Andrey Khovratov is a well-known investment consultant, wealth manager, expert on personal transformation, and Master of Dream Realization.
Khovratov has been active in the investment business since 1997 and began teaching investment and finance in 2002. In 2018, he was named Finance Trainer and Investment Coach of the Year by the Russian magazine Finance Times, as well as received the Russian awards Entrepreneur of the Year and Glory in Business. Khovratov is featured in the encyclopedias People of our Millennium and 100 Outstanding Russian Leaders. In 2018, he received the rank of General of Peace and Major General in the international group ‘Generals for Peace’.
Khovratov’s largest and best-known project is the Private Investor Academy – an online finance & investment education program that counts 1,350,000 registered users from 78 countries, out of whom over 750,000 completed the beginner course The 8 Rules of Wealth. Khovratov also founded the NEEMI group of companies, as well as the investment company CryptoUnit Inc.
Apart from his coaching, investment and entrepreneurial activities, Khovratov often speaks at international investment and education events. He took part in the Eurasian Congress and the first Skolkovo Crypto Conference, as well as hosted his own TV show, called Secrets of the Millionaires.
Where did the idea for Private Investor Academy come from?
When I opened the Private Investor Academy, I realized that there is generally no such background that could encompass all areas of the investment business and all investment sectors, because even cinema or culture can be considered as investments with good returns.
But the real breakthrough for the development of an idea for such an endeavor came when I was studying in Moscow in an organization – a brokerage company. There were 15 of us, only two of us were physicists, and all the other individuals were trained in the management of some investment companies, corporate investment companies, and so on. And we were asked the question: “Why are you studying?”. And I said: “I want to learn how to create my own family portfolio, so that this portfolio can grow over time and generate returns for my family”.
I realized that it is possible not to create a global investment holding, but one based on the CryptoUnit program with a Security Token. And when creating tokenization, a unique opportunity appears that allows the participants to unite the whole world, to invest in many countries of the world. And thanks to the fact that education is one of the main investment sectors, we are entering the market through the education factor. And now, we want to create a general investment direction, the so-called movement of when education becomes an investment, when a person invests in education and at the same time can become an investor in the corporation in which he will be working for in the future.
I had a mature idea of the CryptoUnit program a long time ago. It came around 2009-2011, and then in 2014, when we opened the fund. And, in 2019, it finally took shape, when the CryptoUnit company and the CryptoUnit project program were opened. And now, we are already starting to see our plans come to fruition. That is why and how this idea came about.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day starts the day before as I conduct a lot of planning for the coming day to make sure I can extract the most benefit and value from every minute I am granted, both professionally and personally. Planning is what matters and everything should be taken into account, down to the trifles. But, usually, my day starts off the same way it does for most other people in my area of expertise. I have breakfast and read the news, then I start working by taking the steps I had planned based on the information of the new day. Adjustments along the way are made into my plans as I read my emails and plan business meetings. If I were to average my day, then most of it consists of meetings and communication with community members, potential investors and the people I mentor. I am a convinced believer that if one knows something, then it is their duty to share that knowledge. Otherwise, if we do not share our experience, it is the same as if we know nothing ourselves. Most of my evenings and afternoons are dedicated to giving lectures on both personal achievements and potential that can be uncovered.
As for productivity, I have to stress that planning is the underlying basis of productivity. You see, there is a huge difference between effectiveness and efficiency. The distinction between the two terms can be translated into productivity. I can spend a lot of time doing the same thing to reach a result, or I can find a more creative way to reach my goal. A lot of my time goes into planning that productivity, that is why I plan my time and make sure that I make as few unnecessary actions as possible. The same applies to people, as they take up a lot of time and it often takes a long time to figure out whether a person is worth your time or not. It may sound cynical, but business is not about pity or sympathy, it is about using all of our resources for maximum effect, and time is a resource as well.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Everything starts with making that first step after having an idea take shape in your mind. It often does not matter whether the first step is correct or useful, but it is the first step. Certainly, a lot of planning goes into creating an image of the idea and the path to its implementation before I start acting, but that is part of the process to making the idea come to life. People are often constricted by fear of failure. I prefer not to look at failure as the end, but as part of the process of creation. What is the worst thing that can happen if one fails to bring a business idea, or any other idea to life? They die? No, of course not. On the contrary, they gain invaluable experience and learn to find better ways to make up better and more viable ideas.
The same applies to me, I exclude fear of failure from the process of creativity. The step by step implementation of ideas through prudent and thoughtful planning is the way I take in everything I do on the business frontier. The plan becomes clearer with every step, as the momentum of the idea’s implementation cannot be stopped if the idea is viable in itself.
What’s one trend that excites you?
As sad as it may be in light of the raging pandemic, but I have to confess that the tragedy of the situation is surfacing many opportunities and trends that had remained buried under the ossified worldview for decades. The trends that are emerging are innumerable and many of them are worthy of attention as excellent opportunities for business.
Of the many trends that I am seeing now, I have to point out the potential being generated by new technologies and the investment environment that is forming around them. Everything we have as part of our civilization stands on education and it is that basis which should be developed. It is no secret that the education systems in many countries are dilapidated and archaic, they are not giving students the opportunities and knowledge needed in the modern world with access to modern technologies. It is the pandemic that has revealed to us that online education from the comfort of one’s home can be just as effective as traditional methods of education. Teachers will always be necessary, they are the foundation of education, the compendiums of knowledge and the main sources of experience for their students, they are indispensable as part of the education process. It is the system the teachers are being employed it that can and should be improved.
Modern communication technologies, with proper tuning and adjustment for specific needs, are the main trend that excites me, especially in the education sector. It is not difficult to imagine online education of medics on the theoretical part, especially if we take into account more advanced technologies like VR and AR, and include them in the education process.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I will have to reiterate that the habit all entrepreneurs eventually develop is the habit of time management. If we waste our most precious and finite resource that determines the goals we achieve in our lives, how can we manage other resources effectively and efficiently. I have to be productive, because so much depends on my actions and so many people look at me as a role model, an example to follow, and a tutor. One should lead by example, that is the adage that will never lose its relevance. Properly managing one’s time is also an action and it translates to those following my example.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If I could turn back time, I would certainly redo some of the things I have done. But that time has passed. It is now only a question of retrospective. Everything else is the future that comes to pass with every second. Young people are prone to incline their natures to maximalist ideals and other such unattainable virtues. But the realization that some of those ideals are just ideals comes much later with life experience, it cannot be given prematurely.
However, if I were to give my younger self some valuable advice, I would tell myself that the true value of human existence lies in understanding the difference between the purpose and the goal of life. I have come to realize that the purpose of life is to continue life as a form of mental and spiritual existence. Without the perpetuation of life, everything we have achieved as civilizations will cease to exist. However, the goal of life is to be determined to every individual personally. But there is a way to generalize what most, if not all people should strive to. The goal of life should be the betterment of the conditions under which life is to be perpetuated. We can do so much to better the environment and the way we live, but that is entirely dependent on the way we allocate our time.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That one is easy. I always say that everyone has a purpose in life. Many people do not agree with me. Strange as it may seem, but they do not. We all have a purpose in life, but many believe that we just ride with the flow and live, work, run from home to our workplaces, grow old and that’s it. That way of life is an insult to the time we have been granted. If we do not make the time we have useful for both ourselves and others, then our lives are no better than those of plants or bacteria. Plants bring more benefit that way. Therefore, we all have a purpose in life. And it is the perpetuation of life, which is a noble and necessary purpose. Apart from that we have our goals, which must be set to make sure we have something to strive to, something that will stimulate our minds to work better.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I will always recommend everyone to do the same thing I do over and over again – look for and find new ways of improving the way we live, both financially and spiritually. Yes, everything in our world works on money, but that is not the end of it. There are myriad ways of making money and employing our creativity to think outside the box for finding new ways of generating revenues is the key. I will always recommend people to be creative.
Sometimes, thinking something over and over again is the way to new opportunities as we may find loopholes we had missed when the idea first came to us. That is also a basis for creativity.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The strategy that grows businesses is directly linked to the main capital and resource all businesses are based on. That capital is people. The strategy I employed is connected to attracting people to the idea of my business and making it appealing to the community as both an idea and as a source of revenue. Sometimes, being just a source of revenue is not enough, as the underlying basis of the idea backing that business has to be valuable, useful to the community, to society and people at large. My strategy was making education and business a common product, thus attracting people and growing the community for expanding my business.
It is sometimes not enough to just have a good idea and make it produce revenues. It is also extremely important to present that idea the best way possible. The presentation and packaging of the idea through bot communication channels and personal charisma determines whether the idea will take off and become appealing or not. No matter how we twist and turn it, if people do not like the leader, they will not like their idea either.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Everyone has failures. They are an inevitable and natural part of life. My biggest failure was connected with having a very good idea collapse under the weight of my own ambition for it. I was expecting too much and pushed too hard. I overcame that, eventually, by putting the idea in the long drawer and leaving it until such time, when I have all the circumstances ready to implement it in a more successful manner.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I do not even need to reveal any secrets to have this question answered. The one business idea I can give away freely is investing in prospective technologies that have real life applications, not theoretical idealistic ones. No technology will ever become profitable, until it proves its value to average people or the state. Now is the time to invest in tracking technologies and those having to do with automation. The giants of the industries are doing it, but it is often small, creative enterprises that create prototypes worthy of development. Once the prototype is ready, a good business idea is to sell the business to a giant or merge and develop it yourself.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I recently spent both professionally and personally is on a good dinner with a business partner. It was both a round of delicious meals and a productive series of conversations that ended in the closing of an investment contract. Once again, everything revolves around people and proper interaction and communication with them. Money is just a means for facilitating that process.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use messengers a lot for communication. They are an inseparable part of modern life and business. We all use them for the same purpose of communicating. The difference is what that communication contains. I mostly talk about business deals and meetings. And I use different popular messengers through my phone.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I could certainly recommend a lot of good business books, but it is impossible to single out one that would encompass all of the advice that should be given for a business to be successful or for a mindset to be set right for the business environment. Therefore, I would recommend a more fiction-oriented book that would give readers a more critical outlook on the things in life that matter. I could recommend the immortal classics like Shakespeare or Tolstoy, or Dostoyevsky, but I will recommend Umberto Eko’s “Name of the Rose”. Just read it and you will understand what I am talking about.
What is your favorite quote?
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill. He knew what he was talking about. Life goes on, regardless of the failures we encounter and live through. We live through them, don’t we?
- The value of time cannot be underestimated and time should be used for the greatest benefit and effect as such.
- Failures are a natural part of life and should be perceived without any stress or excessive emotional strain, as all challenges can be overcome.
- Creative thinking is the key to finding new avenues and approaches to the implementation of ideas, as well as new opportunities.
- Modern technologies are the basis for the economy of the future and the greatest opportunities for revenue generation reside in developing new and better technologies.
- Sharing experience and knowledge is the basis for ensuring high quality education and the development of human capital.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.