Investors Like Me: Asit Sharma

Investors Like Me: Asit Sharma

Asit Sharma is a Senior Analyst and Lead Advisor at The Motley Fool. He is drawn to stocks that represent the highest level of innovation in the global economy and currently focuses his research on small-cap growth stocks and recent IPO issues. Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Asit is a Certified Public Accountant and has worked as the CFO of a middle-market manufacturer and a strategy and finance consultant to privately held businesses. Before joining TMF as an analyst, Asit was a longtime contributing writer and editor at

Asit graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and holds a master’s degree in English Literature from New York University. However, he’s received the most important lessons in life and investing from experiences, travel, failures, and the occasional redemption. A husband and a father of three boys, Asit loves spending spare time with family and friends. His interests include running, creative writing, cooking, chess, and — a new obsession — watching Turkish comedy films. Asit’s Investing Style

How many years of investing experience do you have? 20+ years

What is your investing risk tolerance? High

What is your portfolio size? 20+ stocks

What are your favorite investing sectors? Industrials, Consumer Discretionary, and Information Technology

What makes these sectors so interesting to you? Between the industrials, consumer discretionary, and information technology sectors, an investor can participate in rapid innovation that’s happening across the U.S. and global economies. There’s so much to learn in these areas that I’m unfortunately a generalist in most other sectors! When did you get started in investing and why?

When I was a kid, I used to spend a lot of time in the public library. I’ve always been an eclectic reader, and I used to enjoy thumbing through the Value Line Investment Survey, a publication you had to ask the reference librarian to use. I think I was drawn to the big green binders that housed the paper inserts. When I was 13, I bought into my first mutual fund with $75 I had saved up, and I’ve been learning about the markets and businesses since then. Can you tell us a little bit about your relationship with money at an early age?

I was fortunate that my family didn’t have to struggle financially when I was young. But I’m a first-generation Indian American, and my parents didn’t really have the time to teach me much about sound financial habits as I was growing up. I picked up my present money habits through trial and error and a few tribulations, something I think first-generation kids of many differing backgrounds would recognize. What has your journey been like as an investor? What are some of the challenges you’ve had to overcome?

I had the sense from an early age that the best way to make money in the markets was to find great businesses and hold them, either through individual investments or indexed-based investments like mutual funds and ETFs . Very Foolish, right?

Yet, in my mid-20s, when I was earning my first real money after college and graduate school, I got caught up in the allure of speculation and day trading . Thinking about short-term price movements and how I could capitalize on them sucked up most of my free time. And I had no understanding of risk and position-sizing — two principles that you have to master if you’re going to be a trader. I promptly lost all my capital, and, painfully, also burned through a small amount of money my parents had given me to invest on their behalf.

This experience was helpful to me in that I soon realized that while it might be possible for me to make money trading, I wasn’t a natural-born trader, and it wasn’t a constructive use of my time to try to become one. Being an investor seemed like such a better path; you could go live your life while your capital grew over a period of years. In what ways has your social or cultural identity and lived experiences positively impacted your investing journey?

Like many others, I experienced a rough patch during the Great Recession of 2008-2009. I basically had to switch careers after the company I was working for shut down when its credit lines were frozen by the bank during the financial crisis. After having had a comfortable career as a CPA in public practice and in industry, I was suddenly at sea, not knowing what to do next. Eventually I hung out […]

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