Don’t do it!
Ex-Wall Streeter touts book saying funds, not individuals, should try short selling
by Joseph Passantino
Reporter staff writer
Dec 01, 2013 | 4425 views | 0 0 comments | 103 103 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Amit Kumar
FINANCIAL GURU – Amit Kumar, a chartered financial analyst, has taken his Wall Street knowledge and written a book to help the common man under short selling.
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You have all this knowledge of Wall Street and the art of short trading and want to impart this information to others. So what do you do? You don’t write a “how to” book; you write a “how not to” book.

At least that’s the thinking of Secaucus resident Amit Kumar, who recently self-published “Short Stories from the Stock Market: Uncovering Common Themes Behind Falling Stocks to Find Uncommon Short Ideas.”

Kumar spoke about his tome on Nov. 6 at the Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center. It explains the fundamentals of analyzing stocks, as well as features an interview with Mark Roberts, well known in the hedge fund community for his short selling ideas of the last 25 years.

“Short selling means selling stock that you do not own, that is stock that you borrow from other investors to sell in the hope the stock price will fall, and you buy it back at a lower price and return it back to the lender,” said Kumar.
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“‘Short Stories’ should be on all serious investors’ shelves.” – Guy Spier
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In 2009, Kumar started Artham Capital Partners LLC, an independent research firm based in Secaucus and serving large mutual funds and hedge funds. He had previously worked as a buy-side analyst at Swiss Re.

Audience reaction

Several town residents attended the talk, and were eager to hear the ex-Wall Streeter’s knowledge and ideas.

“I’m here to see about the book and to see how to sell stocks,” said Vishal Kashyap of Schopmann Drive. “I have the same interest in short selling.”

Kashyap was hoping to derive investment tips from Kumar.

Nikhil Sanyal was glad to have the presentation to hear.

“There’s a lot of opinion out there, but not much education,” said the Exchange resident.

In his talk, Kumar outlined the cyclical history of the stock market, usually with a decline every several years, for a two- to three-year period, followed by a rally.

His presentation also included the various stock market death knell proclamations by media over the years, and information about myriad economic downturns, including the savings and loan scandal of 1980s and the financial crisis of 2008.

Strategy of short selling

“Short selling is a niche,” he said. “What I’m really selling is an investment book.”

And while he does give tips in his book for those seeking to understand the short-selling market, he doesn’t suggest that the average individual take those huge risks. He says they are more suitable for the larger, institutional investors.

“The money is lost by individual investors in short selling,” Kumar said.

What this specific market comes down to is unearthing the facts from the opinions, according to the entrepreneur.

“It’s where you find the best information,” he said. “That’s what the book is basically about.”

The financial world has given his text the thumbs up.

“With the benefit of having read Amit’s book, I am certain that I will make better stock selection decisions, and become better at timing when to buy and when to sell,” said Guy Spier, chief executive officer of Aquamarine Capital. “ ‘Short Stories’ should be on all serious investors’ shelves.”

“Mr. Kumar’s book is an excellent introduction into the controversial strategy of selling short stocks of companies whose fundamentals are likely to deteriorate,” said Marc Faber, managing director of Marc Faber Limited.

Experience and Education

Prior to working in the finance industry, Kumar spent nine years in the technology field, with IBM, Tata Consultancy Services, and tech start-ups.

He is an adjunct professor of finance at the Rutgers Business School, the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s School of Management, and Fordham University. Kumar holds an MBA from the Columbia Business School.

The Secaucus resident said that sales of his volume were brisk, with more than 70 copies sold in just the first two weeks.

For more information about Kumar, his company, or his book, email him at amit.kumar@artham-capital.com.

Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.

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