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The Story of My Life…and Yours

A reader of The Safal Niveshak Post recently asked me about my background and experience, and about the story of my life.

I thought today is a good day to share that, given that my story started exactly 33 years ago. 🙂

However, being an analyst and investor, here is a different way I will tell you the story.

Hope you’ll be interested to read it because the most important takeaway from my story is something that I’ve reserved for the end of this post.

So here I go.

December 1978: I was born. Sensex came into being 8 years later, but its base was set at 100 for early 1979, or close to my birth.

1986: Sent to an English medium boarding school in Dehradun. Sensex came into existence here…at around 500.

1990: Free from the boarding school. Indian economy also freed from the license raj (almost!). Sensex sees its first real spurt, rises to 1,300.

December 1992: I turned 14. Sensex down 40% from its peak of 4,467 after the Harshad Mehta scam blows out. Several close friends of my father lose their shirts after a fall from here.

June 1997: Finish school and enroll for a degree in commerce at the Rajasthan University. Sensex at another peak of around 4,500 just before the Asian financial crisis. Falls 25% after the crisis hits and till the time I celebrate my 20th birthday.

July 2001: Came to Mumbai to join a management course from the University of Mumbai, and specialize in Finance. Beginning of an interest towards stock markets. Sensex at around 3,700 before falling by 30% post the 9/11 attack on the US.

April 2003: Get my first (and last) job as a stock market analyst, where I worked for the next eight years (till April 2011). Sensex at 3,200, and just at the first step of a massive bull run that lasts 5 years.

December 2008: Start of a major disillusionment towards my ability to forecast the future of stock prices. As I pass my 31st birthday, Sensex is in doldrums…down 57% from its January highs.

April 2011: My disillusionment paves way for me to quit my job to start work on something I’d always dreamt of – Safal Niveshak – which was launched in July 2011.

Anyways, from the time I was born and Safal Niveshak came into existence, more than 32 years had passed.

During these 32 years, the Sensex multiplied by around 200 times, or at an average annual rise of 18%. Not a bad rate of return for a long term investor, even after accounting for inflation!

So that was the story of my life and experience so far.

Now for the most important part of this story.

Over the past 32 years, the world has seen…

  • 5-6 deep recessions,
  • 5-6 major wars,
  • Innumerable financial scandals, and
  • Countless geopolitical tensions.

The impact of all this has been felt on India and our stock markets as well, in some form or another.

Even then, when I was born, if my father had invested just Rs 10,000 as a future gift for me in a good quality stock, I would’ve had enough money to retire from work by now.

In a way, however, it was good that my father chose not to invest then and instead invest a lot on my education, which I believe will pay dividends to him over the next few years.

But think of it this way. If you are 25-35 years of age (like my father was when I was born) and have 15-20 years to save and invest for your children, stop worrying about recessions, currency wars, terrorism, and scams.

These are not going to matter much when you look at how much wealth you’ve accumulated 15-20 years down the line for your children’s higher education, or their other needs.

And why only for your children, even if you are 35-45 years of age and have 15-20 years to go for your own retirement, now is the time to start accumulating for it if you haven’t started as yet.

By the way, you will do yourself a world of good by ignoring what the talking heads on television predict about the next one week, one month, or one year. They are there to ensure their comfortable retirement, not yours.

You do your own homework, find out the best investments, start small, and then have faith in the power of compounding to take your wealth to a level where you will be happy to say to yourself, “I’ve done it!”

All the best!

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About the Author

Vishal Khandelwal is the founder of Safal Niveshak. He works with small investors to help them become smart and independent in their stock market investing decisions. He is a SEBI registered Research Analyst. Connect with Vishal on Twitter.


  1. At the end of it, does one have the feeling of “life lived well”. I am sure most want that. And you have provided the answer. “Ignore others”, listen to yourself, take good advice, and apply your own intelligence. And one will say finally, “i’ve done it”. Thanks.

  2. Hi Vipin,

    Thanks for your comment!

    It is to achieve this feeling of “I’ve done it, and that too on my own!” that most of us live this life with all its ups and downs.


  3. Your statement – “You do your own homework, find out the best investments, start small, and then have faith in the power of compounding to take your wealth to a level where you will be happy to say to yourself, I’ve done it! ” , sums up in very simple terms about what a retail, individual investor should do.
    We are not on the ‘inside’ to make use of insider information. But as outsiders, the biggest tool we have is time. We have all the time in the world to pick good and safe stocks and wait. Wait till magic of compounding unfolds.

    • Vishal Khandelwal says:

      Hi Stable Investor,

      Thanks a lot for your comment!

      Yes, you said it right that small investors has time on his hand to pick up good stocks, and let the power of compounding take over.


  4. R. K. Chandrashekar says:

    Dear Vishal
    Your life and thoughts have the power of compounding!
    If I had stuck to those simple rules, I would have been a Multi Billionaire now!
    Here are the facts:
    1. Around the time you were born, I bought 25 Shares of HUL, FV 10, @ 25/share from my colleague at Kirloskar Electric. What followed, is investing in the FERA dilution companies- I got allotment in Colgate, & Warren Tea.

    2. Earliest stock picks include, L & T, Siyaram Silk, MRF, Ranbaxy, Castrol, Reliance, TISCO, TELCO.

    3. Best IPO- HDFC Bank. ,

    4. Greatest miss: Infosys IPO, which was under subscribed and had to be bailed out ( I am from the IT industry and felt that Tata Burroughs my previous employer was the best bet- Infy became my client in 1994 and I used to joke
    with them that instead of fees, they should have given me shares!! I picked up Infy in 1999.

    5. Early picks: BHEL, ITC, ( Good picks with Motilal Oswal PMS- Hero Honda, Bharti, SBI, IOC, Bosch & Nestle)

    6. Selling to early: TTK Prestige, MRF, M & M, and Page Industries

    7. Not selling @ right time: Satyam, Blue Star, Mahindra Life Spaces, Ahuwalia Contracts

    8. Around 1990- I lost a few lakhs, by handing over my shares and money to my co-brother, who
    died later in a accident. His father died a few months later of heart attack and though they had
    assets, they were not willing to pay, For obvious reasons, I could not proceed legally.
    By the way- my co-brother was a sub-broker and many like me lost their shirt.
    A lesson learned- the hard way.

    • Vishal Khandelwal says:

      Dear Mr. Chandrashekar,

      Thank you so much for your words of appreciation, and also for sharing your investing journey.

      I sincerely hope your story serves as an inspiration for other investors who read this post.


  5. My Journey :
    Born : 1985, nobody in my family had a clue about stock markets, my father was a number enthusiast and hence slight inclination twoards stock market.
    1991 : Indian Economy free from licence raj and I go to a boarding school in Pune.
    2001 : Completed Matriculation and went home to hear some scam in stock market (Ketan Parekh scam !!), looking at the markets my dad decided to take a plunge in the financial markets, I was his sole companion as no one else was intrested.
    2003: Got admission in Petroleum Engineering, also inquisitiveness for stock kept mounting, asked dad to give me some money. Dad rejected my plea but suggested me to do an exercise : Maintain a notebook and if you find a good stock write it down on your notebook (don’t forget to write brokerages, ha ha, he said).
    If i found a good stock bought it and sold it as if one would do it in real markets.
    2006 : At one point saw better returns than my dad (23 % p.a), altough the profit was in my notebook (I was true to myself)
    2007 : Final Year Engineering, Again requested Dad to lend me some money, he gave me 1.5 lakh.
    2008 : Got a Job and alos Converted Rs 1.5 lakh (gifted by my dad) to 1.97 lakh (~30 % return), was happy on top of the world.
    2008 : Saw the markets coming down…..Markets are cruel….Lost almost my entire first year earnings….Felt terrible especially because it was my first hard earned and well saved money !!!
    2011 : Since 2008 to 2011 have been investing only in nifty stocks (Have made this a thumb rule)… So far have managed (-9 %) return on my investments but I am positive and have a very very long term view (say 30 years view) !!!
    My stock market story……..

  6. My father had 500 shares of Colgate in some 20 years back and he sold it for some meager profit of 10,000, which could have been 4 Cr today, may be that was the best he thought of, reason could be we never had success stories of RJ’s and Buffets by then to understand. So the lesson I learn t from my father is, buy to not to sell, irrespective of where the market is, use your spare cash if you are not a full time investor. Believe in the business and returns shall come.

    I started late to invest and hope that I never sell my equities and with the same thought of them giving me my investment back in 5 yrs from now. 🙂

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