233: Building Wealth Through Strategic Investment Decisions with Salena Kulkarni

Big Mike Fund Podcast
Big Mike Fund Podcast
233: Building Wealth Through Strategic Investment Decisions with Salena Kulkarni
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Episode Title: Building Wealth Through Strategic Investment Decisions with Salena Kulkarni

Welcome to our latest episode. Today, we are thrilled to welcome back Salena Kulkarni, a seasoned chartered accountant, certified property investment adviser, and wealth strategist. With over 25 years of experience, Salena has helped hundreds of investors build wealth and shave decades off their timeline to financial freedom. She specializes in uncovering strategies that drive up investment cash-flow and focuses on building an expansive network of exclusive off-market opportunities.

In this engaging discussion, Salena shares her insights on the importance of having a cohesive investment philosophy and how it impacts decision-making. She delves into the common pitfalls investors face, such as inconsistent decision-making, cognitive biases, and emotional investing. Salena emphasizes the need for a guiding philosophy or Manifesto to anchor investors during turbulent times and ensure their decisions align with their long-term goals and values. She also highlights the significance of understanding market cycles, preparing for rare ‘black swan’ events, and how to navigate them effectively.

Whether you’re an experienced investor or just starting out, this episode provides a wealth of knowledge on how to succeed in real estate investing by leveraging accurate valuations and strategic planning. Tune in Now!

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE EPISODE

00:25 – Guest intro: Salena Kulkarni 

01:04 – The importance of consistent decision-making in investing 

02:11 – Why investors make decisions that are not in their best interest 

04:00 – Developing a guiding philosophy for investment decisions 

06:00 – Cognitive biases and their impact on investing 

08:00 – The need for a Manifesto and investment principles 

12:32 – Examples of investment blind spots and cognitive biases 

14:00 – The ‘Freedom Warrior Manifesto’ principles 

29:53 – Strategic simplicity and avoiding overwhelming choice

If you found this episode substantial and want to dig deeper into real estate, or maybe you want to discover better investment opportunities, be sure to check out www.tempofunding.com.


CONNECTING WITH THE GUEST

Website https://www.inkosiwealth.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/salenakulkarni/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kulkarnisalena/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNAlOIgjnz9tIMAlOPwNXYA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iamSalenaKulkarni/

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/salenakulkarni

X: https://x.com/salena_kulkarni?lang=en

Full Transcript:

Intro: Welcome to the BigMikeFund Podcast, where you’ll learn about advanced wealth building strategies from real estate investing to creating massive ROI and secure retirement profits. So pour yourself a cup of coffee, grab a notepad, and lean in. Because Big Mike has got the mic, starting now. 

Mike Zlotnik: Welcome to the BigMikeFund Podcast. I’m the Big Mike, Mike Zlotnik. And today it is my pleasure and privilege to welcome back my really good friend Salena Kulkarni. Hi, Salena.

Salena Kulkarni: Hey, Mike. Thanks for having me back.

Mike Zlotnik: Thanks for coming back. We’re reporting yet another episode. And this time we’re going to talk about a really interesting topic, a very powerful topic.

We were chatting before starting the recording. And when you said that, that really intrigued me. So the discussion is going to be all about folks making decisions. How to build their portfolio, how to invest and then being inconsistent with their decisions. So let’s dissect that. Could you give us a little bit of introduction on this?You just ran an event where you talked about this. So talk a little bit about that.

Salena Kulkarni: Yeah, so I’ve found in recent years that the best events I run are based around observations that I have around where people get stuck as investors. And in this particular event, the question that just kept coming up for me after coaching a lot of members in my tribe last year was.

Noticing that they were inconsistent about their decision making. So my thesis for this event was, you know, as investors, we come to a series of forks in the road. And then, you know, the decision that we have to make is, well, which path do we take? And the thing that I have witnessed over many decades, and I’m sure you’re the same, is that people say they want something.

And then I watch them make investment decisions, which number one, they’re not in their best interest, or number two, they’re incongruent with their values. Or thirdly, it just takes them on a detour rather than towards their goals. And so the real kind of exploration of this event was around, you know, why do people do that?

Is it because they don’t have enough information? Is it because they’re emotional? And the, you know, the common Perception or the common wisdom out there is that if only we had more data, we could master our fears and desires, and then we’d never make bad decisions. But, you know, really what this event was about was actually saying, you know, I don’t think it’s that straightforward.

I think that that’s an idea that just scratches the surface. And, Really, my, I guess, thesis for this event was that I think there’s a profound misalignment and inconsistency around philosophy. So it’s not about a lack of knowledge. It’s about a lack of a cohesive philosophy and strategy, principles, if you like, a code of behavior that kind of marries the financial goals with the things that matter to us, like, you know, the deeply held values. So that was kind of the essence of the exploration.

Mike Zlotnik: That’s great, there’s a lot of great wisdom here. And I think what I heard and help me if I misunderstood, so many investors lack fundamental principles. Investment investing principles. So they’re making investment decisions without these fundamental principles.

And there’s probably an element of course, of incomplete information. So making decisions based on not really fully understanding what they’re investing in. And on top of that, there’s probably some inconsistency in the execution, so it’s not just the decisions, but I’ve seen people do this too, where they.

Make a plan, set up goals, and then stuff that comes across their desk, bright and shiny objects. And somehow, they just bite the bright and shiny objects because, well, it’s, it’s a bright and shiny object. It’s difficult even to explain how people make these decisions, but they go after it.

Either something really attractive, really interesting, something that spiked them emotionally, and making the pure logical decisions is very, very hard. Honestly being kind of a chess player, a chess master, as you know, chess is a very logical game. And My experience is, you are logical until you’re tired, until something is dislocated, and at some point of time, maybe you’re just not in the right state of mind, you didn’t sleep well, or something else, and you make a decision that, if you go back and analyze it, defeats logic.

It’s almost crazy, but even logical people sometimes make illogical decisions because of something completely unrelated to the decision itself. So, let’s go back did I capture some of the, and really, They suck more on principles. So what are these principles what does it mean? It means never lose money and that, what does that mean?

It means invest only in the ultra conservative investments and what that, what does that mean? Because you could build these sort of goals, but then the execution still needs to follow. And then what if you don’t find investments that meet those needs? What do you do?

Salena Kulkarni: I think, you know, there’s, there’s definitely everything you said is right. And I would just add to that, that. If you think about it in today’s world investment advice is as free as, you know, ordering a cup of coffee. But really the deeper question that I was exploring is what is it that anchors us to our decisions? And really, I believe that without a guiding philosophy, it’s too tempting to say, to jump ship at the faintest ripple, let alone when real turbulence hits.

So if we think of our minds as an operating system it is vulnerable to hacks, malware, viruses. And so, because we don’t invest in a vacuum, we can’t control global events. We can’t predict when markets are going to fluctuate. But we can control how we react and make decisions. So I’m really advocating for a code that becomes a philosophical code, if you like, that becomes our anchor in the midst of turbulence.

So, you know, I’m, I’m advocating for almost like a manifesto. But basically asking ourselves questions around You know, why are we inconsistent? What are the blind spots that mess up our wealth building efforts? And why don’t we see them? Why does, and this is a big one for you, Mike. Like, I think, why does loss overwhelm people?

Like it complete, like people make it mean different things. So you said before, like, you know, maybe you’re out there looking for investments that don’t lose you money. But frankly, the nature of investing is there’s always a risk of loss. So it’s, it’s not necessarily about saying, well, I’m never going to take a loss.

It’s more about. You know, creating a series of principles that help us stay grounded and aware of our limitations, aware of the nature of investing. And, you know, I think part of this is exploring, why do some people succeed in building wealth and other people really struggle? And I think it’s that lack of guiding philosophy to help them make good quality decisions.

Mike Zlotnik: Yeah, I think I understand it better. So it’s the manifesto or the set of rules that need to be Written, documented, and followed in a consistent manner. So anything that comes across needs to be looked at through the filter of that framework of these principles. Does it fit? Into what I’m trying to do.

And I’ve, I’ve thought about this quite a bit with all the turbulence in the last couple of years and many deals, obviously being at risk of loss. Some losing money already, and some will be losing money. And when you go back and you look at these deals many of them that are sitting on thin ice, if they haven’t, if the ice hasn’t cracked yet, then we’re certainly.

Let’s call them grow focused, more aggressive deals with various elements of big upside, but also significant risk. And I’ve had conversations with people who Really shouldn’t have been investing in any of these deals. And I, I don’t mean it for any other reason that either they didn’t do their due diligence, they didn’t do their analysis, or they didn’t have principles that said, okay, I can’t go in a growth deal because of whatever my principles are.

So how do you set these principles? So one is to set these principles, right? Is to set them and be very, very clear what they are. Okay. And avoid everything else that’s not that. And then the second question is, how do you take all these deals that come across your desk to make sure that they fit the principles, they fit the risk profile, they fit, fit the level of comfort.

If somebody has ultra conservative philosophy, and by the way, this whole discussion shouldn’t just stop on the conservative investing. It should also entail. Situations where some growth or aggressive deals are allowed. They should actually be interestingly enough right now. And I want to say this, the, if you turn all the way, the pendulum, if you swing all the way into, from, and they’ve taken some risks to, I want to take no risk.

You almost may be in a position where you’re going to avoid some upside on some of the new investments. So the principles need to be sort of, they need to be written in a manner. That doesn’t exclude opportunities when really good opportunities when they show up. So I’m just curious, how do you write these principles and how do you adjust for the market cycles or market conditions?

Salena Kulkarni: Yeah. So my intention with this particular you know, conference that I ran was really to kind of give investors a sense of a starting point and then have them morph it into something that’s meaningful for them. But what I was really asking them to do is consider all the areas of their life where, you know, essentially there are some blind spots.

So some examples of this are. You know, we, we want to be, some people want to be rich. So they buy things that make them look rich. A lot of people say that time is their most precious commodity, but then they work crazy hours to earn it. Some people will say, I really need passive cashflow. And then they go and invest for growth and vice versa.

They say that risk matters, and then they chase deals from a place of greed. Sometimes people will make a decision based on a sliver of information because they haven’t got the time to investigate further. So there’s so many examples of where these, if you like, blind spots come up in life. And so You know, we, we talked about all the different blind spots that you can have, cognitive biases which basically, however you say it, they’re just systematic flaws in our reasoning that make us make dumb decisions, right?

You know, fear of missing out you know, loss aversion, sunk cost fallacy, all these things. And essentially we get to the point where we’re We’re, you know, talking about like things like, well, what is it that makes you invest? And therefore there, there was a whole exploration that we did of Nassim Taleb.

I’m sure you’ve, you’ve heard of him, like the guy who wrote Antifragile. And what was really interesting is just distinguishing between, you know, fragile people from you know, the ones that are massively damaged by disorder and then resilient people who are unaffected by disorder, but maintain the status quo and then anti fragile who are the people who benefit from disorder, like.

So, you know, most investors are either too aggressive or too conservative, as you said, like depending on what’s happening economically, depending on where the pendulum is, they make their decisions. And so you know, the, the essence of, say, for example, a barbell style of strategy, which you’ve no doubt come across as well, is how do you be super conservative and super aggressive at the same time.

I mean, that’s the extreme. And, you know, as far as how to go about cultivating philosophical, you know, I guess, principles to guide us, we have to be aware of, you know, what gets in our way. So You know, not seeing our blind spots letting loss overwhelm us, like this is a big one, like it’s a big one in my community and it’s a big one in general is sometimes someone can have a very small loss and it can completely shape their investment decision making for the next 30 years.

You know, I think we talked about this in our last. conversation, you know, people hold up Warren Buffett as the guy who constantly says, never lose, never lose the capital. And the truth of the matter is he’s had some incredible losses over time, huge. But no one, no one focuses on that. I think the, the big one, another big one is we fail to recognize that we aren’t consistent enough with our efforts to grow our wealth.

We get lost in the paradox of choice, too, too much choice. We, we don’t retain control when we make decisions. We, we don’t allocate capital. So there’s a whole series of things. And, you know, what I essentially did was I came up with a, a draft, what I called manifesto. So I called it the freedom warrior.

Manifesto. And I came up with a draft, a series of principles. So the first principle is big picture perspective. So what that means is as an investor, and I’ve created these because these have been blind spots of mine as well, but I look beyond intermediate or immediate market fluctuations and I focus on long term impact opportunities.

So that’s big picture perspective. The second principle that I talked about was mental mastery. So. I train myself to detach from emotional whirlwinds. I base my decisions on data research and long term strategy. So that’s a really big one. Bias awareness. So I challenge my cognitive biases such as confirmation bias and loss aversion that can skew My decision making so that’s three examples, but I had about seven or eight.

I don’t know if you want me to keep going, Mike, or not, but you kind of get

Mike Zlotnik: awesome. I certainly would love to hear, cause my next question was going to be, what’s the solution and the solution of these principles. And you’re talking about them continue.

Salena Kulkarni: Well, can I be like really honest, the way that this mapped out in real life for me was I had, I think it was 10 principles that I came up with.

And I’m happy to share those with you. But under each principle, I had a list of maybe six or seven checkpoints, like a checklist. And the purpose of this document, which I’m calling a manifesto, is really to encourage investors to go back to it and challenge themselves. And, you know, are there any boxes they’re not ticking or are there any kind of red flags?

So, you know, I’m happy to share that with this with you, you know, afterwards, if you’re interested, Mike. Yeah, these 10 principles, like I’ll just run through the others if, if you’re interested. The other one is collaborative spirit. So I do seek perspectives and insights by cultivating a network of trusted advisors and peers.

You know, I think that one of the big mistakes people make is trying to be the lone wolf when they invest and make decisions in a silo. Holistic perspective. I consider the broader implications. of my investments on my personal life, on my community flow. And I know this sounds a bit sort of abstract, but I maintain disciplined cadence in my investment actions.

So I review things regularly. I check in regularly. You know, I don’t, I’m not that person that looks at it once a year and then makes a flurry of decisions because I realize there’s cash banking up that needs to go somewhere. Continuous learning. So a commitment to. Regularly updating my skills, staying abreast of global trends and shifts informed diligence.

So I always conduct my own research before making any investment non attachment to outcomes. So this is really about, you know, making decisions rooted in strategy and value and, and not getting caught up in, you know, what’s happening in the market. The last one is strategic simplicity. So, Thinking about options that align with your financial goals and avoiding paralysis that comes from overwhelming choice.

So I think everyone can come up with their own version of, you know, what are their 10 principles, but really the magic is in spelling out. What are those things? What are the behaviors attached? To those things, like if, if I was being like, I think one of the things I’ve noticed with a lot of people is especially when they come into the realm of alternative investing is they get so excited.

It’s like being in a lolly shop, like every deal seems like a great deal. And so, you know, within a short space of time, you find yourself, you know, embroiled in a lot of complex deals that maybe you don’t fully grasp. So these principles are really valuable.

Mike Zlotnik: Yeah, I appreciate that explanation. These are very powerful principles. One thing that really caught my attention is you can make a really good decision and still lose your entire investment. That’s, that’s a terrible part. And, and if you’re not prepared to tolerate the losses, then you’re emotionally not prepared to be dealing with these alternative investments.

And, and on top of all this, even if you develop all these wonderful principles, I think the next layer is, is actual. Utilizing them, even, even, even if they’re wonderful, very well thought through, well documented, logical principles, a lot of people are going to struggle with, like you said you’re a candy shop, and if you are sort of new, and we go back to the discussion, why Warren Buffett is ultimately so successful, because he’s successful in aggregate, not on one deal, he’s got it.

Great, great deals and he’s got great losers and nonetheless, he’s done really well over a very long period of time. So some of the other principles, I’m sure, that have to be ahead of all other principles, some real basic version of diversification, but you got to diversify no matter what you do. You got to diversify in time, asset strategy, locations, etc.

So some of these real basic concepts I’m sure they are on everybody’s mind. Nonetheless, people still make these decisions. That violate the maybe one or more principles. They either don’t have the principles, or they violated some of the principles. And what do you do about that? And the loss aversion is a very difficult difficult one.

Because a lot of people can’t tolerate, like you said, losses, even small ones, psychologically. So, the fundamental question becomes, if that’s the case, what are you doing in asking alternatives? And I mean this very clearly. If you’re looking for complete safety you should be keeping your money in cash today that you get pretty good yield.

The moment you start going into alternatives, there’s still some risk involved. And perfectly good strategies. Can malfunction because of things completely outside of our control. And I say this again and again, we will experience this and I don’t want to go back to this discussion, but these rapid change in the interest rates that turn out to be a gigantic headwind event, 150 year flood, that will happen at the same, it doesn’t happen often, but when it happens, then the normal All the good, the steady, that worked for many years suddenly broke.

And preparation for a 150 year old flood is so rare, so difficult, most people can’t even foresee it happening. But, it’s something that people have to still live with, because once in every 150 years, something will happen. Especially when things are super quiet. And no, no earthquakes, or no floods, and everything is just hunky dory.

The risks of big event continue to increase while nobody is paying attention. So how do you prepare for that? How do you prepare for these type of LexPhone events that happen rare? And people get complacent, they get too comfortable, and they just, they just don’t expect them. And I don’t know what preparation needs to happen.

So overall strategy and principle. Has to prepare for these super rare black swan events that can actually hit us and they can devastate the the whole industry or the, or whole portfolio, whatever that is. So just curious to think basically, w w w how, how do you formulate that?

Salena Kulkarni: I mean, that is a million dollar question, really, but I think the, you know, the real, I think art with investing is learning to assign helpful meaning to outcomes.

Because the problem is in good times, when everybody’s making money, the biggest mistake I think people make is congratulating themselves and thinking that they’re really great investors, but when things go wrong people can also assign meaning to those. Losses or, you know, things not going their way that may be helpful or unhelpful.

And so the reason I think the idea of something like a set of guiding principles kind of becomes a bit of a compass, because as you said, you can do all the right things and still lose money. But what, what, what you avoid is. a recognition. So say for example, like, you know, I know that there’s a lot of wobbles in the market and I know, I already know that there’s going to be some projects that I’m investing in that will probably fall over and I will lose my capital.

But the question that I’m asking myself is when I made the decisions to go into those, where were my blind spots? Like what, what was I not thinking about? And the reality for a lot of investors is that if they’re really honest with themselves, what drove them to pick, say, for example a deal which had really great upside, an equity based deal, which had huge upside or, or a fund that had huge upside, there was an element of greed there.

Like, you know, how could it go wrong? You know, everyone talks about downside protection and so forth. And you know, at the same time, if they were also investing over in maybe some less sexy deals, maybe some lending deals or first lien positions where maybe they were only getting 8%. They would have done that as a, okay, well, that’s a sort of a bread and butter move.

I’m happy with that. But I think being able to dissect what, what it was that that made me put my money there. And, and the harsh reality right now is there may be a bunch of people who are heavily invested in deals where there’s. Huge, there was huge upside. And so they’re going to experience a significant loss of capital over, maybe, but I think that we’ve got to derive the right lessons from, from this so that we don’t do that again.

And so, you know, this, this whole idea of having principles, you’ve got to make them really concrete. So for example, if you were talking about big picture perspective. The question is, did I consider the long term consequences of my decisions? Did I, do I always, you know, measure immediate gains against future potential losses or, you know, those sorts of things.

And so we’ve got to be really pragmatic about the meaning that we assign to our success and the meaning that we assign to, if you want to call it failures, you know, investment failures.

Mike Zlotnik: So these are the words of the wise. Because I can tell you lessons from life and lessons from chess is you learn a whole lot more from your failures than from your successes.

And then the only learning process, the most appropriate learning process is analysis, right? And I, I just want to add this comment and caution folks not to make the wrong conclusions and learn the wrong lesson because of the easiest lesson to learn. Maybe it’s the wrong lesson. Maybe it’s the right lesson.

It depends on who it’s for is some folks, the lesson learned is I, I should have no business investing in equity or these deals because there’s too much risk, right? That may be the conclusion. My investment strategy should be all revolving around first lien loans, not sexy, low risk, or relatively low risk investments.

That’s all I do, right? And that may be a decision or a lesson learned. On the other side, You have to really respect the market cycles and most people didn’t. And they didn’t even ask the question, where are we on a market cycle? And a lot of equity checks were written in the, the peak of the cycle. Now, the reason I’m saying this is because the lesson learned.

Maybe very different for those people versus I have no business being in equity at all. I should always be only in debt, firstly in conservative leverage. Then you wind up doing only certain set of deals and that makes you sleep and you avoid most of the loss possibilities that should be very, very rare in that environment.

Versus you go into a condition where the lesson learned is I didn’t respect the market cycle or I didn’t understand the market cycle and I missed the market cycle and an investment is gonna, it’s gonna go poof because the market drastically changed fast. And now, Am I going to have a fresh opportunity to participate in a great deal of in a great deal?

And I’m going to go back to what you mentioned multiple times. I really like the term asymmetric return. So before the asymmetric return was in the wrong opposite direction, risk reward was, risk was high, reward was look good, but the risk was, was way high where the market was. Today, it may be very, very opposite.

And the reason I want to mention this is that it’s very easy to learn the wrong lesson. Depending on individual circumstances, if you learn the wrong lesson, what you’re going to do is you’re going to psychologically psych yourself from making any let’s call it opportunistic investment, any investment that has significant upside, but now when the market is low, it’s the wrong thing to do, it’s the same concept as you sell a stock when the market drop and you see, you’ll never buy it again when you should be doing the reverse.

You should be buying when people are selling. So I’m just. Responding to the that this, you know, back to the principles back to the learning the right lessons from the experience and understanding. Did you even make the wrong decision? And I can tell you this, this is a very fundamental question that happens all the time.

You play a game chess and you know, you made the right decision, but you still lost the game where you made the same decision again. If you’re exactly the same position, exactly against the same opponent. What’s what’s crazy part is some people will not repeat the right move. Because they remember their previous game, that they lost.

They made the same decision, they played that move, and that was the right move. They made something else happen, right? On that day, I don’t know. They took too long to think, and they ran out of time, and they lost because their clock ran out of time limit. The point is, and I’ll tell you this joke. The joke goes like this.

Two guys are watching a movie. And there’s a train going around the circle. And they are fighting on top of a train. And one guy tells the other, Hey, I think he’s gonna fall off as he goes around the circle. There’s, you know, there’s too much centripetal force. It’ll force him out. He’ll fly out.

And the other guy says, No, he won’t fall. He says, I’ll bet you a hundred bucks that he won’t fall. And the guy said, all right, I’ll take your bet. And then, of course, they watch the movie and the guy falls off the train. And the guy was paying a hundred dollars. Says, all right, I lost, here’s your hundred dollars.

And the guy says, I can’t take your money. We watched the same movie yesterday. The guy fell off the train, we already knew the outcome. So, hilarious, hilarious part about all this. The guy saw the movie, and today he’s thinking it’s going to be a different outcome, with the same action. And then they, and it’s almost amazing how even a simple situation like this can drive people crazy.

Wrong behavior, or maybe the behavior is correct, or they know what the right, the right decision is, but they still act the wrong way. It’s kind of amazing and fascinating how it can be.

Salena Kulkarni: Oh, look, Mike, you know, it’s, that’s a fantastic metaphor and, and analogy and joke. And I think as well, like, I don’t know how much you remember about the global financial crisis.

It was devastating for some people, absolutely devastating. And how quickly we forgot about that. And how quickly we, we kind of reverted the mass people, the mass investors reverted back to greed. And, you know, this last couple of years and what’s still coming in my opinion is going to be a big slap across the face.

For a lot of investors and I think after having been through several cycles, I think if, if you’re not asking questions about why am I experienced, like, you know, there are some investors that experienced no hardship during these cycles because they’ve been here before they’ve watched the movie already.

And so I think it’s, this is about, you know, the, the life of an investor is about constantly. Yeah. Absolutely. Looking for ways to upgrade their thinking. Where are my blind spots? What’s getting in the way of me making consistent decisions? Where did I make decisions from a place of greed? You know, where did I break my investing rules and go and do something?

that was completely inconsistent with what I want. You know, all of these things are super valuable questions to be exploring all the time. And, you know, I think that the, the season we’re about to move into from a, an economic cycle point of view will present amazing opportunities. But the people who take advantage of those will probably be few initially because there’s so much fear in the market.

And what we want to do is we want to, we want to try as much as possible to not invest from a place of emotion, but more from, you know, as you say with your chess metaphor, which I think is brilliant you know, what can I learn? How do I play this game in a very unemotional way? But it is a game.

Mike Zlotnik: Yeah, that’s, I appreciate the, the principles are required to be able to even make the decisions.

Without principles, you can’t even go anywhere, right? And then, two, it always bothers me, same position, same opponent, same everything, and you lost a game in the past. And you’re still supposed to make that move in chess, and you struggle, and, and I, I struggle. So I can tell you that it’s not about being right or wrong it’s about learning the lesson and being a disciplined principled investor is very, very hard and it’s something that we’re all students of getting better at that, at that sport and, and it’s, it is like a sport where you have a good day, you have a bad day and surviving the ups and downs.

Ultimately, it’s a requirement to be successful in the long run. So, I appreciate your wisdom, I appreciate you sharing this. This is a great discussion. I genuinely enjoyed this conversation and I hope the audience will enjoy it too. It doesn’t tell you exactly what to do, but it tells you to establish these principles, and learn how to follow, and learn how to be disciplined, and don’t be discouraged by losses and sometimes learning the right lessons. So that’s,

Salena Kulkarni: yeah, absolutely. I, and I just want to kind of ran this out cause I don’t want to sound like a, a negative Nelly, but the whole premise of this event wasn’t about trying to make people doubt every move it was about trying to encourage people to make every move a calculated one. And there’s a, there’s a big difference there.

Mike Zlotnik: I appreciate that wisdom. Planning and execution are two different things. It’s almost very, very funny in business and in investing. You can build a plan in it’s different. From your ability to execute and, and you better have every element. You better have a plan and execution, living emotions on the side, and all those things.

If you do them together only then you may have a successful journey. Because if you break your rules once or or something else happens, this is where you, you, you make some money and then that one or two bad events can hurt you a lot. So it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a difficult journey, but it’s a journey required, otherwise, I don’t know, what do we do?

We, we don’t invest, we just kind of, we find Warren Buffett, we buy Berkshire Hathaway stock, and you hope that he’s got, he’s got the, the right story, and now he’s old. So at this point, who knows what the next guy’s gonna do. Anyway, it’s kind of I guess you, you go behind your favorite jockeys and sometimes that, that, that, that, that jockey doesn’t run well.

And the hope is if you figured out at least the right jockey and the right strategy in a long run, it will work out. But you got to be prepared for, for the horse that has a cramp on a perfectly good, and I’m not, I never battled horses. I don’t understand that game. But even, but in that analogy of people who, who understand horses and Batman horses, sometimes I heard this, a good, a good horse may have a bad day or a bad cramp or something, so you got to be prepared.

And we’re dealing even not with a bad horse. We just experienced. I don’t know what kind of event where every force had a cramp or something like that.

Salena Kulkarni: Oh, look, you know, but, you know, having said all of that, Mike, I still strongly believe in the philosophy that there’s no substitute for being in control of your own decision making.

And, you know, if, if there are investors going through pain right now, I would encourage them to consider that because I think the, the natural response is to say, well, I’m going to give my decision making to somebody else. because maybe they’ll do a better job. There’s, there’s no substitute for, like, learning and continuing to make your own decisions.

Mike Zlotnik: I appreciate that and I’ll finish this episode with a question that I like to ask every investor, because it’s a question I ask myself every day. Am I investing to learn or I’m learning to invest? And most of the times it’s both. No matter how good you get, you still have a lot more learning to do. And no matter how much learning you do, you still invest.

And if you don’t learn from your investment investments, if you don’t learn from failures. And, you know, you just wasted a bunch of time and money. So it’s, it’s, it’s a perpetual journey, continuous learning, continuous investments, and hopefully you wake up one day and a lot of your investments worked really well.

And, and but you still learn a lot of the way. So thank you again for your wisdom. Really appreciate you coming on a podcast. And how would folks reach out if they wanted to learn more about what you do, how you can work with them?

Salena Kulkarni: Oh, well, I’m on all the socials, so yeah, any of the channels is great.

Mike Zlotnik: Thank you, Salena.

Salena Kulkarni: Thanks, Mike. Great to be here. 

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