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We invest in private offerings for both income and long term growth opportunities. We focus on alternative debt and early stage equity.

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As an asset manager for a family fund and tech entrepreneur, a lot of folks come up to me asking for advice about where to invest. This course is built to start you off on that journey: to help identify and make sense of the new opportunities and platforms that are dramatically changing the way investing is done.

I believe that everyone should understand how to invest their own money and understand the risks in doing so. I want to empower you to make your own investment decisions based on what works best for you.

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Mesh Lakhani

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I’m an investor for our personal family office. I focus on private investments in both early stage equity and alternative debt. When approaching early stage equity I believe in investing alongside the best in breed. We are an LP In seed stage fund, Red Swan VC (Alt School, Mic, Bond Street) and pre seed fund,Notation Capital (Zipdrug, Sawyer). We also coinvest with other investors (Arena VC, Expansion VC) via AngelList. This gives us access to top tier deals in the ecosystem.

Our main focus is alternative credit. We look to provide debt capital into investments that are collateralized, asset backed or use data driven technology to make lending decisions. We’ve provided early debt for VC backed companies like: Bond Street, Inventure, Payjoy & Produce Pay. We’ve been early adopters to platforms like Fundrise & Yield Street.

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12

Stock Market: What’s With All the Swings!?

Investing

*|MC:SUBJECT|*

In the last two weeks we’ve seen the the stock market go up and down by large amounts. Scary times…or at least that’s what the headlines want us to think. Seriously, its important to realize that CNBC has a vested interest in making viewers anxious. One day it’s doomsday and the next we’re in the clear. Turn off the noise.
(S&P500 Chart from Mid August, from Bloomberg.com)
Understand that the market is hyper-reactive to changes in expectations for the future - China & oil prices are on everyone’s radar. With uncertainty we get volatility. Volatility, simply stated, is the swing or fluctuation of prices in the market When global events are calm, we don’t see much movement, typically a slow uptick in price (historically stocks have on average returned mid single percentage points on a yearly basis.) In a volatile market, we’ll see large swings in price, both to the upside and to the downside. This is what we’re seeing now.

The best way to visualize volatility in the stock market is to look at the Volatility Index, or the VIX, which is a window into expected short term volatility. When global events cause anxiety in the market, they will tend to be accompanied by an elevated VIX. When things are calm and consensus is positive, we’ll see a much lower VIX. For more info on the VIX, see this post. (1 year VIX chart from Bloomberg.com) Above is a VIX chart from the past year. You’ll notice we’ve had a few pullbacks in the market as the VIX approaches or moves above 20. When the VIX is below 15, the market was relatively calm and the market slowly moved higher. On 8/24, you can see that huge spike to 40. This is where we see the swings in the market. Down significantly one day, Up huge the next. The pattern usually continues till the VIX comes back down below 20. Keep that in mind when you see big Up days. (“Market is up 400 points! YAY!). If the VIX is still high, it’s no surprise that we’ll see another dip in the market. I hope that helps explains a bit of madness out there. Remember to stay calm, don’t panic and understand your risk. You’re in this for the long run, don’t get too influenced by short run fluctuations. I’ll give my thoughts on private markets next week. Check out reading material below.
1) “Computers Are the New Dumb Money” - Joshua Brown Josh Brown is a well known Wall Street blogger and wealth manager. His post discusses the current trading environment where computers are programmed to make trades whenever parameters are hit. That’s why we see large volume of selling at times. Programs can only change their decision, if they’re programmed to do so. 2) ”The Stock Market & Wall Street Are Set to Hack You” - Howard Lindzon Howard Lindzon is one of my favorite investors/commentators. Here he criticizes the talking heads and the fear mongering we see in the mainstream press. No one is right until they’re right, yet they’re never wrong. Again, the noise is annoying, you have to find what works for you. 3) “Maybe This Global Slowdown is Different”- Justin Fox (Bloomberg View) This article was circulating pretty heavily this week. It’s a refreshing take on where economic growth is heading. What we’ve used to measure it in the past, is becoming less relevant, and we’re finding new metrics. As VC Fred Wilson said in his related post, “the global economic slowdown we are in the midst of may well be more about the accelerating change from a goods based economy to a services based economy than the traditional business cycle playing out.” 4) “Is Silicon Valley in a Bubble and What Could Burst It?” - Nick Bilton The only reason I’m sharing this article, is because it’s entertaining…it’s written for Vanity Fair, so take it with a grain of salt. It reads like an Aaron Sorkin screenplay, but it’s still good to get an overall picture. Like I mentioned before, scaring people gets page views. 4) “Be Cautious, Invest in Growth (VIDEO)” - Marc Andreessen Just as we heard last week, Marc Andreessen shares his thoughts on bubble talk, China and the economy. It’s only 2 minutes, but worth a listen. 5) “In the Valley, pre- seed is a meme…In New York, it’s a necessity.” Journalist Sarah Lacey follows up on her previous post on Pre-Seed investing. NYC doesn’t have the same type of successful tech entrepreneurs who recycle their money into startups. There’s a gap in the market where Seed investing used to fit, and now it’s being filled by investors like Pre-Seed Notation Capital (we’re an LP). Don’t know what Pre-Seed investing is? Read the article. Hope you enjoyed this. Let me know how I can make it better! Remember to stay calm, understand your risk and allocate accordingly. P.S. Learn more about investing basics, angel investing or hit me up on Twitter: @meshlakhani P.P.S. In case you’re wondering, here’s how I manage my own money.

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Would love to hear from you. Please feel free to drop me a note at mesh(at)mk2c.com

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