The one thing that I do repeatedly is concentrate on how I could be wrong.
Paul Mampilly joined Banyan Hill Publishing in 2016, and serves as a senior editor specializing in helping Main Street Americans find wealth in growth investing, technology, small-cap stocks and special opportunities.
Paul started his career on Wall Street in 1991 as an assistant portfolio manager at Bankers Trust. He quickly advanced to prominent positions at Deutsche Bank and ING, where he managed multimillion-dollar accounts. In 2006, the owners of a $6 billion firm named Kinetics Asset Management recruited him to manage their hedge fund. Under Paul’s leadership, the firm’s assets quickly rose to $25 billion, causing Barron’s to name it one of the “World’s Best” hedge funds for averaging 26% annual returns during Paul’s tenure.
Paul also was invited to participate in the prestigious investment competition put on by the Templeton Foundation. With a starting investment of $50 million, he managed to generate a return in a single year, growing that investment to $88 million … but even more impressive was the fact that he achieved this during the 2008 and 2009 financial crisis.
Eventually, Paul grew tired of the pace on Wall Street and of making money for only the top 1%, so he decided to retire to spend more time with his family. However, Paul is still an investor, and he doesn’t consider himself to be “retired.”
Now, instead of making money for the ultra rich, he’s shifted his focus in retirement to helping everyday people make money on their investments. He founded the popular newsletters Profits Unlimited and Extreme Fortunes, and is coming out with a new research service in 2017 called True Momentum.
Where did the idea for your startup come from?
One idea that’s come to fruition is not wanting to be a part of Wall Street anymore, and the reason I wanted to leave that life behind is because I felt that Wall Street doesn’t actually help enough people. And so many people need help with investing. It took me about a year to untangle myself from that industry, but once I did I was fortunate enough to rediscover the newsletter publishing business that I’m in now, and that’s allowed me to use my skills and expertise to help a variety of people from all different backgrounds.
What I like most about what I do now is that our research comes at a price that most Americans can afford. And you just aren’t able to find that on Wall Street because they cater to the super elite. So by launching my flagship newsletter Profits Unlimited, I was finally able to see that idea come to life.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I’ve had the same routine for almost 15 years now, where I’ll get up sometime between 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. and look through all of the news that has come out across the markets — these include the world markets and the North American markets in the U.S. and Canada. After that, I’ll start to look through any news that has come out for specific companies that I track. I now mainly focus on news surrounding the stocks that are in my three trading services with Banyan Hill Publishing: Profits Unlimited, Extreme Fortunes and True Momentum. And I’ll keep a close eye on the stocks that I watch throughout the day using a portfolio tracker, so that I’m always aware of what’s going on and of any price changes that may be taking place.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring my recommendations to life through hours of extensive research between myself and my team. Any stock pick that I issue has gone through a good 30 to 40 hours of research total, with an additional 20 to 30 hours of writing time added when I actually go to write the recommendation. So a lot of time and effort goes into forming a write-up on a stock that I believe will do well and be a winning portfolio pick.
And every issue that I release has example scenarios for readers to follow so that it makes it easy to understand how that particular stock could work for them. I provide many charts and a lot of data for readers to sift through, but I always try to put myself in their shoes and make the information easy to follow so that they can actually use it. You can’t assume that the people you write to have the same financial knowledge that you do, or that they have the time to sit down and spend a couple of hours doing their own research on a stock that you recommend, because people are busy and they have their own lives to tend to. So I always make sure that I’m doing that work for them, and that’s how these ideas are brought to life.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
There are actually two trends that I love. In fact, I believe in both of these trends so completely that they are the driving force behind my recommendations for all three of my services. And those are the Internet of Things mega trend and the millennial mega trend.
I believe that the Internet of Things is going to irrevocably alter the course of countless industries, including energy, manufacturing, health care, food, aerospace, marine, banking and automotive. And that’s because all of these industries can be improved by the sophisticated machines that are interconnected with one another — aka the Internet of Things — that fill in where “normal” employees can’t.
I also like to track millennials because I believe that they are about to take over the U.S. economy. This generation is estimated to be 92 million strong, so it’s very large. And by sheer numbers alone, the choices and preferences of millennials are going to alter the direction of the U.S. economy. So it’s very important to pay attention to companies that millennials like, and that they use, because common sense tells me that these companies will soar higher as more people in the millennial generation buy their products.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive?
I believe that my productivity comes from continually following the same routine every day. By constantly tracking my stocks and reading up on my stocks, I never miss any new information that’s just been released that could have an impact on the market. I’m always looking for patterns of how stocks move based on the information that I’m compiling. And that takes place every single day. So I would say that the level of dedication I have to my work is what sets me apart and makes me more productive.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I’ve had two “worst” jobs that I worked at before I really started my career. I pumped gas in the winter at a gas station in New Jersey when I first came to the U.S., and then when I was in college at SUNY Albany, I worked in a cafeteria. I had the morning shift so I would get up at 5 a.m. and put people’s trays that they returned in the dishwasher. You wouldn’t believe some of the food experiments that I saw people make with their breakfast.
Both of those jobs were brutal in their own right, but it taught me the value of hard work and of doing what you had to do to get where you wanted to be in life. In the end, it all worked out.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
The truth is that if I were to start again, I don’t think that I would have gone to college. I believe that to learn what Wall Street is really about, you have to go through it, and the vast majority of what I learned with respect to Wall Street came from hands-on experience while I held different positions in the industry. So if I could start over again, I would have started to trade stocks on my own and bought a lot of books to train myself just through trial and error.
But, you know, it’s a difficult question. I believe that many people have had similar experiences where college didn’t necessarily teach them how to do their current jobs, but at the same time, without those degrees, they wouldn’t have had those jobs in the first place. If I didn’t go to college, I don’t know that I would have gotten hired in the industry. So, it’s not to say that college was useless, I just learned more by working in the field.
What is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
The one thing that I do repeatedly is concentrate on how I could be wrong. I’m also always trying to think from other people’s perspectives. So, when I go to recommend a stock, I definitely go look at all of the negative opinions and all of the negative points of view on that particular stock to try to see if there was something that I missed.
I believe it’s very important to invert your viewpoint and to always look at the other perspective, because that way you don’t ever get tunnel vision on something that you think is great, but might actually have a few flaws. This will give you an insight that you might not have seen before. So I recommend that everybody do that.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
The one strategy that I make sure to implement is to have my priorities right. In the newsletter publishing business, that means you must always, always put your readers first. If you put making money for yourself ahead of doing the right thing for your customer, that business model will snowball into a problem down the road. So by having your priorities in line when you start any new project, you’re setting yourself up to be more successful.
The other strategy that I’ve learned is the value of working with good people, and of being part of a team of people.
What is one failure you had, and how did you overcome it?
There’s not one particular failure in my career that I’ve concentrated on. The nature of investing, and in some sense being a speculator, is that it’s filled with failure. That’s how you learn: You end up doing everything wrong, and you realize that if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll go bankrupt. So you have to be open to constant change.
The very essence of investing is that the markets shift, and you have to always be aware that you might face failure if you don’t ask yourself these questions: Have the markets changed? Is what I’m doing still relevant? This is a trial-and-error business where you’re constantly learning and constantly having to shift what you’re doing. So I’ve been able to overcome failure by being fluid.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
My one business idea is to focus on really, really big trends. You see, what I track are mega trends, meaning that they have the power to drive enormous bull markets for the stocks that are directly involved in that particular trend. So if I wanted to start a company, I would probably focus on a technology company, because that would play into the Internet of Things mega trend that I track — this is also the dominant trend that I see taking over the marketplace in the years ahead.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I find that I spend a lot of my money on books, and that’s a way of saying that you can’t go wrong with learning more. I have a thousand-plus books in my own personal collection, and I will always continue to buy them.
In fact, if someone came to me and said: “I have $100 gift certificate; what should I do with it,” my answer would be to absolutely buy books. Learning and knowledge are frankly the best use of time and money.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
One service that I use a lot is LinkedIn. I make sure to keep that updated and accurate because when people respond to a piece of marketing for one of my services, their first response is that they want to know who I am. They want to research me and make sure that I’m a credible person that they should follow.
Conveying information in today’s world all comes down to trust, and LinkedIn has allowed me to have a public, professional profile that people can use to vet me. So I put as much information on that site as possible.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
One book that’s had a huge influence on me is called “How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market” by Nicolas Darvas. It’s an extraordinary story of this guy that was a professional dancer, and he took a tiny amount of money and made it into $2 million.
Somehow he would track the market while dancing professionally around the world. And not only is it a good book, and a good story, but it’s still relevant today. The way that people made money back then is still relevant today, and this book would give people a look into the way that I invest. So, I would recommend that anyone who has an interest in investing read it.
- The one thing that I do repeatedly is concentrate on how I could be wrong.
- If you put making money for yourself ahead of doing the right thing for your customer, that business model will snowball into a problem down the road.
- I believe it’s very important to invert your viewpoint and to always look at the other perspective, because that way you don’t ever get tunnel vision on something that you think is great, but might actually have a few flaws.