Celebrating Financial Independence With Wint Wealth’s CEO, Ajinkya Kulkarni – Where Does He Invest?

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In previous issues of, the ‘Celebrating Financial Independence’ series we spoke to Indiagold’s CEO, Deepak Abbot and Bounce’s CEO, Vivekananda Hallekere, to know more about how they approach investments and their take on how to become financially independent.

 

Today, we will talk to Ajinkya Kulkarni, the CEO of Wint Wealth and try to know more about his investment decisions.

 

Let’s get started .

1. What problem were you aiming to solve when you started Wint Wealth?

These were certain assets which were only suitable for HNI’s and we understood that. In fact, we wanted to invest in those assets. So that was the first set of motivation for us, where we thought, “Yes, I want to invest in that asset, but I don’t have that kind of money!”.

 

The idea was actually not to start Wint Wealth but just a search of how we  could invest in those assets. Then we realised that this a bigger need and nobody is solving it, so let us just go ahead an solve it.

 

2. Usually, debt instruments are perceived as low returns or people still think of FDs and RDs when they think of debt, why do you think people are so unaware of other debt instruments

 

I think one is access and the second is education. This market in USA is pretty mature, right? That is not the case in India, because number one, there is lack of education, also, there are some structural challenges and access.

 

Most of the good bonds were not accessible.

 

Now, the government is making sure that government securities are also available for retail investors. But earlier you would see that all bonds were  issued at 10 lakhs and above and these were only suitable for HNIs and institutional investors, because if a ticket size is 1Cr, I can’t invest, even if I want to.

 

3. When we talk about debt instruments, how important do you think it is for an investor’s portfolio, keeping in mind market fluctuations

 

For younger folks debt instruments are a lower part of their asset allocation. But the thing is, I would look at it very simply. As Indians, we hate volatility. Most of the user calls we do, users consider gold as debt allocation.

 

Actually, it is commodity, which means it is equity, right?

 

Another favourite is real estate. And why do people like it? Because they both of these are  less volatile. As a mental make-up we are extremely averse to volatility. And equities are the exact opposite, they are volatile. So, debt actually reduces volatility to some extent.

 

4. A lot of people are scared to invest in non-traditional investment platforms, what is your view on them? Why do you think people are so sceptical to invest in India?

 

Obviously, lack of  education is one problem, the second is if you look at the supply side, you must look at how much of the country is listed. In India, the unorganised sector is so huge and for money to flow in, the deployment should also be huge, right?

 

In USA, their deployment is all over the world. There are companies from all over the world who are listed in USA. Even a few Indian companies are listed in USA.

 

It becomes an attractive prospect  for investors. That drives penetration. If your equity returns are not attractive for so many years, then there is no incentive for a new investor to get in.

 

Also, in USA the FD rates are in the range of 1% and equities are still 10-12%, so that delta is huge. In India, this is the first time we are seeing FD rates go down so much and that has peaked interest in equities.

 

If your FDs were giving 8-9%, then your equity investment is not that attractive because it is just giving you 10-11% returns, which means, 3% does not matter as much.

 

And 3% is not the kind of risk that will attract a lot of new investors.

 

5. Since we are talking about financial freedom, what do you think has been your smartest investment?

 

So let me first tell you, I have made very few investments.

 

And all the savings that I had, more than 90% is parked in my father’s company which gives me a fixed return of 10-11%. So I am hardly affected by market fluctuations.

 

6. What is that one financial concept that you think Indians need to be free from to make more wealth?

 

Obviously trends have been changing, but I think one of it can be the obsession people have with gold. Honestly, gold is not a great asset to invest in. And that kind of gets trapped as dead money, right? And gold especially in term of ornaments.

 

People just buy physical gold and keep it aside. And if that is unlocked, a lot of money will be available.

 

7. What is financial freedom to you?

In my mind, it is the ability to do what you want.

 

As soon as you stop working for money, in my mind, that is financial freedom. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to earn or anything. You can still do what you do, but it’s okay even if it earns you a lower amount of money.

 

Thank you!

 

P.S: Follow this space for more such interesting interviews from our ‘Celebrating Financial Independence Series’!

 

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