In 2008, Lehman Brothers ceased to exist. This was no ordinary bankruptcy. This one event, along with Bear Stearns around the same time, caused a tsunami of unprecedented failures in banking and other financial institutions, and led to a massive Federal intervention in the financial system.
Far away from the Wall Street, like millions of other small business owners, perhaps even you or someone you know, I became one of the casualties of the credit crunch that followed.
It is said that every value investor follows a different path to value investing. Value investing cannot be learned by studying or attending lectures, though thousands try every year. Either you get value investing, or you do not get it.
Although I did not really know at that time that what I did regularly was something special. The banker who was working with me to recapitalize my steel business in 2008, told me this:
"If you were running an investments business, we will fund you right away"
When I asked why he said this,
"I reviewed your personal tax returns going back 5 years, and I have not seen anyone making such consistently profitable investments, year after year"
I wasn't running an investments business - I was running a steel business. The credit for businesses like this had dried up overnight after Lehman Brothers collapse. The banker withdrew the funding approvals and I spend the next year winding down my steel business.
Most of the time, we do not recognize this new opportunity when it presents itself. It took me a year before it finally dawned on me that I can use my skills and passion for investing to help others, and create a wonderful lifestyle for me and my family.
This quote has been attributed to various different people including Confucius and Harvey Mackay. I find that this is true. Investing is something I would be doing regardless, so making it my life's purpose does not sound like work at all.
That I get to help so many different people all over the world with my expertise is just the icing on the cake.
Back to my story ...
It took me about a year to close my steel business after that fateful day in September 2008, and another couple of years to finally open the doors to Value Stock Guide. The interim period involved a lot of introspection and figuring things out. Being forced into closing a business due to economic conditions is not a very good experience, but in many ways, this was the defining moment that finally turned me into a value investor.
Today, I manage Value Stock Guide and help hundreds of my members achieve portfolio growth that they could only dream of in the past. I make time to pursue my other passions - hiking and running, and being a dad to two wonderful boys, and a loving husband to my wonderful wife. I call Michigan my home and I think after 20 years here I have finally figured out the weather.
Since that article in the New York Times, I have been featured at, or syndicated at the following
There is also a Wikipedia page about me.
My experience in the real business world have definitely shaped my outlook to see things as a business owner and always worry about the risk in every investment. I work hard to make sure every ounce of risk in each investment in our portfolio is either eliminated or somehow handled.
However, I also came into this with a solid grounding in business.
I have an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, and graduated with Distinction.
I consulted with AT Kearney, where I advised Fortune 100 companies with their strategic business issues. Later, I led finance at a fast growing AT Kearney incubated start up shaking up an old-school manufacturing sector in Midwest. I managed about $60 million in P&L but had the oversight for over $700 million in annual client capital expenses.
After working as a CFO for the start up company, I later quit to pursue entrepreneurship. I acquired and managed steel service centers in SE Michigan which I ran for two years. Part of the story of my steel business is well recounted in the New York Times article mentioned earlier.
The bottom line is, I have seen and practiced all aspects of real business, as a manager, consultant to the senior executives, executive and a CEO. This has helped give me a perspective on business, both theoretical and practical, something very few analysts on the Wall Street possess.
Prior to all this, I completed my Electrical Engineering undergraduate at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, at Kanpur in India. (These colleges are orders of magnitude harder to get into than, say, MIT or Harvard)
I rely on my business knowledge in evaluating my stocks and underlying business dynamics, and the mathematical and analytical rigor of an engineer, and the results have been just excellent. If you choose to invest with me, you get the use of my vast business experience to make wiser investment choices.
So how does my experience help me pick stocks better? For one, I look at a business (and stock) from an owner’s perspective. If the business is creating value for the owners (shareholders), it is a good investment at a right price. I do not worry about efficient markets or other academic theories – they often breakdown for the small cap stocks where I most often hunt for value. This allows me to focus on picking the right stocks and ignore the wall street noise (see my investing case studies).
VSG, as I often call it, is much more than a value investing service where I help you with recommendations and advice. It helps me become a better investor too, and the daily reminder that I make such a significant difference in my member's lives is a constant push for me to stay disciplined and only act when there is utmost conviction.
It is a place for me to build my investment thesis and document my investments and performance over time.
This allows me to help you with your investments, answer your questions, and make a difference in my member's lives.
We all make money!
I have compiled my years of experience with investing profitably in a short book. You can now download my How to Beat the Market by clicking the button below.
Shailesh provides very insightful and well researched advice for Value Investors. It is obvious that he has many years of experience in this field which is needed to successfully pick value stocks. I can really recommend Shailesh to everyone who is interested in value investments but does not have the time and experience to work out the required analysis themselves. Before working with Shailesh however, it is well recommended to understand the key principles of value investing - so you know what you are up too.
Shailesh does an impressive job in finding low risk under valued stocks having catalysts for upside potential and offering a decent margin of safety. He discovers them well before Wall Street finds them. He refuses to overpay for a stock and believes much of the gains come from the price paid for the stock. Once a stock makes to his portfolio he monitors them closely like a hawk to ensure company is progressing like expected and if so waits patiently for the stock to reach its valuations and then makes a sell decision locking in profits. I joined his flagship VSG in Nov 2012 and extremely happy with his service. I realized much profit trading VSG stocks and did not see a single loosing trade so far. Shailesh answers any questions in email pretty much instantly. Best part of his service I like is his low trade volume which lets me focus completely on my IT job that needs my full attention. I believe I will be able to reach Financial Independence working with Shailesh in next 5 years or so. I just love his deep bottom up analysis on stocks and his service. I wish I found him much earlier and highly recommend his service to anyone looking for value stock advice.
A true value investor, Shailesh excels in finding attractive off-the-beaten-path investments away from Wall Street’s radar. His ability to cut through sentiment and provide insightful and thorough analysis makes his work compelling and ultimately very profitable. Seeking catalysts, he often has the uncanny ability to make calls that even technicians would be envious of. Additional qualities include being generous with time and attention to discussion and inquiry. Overall, highly recommended.
I have found Shailesh's work on Value Stock Guide to be exceptional in every way. He is a professional value investor with a proven track record to beat market results with minimal risk. He thoroughly researches the companies that he recommends and puts his own money into his picks. He monitors his service closely and provides answers to any questions I may have on my investments. I have tried a number of investment services and have found Shailesh Kumar with VSG to be far superior in everyway. The bottom line on my investment portfolio agrees!
Since I have known Shailesh, I have been impressed by his bottom-up analysis and investing skills. If you are looking for someone to advise you on your investments, he is someone you should consider. I strongly recommend checking out his portfolio and his track record. You will be impressed!
I've received some excellent value investing ideas from Shailesh and I'm very impressed with the quality and depth of his stock analyses. Keep up the good work!
Shailesh Kumar who runs Value Stock Guide (VSG) is truly amazing. For the last 30 years I have being relying on Mutual Funds as well as various so called 'Stock Market Gurus' and various services, yet my returns have never beaten the S&P. Finally after reading The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, I started actively looking for a service that follows value investing and that's how I got to know of VSG. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and Shailesh has not disappointed. VSG historic returns speak for themselves and I've been lucky enough to witness them first hand.
I have known Shailesh Kumar socially for over 3 years. Shailesh has a varied business background including consulting in the automotive industry (my industry). His style of value investing achieved a track record over time that is hard to match. Shailesh is a person that I trust - he invests his own money in the companies that he recommends to his members. This is ultimately why I decided to join Value Stock Guide and follow his well researched stock investment recommendations.
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