Sujata Burla’s life took an ugly turn on June 9, 2001. On a pilgrimage to Shirdi, where the Sai Baba temple in Maharashtra is located, from Hyderabad, she met with an accident.
Four months later, the doctors and physiotherapists treating her told her she could not walk for the rest of her life. The accident had turned her into a paraplegic. It meant Sujata was immobile below the shoulders. She was just 21.
Soon people who she thought were her friends abandoned her and Sujata was left alone. Compounding her tragedy was her father’s death in March 2004. Not one to be easily cowed down by her circumstances, she started learning about the stock markets that year.
Now she trades like a pro and earns anywhere between Rs 200,000 and Rs 250,000 every month. On a day like Wednesday, September 19, 2007, when the Nifty was up 186 points, Sujata made a cool Rs 600,000 in a single day.
Sujata moves around in a wheelchair and does not regret this fact. Financial independence is what she strove for and that is exactly what she has got through sheer determination and discipline.
How do you cope with such a trauma?
Before, I could not even write or type. Now I have got used to it. I can easily type and trade on my computer and laptop.
In the first four months after my accident I did not even know I would never be able to walk again. I went into a depression feeling that this was the end of life for me.
Does your condition make you dependent on others?
I am the kind of person who doesn’t like to depend on anybody — whether financially, physically or mentally. So, it was very tough for me to physically depend on somebody. I soon realized that financial independence could get me much more freedom in life.
So I started thinking how I could earn money. I worked with my sister, who is a fashion designer, and learned a bit about it. I soon started a textile workshop where I employed 10 people. However, the workers took undue advantage of my physical disability leading to losses. I closed my workshop and moved towards stock market trading.
How did you get into the stock markets?
I realized that if at all I have to succeed in life I would have to do something for which I don’t have to depend on anybody. Through a friend of mine I came to know about the stock markets in 2004. It took me almost a year to understand the various nuances of the stock market and it was in 2005 that I actually started trading.
What was your first trading/investment experience like?
My first investment was in blue chip companies like Reliance Industries, Hero Honda, ACC and IDBI. However, the Rs 100,000 that I invested did not earn me any returns. It was my first investment and I did not know when to sell or the right time to sell my stocks. That learning experience helped me to hone my skills in the stock markets.
How much do you make from trading in stocks now?
My turnover for a month is over Rs 3 crore. But my actual investment is only Rs 15 lakhs. I make anywhere between 10 to 15 per cent per of this investment per month. It is like I earn 20 to 30 per cent sometimes and lose 10 per cent at other times. This takes my average monthly return to 10 to 15 per cent every month of my total investment of Rs 15 lakhs.
Could you share your success mantras for our readers?
* Read all the advice that you get from various business television channels, newspapers, friends who understand the stock markets but be extremely cautious and disciplined when you act on this advice.
* Never extend your trading bets beyond your means. I speak to my friends; get investment and trading ideas from my brokerages (she is registered for online trading with Reliance Money, Indiabulls and Kotak Securities).
How would you identify yourself as a stock market player?
I am a short-term trader; I am surely not a long-term investor.
Do you trade intra-day?
Well, if my bets appreciate considerably then I take home my profits on the same day. Otherwise, I wait for my investments to bear at least 7 to 8 per cent returns before I actually sell it.
Intra-day trading, though, is very risky as most traders tend to burn their fingers trying to time the market. And I have lost quite a bit of money trading intra-day in the cash market, believe me.
How much have you deposited with all these brokerage companies?
As I told you earlier, my total deposit with all the three brokers is Rs 15 lakhs. Using this amount I buy Call Options within my overall limits. There is no concept of margin money in options. Whatever money I have earned till now is only through Option trading. You can do risk-less trading in Options using a small amount.
As a safe strategy I never write a Put Option. Put Options are very risky. That way I am a very safe trader. In Puts I can even make 50 per cent a month on my investments; but then I can lose the same amount too. My principle is if I make money I make it; I shouldn’t lose money at all.
I usually write a Call Option on the Nifty. I am always long (buying first and then selling at a higher price to make profit) on the markets and whenever the market is too overbought I wait for the markets to cool down.
Do you have friends?
Before the accident I had many friends but they all ran away after my accident. They were all false friends. People like this go where there is money, success and happiness. People like these don’t chase failures.
After my accident I have a different set of friends. I have a few friends now but they are my true friends. They have been with me through my bad times. They really care for me.