A Wall Street Player Changes Course
Paul Mampilly is currently deep into his second career — one built on his highly successful first one. After rising to the heights of Wall Street fame as a portfolio manager, Mampilly transitioned to something new. For the past few years he has been building a publishing career that brings top-shelf investment advice to “Main Street America.”
It allows him to distribute his investing knowledge to a far wider audience — via newsletters published by Banyan Hill — than was the case during his Wall Street heyday. It is a more egalitarian business model. One premised on spreading the wealth around and bringing sound investment advice and — at times — aggressive investment strategies to the other 99%.
Rural India to Dubai
Highly successful careers on Wall Street don’t usually start in rural India — by way of Dubai — but that’s the case for Paul Mampilly.
His father grew up in a tiny village in India. After somehow getting a college education, he moved to the country’s largest city, Bombay. But finances were still a staggering challenging and daily life, much less long-term planning and saving, were a challenge. So, in 1974, he relocated his family to Dubai — which had only recently discovered oil beneath its sands in 1966.
The Mampilly family relocation came at a moment of explosive economic growth. It resulted in Paul and his sister living a life that their parents would probably have had a hard time imagining earlier in their lives. The timing, faith, and aggressiveness that would mark Paul Mampilly’s investment career was forged by his family history.
Both the Mampilly children ended up with college degrees. Paul studied at Montclair State University from 1986 to 1991, receiving a bachelor of business administration. Later in his career he got a master of business administration from the Fordham Gabelli School of Business.
Working on Wall Street
After his undergraduate studies at Montclair State, Mampilly moved straight across the Hudson River to work on Wall Street. His first position was at Bankers Trust Company as an assistant portfolio manager and, then, a full portfolio manager.
When Deutsche Bank acquired Bankers Trust, Mampilly transitioned into a new role as a research assistant. This experience gave him a good grounding on the necessity of doing due diligence on potential investments and making good research skills a lifelong habit. After Deutsche Bank, Mampilly continued his career at ING as a senior research analyst. At both institutions he moved up the ranks and ultimately became responsible for managing large investment accounts, accountable for portfolios worth millions of dollars.
From ING Mampilly was recruited by Kinetics Asset Management to manage one of their hedge funds. Eventually, his portfolio grew to over $25 billion in managed assets. Barron’s magazine named one of the funds under his management as a “World’s Best” after it averaged a whopping 43 percent return rate under his guidance.
During his time on Wall Street Mampilly also managed holdings for the Royal Bank of Scotland, Sears, and other institutional investors. He was an early believer in little-known companies — they were at the time —such as Facebook, Whole Foods, Universal Display, and Netflix.
Other highlights include getting in early on Sarepta Therapeutics, whose muscular dystrophy treatments were still just getting off the ground when Mampilly invested in the company. Likewise, he was an early investor in Google’s initial public offering (IPO), which at the time was not seen by many as a very good bet. Needless to say, it’s one that paid off handsomely.
He continued managing portfolios through the 2008 crash and was widely recognized as one of the savviest active portfolio managers.
He cut his teeth on, then went on to master, the world of Wall Street.
Wall Street to Main Street
Eventually the all-encompassing grind of Wall Street took its toll. In 2016 he retired from portfolio management and became senior editor at Banyan Hill Publishing — in large part to focus more on family life.
But also, upon reflection, Mampilly realized that he didn’t want to continue on Wall Street — because the benefits of his work were not being widely distributed. By discovering the more broad-based investment newsletter format, Mampilly feels his work is now far more beneficial because it’s accessible to far more people. Individuals from all walks of life — and who are living busy “normal” lives — now have access to the kind of investment savvy that previously Mampilly only shared with already well-off investors.
He’s very committed to dispensing his financial acumen at a price most American can afford.
Founded in 1998 under the name The Sovereign Society, Banyan Hill emphasizes supporting self-reliance and autonomy. In 2016 it was rebranded and began building a community of financial experts with the intention of empowering average Americans to make savvy financial decisions.
The new rollouts namesake, the banyan tree, is one of the hardiest trees in the world and has the largest canopy of any tree on earth — providing broad and lasting shelter in stormy times.
Mampilly is one of a number of experts at Banyan Hill with portfolio and hedge fund management experience. The company’s niche is providing high-level investment advice to a broad audience — but not by watering down their content to fit the mainstream investment-media model, which is rife with “sports talk” analysis and emotionalism.
By providing his expertise in identifying and sharing investment opportunities for the vast swathe of the public who are not part of the 1%, Mampilly now serves a clientele different from his core customer base during his Wall Street career.
Banyan Hill has over 400,000 daily readers. Its website provides a wealth of information and investment strategies — including commodities, small-cap and mid-cap stocks, options plays, and undervalued companies — for investors who may not have the assets to get top-shelf advice from Wall Street players.
Mampilly’s role is to help “Main Street Americans” build up their portfolios. He specializes in advice about growth investing, tech opportunities, and small-cap stocks. He contributes to the Profits Unlimited, True Momentum, and Extreme Fortunes newsletters — publications that reach tens of thousands of readers.
The Profits Unlimited newsletter — having reached 60,000 subscribers in 2017 — focuses on low-risk investments that still have the potential for solid growth. The core trends followed in Profits Unlimited are the impacts of the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) and the purchasing decisions of millennials. These are the foundations upon which the overall investment strategy are laid out in the eight-page newsletter, which is supplemented weekly with one or two stock recommendations.
The goal of True Momentum is more narrowly defined. A return of at least 100 percent — combined with a moderate level of risk — are the defining factors in the investment equation for this newsletter.
The third newsletter, Extreme Fortunes, pursues higher-risk, higher-reward investment opportunities that revolve around a few dozen companies that might return at the 1,000 percent level. These are companies that have been discovered and then thoroughly researched, with the expectation being they are ready to take off.
At Banyan Hill, the focus is on putting the needs of the readers first and foremost. The point isn’t for Mampilly and the other experts to do well with their investment portfolios — though they try — but to ensure that the advice they dispense is helpful to the people that are paying to receive their high-end investment advice.
For Mampilly, providing the best product includes building a good team of researchers and thinkers who form a cohesive unit. By working together smoothly Mampilly’s team can go about collecting the best data, analyzing it at a high level, and then packaging it to newsletter subscribers in the most efficient format.
Along with his work with Banyan Hill, Mampilly founded Capuchin Consulting in 2013. A company whose clients are other professional investors, it is another avenue for Mampilly to share the investing acumen he developed during his career on Wall Street — while not being chained to the 24-7 Wall Street lifestyle.
As a recognized investment expert, Mampilly has appeared on or been quoted by CNBC, Fox Business News, Bloomberg TV, Kiplinger’s, Hedge Fund Intelligence, and Reuters. He’s recognized as an expert commentator on investment strategies and business happenings.
Mampilly’s years of high-level investing have allowed him to develop work strategies and reasoning habits that are transferable to individuals interested in trading stocks.
His first piece of advice? Read, read, and … read some more. He believes that reading continuously lays the groundwork for developing the intellectual tools necessary to make smart investment decisions — sometimes under pressure. Reading builds the muscle memory necessary for decision-making.
The first aspect of this is having a daily routine. It is the key, because a daily ritual of tracking stocks and researching companies and industry trends will result in new information not going unnoticed. It’s mandatory to have a steady, stable stream of data on which to make investment decisions.
Computer coders like to say “garbage in, garbage out” to express the fact that poor input data will result in poor output. Not having a regular pattern of investing information on the input side of the equation can lead to a similar dynamic, with investment decisions being made with partial or missing information. The results can then veer into the “garbage” area of return on investment.
Mampilly has been following the same routine for nearly two decades now. It begins at 6:00 a.m., or earlier, when he looks through the overnight news to see what’s happened in the world markets while the Americas have been asleep.
After that comes research on companies that are on his radar, while — with a portfolio tracker — he follows the day’s market. The broader macro research of investment opportunities — and micro tracking of market fluctuations — result in a stable, steady stream of decision-making inputs.
It’s this wealth of data with which he can work that is the foundation of Mampilly’s investment success. He calculates that any stock pick he makes has been the focus of at least 30 to 40 hours of research by him or a member of his team. After making a pick on a stock, another 20 to 30 hours of writing and editing goes into presenting it to his readers via his published recommendation.
It’s a level of scrutiny an average investor would find extremely challenging to replicate — which is basically the business model for his investment newsletters. He has the know-how and does the work that the average investor can’t be expected to do.
Part of that time commitment is due to the inclusion of multiple scenarios in his recommendations. Mampilly believes potential investors need to have all that information synthesized into a form that can be digested — and that providing scenarios on how a stock might perform is one way to do that. Developing graphic elements such as charts is also part of the writing process as well, providing another way for readers to absorb the significant amount of information they are receiving.
One tactic that is always in Mampilly’s mind is the need to remind himself that he might be wrong. It is easy to fall into thought-ruts and start making assumptions — or taking shortcuts — when analyzing data. He concentrates a great deal on inverting his viewpoint and looking at decisions from different perspectives, always questioning every step of the decision-making process. If he’s hot on a stock, he makes sure to find opinions that differ from his — always bearing down on the information at hand and fighting complacent thinking.
A long career on Wall Street is going to include many failures. No one bats a thousand in the portfolio management game. But Mampilly believes in failure. It’s the way to learn. Failure forces one to scrutinize how one is coming to decisions, how the inputs may be failing. Where the garbage might be.
Obviously, after decades in the field, Mampilly makes fewer mistakes than he did when he started. But he isn’t shy about the fact that speculating on stocks is a trial-and-error business and that the corner is never permanently turned on the learning curve. Fluid thinking based on superior research — as opposed to rigid decision-making based on assumptions — is the key to long-term investing success.
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Mampilly’s approach to investing — his overarching philosophy — is a strong belief in identifying the predominant trends that are driving consumer behavior. Underlying that is also identifying the technological changes that are in development that will be driving consumer trends in the future.
He believes historical analysis shows that bull markets are driven by megatrends. Obviously, the key is identifying the megatrends before they become too obvious. Getting in on the ground floor, as the saying goes.
The two trends that are most important to him currently? The transformative power of the Internet of Things (IoT) as it comes “online” in the lives of more and more consumers and the rising market power of the millennial generation.
It may be hard to overestimate how transformative the IoT will be moving forward. There are huge implications with regards to power consumption, infrastructure management, consumer choice, product delivery, and healthcare delivery inherent in the IoT. A distinct, but related implication, is how the IoT will create avenues of communication between industrial sectors themselves. The level of data sharing that will be unleashed will be profound.
And the millennial generation — at 92 million people — is a significant force that is expanding more and more in the current marketplace. This generation’s sense of ease with the technology of the IoT and willingness to make the Internet a more integrated part of their lives and consumption decisions will create even more impetus to consider companies on the technological cutting-edge.
Build Your Wealth With Banyan Hill Publishing
Potential investors basically have two choices. They can hire a financial advisor who takes a commission — oftentimes one that is hard to calculate — and hope this person knows what they’re doing and puts their customer’s interests before their own.
Or they can make their own investment decisions and use the new Internet-based tools that make solo investing more viable. But unless they already have enough wealth to manage their portfolio unencumbered by the need to have a “real” job — not to mention family responsibilities and the somewhat normal desire to have a “life” — they probably don’t have the tools they need to succeed.
That’s where Mampilly’s publishing venture comes into play. He fills in the knowledge and research void that the solo investor needs to have made whole.
With his newsletters and other services, Mampilly and Banyan Hill provide the DIY investing market with the same kinds of savvy and experience that large investors pay through the nose for when hiring Wall Street firms — the kind of work Mampilly used to do.