essential to investing, says this worshipper of Einstein and Buffet
Trained as an engineer, Ekansh Mittal took Albert Einstein’s words to heart

Ekansh Mittal, a lean man with bright eyes peering from behind black-rimmed spectacles, is a refreshing change in the world of investing. He is no maniac chasing stocks to amass wealth for the sake of it. Beyond work, he likes to spend hours in playing tennis, reading books and watching web series.

And the last book he read “Start with Why” is not about investing, it is about leading a team.

Freedom from money

Financial freedom, to this man from Kanpur, means the liberty of not to work for money.

“Fortunately for me, despite a relatively small journey, dividends from stocks are able to take care of significant portion of my expenses,” he emphasises.

Einstein, Buffet & Lynch

Trained as an engineer, Mittal took Albert Einstein’s words to heart. The scientist’s famous words compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world; he who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it left a deep impression in Mittal.

If he found fountainhead inspiration from science, his more functional inspiration was derived from the domains of investing. Mittal values Warren Buffet and Peter Lynch for their mantras on identifying core competence and befriending volatility.

“Focus on your competence. If you invest in something, you have to understand the business. Moreover, we have to befriend volatility. Markets will be volatile, we have to understand when to invest aggressively. This is what Buffet and Lynch teach us,” he remarks.

Just 20

Mittal began investing early, when he was just 20. In the past 13 years he has made money on stocks such as Cera Sanitaryware, Symphony, DFM Foods, Control Print, Suven Pharma, Vaibhav Global, Amara Raja, Acrysil and Kanpur Plastipack, among others.

“They gave me the freedom to stop worrying about money all the time before I turned 33,” he says quite candidly.

Wealth wizard

But Mittal was recognised for his investing skills even earlier. In 2015, when he was only 27, Forbes India mentioned him as one of the country’s wealth wizards.

“I was quite lucky to have been exposed to an environment of equity investing at a very young age. I learnt from the experiences of my father and realised that if done properly, it can be hugely rewarding,” he says.

Pits of 2008

In November 2008, when the world was hit by the global financial crisis, Mittal started investing. He was all of 20 and his capital: a princely Rs 1,000.

“The markets were down in the dumps and I was quite ready to invest in stocks,” he recalls.

Investing in equities can empower many, since it needs only a small capital, he points out, arguing it would have been impossible for him to invest in any other asset class such as real estate with such a meagre kitty.

Small is beautiful

Luck favoured him in April 2009. While pursuing B Tech, Mittal got an opportunity to do research on small cap stocks for a company and also got paid for the learning exercise.

“This helped me increase my savings and investments in equities to around Rs 5,000-10,000 per month, which was around 50% of what I was earning then,” he says.

Mistakes and gains

Mittal admits his mistakes in stock selection but says that the best part about investing in stocks is that gains are virtually limitless, while the losses can be capped.

“The most important learning for me has been to start saving and investing early. In the initial days, the amount involved was small while the learnings were big. Also, the most important variable in the compounding equation,” Mittal says humbly.

It’s the Einstein effect, you see.

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