Captain FI Financial Independence podcast – Sharesight portfolio tracker with Prashant Mohan
An Interview with Prashan Mohan, the Chief Marketing Officer of Sharesight, to discuss what is Sharesight and how investors on the path to Financial Independence can use the Sharesight program to make their portfolio tracking, administration, and tax accounting easier.
My career has been a non-linear one that has included experiences from technology (Infosys, Google), consumer product (Philips) and finance organisations (Westpac, Smartgroup, Prospa). I’ve also not grown up in marketing. I’ve been a software developer, a technical product manager, a business consultant and sales strategy manager before finding my way into marketing. What I love about marketing is that I get to use both sides of my brain — the rational as well as the emotional side. I believe my key strengths come from a mix of data analysis, intuition, adaptability and collaboration.
I grew up in an academic family — both my parents were academic professors in Pondicherry in India. That grounding instilled my strong beliefs and personal values. My mother encouraged me to be adventurous and my father taught me to have rational and emotional logic to deal with the various uncertainties of life.
Diversity of experiences in both my professional and personal life has given me a gift to understand people from all walks of life.Prashant Mohan, CMO Sharesight portfolio tracker
- Check out Prashant on Linkedin – Prashant Mohan
- Check out my interview with Dave Olsen from the Sharesight Team
- Check out my Monthly Net Wealth journey to Financial Independence updates showing the Sharesight reporting tools and graphs
Captain FI: [00:00:00] Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome aboard the financial independence podcast.
Get a and welcome to another episode of captain fire, the financial independence podcast, where I opened the cockpit to some of the best and brightest in personal finance, as well as those who have reached or are on their way to financial independence. Before we get started, remember nothing said, here is financial advice and you should always do your own independent research before.
Any financial choices with that being said, I hope you enjoy the episode and learn something new.
get a welcome on board. Another episode of the captain fire podcast. And today finally an episode I’ve wanted to do for so long is share side. So on board today is Prashant Mohan. He’s the chief marketing officer of chefs. And we’re going to talk a little bit about what share site is and how [00:01:00] investors can use share site on the path to financial independence and automate their financial administration.
Present, how are you going, mate?
Prashant: Okay. So much. Thank you so much for having me on this podcast doing well. How are you doing?
Captain FI: Yeah. Great. It’s actually, it’s a really nice sunny day here in Adelaide. It’s the morning I’ve got all the blinds down. I’m doing my best to keep all of the noise out, to try and improve the quality of the sound
I’m locked away in the dungeon recording. What’s it like in Sydney?
Prashant: Oh, it’s great. Rainy. And it was like, it’s going to flow.
Captain FI: Prashan can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to working with share site? Yeah,
Prashant: I began my career as a software engineer working on telcos switches and then subsequently then started working. More towards consumer technology with Phillips where I was more of a technical product manager, went for an MBA and that’s got into the world of finance [00:02:00] actually invest back in recruiting to our campus.
And that was an eye-opening experience because I’ve never worked for a bank or a financial institution. And was it quite a drastic change moving from more of an engineering side into the economics and commercial side of things? So that taught me a lot. Also went through the big merger of St George bank and Westpac as part of that project.
And then got an opportunity to visit lots of lovely parts of regional new south Wales as a strategy and ops manager visiting beautiful little country towns and actually seeing the impact that a local bank. People’s lives. So that was a terrific in terms of the experience they got subsequent to that, I got a job with Google Australia as the strategy and operations manager again where worked on various parts of online marketing strategy and also YouTube again like a fascinating experience.
And since then I started working for more of [00:03:00] the smaller fintechs work to a smart group, which is actually listed now on the ASX has SIQ and then prosper. It also got listed as small business online lender and which led me to the role currently a chair side, where I’ve just completed or four years the opportunity came about because I was.
A user and then I got approached by a recruiter for this particular role and have totally enjoyed the experience since then.
Captain FI: That’s a pretty amazing resume working in Google and YouTube, they’re pretty highly sought after positions. And just like having a look at share sites SEO footprint I think that experience really shows cause it’s something you guys have done really well.
In terms of the search results on page SEO and all that kind of thing. So yeah, I had an inkling that somebody had some kind of knowledge of how it all work, so it’s you that’s driving the teammate. So we wrote up
Prashant: thank you. But it’s really the deem, I can’t take too much credit.
Yeah. I know a thing or two, I have an amazingly [00:04:00] talented team that looks after all the detailed parts of the web.
Captain FI: Ah, humble. Good sign of leadership. Good sign of leadership. It’s funny how many engineers end up interested in finance? I wonder if it’s just cause like you good at maths or something, you just naturally get drawn to like the efficiency side of the house.
Prashant: I think that is something that, and I think it’s also a certain element of the DIY engineering, so you’re always trying to unpack things and figure out what’s inside. And that helps a bit finance as well. So I think it just helps you go, wants to be put into the questions and and not just take things on face value.
You’re always trying to figure out how does this take and that’s possibly one reason. And of course the maths background definitely helps as well.
Captain FI: I know we haven’t gone into too much of it just yet, but one of the things that I love about chairside is a. Does it all for me. So I don’t have to use those engineering skills anymore when I’m doing my tax returns.
But let’s [00:05:00] launch into it. Pressuring out for people who haven’t come across it. And really, if you listen to this podcast, you definitely should have come across except talk to me about it. Hate. But for the benefit of favorable, taking it back to step one what do you share site and how does it work?
Prashant: The easiest way to describe it is it’s a portfolio tractor for self-directed investors. What that means is you can record and check all your stock trades your managed funds even some crypto products and so on across multiple brokers. And it helps you consolidate everything in one place. The other beauty of it is it depends on the level of simplicity or complexity you want to go into.
It gives you the return of your investments. And I like to call it like investing and whether you go exercise in the gym or go for a walk, it’s all recorded on the wearable fitness tracker. That’s exactly what share [00:06:00] site is. So whatever your broker, whichever market you’re investing they’re able to automate everything and you are able to see in one snapshot, how you’re actually performing financial and investing.
Captain FI: Yeah, I love it. The Fitbit for investing. That’s great. Okay. So another question I was going to ask Prashant, is that you and I, we’ve both been using share site for a long time we know why we use it. We know what’s good about it, but for someone who hasn’t you share site before, or maybe someone who hasn’t even started investing yet or seriously yet why should they use share site versus an Excel spreadsheet or similar?
Prashant: Yeah, no, I think that’s an excellent question. And especially to address those people who are unaware of the problem I would begin with actually at Charlie manga court at one of his famous ones that says, show me the incentive, I’ll show the outcome. And so for those people who don’t even know that they need a [00:07:00] spreadsheet to track, they just rely on the.
They should realize that brokers actually make money when you trade. Particularly if you trade frequently and in larger chunks, but that’s their incentive. All the technology and behavioral psychology built into a brokerage is actually to help you and encourage you to trade more frequently. But there are exceptions to that.
There are some really good brokers that I respect, that are trying to do the anti broker thing. But otherwise, most brokers actually want you to trade more and more frequently. So that’s the number one part of why, what information you get from your brokerage is not really aligned to investing.
It’s much more aligned to trading. The next part is redact share site. What you get is more of a half-baked and incomplete information about your actual investors. If you look at the information that your broker shows you, it’s pretty much the price when you bought a particular [00:08:00] stock versus the kind of price.
And it’s not a complete picture of all the information about your investment. Second part is that they don’t actually factor in any dividend information. So most of your listeners were rely on dividend income in softball. So that’s completely missing from your broker. And if you had to do that on a spreadsheet, it’s pretty laborious process.
I think if you actually wanted to try it, it’s of course possible to do it on a spreadsheet. But the chair side it’s nicely automated and pretty seamless. So that’s another part of why you need chances I bought is if you have any kind of foreign investment. The tax office, as well as for your own record keeping purposes, you need to keep tab of any kind of currency fluctuations.
There’s no point knowing that a particular stock in the U S or an ETF in the us went up by X percentage [00:09:00] points. If you don’t know, actually harvest that cannot do Australian dollars. And that’s where the currency fluctuation comes into play. And that’s a pretty important part. And again, you can do that on a spreadsheet, of course but it’s just a lot more work.
And a lot of times these spreadsheets get untenable and they break the fourth part is actually something again, that’s relevant to people who invest very frequently the idea of dollar cost averaging and cash inflows and. So that’s something that your broker does not really take into concentration.
And to, again, work that out on a spreadsheet, it’s a lot of work and that’s where your share site count becomes a really important tool and a friend of yours in your investing journey. So to summarize it, all of these things tomorrow, if you get another broker that actually [00:10:00] is able to give you a lower cost of brokerage, you can move with the complete freedom and understanding that your portfolio, your cost basis, everything is safe and sound inside of share site.
And so you can consolidate your positions from multiple brokers, all into one place and with just the click of a button. And I think that summarizes why people should use share site on the investing side.
Captain FI: Great answer that couldn’t have said it better myself. And we were talking about this before and I’ll just say yeah, of course he’d use it. It’s free. But I think once people get into it and start actually using it they use it for any period of time, they’ll probably realize just how useful it is.
So awesome. Now I appreciate that. I’ve just been looking in my share side account now because I’m trying to get things ready for tax return, which is, coming in the next few months. But a question I always had was how does she [00:11:00] actually get the data for your trades and things like, do you just have to manually plug it in or how does that automation work?
Prashant: There’s multiple ways of getting that information into share site. So suddenly it biannually plugging in your data is one way. But there’s a number of other races. So if you have a lot of trades from a particular broker, one way is actually to just download all the trades as a CSV and then upload it and share site we’ll reconcile all the buys and sells and create this entire portfolio for you.
The second method is actually one of my favorite ones which is actually by forwarding all your contract notes or trade confirmation emails from your brokers. And what that does is when you open a share site account, every user gets given a unique portfolio email address. And when you forward your contract notes, our trade confirmation emails, email address, [00:12:00] it automatically creates the trade inside of share site, and you can see your portfolio and in that auto And the third one is with some brokers, we have an API integration.
And so the API integration literally every buy and sell is actually connected to share. And that way you can immediately see any transactions as well as your portfolio you say, or share site. So there’s four different methods. Depending on
The forwarding of trade confirmation emails is so me personally as a share site user, the reason for that is when you forward the check confirmation email, not only does the chain get created, but also the contract note, which is a PDF that comes along with your broker. That gets saved as an attachment against that particular trade as well.
So if you want to maintain a good system of record your accountant [00:13:00] to see that every single transaction is recorded nicely, and it’s also for your own personal audit trail just to make sure that you have records of everything in one place.
Captain FI: Oh, that’s so funny. I’ve recently been trying to submit my bank statement for my business, and I’ve learned that keeping the bookkeeper and accountant happy is the name of the game.
If you want to succeed in business, you’ve got to keep them happy. So that’s a good thing for your personal tax return as well.
Prashant: Absolutely. And that’s what we signed. I personally, you as an accountant and. Changes as an investor and as a general person who has to file taxes is the nature of your conversation changes from just data gathering.
You’re not like around to look into your shoe box emails and attachments all over the place to a single place, and you just share access with your accountant[00:14:00] and they have access to all your transactions in one place. And I think that’s where the nature of the time you spend with your content changes from data gathering one to much more of an advice based conversation.
Captain FI: Yeah, I think having it automated is the name of the game. We were talking about this before we started recording, we were talking about the barefoot investor and how I think we’d both got some of the barefoot investor share recommendations. And at one point, I had this behemoth of an Excel spreadsheet, and I was trying to track buyers and sells and dividends and it just became overwhelming.
And that was actually when I found share site because it was mentioned in one of the forums and then got onto it and, the status, I couldn’t believe that it was free. And then obviously it’s, a freemium service. So you can have the intro level account is free.
And then as you want more shares or more services you start to pay. But it really did [00:15:00] make my life a heck of a lot easier. Basically just being able to click buttons to see reports. So I wanted to ask from European, what are some of the best tools available? You’d share side. I’ve used the tax summary, used the CGT a calculator, but what other tools in there can people use?
Prashant: Yeah, there’s a number of before I get into that firstly a little bit of your situation, , unmanageable spreadsheet that gets more and more complicated. And that is exactly the founding story of share. We were actually founded by a father and son Burlington in New Zealand actually.
And the father had a strategy that was breaking all over the place. And Tony said to Scott, his son saying, Hey, can you do something for this? And that’s how Scott started building share side. And it’s a fascinating story just because it’s solving that exact problem as an investor not as a techie who has all the knowledge [00:16:00] coming from a complete problem solving perspective that it goes started to come back to your question on some of my favorite tools inside of share site.
Particularly at this time in the tax season, we should call it that one of those is unrealized capital gains tax which is an expert plans of shares. What that does is actually deal with that slide. And by tax planning, there are, if you incurred any kind of gains or losses, you can actually offset them against one another.
And unrealized capital gains tax support helps you do is actually in model various outcomes for yourself based on what methodology you choose. So the ATO allows a number of methods by which you can actually offset some of your gains losses. And as the saying goes, without getting any too much [00:17:00] specifics this is a really good way to actually model out your tax and just have some feedback from customers and users.
That’s one of the most powerful tools. From everyone saying just the amount of stacks you say by using that as a planning tool we’ll pay several times subscription or share site. So I always stop with that as one of my favorite tools as an investor. There’s some other tools that are really useful as well.
I always love to look at the share. So chef basically is a tool that helps you determine how a hypothetical investment of $10,000, whatever portfolio in the period of your choosing. So whether it be 10 years or five years in this, a number of drop-downs in that menu, you can use now the beauty of this tool[00:18:00] versus say, just putting the same stock into Google finance, for example, The difference is eight factors in every single dividend that this stock has received.
You also get to see all corporate actions. So example of corporate action is say I stopped split or any bonus shares have been awarded. All of that gets presented in the shared
investigative tool to determine the wordiness of a particular stock investment, as a really useful to,
Captain FI: yeah, I’ve actually used that quite a bit in some of my ETF and liquor reviews because it took me a while, but when I figured out. The impact of particularly for Australian shares of dividends in the index performance, you gotta compare apples with apples and a lot of people, yeah.
They were comparing like the accumulation index to just like a stock price index. [00:19:00] And I found that, people can manipulate data sets to support their arguments, but if they’re not comparing apples with apples, then the argument’s pretty much Neal. So that’s what I quite liked.
The fact that it does include dividends reinvested. So then you do actually get an understanding of an accumulation index style return rather than just the base share price.
Prashant: Yeah, absolutely. So I think that’s why it’s really important and you’re absolutely right about. The song, the Australian stock market in particular dividends play a really important role and actually pretty much globally everywhere, except for probably the tech stocks in dividends play a really important role.
It’s the same thing we find with our UK customers as well. You have a lot of Spanish stocks, they also pay a lot of dividends and it’s really important to get the complete picture of your investment or potential investment. Right [00:20:00] now in the market cycle, if you didn’t look at dividends, you were feeling really sad to yourself.
So just further some other tools that I think are really useful like you mentioned, I think the capital gains tax again, very useful The end of financial year. You want to see if you have any sale of stocks, you can see actually how the capital gains is impacted. The other one is actually the taxable income report. In particular, I like to look at the monthly dividend income. I think for much of the sire community, that’s an extremely useful and important measure because it gives you a good idea of cashflow, from Virginia portfolio and see actually how much passive income you’re able to generate from your investments.
The other beauty of it is yes, for stocks and managed funds. It’s all completely automated, but you can [00:21:00] also incorporate, if you have say an investment property, you can actually manually add. And listing properties and assets as well, and treat the rental income as similar to a dividend income. that’s where you’re able to see pretty much the cashflow from your, so I love using that income you’ve made.
You can also then model out and see which months are more income generating rich months, give you more dividends. There’s typically two peaks for dividends being declared in Australia. And you can model out your lifestyle according to that as well. So I find that really useful I assigned a lead.
The other one is looking at your information from the whole lease that you own.
And in that, what you can see is actually dividends that have already been declared what’s the level. And that’s [00:22:00] again, really useful as a balanced investor.
But yeah, I think these would be my top ones, more recent report that I’m personally very excited about is this one called the multi period. And the mostly theater’s report is you should think of yourself as the fund manager.
Your own portfolio you know how these fund managers, without like sophisticated reporting the one you have and so on, or you can do that for yourself as your own fund manager portfolio. that’s only available in our expert plan. But the multi period report actually helps you determine that the Hollins off your portfolio or a particular holding or investment within your portfolio and you can compare against the different periods are distinct periods.
So that’s again, to see if there’s a particular event or [00:23:00] seasonality Costs in particular stock or income, or what have you,
Captain FI: that’s funny as soon as we’re talking about this, cause I’ve got my share side account open in the window next to me and I’m having a look at it and I literally just click three buttons on the multi period report and it’s popped up literally all of the investment returns that I’ve had over the last five years.
And yeah, 1st of July, 2020 to 30th of June, 2021 was a good year. This year is not looking so good though.
Prashant: Yeah, I think last year was fantastic.
Captain FI: Actually I was going to ask you about the ultimate assets and I think you’ve touched on it perfectly. So I guess the crypto Is that connected to the exchanges or with cryptocurrencies?
Is that still like manual entry or can you do the same API as you could with the share trades?
Prashant: At the moment it’s all manual entry, but we are working on something that will make it a lot more [00:24:00] sophisticated and automated similar to the share trading side, but that’s still some time away. It’s definitely on our roadmap.
Captain FI: Yeah. And it’s, but once it’s been manually entered into share site, then it grabs, the pricing information from the exchanges. And then you can just look at it just like any share
Prashant: that’s right. Yeah. So the pricing information. It’s just how you get that information that still needs some work and you’re going to be working on that.
Captain FI: And so I’m hopefully fingers crossed going to be finishing my investment property soon. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions. And so when I enter that even to share site so it’s a manual entry for property on the roadmap. Is there anything that’s going to automatically scrape property prices?
Things like RP data or council values or anything like that.
Prashant: We don’t sell anything on the immediate horizon for that. But that’s a great idea. It definitely will go into [00:25:00] backlog and yeah, we do the prioritization based on how many people.
Captain FI: Yeah. Property give pricing. It’s so confusing.
It’s like the price that it really comes down to what someone’s going to pay for it. I know a little about property. That’d be a cool feature.
Prashant: Yeah, absolutely. That’s something that we’ve talked about, but haven’t come to a solid conclusion on whether we go down that path or not.
Captain FI: I think the majority of people are really going to be using it for yeah. For shares. So that’s probably the priority. Alright, so crunch time, right? With the tax reportings, can I print off my tax report and just hand that to the ICO or do my own tax online or do I really need to take that tax report from share site and still use a tax agent?
Prashant: That’s a good question. I actually just depends on how much you allow accounting and taxes. I don’t do them myself because I struggled to put in the mental energy to do my [00:26:00] taxes. But if I did have the energy and enthusiasm to do my own taxes, I would be able to do it using share side. So between share side and the auto sell that comes up on the eight years, you would be able to do it yourself.
I know some of my colleagues who do it themselves, but they are literally tax deeds. I love doing taxes, a lot of ideation. But even if you do use an accountant, I think you will save a lot of their time and therefore your accountant bill, because it does a lot of the data. It doesn’t notice the automation keeping and audit that makes the edge so much easier.
Yeah, I think that’s the benefit is it’s not a pass sidling solution, so you can directly to submit the D press a button and submit the returns to the tax office or anything of that nature. But it [00:27:00] definitely helps the information that’s necessary towards
Captain FI: Let’s add that to the road.
Also hooked me up with some of those colleagues that are really into reconciliation. Cause I got some taxes they can do if they’re that interested.
Prashant: I always envy the patients and in the digital focus. On that level of detail,
Captain FI: actually, it is funny because I used just H and R block for years, just like a generic tax franchise and they were great.
But as my tax returns have become progressively more complex. It started costing more and more. And then I’m like, I’m handing them the shares or report. I’m going, come on, guys. This has done your job for you. Why are you charging me so much? And the lady I had was really in Austin, she was like, oh, it’s just it’s company policy.
You’ve got to charge you $10 per dividend or whatever it was. And so yeah, in the end, I’ve gone to a specialist accountant and he’s brilliant with the bookkeeper and the accountant, so together it ends up being a [00:28:00] low cost and I think, yeah, exactly. As he said, handing them the share site with the reconciliation, all of the colludes are there like the different, what the foreign income, the Australian dividend, the franking credits everything.
Yeah. I said, they’re smarter than me. They’ve got more patients than me. But they just enter it all in and then I get a nice tax return every year, which is good.
Prashant: Yeah. No that’s the beauty of said like really important point, like you said about falling. One of the things that shares that does is it also translates all your foreign income and holding information pretty much on a daily basis.
So if you have a us. And, the tax office requires you to maintain the cards in both currencies. And that’s another seeing the chair side is immensely useful. But at any given point in time, you can see the dilation in both currencies are multiple currencies. If you want to value your portfolio in Bitcoins, you can do that as well.
We have a report called the multicurrency valuation [00:29:00] report. but just for practical purposes, just having everything in both currencies is really useful as well. Yeah.
Captain FI: So it seems to me the bottom line here is that you should be using share site. There’s really no drawbacks.
It’s pretty easy to set up it’s automated. And if you’re an ETF investor with under 10 stocks it’s free. How do you guys do that? Like, how can you. A free plan. Cause I imagine lot of people, the fire community, they’re only going to have a handful of stocks. So like I guess losing a lot of money, offering a free plan.
Prashant: I’ll be losing money. Can we be making more money? I think the answer is definitely yes. But I think fundamentally we believe in that better financial education part and also being the boring voice of reason in a world where multiple participants to be very aggressive changes with their trading and so on.
And [00:30:00] so I think we are just sticking to our fundamental principles of just providing some genie.
And because the first 10 holdings are three, we know that as people become more sophisticated in their investing, as well as when they get older, the tracking needs get more and more complex. We will anyway eventually over time, the other part is because so many people use our product. It’s a daily, it’s a must have for literally every Australian investor.
We do get a lot of smart from them as well. And we tried to tackle it that way, saying here’s more people use it. And a portion of those people will have more complex needs for which they need to stop being a subscription fee. So I think going as broad as possible and being as useful as possible to the most number of people is our current strategy.[00:31:00]
Captain FI: Yeah, it’s brilliant. I love it. Providing a valuable service. And for people that do have some more advance, whether they want to manage a larger fund or, they have stock picking or they’ve inherited a large portfolio of stocks. And if for whatever reason, they don’t want to sell them down.
And they’re going to need those advanced plans. How much does it cost and what do you get for a paid versus the free option? Yeah,
Prashant: sure thing. So like you mentioned, the first 10 holdings are absolutely free. But subsequently we have three tiers of plans for self directed investors. We have the starter plan, which gives you up to 20.
And death $19 for a month on an annualized basis. So you prepare for the year and that’s $19 a month for the investor plan. That’s $29. And you get before portfolios and a number of other more sophisticated reporting tools. And then at the top end, you have [00:32:00] $49 a month, the expert plan, which gives you 10 portfolios and even more sophisticated reporting as part of that.
And the 10 portfolios geared towards people who are tracking monitorable sets of portfolio from our definition is a tax entity. So a family entity, you have some stocks, your partner has some stocks and do a few together, have some stocks, and then you start investing for your kids.
So you can track each of these entities separately to manage them as individual portfolios. And that’s the cohort of people that we are trying to cater to that if you use the captain side code it’s a much more discounted than the price that I just mentioned. Ah,
Captain FI: yes. And thank you very much.
Do you appreciate offering listeners a discount? What do they get like four months or something? For first.
Prashant: So four months [00:33:00] for free, when you take up the annual.
Captain FI: Yeah okay. So with the expert plan are these geared towards if you are like an accountant or a fund manager, can you use share site to manage your client’s portfolios or is that sort of not allowed?
Prashant: Yeah, so actually for sort of those types of scenarios, we actually have what is called a share site pro product.
And that is thought an accountant or an advisor to manage on behalf of their clients. What that enables is actually having a two way conversation between the client, the say an advisor as well as the product of share side it makes that communication really straightforward. One of the things that we hear from advisors in particular is the fact that, They need to chat and communicate about every single corporate action that happens within a client’s portfolio.
If they use share site they’re then able to share access to the client’s [00:34:00] portfolio. And in real time, both parties are communicated about any kind of corporate action be to stop split or dividend declaration. Everything is very transparent communicated across all parties. And the same thing goes for the contents as well.
I think that constant communication and being able to keep in touch with the portfolio so that they are able to help with tax planning with some critical information on how actually they view their portfolio. I think from that point of view, the sharing side is a much more suited product for.
Captain FI: So basically get on it.
It sounds too good to not be using. That’s awesome pressure. You’ve pretty much wrapped up everything I wanted to ask about share site itself. Now I wanted to change gears and ask you a little bit more personal questions about your career and investing journey.
If that’s okay. Yeah. Okay. So you [00:35:00] mentioned a little bit about your career journey at the start of the podcast and how you came across working for Westpac. I just wanted to ask in terms of your professional career, why have you made the switch from software engineering into Thintechs and if there’s anything.
That you could go back and tell yourself now what would you say?
Prashant: Yeah, that’s a fantastic question. So I think the software engineering was a good start. And then what I realized quickly was I did much better with people than with software core. And so I wanted to get into more understanding of customer and consumer psychology.
So subsequently I took up a role at more of the consumer marketing side more of a technical product marketing role. And as I got into more finance stuff, I realized one of two things that, more finance and. Can I actually democratize a lot of spots of [00:36:00] things that are held by a select few.
And I saw the opportunity in actually jumping into Findex as well as I had this love for marketing always. And I saw the combination come through with my first break too, which was at smart group. It’s actually a listed company now a SIQ and then similarly other opportunities that I’ve gotten was really a combination of being able to provide have that marketing, which is really about understanding people, understanding customers but at the same time, being able to provide and work on a product that’s really exciting and have be on this journey.
Using technology to disrupt a lot of financial services. So the team every opportunity that I’ve taken up of course a lot of these things have been quite opportunistic from time to time. I can’t really say that I plan to do it [00:37:00] this way at every step. But, as in when the broad roadmap was this and whenever an opportunity, so that’s pretty much my professional journey so far,
Captain FI: you come across as obviously a very intelligent person.
The listeners can learn quite a lot from you. So I’d love to know a little bit more about in your financial journey. What has your financial journey look like? I know we spoke earlier about, we were both interested in the barefoot, but how has it gone?
And do you have a file number, for example, yeah. Are you into fire?
Prashant: Yeah, sure. Actually I would break up my financial journey into two separate innings. My first evenings was back in India, late nineties. I was in the technology sector. Stock markets are booming. My company was this big Indian it company called Infosys where I was already working.
I was aware of technology companies and literally in the [00:38:00] euphoria of the nineties, there was nothing more than technology to look at me. And there was four in Bangalore, which is where I used to live then Indian it companies because of their stock options. In hindsight, I realized that was my first exposure to the concentration drinks because two years later that portfolio crashed quite a bit in the crash of the early two thousands.
Actually one of the client companies that I used to work for really funny side story about this company called Nortel networks. I used to work on their products and the sad story was that the focus instead of investing in. If you had bought and then sold the beer bottles for recycling, still made more money than what was left.
So that brought into my first savings in the tech investing story by second inning. So it’s a lot more considered [00:39:00] that was after I’d moved to Australia. And like how we mentioned the first foray into the stock markets was thanks to the education from the Bedford investor. And I loved him because not only was he really good at conveying his concepts.
He’s also a great marketer actually. And I always found really good appeal. People to convey complex things in a very simple manner. That’s how my likely discussed one of my first Aussie portfolio companies was
They asserted foundation investing company and that’s my considered investment second as far as how I’ve been going about it, it’s obviously went into a fair few stock picks. But since then I’ve modified it saying, I actually don’t have the dying to actually research every company.
So being more and more diversified portfolios to ETS so [00:40:00] more broad ETS index funds, as well as some specific thematic. That’s where I’m currently looking at as a portfolio as started as my sire number at the moment, I don’t have a specific number in mind, I’m just loving the journey itself.
I’m almost scared that if I put a number and I’ve reached that destination, I will not look at the journey as not enthusiasm. So I think it’s just taking a very considered approach. And one fantastic thing that I’ve learned from the fire movement is just the intentionality of the doll.
I think it’s applicable to more areas than just finance and budgeting. It’s applicable to a number of other areas.
Captain FI: Yeah, it’s brilliant. And I think that was a big thing that drew me into fire was the why of fire. Like, why did I want to invest? Why did I want to produce passive income? And it came back [00:41:00] to, I wasn’t happy where I was in life.
And I, possibly wasn’t enjoying the journey as much as I could have. And so for me, that was why I got into it. I’ve taken so much out of it. And so it’s cool that you recognize that you don’t need to go all crazy overboard into fallout. But you can just pick out the bits that are going to actually benefit you.
Prashant: Absolutely. And honestly, I’ve been impressed with the content and access that people like you are creating, this is something that’s completely lacking in the market. Understand how to go about these things. On the one hand, I love reading and listening to legendary investors. How do you make it simple and accessible to people that you can relate to?
And I think that’s the beauty of the firewalls, and I’ve gotten a lot of confidence and I think a lot of other people as word get out of it. So it’s not necessarily whether you are on the fire journey, yourself, the content and the [00:42:00] education that’s being put out by people on this journey. And I think it’s almost like a subsidy.
To the high school that we did
Captain FI: not have. Exactly. I went down on the academic group in school and I was pushed into engineering, maths, physics, chemistry, all that kind of stuff. And I really didn’t learn anything about taxes, money, investment budgeting, and I’m just glad that I can share my journey and that I can get people like yourself and ask about your journey.
And we just bring it out into the open and hopefully try and remove some of the taboo about talking about money publicly.
Prashant: I think it’s brilliant. And the court is the eighth wonder of the world is compounding. And just to
about it it’s actually Matic. Just to a personal story about this the other day, I sat down with my 11 year old son and trying to explain to him the concept of compounding [00:43:00] and just put in a simple Excel spreadsheet and putting in a number putting in, I explained it with the concept of pocket money and trust and robots, and just explaining how compounding can take you to a completely different place.
And the expression on his face just told me how complex this information is. And yet it’s so simple. I think a lot of people need to pay attention to it is indeed. And this is another concept that I’ve been fascinated by. It’s called the rule of 72. If I can explain that the origins offered, I don’t know, some people say Albert Einstein came up with it.
And what this basically does is explain to you how long an investment Workday to double in value. So you take 72 and divide 72 by the analyze on any investing that you have. And this is a share side comes in, right? So you [00:44:00] have your portfolio. That’s a portfolio has a return of 10%. So 72. So it’s roughly about 7.2 years portfolio to double in value.
Now that’s not a long time. And that’s where I think people understanding the concept of compound interest and how. To play this game on a long term can possibly change people’s lives. And that’s lot of the fire people, a lot of them have been extremely successful. Know, of course you have the people like Mr.
Money, mustache, and there’s a number of other people as well. And especially the Australian cyber movement, I’ve been so impressed by how many people there are such great creators and content providers and barely educated. If you call them to ask me my opinion on actually how it is to live with intentionality and [00:45:00] apply that to.
I think that’s been a big gift to us, to society as a whole.
Captain FI: Yeah, I think when I read Mr. Money mustache, his article, the shockingly simple math behind early retirement yeah, it did, it was a bit of a wake up call. I think it’s beautiful that you’re sitting down with your kids and explaining them I have nephews that love spending money on Minecraft roadblocks as well.
I think it’s beautiful that you actually like conveying those lessons early. And I want to say so for you per shot, like what have been some of your biggest influences did your parents have those conversations with you or like, what has been the biggest influence on your financial journey?
Prashant: Yeah, that’s a great question. So my dad was a math professor and my mom was a history professor and sit down with me and teach me some basic stuff. Back in those days, I think Dave are much more into managed funds investing. And my dad being a math professor [00:46:00] was always game.
Wasn’t a big matter of compounding as well. And my mom gave me a completely different perspective and, she would obviously tell me like our bedtime stories used to be where is massive incidents of history, but she always pointed out that most things in from a historical context happened due to one of two reasons.
One was the control of. And how that happened was actually through financing. This actually, after many years of internalizing this coming to the modern day context, I’ve often asked this question on, what makes a bigger impact can consume us, make a bigger impact.
Our investors make a bigger impact. And that’s an entirely different topic. I will take too much of your time, but that’s a topic, but you should think about it again with intentionality. The biggest challenge is[00:47:00] let’s say climate change and what’s happening around us as thought, as a user and consumer, as well as it’s an investor.
We have the power to change.
Captain FI: It’s pretty powerful stuff. I am learning more and more about the ethical investing side of the house. And, again, Mr. Money mustache has got a fantastic article on this and I’ll link it in the show notes, but yeah it’s pretty scary. Even having recently been through the black summer bushfires in new south Wales.
Yeah. Climate change is real and it’s pretty scary.
Prashant: Yeah, absolutely. It’s and it’s happening really fast. Unfortunately, compounding works there as well. I think the messing up off the planet has had its own set of compounding effects and that’s something that we really need to do something about.
So I think, yeah. Within any individual perspective, as well as a collective perspective, we need to make that happen.
Captain FI: One of the beautiful things that I think [00:48:00] overlaps between, when we’re talking about climate change at being responsible person and the fire movement is really that intentionality and really using only what you need and, reducing that excess waste.
And again, I think that links in with engineering and wanting to optimize things as well. So that’s definitely a little interest of mine. Now push out. I know you’ve mentioned so many little golden nuggets throughout today, but I just wanted to ask this again. If you could just summarize into a couple of points, what would be your top tips for someone who’s on the path to financial industry?
Prashant: Fantastic question. I think the first thing is actually to learn about financial education. And I think people like yourselves are putting out some amazing content and I think being prepared and being educated about it is a really practical way to start the whole journey. The next step is actually I would actually go as far as saying that share site is a really powerful [00:49:00] tool in as a practical, as an aid or any kind of financial independence journey.
And the reason I say that is to begin with it’s completely free. It’s possible education tool because you get the complete picture of what you’re actually trying to. If you just relied on your broker, it’s incomplete. It’s like having half of your meter taken away and you’re trying to drive and the complete guide to everything.
And I think there’s a lot of content out. And I wouldn’t go down on which specific investment to go into, but, there’s some fantastic educators out there who’ve said really good things. And the practical way on the side is actually to just get into chairside and just get started with your journey whether it’s a actual journey or even a theoretical journey you could use it for both perspectives.
Captain FI: Yeah. So as in [00:50:00] war gaming with the share checker, you can have a look at how things actually would perform theoretical portfolios.
Prashant: Exactly. I think like one of the best things about the financial independence movement is like we mentioned, it’s the whole intentionality and, there’s so much going on all of your attention, right?
So there’s marketers and products and advertising. There’s so much going on where people are trying to put you in a box. They’re always telling you that you’re incomplete without something, without a certain product. And I think to just take a step back and look at things from an intentionality point of view who are you trying to satisfy?
You’re trying to help yourself and your family, or are you trying to keep up with the Jones? And that’s a really important question that the fire movement teaches you and like to borrow I love that it’s not, you’re not living somebody else’s life, [00:51:00] you’re living your own life. And as long as you have that all around your internal mind, I think that helps a lot in getting ready and prepared for this whole journey.
Captain FI: It’s been absolutely honored to have you on mate. I’m really glad we got to have this chat in wanting to organize it for so long. So thank you so much for your time this morning. I just wanted to finish up and say if listeners wanted to get in touch with you or learn more about share site how can they do that?
Prashant: Oh, the best place to learn more about share site is to jump onto the website shows as well as there’s a really good review that captain Saya has put up as well. So make sure to go and take out that review as well, which I believe is captain side.com/review available on LinkedIn or on Twitter.
My Twitter handle is I love hanging out with. Good education as well as interacting with anyone on a particular topic. So yeah, he would pick [00:52:00] me up or on any of these laptops.
Captain FI: Awesome. And I’ll Chuck all the links to all of those in the show notes, which will be up on the blog. Pretty much as soon as I get this edited in live, that’ll be on there.
Again Prashant, thanks so much, mate. It’s been an absolute.
Prashant: Likewise. Absolutely. Thank you so much. It’s an honor being on this podcast.
Captain FI: Thanks for listening to another episode of the captain for financial independence podcast. So read the transcripts or check out the show notes, head over to www captain fire.com for all the details. If you have a question for the captain, make sure to get in touch, you might even make it on the airwaves.
You can reach me online through the captain fire contact form. Get in touch through the socials. I’m active on Facebook and Instagram as well as a number of online finance and investing forums. And finally remember the information presented on [00:53:00] the show and the links provided for general information purposes only, and should not be taken as constituting professional financial advice.
You should always do your own research when making any financial decisions and make sure it’s appropriate for your personal circumstance.