Pehla Kadam

The firsts in our life leave everlasting footprints. First crush, first win, our first pay slip, the first home, the first big goofup at work – all of these sometimes shape our beliefs and who we are, in very unconscious ways. That’s why in India there are a lot of rituals and worshipping surrounding the ‘firsts’.  Today is a first for us. FundExpert  goes live! It’s is a different kind of first for Gumption Labs.

We’ve been in the serious trading space (no Tips please!) for long enough.  There’s a high chance you made a pitstop at our site for the Technical Analysis training. Technical Analysis is the foundation on which Traders Cockpit has been built. We have offered our Technical Analysis program to thousands of Indians pan India. Our diverse range of tools and charts, screeners and alerts caters to those who use Technical Analysis as a basis for trading. For the more advanced TA traders who have traded long enough to come up with their own strategies, we have our Strategy labs, which helps people code their strategy and backtest them. We now have the creme-de-la-creme of strategy makers partnering with us. With over 16K live backtested strategies running in our labs, less than 1/50th of the winning strategies, approved by our experts, gets into the hall of fame – the Strategy Store. For those who want to outsource the pains of watching the sensex everyday and don’t want to bother about Candlesticks and Ichimoku, but have enough capital to trade and can take risk (there are days when the gods don’t favour any of us), we have the Auto pilot. Traders Cockpit was one of the first in India to introduce an Auto pilot – an algorithmic trading platform for retail traders. Our Auto pilot is a premium product created with terrific technology and finance brains behind it.

From Technical Analysis training to cloud based tools and Auto pilot launch, we’ve come a long way. Each stage has fed us with ideas for the next product. We’ve really evolved the Darwinian way. Every customer pain point has gone in as features. Most people still trade on tips and enter the markets at the most inopportune moments, right when the big guys are planning to offload. Retail traders still fear the equity markets. We’ve also had our fair share of mis-steps – like miscalculating the market size due to a small sampling bias in our research phase, not growing as aggressively as we would have liked to and focussing only on the equity markets. But we did a lot of smart things too. We’ve used very smart growth hacks (zero marketing) to drive traders to our site. We created a bunch of backend software that can rival many startups’ primary offering. Since our foundation has been strong we’ve had many winning streaks – right from incubation stage awards, to being featured on YourStory and recently making it to the Top 20 FinTech Companies in India by FinTechCity. It’s a matter of supreme honour that a majority of the active retail traders and even many brokerage firms use our products.

We’ve quietly carried on with our vision of delivering Institutional investor quality, technology driven tools and offerings to a broad range of retail traders. This is a space nobody has ever thought of playing in. You’ll find no Unicorns in this part of the world. But, here we were, quietly helping many Indian traders grow knowledge and wealth. That wealth in return helped many buy their first cars and fluorescent neon shoes. While the E-commerce boom gave us new ways to spend our money, Traders Cockpit products helped people fund their retirement nests.

While we were focussed on creating the Lamborghini for the retail trader, there was a class of problems that persisted. The aspirations and financial needs of a huge section of Indians – the regular middle class and upper middle class Indians. The first time job goers, the financially independent women, the software engineer who worked 12 hours and the BPO guy who sacrificed his nights on the job.

The new India was at a loss how to best invest their savings. Their parents’ instruments did not appeal to them. Poor financial literacy levels coupled with brokers and distributors who operate with vested interests promoting ill performing funds and insurances, took Indians for a ride, making them earn very poor returns for their investments. There are too many products out there which nobody understands. The choice paradox coupled with lack of knowledge prevented most from even starting their investments. Hiring a personal wealth management expert was a luxury affordable only to the HNIs.

When one such story of financial misguidance reached our ears, we had an epiphany. We had all the tools and technology and financial expertise that could solve their problems. Indians had become comfortable investing in Mutual funds and we wanted to leverage that. It is also a known fact that one cannot just invest in a fund and forget about it. One needs to rebalance the portfolio and exit at the right time even for Mutual funds. There was work to be done, to really achieve the 12% returns. We had known how Betterment and Wealthfront had democratized personal wealth management and investment in the West. We were doing a more challenging product through Auto Pilot. We could strip down some complexity, optimize strategies for Mutual fund segment and create a Robo advisory product which an average risk averse Indian could use, to maximise their returns. This was the genesis of FundExpert. India’s premier Robo advisory product from Gumption Labs.

Our dedicated team has worked sleepless nights to get this product out. Months later, the product is ready for a Beta launch! Once you’re ready to take the first step to wealth creation, it’s going to be very difficult for you to take the wrong decision with this product. We have a range of options for you to choose. If you start early and remain invested long time in Robo Invest, you will see your retirement fund come alive. If you have cash lying idle for a few days or months, you could put that to good use with our SafeInvest option. Or if you have a favourite fund which you want to own, you could buy it at the click of a button with Flexi Invest. No brokerage. Full service free of any charges. Both lump sum and SIP options. Completely paperless  for Flexi and Safe Invest. We’ve made it so easy to make the right choice. You just need to make the choice. Our algorithms will earn you better than market returns in a bullish market and rebalance the equity/ debt portfolio during a bearish market, so you’re safeguarded either ways.

Remember, we spoke about the firsts being important? FundExpert will be the first investment option for many first time investors. When you invest with an unbiased, technology backed, terrifically backtested product like FundExpert, there is only one thing that can happen to your money. GROWTH.  Remember Rich dad poor dad? Our beliefs about money shape how we earn, save and how we invest. When you see your money grow in the “white” way, your entire perception about wealth creation changes. We would slowly understand the best instruments for long term wealth creation. We would not let what is happening to middle class America happen to us. We’ll be better prepared to avert financial crisis, plan for temporary loss of income, flat lining salaries, inflation, disappearing jobs, skyrocketing health-care costs and overwhelming college costs. We will not become a nation of instant gratification with billions in credit card debts. We will have the discipline and commitment to forego the Starbucks cappuccino in order to save for a distant future. The best part is, all of us can be winners. This is not a game where for one to win another has to lose. A little discipline and we could stare at a very golden future indeed.

It’s now time for both of us to take a Pehla Kadam. One of your feet and one of ours and this journey will be the most mutually satisfying financial journey ever.

About the author

Amit Sharda

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