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This article is more than 8 month old.

Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath says playing chess improved his trading skills

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"You have to be fairly structured in chess. The same rules apply to trading as well. Chess taught me the importance of following a structure, beyond which you can be creative," Nikhil Kamath said.

Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath says playing chess improved his trading skills

Nikhil Kamath, one of India's youngest self-made billionaires, admits that playing chess helped his trading skills. Nikhil co-founded Zerodha along with his brother Nitin Kamath.

Today, the platform is India's largest stockbroker based on the number of clients. Nikhil remains the chief investment officer at Zerodha while he started his own hedge fund, True Beacon, two years ago.

"When you are playing chess, you are trying to control the center, develop your pieces, the castle as fast as possible. Those are the basic principles of the game. The same kind of rules also applies to trading, for example, in how you place a stop loss, how you handle leverage," Kamath told ETMarkets in an interview.

"You have to be fairly structured in chess. The same rules apply to trading as well. Chess taught me the importance of following a structure, beyond which you can be creative," he added.

Nikhil used to be an avid chess player, even competing at the national level. But as he dropped out of school at 17 to pursue his passion for stock trading and entrepreneurship, chess took a backseat in his life.

Nikhil now focuses his time on Zerodha and True Beacon. His hedge fund serves HNIs and ultra-HNIs.

“Our AUM (assets under management) is growing at a rate of 15 percent month-on-month. People like the fact that we are a lot more transparent and cheaper than our peers. We don't have management fees and entry or exit loads," Kamath said in the interview.

Kamath is aiming to beat the NIFTY by at least 6 percent on a multi-year basis. Believing the current market to be overpriced, his firm is starting to invest in large-cap IT firms and pharmaceutical shares.

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