Ep491: Ajinkya Kulkarni – Master the Process Not the Result

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Quick take

BIO: Ajinkya Kulkarni is the co-founder and CEO of WintWealth. His company offers high net-worth individuals and retail investors asset-backed fixed income products that provide higher returns than fixed bank deposits.

STORY: Ajinkya gave money to a friend who promised to give him a return of nine percent every month. After receiving returns for about a year, payments stopped. He never got back the money he had invested.

LEARNING: Focus on the investment process, not the result.


“Don’t stop investing. Keep focusing on the process. It’s a long game.”

Ajinkya Kulkarni


Guest profile

Ajinkya Kulkarni is the co-founder and CEO of WintWealth. His company offers high net-worth individuals and retail investors asset-backed fixed income products that provide higher returns than fixed bank deposits.

Worst investment ever

Ajinkya gave money to a friend who promised to give him a return of nine percent every month for about a year. Ajinkya would reinvest the monthly interest. After about a year, the friend stopped paying him the returns and never paid back the money Ajinkya had invested.

Lessons learned

  • Focus on the investment process instead of the result.
  • Educate yourself on the risks and then make an informed choice.

Andrew’s takeaways

  • You’re going to have bad outcomes not due to bad skill, but just due to luck. It’s, therefore, important to just keep focusing on improving your investment process.

Actionable advice

Keep focusing on the process because investing is a long game. If your strategy is correct, you can be unlucky once or twice, but you cannot be unlucky forever. So keep improving your process, your craft, and your skill.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Ajinkya’s goal for the next 12 months is to educate 1 million customers and continue to deliver a kickass customer experience.

Parting words


“Self-awareness is very crucial in investment.”

Ajinkya Kulkarni


Read full transcript

Andrew Stotz 00:02
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community. We know that to win an investing, you must take risk but to win big, you've got to reduce it. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm on a mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their life. Join this mission at my worst investment advisor.com By taking the risk reduction quiz I created from the lessons I've learned from all my guests. It's time you start building wealth the easy way by reducing risk. Fellow risk takers, this is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz, from a Stotz Academy and I'm here with featured guests. A Jinka. Kulkarni, a Jinka. Are you ready to join our mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their life?

Ajinkya Kulkarni 00:54
Yeah, yeah, Andrew, I'm very excited. Thanks. Thanks for having me on this podcast.

Andrew Stotz 00:58
Yeah, it's great to have you on. And I just want to introduce you to the audience. A Jinka has is the co founder and CEO of wind wealth. His company offers high net worth individuals and retail investors, asset backed fixed income products that provide higher returns than fixed bank deposits. Wow. Take a minute in Philly for the tidbits about your life and what you're doing with that business.

Ajinkya Kulkarni 01:26
Sure, so I'll probably start with my own story. So I get and then how, what led to starting with and what are we actually doing so I'll just talk about it in a couple of minutes. So I graduated in 2012, and then joined my father's family business. I was there for a couple of years, I didn't enjoy much. Started my first startup didn't work out, well. It got acquired, I moved on. Then I worked at two startups, I was essentially working FinTech lending and that and then I started doing so idea Wentworth was like what we figured out in general, retail investments in India, one like they only have brought like, if you if they are looking to invest in the market, there are only broadly two options, one is empty, and one is equity. So if this is your fixed deposit, bank, deposit and equities, your stock market, and there is nothing in between that there is this big whitespace in between and most of the equities not for all people don't like that Altet 80 People don't like that kind of risk. They settle for me. So and they like India has about 2 trillion of money in bank deposits, right. $2 trillion dollars, is massive. Yeah. And like people know, if these is not probably a rational choice, it gives you negative real return after inflation. Right? It's not tax efficient, but still people go for it. Because lack of choice, lack of education, right. And so we realize there is this white, big whitespace in between something that gives you higher than empty return, but is not market limit. It is not that volatile. It is if the market crashes, the investment in skill, ceiling is not market. It's not at the whims and fancies of the market. So that that was the ideal thing, like and what we also because I was working in FinTech industry, what we knew is, there are these assets available, but they are only available for like institutional investors or on really underaged people, the ticket sizes were really, really high about $150, or something that was a 360 x. And we gotten it down to about 150, like $100 and $50. And that's what that's what we are basically doing is basically bite sizing those large investment opportunities and making in making it available for retail investment in small ticket size, that sort of

Andrew Stotz 03:57
thing. So you somewhat of a marketplace where you're bringing companies that want to borrow money, that they have the assets to back that, and you're bringing maybe investors who want to invest, and then you're providing the additional service of providing fractional or smaller ability to get into that. Yeah, absolutely. And when the companies are coming to you, what is the type of asset that they need to back it with? What's the type of collateral that they're providing?

Ajinkya Kulkarni 04:31
Yeah, sure. So currently, we like we have different kinds of structures, but we mainly work with currently with non banking financial companies work you in this small retail, these are collateral backwards. So borrow, some borrower has actually pledged property or a vehicle or gold which is very common in India and taken out loans. So these are all collateral backlogs. This is what would have known that we basically use as a city

Andrew Stotz 05:01
And then are you? Are you then taking this pool of loans of many companies and slicing it? Or are you saying, Okay, we're matching one of our customers to one of our borrowers, you know, one of the people that want to invest, or how are you doing that? Is it like peer to peer type, or is it just you get access to a, you know, a basket,

Ajinkya Kulkarni 05:24
it's not actually peer to peer. So it's not one of them, you get access to basket, that basket is currently a lot more of one company. But eventually, we are now looking at structures where you will, if you, let's say, put on one $50 or 10,000 rupees, you will get, you will get access to let's say, 10 companies and eventually 1000s of borrowers under light so that it is very well fragmented, very well, granular. Even banks,

Andrew Stotz 05:51
and you mentioned that the companies are that these instruments are not trading in the market so that they're not highly volatile or something like that. Is that a requirement? Like it has to be a specific it has to not be trading out in the market? Or how does it work?

Ajinkya Kulkarni 06:09
No, they will be. So we actually get these securities listed on stock exchange, so easy for people to purchase. The thing is equity like is at the whims of the market, right, if us something happened, let's say us cut back this court quantities in writing us, it has impacts if I withdraws money from Indian stock market, the market might go down by 10, your investment then like, let's say, it's like, imagine this year, your salaries basically benchmark to market market crashes by 10 10%, your salary goes down. But that kind of uneasy feeling is what people don't want, right? Obviously, you want to take some risk, and want that volatility, but not for the good portion of

Andrew Stotz 06:57
got it. So you're just saying that you're getting people, you know, if people put money into a bank deposit, there's no movement at all? You know, it's just, it's, in the case of getting access to lending to companies. There's a little bit of movement, but it's nothing like equity.

Ajinkya Kulkarni 07:15
Yeah, yeah. There is obviously a little bit higher risk cultural. And we try to mitigate those risk, reduce risk, but there is still is there and we educate customers about vectors. So if they are Okay, with that, this seems this becomes like a very viable, like, very attractive option.

Andrew Stotz 07:32
And one of the anomalies about India, in Asia, is that the bank deposit rates, or let's say, the central bank's rates are very high, what is the typical deposit rate in a bank that one of your customers would be earning? Right now, before they then come to you?

Ajinkya Kulkarni 07:50
Yeah, I've been that is also as India is maturing as market that is, currently, fixed deposit rates are about by and half percent seems high compared to US market, but this has been historical lowest in India.

Andrew Stotz 08:07
Exactly. And I see the, you know, the risk free rate in India is, you know, six or seven or, you know, 8%, or something along those lines, as I recall.

Ajinkya Kulkarni 08:17
Yeah, but no, if you look at government securities, which are essentially this three year, they will be trading at about 5% 5%.

Andrew Stotz 08:25
Okay. And when someone invest in, they take some of their money out of a deposit. Now, bank deposits are guaranteed in India,

Ajinkya Kulkarni 08:34
you have to find like they're guaranteed by government

Andrew Stotz 08:37
up to a certain level. Yeah, right. Okay. So then they're going to take their money out of a guaranteed, you know, investment, and they're going to move it into yours. And they're going to say, I'm going to do this, because I'm going to pick up some yield. And, you know, I like to be a lender in this case, what would be the average return that they would get? Or do you bucket them based upon their risk? Or how do you handle that,

Ajinkya Kulkarni 09:00
you got most of the assets on our platform, they give nine 11% return. So average would be in the range of 10%. So it will be about 4% higher than that.

Andrew Stotz 09:11
So it's a great pickup. Now, when you look at the equity market, you could have earned a higher return in the equity market over the last few years, but you would have been riding a roller coaster. And who knows whether the next year equity market crashes by x. So it's a pretty, pretty good deal. That's exciting. It's great to get to know you know what you're doing. And I think it's a really fantastic story. One last question. Where are you in the development of this business is this you know, what, what stage are you at? What's like, you know, that type of just so I understand that.

Ajinkya Kulkarni 09:45
Yeah, we launched this in last December. And we recently Grace 100 Qaddafi. So that's kind of any milestone for any business. So about 600,000 investors. So we got that milestone in the We'll be

Andrew Stotz 10:01
fantastic. Well, that's a great background on your company and getting to know what you're doing. So now it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one goes into their worst investment thinking it will be tell us a bit about the circumstances leading up to it, then tell us your story.

Ajinkya Kulkarni 10:17
Sure. So like, I actually like lent money to my friend. And who was investing in happiness, futures and options, which are the riskiest, like even the most risky, like hardly anything. So I didn't lend a lot of money. But like, and the friend promise really good returns are too good to be true returns. And I was like, It's okay, let's, let's try it out. And they delivered return for some time. And then they would just, and I like, obviously, I lost that money. So that kind of turned out to be a worst investment. But looking back, it seemed like it had to be about worst investment. I mean, there was no possibility that it could have sustained and

Andrew Stotz 11:09
what type of returns was what type of returns was, were you being seduced by?

Ajinkya Kulkarni 11:16
Yeah, I was promised about eight 9% per month fixed return per month, per month. Yeah.

Andrew Stotz 11:21
And he delivered that for the first few months or the first 12 months, or

Ajinkya Kulkarni 11:26
I got that return for about one and a half year, which is it's been surprising looking back, I think, how did they even do it?

Andrew Stotz 11:33
And how was he delivering? That? Was it you know, that obviously, we have Ponzi schemes where people are raising money from some people and paying it to another, right. But this was a case where he was actually investing.

Ajinkya Kulkarni 11:44
Yay, he was investing in FLL. I'm not sure whether it was a Ponzi scheme. And so because it could have been a Ponzi scheme where they like, I actually wasn't like, at least it was not a multi level marketing kind of scheme. It had to onboard to more investors, per se. So I didn't know whether it was a Ponzi scheme or not, but I got that return for some time. But as greed persist, I mean, I actually invested that money. So I just small, some didn't, didn't pinch much. But at the end, it still turned out to be versus anywhere. In fact, I'm very surprised that it lasted for so long.

Andrew Stotz 12:23
That's pretty amazing. So did you leave? If you went into it with 100? You know, or whatever, when you left it, did you lose all the money that you gave to him? 100%? Yeah, so you just had a lot of fun for a year or so. And then after that, you just lost it all. So tell me what lessons did you learn from this experience a

Ajinkya Kulkarni 12:44
couple of things. One is you should focus on process, the only thing I would like looking back as I should focus on investment process rather than the result. There is nothing wrong in lending money to a friend even for a film. But I should have studied me know what sense of the risk and returns and then I should have made that decision, I could have chosen to learn that 100 or 50, or 10, or I should have, I could have chosen not to give money at all. And I mean, I don't consider it bad investment, because it turned out that even if it gave me money, it was still a very bad because I now focus a lot and I tell everyone is to make sure that investment is a long game. So you have to be focused on the process of educating yourself with the risk return and then make an informed choice.

Andrew Stotz 13:34
I'm just taking notes of something that you just said that thoughts very fascinating. Maybe I'll share a couple things that I took away. You know, you're making me think of that book Thinking in bets, which is called by I think and do but she

Ajinkya Kulkarni 13:47
told me one of my most favorite.

Andrew Stotz 13:51
Yeah, with the idea you because you said something I don't think it was bad because it lost money. I think it was bad because of the process that I went through. In doing resulting that I guess, yeah, yeah. And so for the listeners out there, you know what that means is that, particularly with investing, you know, there's a huge amount of randomness in investing. And so people could be successful for many, just random times. And, and also they could be failing only because of random outcomes. So it's a little bit like, you know, gambling and I think she talks about gambling and all that. But the point is, is that when you're gambling or you're dealing with somebody that has a certain level of volatility and a certain level of randomness, underlying that process, you know, you're gonna have bad outcomes that we're not due to bad skill, but we're actually just due to luck. And that's the reason why it's important to just keep focusing on improving that process. Not saying oh my god, I lost in my first in investment, you know, 50 bucks or whatever, that could have just been random. And in the world of finance, we also call that false discoveries where you think you found somebody or something that is outperforming the market, let's say, but in fact, it's only outperforming because of randomness. Absolutely. It's a great lesson. I know. Also, Nassim Taleb book Fooled By Randomness is also another great one on that. And then I learned a lot about randomness from Dr. W. Edwards, Deming, the father of the quality movement, who was a real statistics statistician, and I studied with him, and I learned a lot about it, it helped me definitely, as I, you know, manage my career, because what I've kind of learned is that randomness underlies everything. And when you understand that randomness underlies everything, you start to question, you know, for instance, as a company, you may have given bonuses to some people and not others. And it's very comforting to think that we fairly did that. And we rewarded the people who had positive outcomes because of the right effort and hard effort. But there's a certain amount of randomness in the outcome. And therefore, we're rewarding randomness and punishing randomness, which Dr. Deming taught was just a wasted effort. But how do you separate randomness from skill and hard work? And all? That's another story? All right, based upon what you learned from this story, and what you continue to learn what what action would you recommend our listeners take to avoid suffering the same fate?

Ajinkya Kulkarni 16:39
No, I think the lesson has been clear. Focus on the process. And if you do it long enough, if your processes right, you can be unlucky once you can be unlucky twice, but you cannot be unlucky forever, to keep hitting at it and improving your process in improving your craft and skill. So I did my first startup, it didn't work out. But that was like, That was obviously my bad skill plus bad luck. But then I came back and no building another stuff. You're to keep at it, then keep focusing on the process. It's a long game.

Andrew Stotz 17:11
Great advice. So what's one free or paid resource you've created or have used that could benefit our listeners?

Ajinkya Kulkarni 17:19
Sure. So I mean, the product we have created is for retail investors. It was something that wasn't that wasn't accessible for retailers. And we are making it accessible to greenville.com. So do check out with another. Yep, go ahead. Yeah. So winter.com, it's something and we've got huge traction, we have about 60,000 investors 50,000 Plus investors wanting to invest in those assets. And I also write about personal finance in general, on LinkedIn, almost daily, I was also recognized as LinkedIn tacos last year. So if you are based out of India, that kind of content will be very helpful for you to manage.

Andrew Stotz 17:59
What that's a great, you know, free resource, ladies and gentlemen, you can just go to his LinkedIn profile, which we'll have in the show notes. And if you're on his profile, as I am now, two hours ago, he released day 22, what is equity and why invest in it? Suppose you and your friends start a business together, you aren't 60% And your friend owns 40. Now he's got a great, you know, you've got great write ups and great descriptions and things that are fun and easy to learn. So that's also a fantastic free resource. Last question. Sure. What is your number one goal for the next 12 months?

Ajinkya Kulkarni 18:37
I think growing interest is one goal that we are clearly set out to write and delivering that kickass customer experience, what we deliberately decided not to keep any number target, because then in the investment business, it's very easy to get trickled down off ceiling. selling those products we rather want to invest like we rather we have like one of the motors that we have is like we're here to educate and not sell. So when we bring these assets, our job is to educate customers and let them make choice. And our job is not to send those assets. So we want to educate 1 million customers in next one. So that's coming up, the investor is actually dependent on them. And how much investment that turns out to be is not something that we will measure activity.

Andrew Stotz 19:28
That's such a great idea. And going back to my original teacher, Dr. W. Edwards Deming he talked about, you know, as soon as you put numbers on things, you ruin it. You incentivize certain behavior. And there's no way that people can not game the system, manipulate the numbers are just going to do it. And then you take away the joy of work and the joy of really bringing something big out to the world. And we've also seen it in this current pandemic. When you measure certain numbers every day, and they're on fire, these numbers are published everywhere. And people are seeing them guaranteed, there's a huge amount of manipulation that's going on under the scenes, because everybody's incentivized in different ways. So I really commend you for doing that. And for the listeners out there, you know, go to wind wealth.com. And learn more, I've got the link in the show notes. And then, you know, follow a company, too, that is doing it a little differently. I like that. Well, listeners, there you have it, another story of laws to keep you winning, join our mission, it's been started building wealth, the easy way by reducing your risk, start by going to my worst investment ever.com. And take the risk reduction quiz. As we conclude a Jinka, I want to thank you again, for coming on the show. And on behalf of a Stotz Academy, I hereby award you alumni status for turning your worst investment investment ever into your best teaching moment, do you have any parting words for the audience?

Ajinkya Kulkarni 21:04
Like, ultimately, it's like in terms of building wealth, what is most important is also getting like to be very self aware, right? So in fact, one of the Harvard study said, Because equities give so much return, you're good if you just leverage it twice. That means you put your 3033 rupees and you just borrow 66. Even if you go bankrupt, you'll still make a lot of a lot more money in London. But whether you will do it as a person is obviously very difficult, right? So what is more important is what suits you at the end investment is emotional thing, right? So get in touch with emotions and do what's right for you. All this advice actually builds context, the choice you have to make and you have to live with it. And you as a so that having that self awareness is very important. I see a lot of people go by somebody told me this, I did this, but that might be the right thing for the other person may not be right for you. So having that self awareness is very, very crucial in investment.

Andrew Stotz 22:09
Great advice, ladies and gentlemen, self awareness, develop it and you don't have to compare yourself to others. And that's a wrap on another great story to help us create, grow and protect our wealth. Remember, ladies and gentlemen, this podcast is about one guest. One story, one mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives. Fellow risk takers. This is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz saying. I'll see you on the upside.


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About the show & host, Andrew Stotz

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

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