A high-paying banker’s job is a dream of many who aspire to make it big in India’s financial capital, Mumbai. So, when Kolkata’s Rajarshita Sur landed a job at a private bank’s treasury department in Mumbai, no wonder she felt like a big win. But a few years down the line, she could not resist her dreams anymore. The dream of seeing the world, travelling to unseen places had the better of her, and off went the resignation letter as Rajarshita packed her bags to go down the road of stock trading – and travelling.
“The job was good but I wanted more control over my work hours so that I can travel and be wherever I want without having to worry about a source of income,” says Rajarshita as she checks out of her week-long stay in Nepal.
Being involved in Forex (FX) trading during her tenure as a banker, she was well accustomed to the ropes of stock markets. However, becoming a full-time stock trader was not easy.
“I took the risk as I was confident about my knowledge of stock markets. I learnt the technicality on the job and my college education also helped me in the course. Also, being a technical analyst in a bank, I had the opportunity to refine my skill set,” says Rajarshita.
She is also grateful to her parents “for not being overdramatic” on her decision to quit a regular job. After resigning from the banking job, Rajarshita joined a corporate firm for three years as a Proprietary Equity trader and simultaneously started trading independently in the stock market.
Now, eight years into her career as an independent trader, Rajarshita has grown into a ‘guru’ of investing wisely while keeping a lid on her greed. “If someone gets the taste of money, they feel like betting more. And, in that zone, people lose everything”, says Rajarshita while comparing trading with a casino.
However, despite her successes, she admits that stock trading is not a hunky-dory profession as it takes a lot of mental strength. She acknowledges that her biggest ever loss in the stock market happened when she tried her hands in Futures and Option (F&O) trading. “It is easier to make profits during a bull market, but my biggest loss happened when I forayed into F&O trading in 2016. In one single trade, I was wiped off. I lost around ₹2 lakh. It humbled me.” she says.
Calling Futures and Options a deadly combination, Rajarshita says she lost 70-80% of profits in just a trade or two. “If someone wants to start trading in Futures, they should work on their skill sets and presence of mind because 1-2% move can wipe off ₹50,000 in seconds,” she adds.
According to Rajarshita, Exchange Traded Funds, popularly known as ETFs are the safest bets if one wants to be part of the stock market without having in-depth knowledge about it.
If the market falls by 500-700 points, Rajarshita says she reallocates a good chunk of money into ETFs. She says that her 10-20% of the trading profits is spent on travelling and the remaining amount gets invested in ETFs, Gold BeES, Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGBs), blue-chip companies, and mid-cap stocks, Portfolio Management Service (PMS) or small cases. Besides, she also reinvests some of her earnings in trading. “Trading is like an IPL match while investment is like a test cricket match. You get to accumulate wealth only by waiting,” Rajarshita says while mentioning that she prefers blue chip companies for the long-term investment, which constitute 60% of her portfolio.
Rajarshita said she sets her monthly target gain to 3%-4%, and as soon as she hits her target, she closes her trading terminal and jets off to a ‘well-deserved’ vacation. “I live my life like there’s no tomorrow,” says the prolific solo traveller. Her passport has been through the United Kingdom, Turkey, Southeast Asia, and almost 70% of Europe.
After a week-long holiday in Nepal, Rajarshita now plans to reach the shores of Kenya and Iceland. “I am passionate about travelling and glad that I have chosen such a profession which has helped me in realizing my dream,” she says. Rajarshita keeps at least ₹10 lakh aside for her vacations every year. “There are two reasons why I travel. One is to rejuvenate me from the market drawdown and another to celebrate that I have made it,” she quips.
Her Instagram bio, “Forever on vacation”, is an unerring proof of her long-sustaining love affair with travelling and exploration.