Monthly Archives: September 2020

To become Invincible at Life : Create your own T

Folks usually ask me as to why do you read so many books? Does it impact your life? I don’t say anything at that time because some thought is taking shape but it’s not final so usually I’m unable to share. To which they go on saying, how they can’t read books because they are long, boring, etc. 

To be honest, I don’t complete every book that I start reading. There is a midpoint in the book that gets boring or some better book comes along. It’s like having a conversation with people. Some of it makes sense to you, some of it doesn’t. For example, when conversation turns to new Bollywood movie, some of my friends can talk about it for hours. Some follow the reality TV show Big Boss religiously too. I only remember this because at many occasions I’ve been guilty of starting my mobile phone and running through Emails or WhatsApp or Twitter even at 9 pm or 1 am. 

It’s the same with books. You need the right book to make sense. Recently, the book that made sense for me is The Victory Project written by Mr. Saurabh Mukherjea and Mr. Anupam Gupta. An awesome book that I had the great pleasure to speak with and interview its authors at Network FP Masterclasses and understand their mindset too. A detailed book summary followed our conversation in the subsequent week which can be read at – Book Summary The Victory Project.

In this article, I wish to write about one concept that has literally changed my life for good. The concept of ’T’ that authors have culminated from the power of Generalisation to Specialisation. This concept has been brought together by reading David Epstein’s Range that speaks about generalisation and Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers that speaks about Specialisation. 

I tell my friends the same thing, one book in particular will give a shape to your thoughts but when you read a few books and let all these thoughts come together – boom, you have unlocked a way of looking at life which didn’t exist before. In the great Charlie Munger’s words, he calls it the ‘Latticework.’ Everything fits so perfectly well that it starts to make sense. There’s an awesome Ted Talk by Larry Smith where he speaks about ‘Why you will fail to have a great career’. This talk is a real eye opener, I must have watched it a minimum of 100 times. I strongly recommend for you to watch it multiple times too.

In today’s world, we are obsessed with passion. We want to do something that drives us, that makes us get up in the morning and jump out of the bed. We want to be inspired and in the process inspire others too. In a nutshell, we want to feel and live the way Steve Jobs did or MS Dhoni does or Roger Federer does or Elon Musk does. In my profession, we wish to be like Warren Buffet or Charlie Munger or Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. List is practically endless. People in different streams look upto their heroes of that stream and wish to be that way. 

So what stops you or me to achieving that epitome of peak performance? The invariable question of ‘How’ to reach there?

To answer this query, we study the lives of these geniuses. Then somehow come to a conclusion that they were born that way. Like Sachin Tendulkar had the perfect stance when he lifted his bat or Micheal Schumacher got into a race kart even before he started running, so on and so forth. But is it really that way? I remember a close friend of mine telling me Elon Musk would spend hours at a library reading books in an age where he was hooked on to video games. So he has no chance now. Many of us feel that way. 

Our biggest mistake is we take a look at the journey of our heroes and our mind creates a map as to where they were exceptional and we were weak. It’s this very comparison that leads us to believe that we won’t be able to achieve that sort of success in life. That’s why we accept the mediocre way of life.

So how do we get out of this limited set of thinking?

FinBloggers, A Finance App has created this awesome Infographic from the book summary.

Creating your own T

When you watch Larry Smith talking about pursuing your interests is more important than finding your passion. There is a hidden answer to it. You may have more than 10 interests. So rather than waiting for some heavenly voice to tell you that this 1 out of 11is where your passion is, you should decide to pursue all of them. Interests can range from sports to academics to business and what not. 

Power of Generalisation

These interests are a horizontal range of possibilities that you can accomplish in life. It’s the broad ‘-‘ (horizontal headline of letter of T). I’m a huge fan of Elon Musk. He practically built an internet company, then a financial services company, an electric car company and a rocket company. PayPal changed the way we exchange money over the internet, Tesla changed the way we perceive an electric car (I love that Model X) and re-usable rockets through SpaceX, completely changing the dynamics of the industry. Just amazing, isn’t it. He has tremendous work ethic and lives by it. India’s Mukesh Ambani too looks invincible with the way he gets into different businesses and gets them going. From oil to internet, he has not only changed the direction of Reliance Industries but also made the impossible sound super easy. Now his foray into reliance retail looks interesting too.

Power of Specialisation

Malcom Gladwell’s famous 10,000 hours rule to become an expert has gained immense popularity through the years. In his book, he gives an amazing insight into how sports people get into intense hours of practice. Aamir Khan’s movie Dangal gives us an insight into how intense practice for years carves out it’s own niche. Incredible journey of Phogat sisters to win that Gold, gives us an insight into their early years of practice combined with blood and sweat. 

Harsha Bhogle in his book The Winning Way gives us a glimpse into the journey of legendary Sachin Tendulkar. The great man had some intense cricket sessions way before he joined international cricket. At one point in his life, he has played 55 games straight for 55 days straight. His schedule would be to practice from 7 am to 9 am then play a cricket game, again practice in the evening for 2 hours post his cricket match. As a result, he would often fall asleep on dinner table. Sachin was just used to an intense schedule and that resulted in such a long years with an incredible 200 not out and 100 centuries. 

This is ‘I’ of the letter T’s vertical line. 

So how do people like us create our own T?

Well, it’s not very late. We have many interests. It’s time we dive a little bit deep into it. Most of our interests are merely a way to pass our time which we don’t spend in office or with family. However, internet has opened up many avenues for our interest to see the light of day. For one, we can now create content freely. One of my friend loves watching a lot of movies. He now writes about the movie that enables people like me who don’t watch much give a summary of what to expect and whether to watch or not. In a similar way, Zomato has opened up a line of career of becoming a food critic. Many folks I know, love eating food from different restaurants. They then write their content, clicking pictures of the food on Zomato platform getting some nice goodies from the company and lesser beings like me understand whether to try a new restaurant or not.

To follow such interests, you don’t really need to leave your current job. It can be done along with your job. There are tonnes of other opportunities waiting for you to grab. I’m sure, you will be thinking of something right now. Just give it a start. Don’t worry about it not working out. It’s okay. 

For me personally, writing is a way of putting my thoughts together. It’s been 5 years that I write close to 1,000 words every single day. It’s a way of communicating with myself. I never knew when it turned into an important skill and while my colleague Saurabh Mittal has been kind enough to provide me CWA’s Thursday Trivia platform to communicate. At Thursday Trivia, I’m able to get to speak about Personal Finance and Stock Markets which for me is a specialised effort. So now, I read a lot of books, write a lot (which for me is an effort at generalisation) and put my thoughts into Thursday Trivia for our readers. I don’t know whether it forms a good T, it’s better left to the awesome readers who take their time out to go through. For me, it’s the journey worth taking.

The trick is not to really worry about whether it will work or not. Just start. And if it doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work. That doesn’t mean, we give it the required effort. 

Please Note: This article is just a tribute to the authors of the book – The Victory Project. In no ways, I look to be personally benefitted. I’m just expressing my learnings in a way that works for me, hoping it will for you too.

Thursday Trivia ~ Your Wealth Manager is extremely underpriced – The Apple Connection!

If you’re an Apple fan, then September 15, 2020 is one of the coolest thing that has happened this year amidst the Coronavirus crisis. The company just continues to surprise us. At 10:30 pm IST Tim Cook went live to showcase their upcoming products for the year. Apple Watch, iPad and the highly advanced A12 chip. Steve Jobs would definitely be smiling from heaven looking at the new $5 billion campus and an amazing advancement in the products. A12 chip is 40% faster than A11 chip. It’s the fastest processing chip ever. So expect the new Apple machines to run super-fast, as if they weren’t fast enough.

Watch the event here – Apple Event

Warren Buffett, World’s Wealthiest Investor and his firm Berkshire Hathaway owns a majority stake in Apple explained that he loves this investment due to the power of its brand and ecosystem.

Last year, in an interview with CNBC he said, “I do not focus on the sales in the next quarter or the next year,” he said. “I focus on the … hundreds, hundreds, hundreds millions of people who practically live their lives by it [iPhone].” 

To everyone’s surprise he also called the iPhone “enormously underpriced,” saying that it’s worth far more than the $1,000 Apple charges. Here in India, we joke about selling a certain body part to be able to afford the phone.

“I have a plane that costs me a lot, a million dollars a year or something of the sort. If I used the iPhone — I use an iPad a lot — if I used the iPhone like all my friends do, I would rather give up the plane,” Buffet said.

That definitely comes as a surprise. Warren Buffet saying iPhone is underpriced and is so powerful that he would rather give up his plane. Yet, when the Oracle of Omaha says it, we should give it a thought from another angle. Apple is not just disrupting the phone industry as such, it has done that long ago. It’s now disrupting the healthcare industry. Its watch can now track your blood oxygen level too. That’s just huge.

Healthcare that has now become extremely data driven is well understood by Apple and this gives the company an edge in making a world class product. When it comes to iPad (I use it close to 6 hours a day and am completely addicted to it), reading, note taking, reproducing the notes when needed for communication, movies, music and so much more. I can say for certainty that Buffet is right and Apple products are enormously underpriced.

I can go on and on about Apple here. So let me share with you a perspective on how I view Wealth Managers and why they are extremely underpriced.

Let’s start with a few basic questions first. 

If you want to buy some shares in a company. Who do you call? 

Ofcourse, your broker. The one who sits in front of the trading screen every single day from 9:15 am to 3:30 pm. He doesn’t even have time to use the washroom let alone going for lunch. So you feel, he knows everything. And he is super smart too, when you call him and say. ‘give me some investment ideas as I have some money with me’, he will give you a plethora of ideas with stop losses and target price. 

If you ask him – WHY then he has an answer too. Because results are going to be fantastic or there is some insider or privileged information that he has that market doesn’t have. That sales pitch makes absolute sense and you run to with your money.

Secondly, you want to buy insurance. Who do you call?

An Life Insurance agent walks through your door. He shows you some papers and says, trust me sir, your money will double in the next 25 years if you invest consistently for the next 20 years or so. Trust is inbuilt because, come on its Life Insurance. 

So now you do a quick mental math and say after 25 years I will have a few lakhs in my account. Wow! And this Life Insurance agent is a relative or relative of a relative. So no worries, let’s roll. Plus, we have to attend a part tonight so let’s get the paperwork done quickly.

Going to buy a Car. What about its insurance?

Salesmen of car companies are extremely trained. They will tell you all the benefits and a ball park number to purchase it. Let’s be honest, nobody is bothered about the insurance. In the first year, we are going to drive carefully and slowly. So there won’t be any accident. So why worry or think about it. We’re just thinking about that drive to Ladakh and back. 

So we tell him, okay let’s do it.

Car loan?

Car salesmen are pretty smart here too. They will come out with different plans and sit with you through the process. Rates are competitive. And while you’re thinking about that drive to Ladakh, getting into the mess of understanding loan structure is tiresome. 

So you calculate your salary minus EMI of the car loan and after all other expenses there is still money left to enjoy. You jump the bandwagon.

Buying a home via a home loan?

The same drill. Monthly in-hand minus home loan expenses and all other expenses. If yes, then buy, if no then other. Most of us don’t understand the process, because come on, we aren’t from the finance industry or a commerce background. Plus, we really need this home so it’s a tiresome to look for the devil into its details.

And what happens when a Wealth Manager turns up-to your door?

The first question you shouldn’t ask is, where will you invest my money? Just because you already have a broker and someone from your family is a CA who looks at CNBC all day long having the best knowledge of which stock will work in next week. 

When the conversation turns to financial planning, basically you want to say that there’s no real need. Why? Because you lead such simple lives, come on. You might just have 2 cars and loans on them while your neighbor might have 4 cars, one of which is a BMW – can you imagine. So basically, we are extremely simple. Simplicity is intangible and dangerous when it’s someone else’s lifestyle is a benchmark.

Just because you don’t understand what to from a wealth manager, you are often simply waiting for an investment idea that will make us rich overnight. But to your dismay, he tells you it’s better to get rich slowly and enjoy the powers of compounding. 

With such a conversation, a wealth manager sounds expensive. He doesn’t make money immediately, plus he will cap my expenses and on the top of it, he will invest in mutual funds. Come on, my broker knows how bad these mutual funds are and they eat up so much money in expenses. So let’s go into direct plans and try to do it yourself rather than paying the Wealth Manager.

Okay, so I may have not captured enough or may have gone overboard in my perspective. But dear readers, I hope you get the picture somehow.

Now, let me tell you a little secret that only the incredibly wealthy people know. Are you ready to hear it from me?

The secret is – Wealth Manager can do the work of broker, insurance agent, loan agents and bankers much more efficiently. He becomes your single point of contact. Like a Personal Chief Financial Officer. 

A wealth manager does everything for you. He looks into the nitty gritty of every detail in your life. We have covered this aspect in our previous Thursday Trivia ~ Who is a Wealth Manager?

Now think about it this way!

You just have one person reporting to you every quarter about what’s happened with your money. Plus, if there is any new deal (home / car / bike / vacation), he is there to look into the tiniest details for you and then suggest the best alternative. While you still retain the power to make decisions. But that person does all the calculation for you while you are spending most of your time and office and with family.

Consider, you can attend your children’s school events without having to worry about money. Or you can send them abroad to study without any second thought of where that money will come from. Marriage expenses also get covered without you having to worry. 

At the same time, you are able to move into a bigger house in a good neighborhood. A better car and international vacations. While your children give their best performance at school because you are able to give them enough time. 

Plus, someone who takes care of your retirement too. So you’re working right now and want to work for few decades more. In the meanwhile, there will be marriage, kids – education + marriage and still you will be able to live a life post retirement with more luxury than the one you started with.

You might as well launch your own startup and not having to worry about money, you’re focused 100% on making the startup successful. What’s your chances of being successful? I bet a lot more if you had to worry about money at home all the time.

Would that be enough?

Would you like to pay for it? If yes, then how much? 

Do write to us.

Thursday Trivia ~ How you consume Time has a HUGE impact on Investment Returns!

What if I told you, my phone doesn’t have Moneycontrol App! Yes, I’m in the Wealth Management business and I don’t track prices of stocks. You’d think I’m joking, right? 

Well, it’s true. 

So, your next question would be – what do I really do between 9:15 am and 3:30 pm?

Well, the answer is pretty simple. It’s either speaking with clients or research or reading or writing. There are far too many activities to do than simply focusing on market tickers. 

Now let me discuss the impact on my family’s portfolio.

It’s more than doubled in last 4-5 years. That too considering a major event in my life – marriage for which I had to withdraw a bit of firepower. Other than this, markets have gone through its fair share of ups and downs. Events such as Chinese currency depreciation, small and midcap boom and bust, nifty touching new highs and coronavirus washing away all the gains. It’s been a heck of a ride. 

Two things worked for me. One was joining Circle Wealth Advisors and learning from my senior colleagues about Asset Allocation for peaceful investing journey. And secondly, my sheer unwillingness to look at prices of equity shares daily.

There is an extremely simple formula to make money in stock markets.

Returns = Money multiplied by Time

There are just two variables. Money and Time. That’s why the earlier you start, the better. More than enough has been written on it so repeating it again will be drifting away from the original topic that I wish to discuss here.

The Problem: Not enough Money, Not enough Time!

This is a common scenario we come across while conducting Investment Awareness Program. Either some people are in hurry to make a quick buck or some people just left it too late to realize they seriously need some sort of monthly cash flow in the event of retirement. It’s a common scenario. Some folks who are in completely unrelated fields to finance have some investment apps on their phone and ask us about stock tips. 

I was shocked to see Doctors tracking equity prices and wondering what happened to a particular stock and why was it down 1% that day. While my senior colleagues in the industry being gone through the learning curve tell me it’s perfectly normal to see such things, I for one need some time to process it.

In today’s Thursday Trivia, I want to make ‘Money’ part completely irrelevant to become wealthy. It’s a practice that I’ve incorporated that I’m trying to share here.

So now, we focus on Time!

Every life coach stands by this rule – We have more time than we even imagine. The problem is not in lack of time, but in its consumption. Let me explain this with two scenarios.

Scenario 1: Preparation for Exams

During our college days, I used to burn the midnight oil to crack exams. It was fun. My friends and I would study through the night and go for early morning delicious Idli’s at Ramashraya, Matunga around 6 am in the morning. Then we will come home, sleep for a few hours and study again. The rush to finish the portion, studying long hours and the dream to crack exams was the thing that kept us going.

But we were terribly wrong. It was merely fashionable to study through the nights. 

While my friends who were rankers in these competitive exams would be sleeping peacefully, we would be hustling around. Telling ourselves the crazy lies that rankers were just geniuses while we were the underlings.

Rankers prepared differently. If our exams were 6 months away, they would be studying for long hours at the library while we would be wandering around Mumbai streets on our two wheelers. And when the rankers would start revising their portion for the first time, we would open our textbooks. By the time, exams came we might just have done our first revision while rankers were done with their 5th revision.

Needless to say, they were relaxing on the day of results while we were praying for passing marks.

Sounds familiar?

Now, Scenario 2: Preparation for Investment Returns

Just like rankers, people who make incredible investment returns – start early! World’s biggest investor – Warren Buffet started at the age 11. India’s stock market barons – Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Ramdeo Agarwal started during their teens. 

Why retail investors can’t replicate this?

The very first answer that I receive during my Investor Awareness Programs is that these legends are geniuses. Some say, they have inside information while some feel they can move the market in a particular way they want to.

Do you see the problem here?

It’s the same for rankers’ v/s students like us who barely managed to scrape through. We felt they are geniuses too. And they can retain every bit of information in their head. But we fail to acknowledge a simple solution – they start early!

Starting early has a lot of advantages. One of which is you can course correct when things don’t go your way. It’s easier to lose 50% of your portfolio when you’re just 20 because there is life ahead. Money can be made again. It’s super tough to lose 25% of your portfolio when you are 55 years old, because there are responsibilities to deal with. And yes, course correction is a humongous task at that age. Very few are able to do it. 

Now let me come to the second part of the article. This is the one I started with. I wrote that I don’t watch price tickers, and neither do I have Moneycontrol App on my phone. It’s crazy, isn’t it. Well, a well-known Fund Manager Mr. Saurabh Mukherjea of Marcellus Investment Managers too shares my enthusiasm of keeping a clutter free mobile phone. 

Read about it at – Book Review – The Victory Project: 6 steps to peak potential!

What does a price ticker really tell you?

Price tickers on any given day speak about the interest in the equity stock. On Monday, there can be more buyers than sellers pushing the price upwards and on Tuesday there can be more sellers than buyers, pushing the price down. Then comes some sort of news that there was a small fire in the plant. This fire will not have any long term impact but the intra-day price is down. Does this mean, the stock will never perform?

Think about it this way. You have a business. There is a long term plan to capture market share from competitors and have pricing power. Such a pricing power will increase your margins. Resulting in massive profits. It’s a dream all of us have. Reality is always different.

So one fine day, while you are 5 years into the business, there is a small fire in your factory. Nobody is hurt. It was just technical issue. Money will be reimbursed by insurance company. In 1 week, it will be business as usual. Your clients have understood this anomaly because it’s a business problem. So they extend you more time to deliver. Because you have solid relationships with everyone around.

So my question is this – will you sell your equity of the business to someone just because of this incident?

Think hard about it. Because that’s what most retail investors do. Some good news and they will pump in money and one bad news, they will sell every single equity share. And they lose out on creating massive wealth for themselves.

That’s why the path to create wealth in equity markets is simple but not easy. We all consume Nestlé’s products every day and yet we won’t hold that stock in our portfolio. Many people sold it during the Maggi fiasco. But this happened!

Nestle.png

image source: screener.in/Nestle

If you were close to the ticker and saw a bit of a fall in the stock price, then chances are Nestlé is not part of your portfolio now. For those who were never looked at the price or news, they practically doubled their wealth in this stock.

Yes, there are bad companies too. And a retail investor should be vigilant too. There’s a way out.

If you’re a retail investor, then it always works to hire an investment expert. The one who understands that daily movement of stock prices have no impact. The one who helps you to see the bigger picture. In my case, it was Mr. Saurabh Mittal, Founder of Circle Wealth Advisors who helped me to wake up from day to day prices to the wonderful world of compounding.

That’s the reason my day is completely stress free. Markets can go where they want to. With right asset allocation in place, I focus on delivering the same stress free life to my clients.

In a nutshell, start early and don’t watch markets. Stop wasting your time watching price tickers, it doesn’t add an iota of productivity. Focus on the job at hand, if you’re a doctor then treat your patients, an engineer than work your code, a teacher than build a better nation. Just don’t fall in the trap of making quick money, ever!

Thursday Trivia ~ The glory of MS Dhoni and why it’s difficult to spot such stories very early!

Every cricket fan will remember 7:30 pm of 15th August, 2020, when former India’s cricket captain MS Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket. For me it was a very emotional moment as Captain Cool decided it was time to pass on the baton to the next generation. As a cricket fan, all I would ask for a farewell match to see him marching down those 22 yards one last time, lightning fast stumping and that calm face in the final overs.

It was like yesterday when MSD set his foot on international ground. In his first match, he got unlucky and was runout without putting any score on the board. Who would have known then that this unorthodox player will give Indian cricket every international trophy? To begin with, India’s most admired cricket captain Saurav Ganguly had seen his potential. In one interview, he mentioned MSD having a lot of potential and passion for the game. It was exactly the reason, he backed him up by giving up his batting spot and MSD didn’t disappoint him.

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar spotted him as a captaincy material for leading India’s T20 team in 2007. No one will forget the final match with Pakistan, nail biting last over and Joginder Sharma was bowling. Sitting home, we thought that MSD has practically given up but he had other plans. His plan was to bring the trophy home and he did just that. Since then, 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy put Indian cricket on the map firmly. 

 Apart from Saurav and Sachin, there were other few cricketers or insiders who understood MSD very early. But a large part of Indian cricket lovers couldn’t. One can argue that when MSD started playing internationally, we were too focused on The Fab 5 – Sachin, Saurav, Sehwag, Dravid and Laxman. Yuvraj Singh too was a force to be reckoned with. In an era of stylish cover drives, copy book straight drives, strong front foot defense and some solid aggression on the field, an unorthodox wicket-keeper batsman wasn’t noticed much.

Let’s draw some parallels to Equity Markets.

Every company enters the small and midcap space first. Then dominates the ring for some time enter the large cap space and then chosen few go into Nifty50. Yet, most retail investors tend to miss out on what’s happening right infront of their eyes. It’s convenient to argue that it happens due to constant focus on news, unable to distil information from noise, an urge of constant trading and not having the patience for power of compounding to kick in. 

It’s almost a similar medicine, in a slightly different formulation.

We attempt to combine our love for cricket and passion for research to look out for a 3 key variables that helps us to find such geniuses early. 

  1. Unconventional Approach

Leaders define their own approach. They don’t follow tested waters, but sail in unchartered territories. It makes them Unpredictable and opposition is always afraid and in awe of them at the same time.

Mukesh Ambani is highly unconventional with his business. Running a giant conglomerate with the size of Reliance Industries, it was impossible to believe that he will change completely. From being in the oil business to dominating telecom and data business is a story of immense belief and completely unconventional approach. After consolidating the entire telecom sector, it feels that Reliance Jio has just started.

Dhoni too has a similar characteristic. Promotes himself ahead of Yuvraj Singh in the World Cup 2011 final against Sri Lanka because Murlidharan was bowling. And when he hit that final 6 in Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai – his face was cool and calm. He could play for another 50 overs and not get tired. Such is his performance under pressure.

  • Learning Machine

Leaders are avid learners. They learn from reading, travel, experiences, etc. In fact, it’s the ability to learn at a rapid pace helps them to act in their professional career faster and better than others. Charlie Munger calls it the latticework of mental models. Over the years, they’ve developed so many skills that everything comes together to create some form of uniqueness that cannot be copied.

Elon Musk a serial entrepreneur and is known for being a learning machine. His journey from internet company to electric cars and rockets fascinates every person who learns about him. Ashlee Vence his biographer has quoted in his book that as a child Elon would read, read and read for a lot of hours. Infact, he finished all the books from his neighborhood library too. People who work with him are often quoted by the media on Elon’s immense ability to absorb new information and create an action plan in a matter of seconds. It truly cannot be copied.

Dhoni too possesses such a unique ability. He is one of the greatest finishers in the game of cricket. Ian Bishop’s statement is a proof of that. To handle such a pressure, requires a calm head, complete understanding of the game and not let the thought of result affect your batting. Time and again, we have seen Dhoni taking the match to final few overs and we have sipped our coffee to see the fear on opposition’s face.

  • Staying away from limelight

There are many companies whose products we simply love but never know who the owner really is. The likes of liquor baron Vijay Mallya who used to regularly flaunt his page 3 appearances have not created a lot of wealth for their shareholders, while some have contributed to shareholder’s wealth destruction. Great leaders tend to stay away from media. It helps to cut the noise and focus on what’s really important.

Innerwear space is dominated by Jockey products. Yet there are very few people who know who the real owner is. Even in the equity market, retail investors get intrigued by looking at the price of Page Industries but have little or no idea what business are they in. So let me bust the myth here, Jockey is a brand of Page Industries. Okay, but do you know who the owner is? 

Page Industries is a Banglore based company owned by Genomal family. Its shares were listed around the same time as Reliance Power. On the day of listing, it’s shares had fallen by 20% to hit a lower circuit. Reason being, Genomal family didn’t spend a lot of money to drum up their IPO. Yet, the share price performance has been impressive. Have a look with last 10 year’s stock price CAGR at an impressive 31.62%

Image curtsey: screener.in, Page Industries

Dhoni too likes to stay away from media. Whether it’s after winning a match or losing one. Even if there are any controversies going around team selection, Dhoni likes to stay away. There is a not a single negative comment out in the public for his team mates or opposition in his entire career. Keeping his life private and an absolute focus on the game has helped him break every record.

Let’s have a look.

World Cup of 2011 and 2007 in a single frame

1f5eb0b5-6001-44a1-a813-09d4009dd50b.jpg

Winning the Champions Trophy 2013

Personal Finance Implications

At Circle Wealth Advisors, we focus on Asset Allocation as our key criteria with our clients. Wealth is created with following the right discipline with our money. Once we build an asset allocation model or an investments portfolio, we don’t change it often. It runs as per our original investment thesis and risk profile of the client.

What if we change it often? Are there chances to create short term profit booking and re-entering when the timing is right?

In theory yes, it can be done. But that’s unfortunately the end of theory. Consider if Dhoni changed his entire team every time he went to play. Rohit Sharma to be dropped for match against Australia, Jadeja went for a lot of runs in the last match so drop him for the next 3 matches and Virat Kohli is performing very well at number 3 so give him the opening batsman spot. Is this possible in theory? Yes. In practical? Absolutely NO.

Dhoni’s aim is to prepare a team that can play in every condition and every format. It’s not about a few players not performing well for a short period of time. Only if a player has lost touch or is out of form for some valid cricketing reasons, then we see some shift.

Even for our portfolio, constantly shifting money just because Gold is performing better or equity is just not giving returns will not help us to reach our goal of financial freedom. The idea is to create a balanced asset allocation where a portfolio has real estate, gold, equity and debt. The combination is optimum for an investor to be financially free.

Lastly, how to identify these giants when they are small?

It’s very difficult. Only a few experts like Saurav and Sachin who are close to Dhoni can understand him. For us spectators, it’s not possible even if we know he has potential, will he go all the way! Similarly, in stock market – it’s impossible to know which small company will become the next multi-bagger. The reason is same – there is very little public information about it. Even if we somehow manage to get it, we still won’t allocate 50% of our equity portfolio to it.

Hire an expert personal finance expert who is closer to the game. The person who understands how markets operate and whose job is to ride the next multi-bagger. In short, hire an expert like Saurav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar.

— Jinay Savla

Book Review – The Victory Project: 6 steps to peak potential!

Let me ask you a question. Which is your favorite food? For me, it’s Pizza – a circle that comes in a rectangle box is the ultimate creation to satisfy hunger. I’m sure, you must be thinking about your favorite food and relishing it in your imagination. Now let me ask you another question – Why is it particularly your favorite one?

There will be multiple answers running in your head. One common attribute to the answer is that it reverses the power of DMU – diminishing marginal utility. Readers who are from commerce background will instantly relate to it while those from other backgrounds, let me expand it a bit. When you eat 1 mango, you want more. So you go for another. And another. Then depending upon your appetite, you may stop at mango #5 or #10. Why? Because the enjoyment of eating it diminishes when your hunger is satisfied. It happens to us in other areas of life as well. The first year of buying a new car, we are so careful of parking it. In the 4th or 5th year, we aren’t as careful.

But there are some exceptions to this rule. For me it’s Pizza. As I keep on eating more, I want to eat more. Even though my stomach doesn’t really support it. But the hunger doesn’t go away one bit. Surely, it would have happened to you as well.

It’s a similar experience while reading this amazing book written by 2 stellar financial services professionals Mr. Saurabh Mukherjea and Mr. Anupam Gupta. For me, it was an amazing experience to speak with them about their book on the NetworkFP platform.

Before I started reading the book, I had great expectations from it. Because Saurabh has previously written The Unusual Billionaires and Coffee Can Investing. Both have been bestsellers. The Victory Project doesn’t disappoint the reader too. At one point, I just didn’t want it to end. There is so much wisdom gathered by extensive reading, travelling and personal experiences that it makes you jump out of the bed wanting to perform at your peak potential.

Not to mention there is way too much content out there in the form of self-help. Most of which doesn’t help much. While there is some amazing content, it’s usually in silos. Like Annie Duke’s book of Thinking In Bets gives a deeper insight into decision making while Cal Newport’s book of Deep Work talks about creative work which involves long hours of focus. John King’s Radical Uncertainty opens up new ways of thinking in an uncertain world while some other books such as Intelligent Fanatics open up an original approach taken by stellar entrepreneurs while building their businesses. And many more. But if you wish to consolidate the key concepts of some very good books, then The Victory Project is the book for you.

My wow experience from the book was when authors amazingly coincided their learnings from Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers and David Epstein’s Range. While Outliers talk about deliberate practice in one particular field – 10,000 hour rule being the most famous rule for outsized success. Range speaks about developing yourself in a variety of fields – Power of Generalization. 

So what do you get when you combine these 2. Saurabh told me that you get the letter T.  “–“ being the Range of Generalization and “I” being the power of Specialization. At that point, it felt as if my search for a perfect formula for outsized success was over. Somewhere, it just clicked that to be original, you have to learn from as many generalized fields as possible and take a deep dive into 1 or 2 things that you just love doing every single day.

Eureka! Eureka! Eureka! – My mind was simply dancing.

The book revolves around a few important paradigms needed to unleash our peak potential.

It’s divided in 3 parts – Solution, Behavior and Application. 

I’ve practiced these steps and the results have given me a pleasant surprise. So rather than talking about the book endlessly, which I can of course do but it would give more value to our readers to speak about my experience of the book.

Simplify is a very powerful tool for outsized success. However, the road isn’t very easy. Consider your iPhone – it’s one of the simplest phones to use. Some of my friends don’t agree because it locks you into Apple’s ecosystem but for a non-tech guy like me, it’s like Potato-Potaaato! Just doesn’t make any difference.

But the road taken to build an iPhone wasn’t very easy. Readers who have followed Steve Jobs’s journey closely would understand how much complexity was built into the system of phones and it took tonnes of effort to simplify it. It’s the same thing with Systematic Investment Planning or SIP in mutual funds. Rather than wondering which company to buy every single time you have money, you can just automate that decision and let a fund manager buy it for you.

But it’s not really simple behind the walls. A fund manager has to go through tonnes of companies to understand which one will create wealth. While your financial advisor on the other hand has to understand your risk profile, need for money, financial plan, etc and suggest a mutual fund appropriately. It looks simple but a lot happens behind the walls just like an iPhone.

When it comes to clutter reduction, I’ve started detoxing the social media apps from my phone. The only 2 apps are WhatsApp and Twitter with daily limits of 2 hours for WhatsApp for communication and 30 mins for Twitter to catch up on the news. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and all have been deleted. If I really want to access it, then it’s through my laptop. Where I’ve disabled the passwords. So every time I have to feed it manually and now it bores me. As per Kahneman’s book of Thinking Fast and Slow, I switch from System 1 to System 2 instantly when I have to open my social media accounts.

Not just social media. Even the news apps or the famous Moneycontrol is out of my phone. It’s so peaceful. It’s no use to check stock market prices constantly or react to every news during the day. Many people I’ve met simply stare at the price screen from 9:15 am to 3:30 pm and come home exhausted in the evening. It just amazes me to a great extent. And here I’m peaceful with hardly any emotional reactions. It’s important for me to build on my work rather than simply watching prices and discussing why something was down 5% or up 5%.

My phone just doesn’t buzz mindlessly now. Only if there is an important phone call, that’s the only time it rings. Else, it’s difficult to reach me. Giving me 4 to 5 hours of clutter free time to do my work.

Due to a clutter free life, there is enough space to enhance memory and creativity. There are tons of resources available online to do it. Hence, I won’t really discuss much around it. However, there is a shift. Suddenly, I’ve started thinking about creative solutions to long lost problems combined with speed and time to execute it.

Collaboration is key. My colleague Mr. Saurabh Mittal talks on radio everyday about personal finance. That collaboration has made him a star as he is the only financial advisor in our community who talks on radio daily. Our webinars and weekly articles are too a product of collaboration between each other. I’m sure that even after writing an incomplete article, my colleague will show me the way to complete it. That boosts confidence.

With this experience I am now collaborating with my friend operating in the personal finance space for a Podcast too. The results are fascinating. I used to be so nervous before speaking something on the record, now with deliberate practice, it’s getting easier. By the end of this year, we will be launching our Podcast too. 

The book also has a lot of interviews with some outsized successful personalities like Sanjay Bakshi, Mark Mobius, Jason Voss, etc. to name a few. These interviews offer an insight into how these legends operate. Authors have been remarkable to pin point the right aspects needed for the reader’s mind. 

I was deeply fascinated by Apurva Purohit’s story. CEO of Radio City. Just like Sanjay Bakshi and many others she didn’t receive any phone call or didn’t need to touch her phone for a couple of hours that their meeting took place. Upon Saurabh’s inquiry into this attribute, she said, “we are constantly building our reputation. We might not meet each other again but this reputation will build itself.”

Amazing. Isn’t it?

In today’s World where we are constantly busy and trying to chase everything – The Victory Project tells us to stop, reflect and focus on things that really matter. Our minds aren’t designed for multi-tasking, so let’s not push our boundaries.

This review is a tribute to my hero – Mr. Saurabh Mukherjea whose writings I’ve followed very closely and a career trajectory that I would like to see myself on. Thank You for reading.

— Jinay Savla