Mind Over Money: High-intensity workouts, kickboxing keep this fund manager mentally fit

“I think to be a good investor, you have to be physically and mentally fit. I work out four times a week doing a mix of kickboxing, yoga, and high-intensity workouts,” says Kanika Agarrwal, Co-founder, Upside AI.

In an interview with ETMarkets, Kanika said: “The most important contributor to health and wealth is time – don’t forget that efforts compound. Warren Buffett is 90 years old and worth $80 billion. Of this $70 billion was made after he turned 60 – that’s the magic of compounding!,” Edited excerpts:

Kanika, you are an expert when it comes to handling AI or ML strategies. But, what about being healthy – how do you keep yourself mentally and physically fit?
I think to be a good investor, you have to be physically and mentally fit. I work out four times a week doing a mix of kickboxing, yoga, and high-intensity workouts.

How has your workout regime helped you when it comes to handling work pressure, and taking investment decisions?
Machine learning helps us to be devoid of emotion in our investment decision-making process. Working out achieves the same goal where you are decluttering your mind and only looking inward to become stronger for an hour at a time.

Decluttering your mind means you are able to remove biases/emotions and get to a zen state of mind. We all make our best decisions with a clear mind and that is extremely critical in investing.

The other thing working out does is it removes you from your work environment. Some of our best ideas for product have come when we are not thinking about work at all.

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Letting your mind “wander” is a very underrated habit – the mind takes different paths, and you think laterally and outside the box.

High intensity workouts, Kickboxing keep this fund manager mentally fit

“I think to be a good investor, you have to be physically and mentally fit. I work out four times a week doing a mix of kickboxing, yoga, and high-intensity workouts,” says Kanika Agarrwal, Co-founder, Upside AI.

If we are talking about workouts – the most difficult for many people is ‘Leg Day’. So, do you skip leg day? How do you equate that to portfolio building?
There is a famous meme on Twitter about a famous investor who put up a post-work out photo. He was extremely fit but had thinner legs which started off “don’t skip leg day” memes!

To me, the first step of portfolio building is asset allocation – where all assets in your portfolio get equal attention and care. This basically means you can’t skip leg day when it comes to your portfolio either!

Don’t focus too much on say, small/mid-caps while ignoring debt and gold because your portfolio may look lopsided and not help you achieve the goals you set up.

It’s never too late – the best time to plant a tree is today. Is this true of both investing and working out?
Across the board, being a good investor or being healthy needs similar traits. The most important one is showing up everyday and making incrementally good decisions. The first good decision to make is to start investing or lacing up your gym shoes.

Every step follows from here.

The most important contributor to health and wealth is time – don’t forget that efforts compound. Warren Buffett is 90 years old and worth $80 billion. Of this $70 billion was made after he turned 60 – that’s the magic of compounding!

Therefore, it’s never too late or too early to start thinking about fitness and investing.

Showing up every day is important if one needs to get fit and in quick time – do you say the same about long-term wealth creation?
Yes, but in different ways. With getting fit, your ACTIVE efforts compound, i.e., you need to do something every day. With investing, your PASSIVE efforts do better – the less you do, the better you do.

Like Munger says, “You buy your portfolio everyday”. Not doing anything is also a decision you are making.

Nifty has compounded 10%+ over the last two decades even though it’s been through multiple market cycles and deep corrections in 2008 and 2020. Doing nothing through those 2 decades would have worked out great.

(Disclaimer: Recommendations, suggestions, views, and opinions given by the experts are their own. These do not represent the views of Economic Times)

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