book review

Book review – ‘Money Wise’ by Deepak Shenoy

Pre-ordering a book before publication is like buying units of an NFO. You are committing money before you know what you are going to get. But in the case of ‘Money Wise’ by Deepak Shenoy, I knew it was a sure bet. Having known the author and reading his works for several years, I had a pretty good idea about what I would receive, and hence as soon as the book was announced, I jumped on it with an instant order.

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Four books

None of these four books are particularly ‘PrimeInvestor’ topic – relating to personal finance or FinTech. Nevertheless, I thought I’ll share my thoughts on these books – 4 of them – in a brief note. Some of these books are quite popular, and all of them are worth your time, if the topic interests you.

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Stocks to Riches – Book Review

Stocks to Riches explains the fundamental concepts one needs to understand, to achieve success in the stock markets. Concepts like investing, differences between trading and speculation, loss aversion, sunk cost fallacy (and how to avoid falling into it), decision paralysis, mental accounting, and herd mentality. Every investor has dealt with and will have to deal with these situations in their investment journey. So having all these concepts neatly compiled and explained in one book certainly helps.

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“The Dhandho investor” – A review

We’ve heard of fusion music, we’ve heard of fusion cuisine, so why not a fusion book?

Colour me naive, but when I picked up ‘The Dhandho Investor’ – a book with an Indian author and an Indian name, I thought it would be about Indian markets and for Indian investors. It was not. Although the author is Indian, and there are many ‘Indian’ anecdotes in the book, it is aimed at an American audience.

But that should not stop you from grabbing it and reading it. It’s a delightful book – expertly written with ideas that you can use in any free market economy.

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“The Millionaire Fastlane” – A review

repreneur forum that I follow, someone asked a question to the group – “Which books made you the most money?”. The answers that followed ranged across topics of investing to motivational to actual business books. But one book that got the most mention was this book by M J DeMarco titled, “The Millionaire Fastlane”.

However, people who commented on this recommendation seemed quite polarized. Some of them REALLY liked the book, and other others REALLY hated it.

So, I had to buy and read it. 🙂

I just finished it, and I have to say, I hated it.

But, if you read it, you may like it. And that’s ok. While not quite liking it, I could quite see why some people will really find it inspiring or at least, alluring.

In this review, let me give you a summary of what the author says, and tell you what I thought about the ‘fastlane’ he recommends.

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Monika talks money

A good way to gauge the state of personal finance books that are India-centric would be to visit the ‘Book’ section of Amazon’s India website.

If you go to the American, you will find the ‘Business and Money’ section, under which you will find ‘Personal Finance’. Boom, done – you have access to a treasure trove on all topics PF.

If you go to the Indian, you will find a ‘Business and Economics’ section, and under that, you will find ‘Analysis and Strategy’, ‘Economics’, and ‘Industries’. If you, by power of logical reasoning and elimination, go into the first category, you will find, along-side books about American personal finance and self-help (Dale Carnegie!), a smattering of books by Indian authors to help Indian investors.

A handful, at best.

No doubt, this is an emerging section, but the current state of limited selection is properly captured by just browsing through these aisles.

Monika Halan’s ‘Let’s talk money’ is, especially in this context, a much-needed publication that addresses a sore need in the Indian market.

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“Retire Rich” by P V Subramanyam – A handbook for your golden years

World over, planning and investing for retirement in a disciplined fashion is not the norm. However, western countries have a healthy social security net that would keep people out of really bad situations, and many such countries would have state-sponsored health coverage that would take care of the inevitable big bills in old age.

India has neither, at least not in a manner that will cater to a middle-class life-style and care aspirations here. Hence, planning, saving, and investing for retirement becomes a must-do activity during the earning years of an individual in India.

P V Subramanyam’s book – “Retire Rich – Invest Rs 40 a day” was the first book on this topic. The original version was published in 2011 and sold more than 150,000 copies, and is now available in a new edition (since 2019).

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Just doing it

When I read non-fiction books, I keep myself daily minimum targets to get through it in reasonable time – at least 100 pages a day, or in some tough reads, 50 pages a day.

With Phil Knight’s ‘Shoe Dog’, I had to set for myself daily maximum reading targets – not more than 150 pages a day – so as to not let my other work suffer.

I could not, however, hold myself to the target – I finished the 400-page tome in a day and half flat. In one word, it’s ‘unputdownable’.

My partner from FundsIndia Chandra gave me the book 2 or 3 years ago and exhorted me to read it, and I’m ashamed I just got around to it. Of course, as with the other books I am reading these days, I am wishing this book existed and I read it, 15 or 20 years ago.

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