Personal lessons from 20 years of trading/broking/working

Almost unreal that we could represent Zerodha on the cover of Forbes. Some personal lessons from the many highs & many lows in this 20-year journey working, trading, trying to build different types of businesses, & more.

  1. Businesses can be built in multiple ways. Don’t try to cut-copy-paste what others are doing - it mostly won’t work. Do what feels right to you. Your instincts on what is right will work better when you build a business/career around what you love.
  2. The odds of finding what you love is higher when you take a shot at as many new things as possible. Most of us will not be lucky to find this love amongst the books in schools and colleges.
  3. Once you start building a business, prioritizing what is right for the customer over what will give you growth/revenue in today’s super-connected world can bring you network effect & organic growth.
  4. Organic growth means not having to spend to grow, and hence not raise as much money. This can help you do more of what is right for the customer, which can, in turn, help you stand out amongst your competition.
  5. Eventually the better product wins, everything else is noise. Your team is going to build the product and they are all you have, they are more important than the business itself.
  6. There is no status quo in today’s world, everyone is going to get disrupted when you stop taking bets to improve your product. “I have two basic rules about winning in trading & life: (1) If you don’t bet, you can’t win. (2) If you lose all your chips, you can’t bet” - Larry Hite.
  7. Valuation/Revenue/Growth numbers are just going to distract you from running your business. The chase has to be to get up every day and say how we can do something better for our customers today. The rest, if it has to, will follow.
  8. To be like this, you need to be first content in life. To be content, you need to be happy. You can never be happy if you have material goals like Valuation/Revenue/Growth, there is no end to this.
  9. All this doesn’t happen overnight, you have to keep at it & hope that you get lucky (took us 20 yrs). The chances of getting lucky are higher when more people want you to get lucky. Hence good karma can potentially help improve the odds of success in business & life. So do good, if nothing else, to improve your odds of getting lucky. :slight_smile:

Feeling content with something is down to ones state if mind tbh, some people are satisfied with whatever they have, some aren’t… It is natural human tendency to not remain satisfied with what they get or what they have the urge for more is what drives us in our daily hustle.

totally. find happiness, not seek happiness.

Yeah but this tendency differs . I find ambitious people more dissatisfied with what they have and less ambitious somewhat satisfied. But yeah everyone should maintain healthy balance in life.

Right… and also as @leodecaps said above.

In hustle for more people often forget “Health is Wealth”.


S secure
H hold
A analyse
R review
E earn
S sell

is what my more than 20 years experience guide me


@nithin can you tell me one thing …this week i made a very good amount …but i could have made 50% more if i kept my positions today… took off my positions on monday itself…seriously i’m very very upset with this…i keep doing this …more than the money squaring off the positions in the wrong time is bothering me… Please advice how to manage this

I think you need to stop bothering about stuff like this when trading. In hindsight or after an event, it almost always feels stupid - the trading decisions taken. It is impossible for people to get the timing on these things right. What you need to look back at is if you stuck to your trading strategy or not, did you get in and get out for the right reasons (your trading strategy), I know this is easier said than done, but that is the chase. :slight_smile:


Very very very insightful , thanks for sharing…

Very nicely written. Thanks for sharing this. Congratulations to you and your Zerodha team!

One of the toughest trading decisions is knowing when to book profit.

  • If you’re into options trading, book at 80% profit.
  • But if you’re into intraday, it’s a whole other ball game.
  • If you’re a bit longer, i.e. swing trading or positional trading - think about using trailing stops.

Unfortunately, the regulators see trailing stops as algo trading thing, rather than investor / trader protection mechanism.

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@nithin wanted to add this to the points above:

  1. It’s always day 1. Let’s work as if we haven’t achieved anything yet- Jeff Bezos
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@nithin How should one develop the skills to get into this league? Any insight will be greatly appreciated.

this looks like high iq hedge fund stuff they showed on tv show Billions… you will know what im talking about if you have watched that show.

Hello, I am a beginner, concerning the analysis part how large is the spread? How much of an increase in share price is required before the stock is even in profit?

In case anyone is interested, the article in Forbes India magazine is now available online -

In a book by Jack Welsh, he states something like this:

Seeking balance is luxury only the middle class has. Those poorer have to struggle 24x7 just to survive, and those at the top wouldn’t be there if they didn’t.