Beyond Quant InvestTraining (formerly Beyond Quant Equity Research Training), a venture focused on imparting training in Equity Research and Value Investing, has been founded by Nitiin A. Khandkar, an experienced equity research and investment management professional. Nitiin is a qualified Chartered Accountant (Indian equivalent of the US CPA), based in Thané (near Mumbai), India.
Prior to founding Beyond Quant InvestTraining, he has had a multi-faceted career as a Sell-side Equity Research Analyst in India, a Buy-side Analyst and Portfolio Manager in US Equities. Later on, he was Head of Institutional Equity Research desks, with a couple of sell-side firms in India. In the past, Nitiin has arranged one-on-one institutional investor road-shows for a few India-listed companies. He has also marketed Indian IPOs to foreign institutional investors and private equity investors. Nitiin was the winner of the Best IPO Analyst Award for 2009 by Zee Business. He has worked in India and overseas.
Nitiin remains passionate about equity investing, and likes to read about investing.
Nitiin also advises Start-ups on corporate strategy and raising funds from VCs/Angel Investors.
In his spare time, Nitiin likes to take long walks, listen to music and watch Hollywood movies and some TV shows. His favorite TV shows are Shark Tank (ABC) and Pawn Stars (History Channel).
Here are his thoughts.
My Evolution as an Equity Research Analyst and Investor
After becoming a commerce graduate from University of Mumbai, I pursued the chartered accountancy (CA) course in the early 1990s, which was what most Indian commerce grads went for, in those days. I was involved in taxation and corporate internal audits as part of my CA internship training. However, that kind of work did not interest me much. Around 1992-93, after the opening up of the Indian Economy, the Government of India permitted foreign institutional investors (FIIs) to invest in India’s equity markets. My intellectual antenna went up with this development. The equity cult appeared to be booming. I began to wonder if I should just go down the beaten path of becoming a regular CA and carrying out accounting, auditing, or taxation work. Or, would the stock market make the ideal career choice for me…
I happened to read about job openings for “Equity Research Analysts” in financial newspapers (there was no Naukri.com back then), and wondered what this esoteric job role was all about. When I delved deeper, I realized it made a great fit with both my academic background and career aspirations. Eventually, when I was well on my way to completing my CA course, I took the decision to enter the capital markets as Equity Research Analyst. In spite of having invested in stocks, no one from my family had worked in the capital markets before. However, my family supported me in this decision. My father stood firmly behind me. My elder brother, himself an MBA, encouraged me to prepare well, and even gifted me a few relevant books to read. These were the early days and the profession of Equity Analysts was still in its infancy in India.
Around mid-1995, I passed my CA final examinations, and also landed my first job in the capital markets, with a sell-side firm in Mumbai. My dream of becoming an Equity Research Analyst had finally come true! I was totally thrilled, reading up on various industries and companies, their business models, and trying to make sense of it all.
Over the course of the next two decades, I worked with various firms, in different roles – sell-side, buy-side, investment banking, as equity research analyst, as portfolio manager. I personally visited a number of manufacturing plants across industries, interviewed management at a number of companies, and attended a huge number of investor briefings. I wrote research reports on a number of listed companies and IPOs.
I’ve pitched listed stocks and IPOs to institutional investors such as FIIs, mutual funds and private equity funds. Arranged roadshows for listed and unlisted companies. Arranged plant visits and management meetings for fund managers and for buy-side analysts. I got to directly engage with some of the best minds in the Investment Management business in India, and got to learn so much from them. These include the CIOs with a few of the largest mutual funds in India, not to mention countless fund managers and analysts. Indeed, as they say, the more we learn, the more we realize how little we really know.
In addition to Indian markets, I dabbled in US markets too. Worked in India and abroad.
So I can say with some pride, that I have been on both sides of the table – sell-side and buy-side. And my exposure has been fairly diverse, which I believe gives me a slight edge when it comes to my training programs.
So, have I got it all figured out? Hardly! I am still learning, literally on a daily basis. Investment Gurus like Warren Buffett apparently read hundreds of pages, daily. I would strive to achieve at least a small part of that. I do read book on Investing by prominent authors. Reading up on new companies, and companies I have not looked at before, takes up quite a bit of my time. Building financial models in spreadsheet is something I regularly do. Putting my thoughts on paper remains my passion.
Why I decided to become a Trainer
I have always been passionate about mentoring.
During my career, I hired 10-12 fresh grads from campuses or otherwise, and groomed and mentored them to become full-fledged equity research analysts. I believed in giving quality exposure to my team.
Through my own, first-hand experience, I realized that a mentor is extremely essential for success, particularly in the stock market. While I learned my job mostly by trial and error, I believe equity research aspirants and junior analysts should not have to. There is no dearth of training institutes, but of passionate mentors, who not only impart the hard skills necessary for the job, but most importantly, motivate and hand-hold trainees along the way, so that the latter could grow and blossom into great analysts.
I realized that I could utilize my skills and experience as an equity research analyst, not just in carrying out stock analysis, but also in providing personalized training in Equity Research and Value Investing to the relevant audience. This is how Beyond Quant InvestTraining came into being.
I consider myself lucky that I have been able to guide and mentor not only freshers, but even experienced analysts. It is a matter of considerable pride for me, that a few of them remain in touch with me, and also seek career advice from me, from time to time. I have trained analysts not only in India, but also in other countries.
Rationale behind “Beyond Quant”
The investing world is mostly fixated on the quantitative aspects of investing, be it revenues, profits, margins or valuation ratios. Smart Investors go “beyond quant”, and look at the abstract aspects such as management quality and caliber, industry scenario, regulations, et al, and how all these could impact future financial performance of companies.
At Beyond Quant InvestTraining, we strive to teach our trainees the finer aspects of equity investing and research. We encourage our trainees to take a holistic, 360-degree view, rather than have a narrow focus. They would do well to consider and review myriad aspects, before arriving at stock calls.
Our Training Programs and Webinars
Please visit http://bqinvesttraining.com/equity-investing-training-programs/ for details of our training programs.
A brief about our Sector Analysis Webinars: http://bqinvesttraining.com/sector-analysis-webinars/.
What Differentiates Us
We do not operate the way a typical training institute does. Our focus is on mentoring, as much as on training. We attempt to impart personalized training. We only teach you what you do not know already – the actual work of an Equity Research Analyst.
Our training is highly interactive, wherein we actively encourage trainees to participate, ask questions and share their experiences with us. We guide trainees on improving both written and oral communication skills and presentation skills.
Investors gain from our practical insights, and can hope to improve the return on their investments.
As stated earlier, we pride ourselves over the fact that many of our trainees remain in touch with us, long after their training with us is over.
Recommendations from a few of them can be accessed here.
Advice for Equity Research Aspirants
You are an MBA fresh out of college, or a CA, or a newly minted CFA. You are bustling with enthusiasm and excitement. You see yourself conquering the world of investing, in future. You wish to become an equity research analyst. You believe that’s the perfect job for you.
Well, the job of equity research analyst is not for everyone. Period.
It’s an extremely glamorous job, no doubt, but also extremely rigorous and quite difficult to succeed at. Do not get taken it by the accolades equity research analysts win, the big bucks they earn, or their fan following. That is only one side of the coin. The amount of efforts and sheer hard work put in by the analyst, is beyond most people’s imagination.
As a sell-side analyst, you have to come up with unique insights and findings, and present them to your clients via well-written research reports, on which the clients feel compelled to act. You have to interact with both, the companies you track, and the buy-side clients your firm services. The job calls for not only analytical skills, but also interpersonal skills. You have to be able to build a personal rapport with the coverage companies, and clients of your firm.
The key difference between the sell-side analyst’s and buy-side analyst’s job is that the former would not be directly involved in the investment decision, whereas, the latter is very much directly and active involved.
A buy-side analyst’s job is no less difficult. He has to not only carry out in-depth research, but also convince his firm’s investment committee about investing in, or exiting, certain opportunities or holdings. The buy-side firm measures his performance on the basis of how his recommendations perform, and the returns they generate.
गुरूर्ब्रह्मा गुरूर्विष्णु: गुरूर्देवो महेश्वर:।
गुरु साक्षात् परं ब्रह्म तस्मै श्री गुरवे नम:॥
I am lucky to have such wonderful parents, to whom I attribute whatever little I may have achieved in life.
I humbly acknowledge the roles played by my parents, teachers, family, my late father-in-law, my wonderful wife, and my friends. I am grateful to essentially all those who supported me wholeheartedly in my endeavors. I cannot thank them enough of standing firmly behind me.